Live Oak, Columbia County to receive rural infrastructure funds

Live Oak
Live Oak downtown.
Photo by C.J. Gish

On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Live Oak and Columbia County will receive more than $5.5 million from the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) program.

Columbia County and Live Oak projects were among 16 rural communities that received more than $24 million in RIF awards. The funds go to support community economic development projects that expand job opportunities in rural communities and strengthen public infrastructure.

“We are committed to providing Florida’s rural communities with the resources they need to support long-term economic growth,” said DeSantis in a press release. “These investments will improve infrastructure, attract new businesses and accelerate Florida’s unprecedented growth.”

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Columbia County will receive $5 million for a traffic flow and safety improvement project at the interchange of Interstate 75 and US Highway 41 in the unincorporated area of Ellisville.

The city of Live Oak will receive $295,000 to reevaluate the city’s potable water demands to serve future development around the US Highway 129 and Interstate 10 interchange.

A second Live Oak project, that received a $285,000 award, will go toward engineering evaluations on current public infrastructure on a proposed Heritage Square redevelopment.

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s rural communities are flourishing and continue to receive valuable funding for infrastructure and workforce projects,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly in the press release. “Today’s awards build off more than $20 million awarded this calendar year through the Rural Infrastructure Fund. We look forward to working alongside the Governor to continue growing Florida’s rural communities.”

Local communities receiving awards through the RIF program: 

  • Columbia County ($5,000,000) – to create traffic flow and safety improvements in the unincorporated area of Ellisville at the interchange of I-75 and US 41 to create 200 jobs and provide more than $30 million in capital investments.
  • City of Live Oak ($295,000) – to reevaluate the City’s potable water demands and develop estimates for potable water demand to serve future development around US 129/I-10 interchange the existing water distribution mains along US 129 from south of 72nd Trace to north of I-10 and will result in a water and sewer master plan to ensure that water and sewer infrastructure is adequate to support anticipated private development over a 20-year forecast period.
  • City of Live Oak ($285,000) –   to perform engineering evaluations of the existing public infrastructure (water, sewer, and stormwater) to support the proposed redevelopment of Heritage Square.

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Not really the governor’s leadership. These are part of federal rural infrastructure program funds simply allocated by our terrible governor. It is important for rural communities in Florida to understand the federal government’s essential role in improving their communities. So often the federal government is portrayed as the villain.

The Buzz

Beware of subterfuge.

DeSantis is claiming credit for this, but that’s incorrect, he’s lying as usual and taking credit of the feds policies.

This is federal money, provided by the Dept of Agriculture thanks to Biden’s federal infrastructure plan.

DeSantis is a snake, taking advantage of the democratic presidents policies then criticizing every thing done by him..