DeSantis vetoes $14.8M in Alachua County funds, OKs $38M land purchase for UF

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis axed $14.8 million in local funding projects when he signed the state's general budget into law on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Florida Governor's Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slashed $14.8 million in local funding projects, including $2.75 million for the 2025 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships, when he signed the state’s general budget into law on Wednesday.  

The bill, called the Focus on Florida’s Future budget, provides $116.5 billion in funding for the next fiscal year, which the governor’s office touted as a spending reduction compared with last year.  

Throughout the legislative session, Alachua County state representatives pushed a handful of local projects forward for funding. A number of the projects landed on the Legislature’s budget, but DeSantis vetoed eight different local projects among more than 600 he cut from around the state. 

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The eight vetoed appropriation requests in Alachua County include:  

  • Santa Fe College property acquisition—$6.5 million 
  • Northwest Boys & Girls Club remodel—$3.07 million 
  • High Springs Police Station—$1 million 
  • Newberry Regional Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility—$500,000 
  • City of Alachua – Cleather H. Hathcock, Sr. Community Center—$475,000 
  • 2025 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships—$2.75 million 
  •  Newberry Veterans Memorial—$250,000 
  • Gainesville Regional Mobile Command/HazMat Asset—$350K 

Earlier this week, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) allocated the use of $1 million to support the 2025 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships, much of which is scheduled to take place at the Alachua County Sports and Events Center at Celebration Pointe.

Most of the funds will go to improvements at West End Golf Course, one of the sites for the championships, that will remain permanently for the public once turned into a park. 

At the meeting, the commissioners discussed the potential state funding, wondering when DeSantis would release his veto list. 

The motion asked staff to return with the updated plans for the site before September, and those plans anticipated state dollars. A portion of the state money would have funded improvements at West End Golf Course. 

The original request for Santa Fe College’s property acquisition was $13 million. The Legislature approved half the funds before the veto eliminated the other half. 

DeSantis allowed other local projects to remain in the budget, including $38.85 million for UF to purchase more than 3,000 acres of property just west of Gainesville. UF plans to build a 36-hole golf course on around 500 acres while placing the rest of the land under conservation.  

While stopping the World Masters funding, DeSantis OK’d $2.25 million to design a widening plan for Archer Road (State Road 24). Once the design is finished, more funds would be needed to complete the project construction and extend the four lanes of traffic west to SW 122nd Road (Parker Road). 

WUFT-TV/FM will get $1.2 million to replace radio infrastructure.  

The budget also included millions in funds for Santa Fe College, UF and UF Health through other priorities.  

Last year, funding for a proposed meat processing plant planned for Newberry was among the projects DeSantis vetoed.  

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ACResident

But Mori got his golf course.

LindaJ

So sorry to hear that the Governor vetoed the High Springs Police Station.

Yeah, it's me.

You know what we need more than the 2025 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships?
Affordable housing. Stop financing the rich. They do not care about you.

Last edited 28 days ago by Yeah, it's me.
Katie

We taxpayers need SAFE COUNTY ROADS more than anything!!

Bubba Gump

What is so important about the 2025 World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships? What about the new indoor venue at Celebration Pointe?

BillS

Line item vetos can be a beautiful thing. Have the trustees at UF ever considered dipping into the enormous endowment to pay for some of these projects? Well done Governor.

UghIHateYou

Oh good…golf…totally the wave of the future. That’s what central Florida needs. Not investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, tech, energy! Big plots of land set aside for this snobbery that a microscopic fraction of the public could ever even care about. Sweet job by Lifts McGillicutty, keeping things real and whatnot; real dumb.

Prediction

Unfortunately he approves $39 million for a new UF golf course. When a new one is built, I have a prediction.
The current golf course is not owned by UF it is owned by a private corporation the UF Athletic Association. They can sell it tomorrow and the state has no input. I predict that once a new course is built, the current site, being prime real estate, will be clear cut and sold to a buddy developer (like Viking) and Gainesville will have a huge new block of six story apartment towers. How will that look?

UF 1971

The UF is a criminal business enterprise.

DeathSantis

Local republican supporters in shambles right now

Katie

No we are not!!

Frequent Internet Flier

Truly a shame that our state leadership is so willing to cut from everywhere except the university. The Newberry Veterans Memorial is a slap in the face. We can’t cut 250k from somewhere else in the budget to get that project completed? Also, we cut funding from the other college in Gainesville in favor of UF?