Alachua County and Lake City received $4 million and $2 million, respectively, after Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded $28.4 million in grant funding for economic growth and community resiliency on Tuesday.
“Supporting the growth and resilience of Florida communities is the best way to ensure Florida’s strong future,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Investments made today will provide 23 communities with access to the resources they need to diversify their economies, increase public safety, and mitigate future risks.”
Lake City interim city manager Paul Dyal said the city applied for the grant months ago and will use the funds to upgrade the Richardson Community Center at 255 NE Coach Anders Lane.
“The original intent was to turn it into a COVID-testing site and make improvements to the bathrooms, replace the HVAC, redo some of the parking lot, redo the sidewalks and make them ADA compliant,” he said.
Dyal added that the city wants the people who live in that section of town to have easy walking access to the center and, if another COVID surge were to occur, it will be used for testing and medical treatment in the area.
“With prices going up on everything now, hopefully we’ll get a good bang for our buck to get the vast majority [of the projects] done, but this should get us to a good spot to get [the Richardson Community Center] modernized up some,” he said.
According to the press release, 23 Florida communities received funds through the Community Development Block Grant–CV (CDBG-CV) program, and the Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program.
The CDBG-CV program, administered by the Florida Department of Economics (DEO), primarily benefits low- and moderate-income residents with activities that include workforce housing, training, and sustainability, along with broadband infrastructure and planning.
Alachua County did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what it will do with the funding.