Jacksonville, Clay County Receive Grants For Military-Related Economic Development
In Starke Wednesday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the City of Jacksonville would be receiving $540,000 for its military bases.
Over $3.4 million is being distributed to Florida military installations via grants from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the private-public partnership entity tasked with leading the state’s economic development, Enterprise Florida.
The funds come from the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program, Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant Program and the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program
Over a third of the money is being awarded in Northeast Florida, where a sizable bulk of the state’s military infrastructure is located.
Jacksonville will receive $450,000 for easements at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, which are payments to property owners to not develop their land so as not to impede military activity. The city will also receive an additional $90,000 for Naval Station Mayport for shipbuilding, maintenance and long-term planning.
DeSantis said the goal is for the city to eventually be able to host a nuclear aircraft carrier.
“There's not very many places around the country that could credibly argue with Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, or rival them in terms of military friendliness,” he said.”So we think this is a really critical part of the DNA of this part of the state. And we're happy to be able to continue to help.”
Jacksonville is receiving nearly $200,000 more in the grants compared to last year.
Clay County will also be receiving $865,000 for Camp Blanding, home of the Florida National Guard.
DeSantis characterized the grants as an economic boost more than a defensive one.
“This is a huge economic impact to the state, not just the active duty component… we have some phenomenal industrial components that are in Florida. There's been more that have moved from other parts of the country to Florida, and those are really good jobs.”