TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $1.8 million in awards to military communities through the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program and the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program. These programs provide grants to military communities to support infrastructure projects and economic growth to strengthen the resiliency of Florida’s military communities.
“As the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation, we are committed to strengthening our military communities and providing opportunities for our military families,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Today’s investment joins more than $6.1 million awarded last year to support our military and veteran communities and we will continue to build on these investments.”
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida’s position as the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation is secure,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “Today’s additional awards support Florida military bases across the state, bolstering their surrounding communities for generations to come.”
This round of funding is in addition to $6.1 million in Defense Infrastructure and Defense Reinvestment grants announced in 2023. Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has awarded nearly $13.6 million in grants to military communities through these programs.
The Defense Infrastructure Grant Program supports local infrastructure projects deemed to have an impact on the military value of installations within the state. Projects funded under this program include transportation, utilities, housing, security, and projects that protect military installations from encroachment. Awards through the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program include:
- City of Jacksonville ($500,000) – to acquire properties in the Military Influence Zone of Outlying Landing Field Whitehouse and provide matching Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) funds for the next Naval Air Station Jacksonville encroachment protection acquisition.
- Walton County Economic Development Alliance ($830,961) – to improve the intersection at SR 20 and CR 83A West, which will vastly improve the safety, access and operational efficiency for employee access to Eglin Air Force Base.
- Bay County Board of County Commissioners ($371,350) – to begin construction on Phase II for a multi-use path on Magnolia Beach Road to allow for safer access between the new VA clinic, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Panama City, NSA Panama City RV Park and Naval Branch Health Clinic Panama City.
The Defense Reinvestment Grant Program supports community-based activities that protect existing military installations. These grants are awarded to economic development organizations that represent a local government with a military installation that could be adversely affected by federal actions. Awards through the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program include:
- Greater Pensacola Chamber ($65,200) – to create a 5-Year Strategic Plan for the City of Pensacola.
- Orlando Economic Partnership ($50,000) – to hire a consulting firm to conduct a planning study that will recommend a course of action for constructing a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the Central Florida Research Park.
- Clay County Economic Development Corporation ($20,000) – to further the environmental site analysis and due diligence at the Keystone Heights Airport project awarded earlier this year.
For more information on military community programs, visit the Office of Military and Defense webpage here.