County receives Defense Reinvestment and Infrastructure grants

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Santa Rosa County was awarded $250,000 through Florida’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs. The funding will diversify the local economy, enhance military missions at Naval Air Station Whiting Field and protect the installation from encroachment.

Governor Scott said, “Securing these funds for our military installations, like those in need of this $250,000 investment in Santa Rosa County, will provide the necessary resources for our service men and women. We must support Florida’s military community, and we thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

For more than 15 years the defense grants have been successful tools in assisting local defense partners in supporting the State’s military installations. Florida’s military and defense sector is responsible for 9.4 percent – or $73.4 billion – of the Sunshine State’s economy. This translates to 758,112 statewide direct and indirect jobs.

Santa Rosa County was one of twelve counties to receive a Defense Reinvestment Grant, which is designed to support relationships between military installations and their community. The $50,000 investment will help to protect Florida’s military installations, as well as promote economic diversification strategies in defense dependent communities.

The Defense Infrastructure Grant is awarded to local projects deemed to have a positive impact on the military value of the installation in addition to benefitting the community. Santa Rosa County was awarded $200,000 for the purpose of encroachment protection.

Senator Greg Evers said, “Santa Rosa County is grateful for the $250,000 it has been award through two Florida Defense Grants Programs. Through this successful partnership with the State, Naval Air Station Whiting Field will be able to continue its buffering program that is crucial to protecting the installation and its $1.1 billion economic impact on the local community.”

Representative Doug Broxson said, “The military and Santa Rosa County are fortunate to share a great partnership, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these grants will have in strengthening this bond. It has been our privilege to work with both teams in insuring the best results in moving our area forward.”

Representative Mike Hill said, “The grants are a shining example of local and state partners making a positive impact on our military installations. It’s important that we highlight our military communities as they have a major impact on the economy. I appreciate the work the state has done to get Santa Rosa County the funding to enhance the community’s assets.”

“The Florida Defense Grants Programs are vital for our military and defense industry, and strengthen Florida’s workforce through the highly skilled former military personnel who enter the employment market each year. I am proud to play a part in supporting our military installations and communities, and appreciate what our service men and women do to protect our state,” said Gray Swoope, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida.

A combined $2,450,000 was awarded to 14 communities in the state, helping to protect and improve 19 installations, and furthering Florida’s reputation as the most military friendly state in the nation.

Don Salter, Santa Rosa County Commissioner, District 3 explained, “Santa Rosa County is very appreciative of the State of Florida and Governor Rick Scott with the announcement of today’s $200,000.00 Defense Infrastructure Grant (DIG) and $50,000.00 Defense Reinvestment Grant (DRG). These two grants will allow our county to continue to purchase land and conservation easements around Naval Air Station Whiting Field to prevent encroachment; and provide support for our military consultant and events and functions that reinforce positive relations between the community and the defense facility, respectively. The continued support from the State of Florida and Governor Scott will ensure future protection and enhancement of our military installation.”

The 2014-15 Defense Grants were awarded to defense partners in the following counties: Polk, Brevard (2), Duval (2), Santa Rosa (2), Okaloosa (2), Clay (2), Pinellas, Escambia (2), Orange (2), Bay (2), Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Walton and Highlands.

The Florida Defense Grants Programs are administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. The grants are awarded annually through a competitive process to communities hosting military installations.


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