CLAY COUNTY, Fla. —
$3.4 million dollars are heading to Florida to help our military. Nearly $2 million will stay in northeast Florida.
Governor Ron DeSantis made the announcement at Camp Blanding in Clay County Wednesday morning.
A portion of the money will go towards buying another 500 acres of land at Camp Blanding, to create a buffer so that National Guard Soldiers can have a place to train, and other outside developments don’t interfere.
The grants will be distributed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida, and they’re funded by the Florida Defense Alliance (FDA) and the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF).
Here is a breakdown of the grant money, as it relates to northeast Florida:
$90,000: City of Jacksonville for Ship Building & Maintenance
$450,000 from FDA: City of Jacksonville for Military Compatible Land Use Program
$500,000 from FDSTF: City of Jacksonville for Military Compatible Land Use Program
$865,000: Clay County and Camp Blanding for Infrastructure and Military Compatible Land Use Program
TOTAL: $1.896 million
”Here at Camp Blanding is the main site for Florida’s National Guard,” Governor DeSantis said during the press conference. “It’s important that its security be maintained. We want to prevent encroaching that could undermine that perimeter.”
”We’ve been here since 1939,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Stroud, the Deputy Post Commander for Camp Blanding. “As people start to move in, we make a lot of noise. People blow things up, we shoot guns. So the noise, we try to buffer that.”
Stroud says this will also help local contractors.
”Every contractor in the local area and even from all over Florida will bid on these, so it’s money that stimulates the economy,” he noted.
Camp Blanding is looking at building on light industrial land, which in Clay County allows for light manufacturing activities as long as they’re not detrimental to nearby properties or to the welfare and health of neighbors.
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