STARKE, Fla. – Military bases statewide will receive a $3.4 million grant through multiple defense programs and local bases will receive roughly $1.9 million of that money.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the award Wednesday at the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke.
According to Gov. DeSantis, most of that money will be in Northeast Florida in Northwest Florida where there’s a heavy military presence.
Clay County will receive roughly $860,000 to provide a land buffer area around Camp Blanding, maintain facilities, and develop a strategic site inventory for future development.
More than $1 million will go to the City of Jacksonville to buy restrictive use easements and property in the military influence zone around Naval Air Station Jacksonville and to support the ongoing effort to protect local bases and airfields from incompatible land use by negotiating Restrictive Use Easements with willing sellers of properties within the Military Influence Zone. $100,000 of the grant will go towards efforts to bring shipbuilding and maintenance plans to Naval Station Mayport and work towards the goal of hosting a nuclear aircraft carrier in the Jacksonville region.
Gov. DeSantis says these grants are essential to show support for servicemen and women.
“We want to make sure that folks, that these communities are really able to benefit, and that we can work in concert when, when appropriate, with the military services to make sure that we have the appropriate infrastructure in place so that they have a great footprint here for themselves,” DeSantis said.
The governor also plans to expand school choice offerings to active-duty military with school-aged children.
The grant will be funded by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise. Military communities will receive the award through the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program, the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program, and the Florida Defense Support Task Force grant program.