Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday the state will award St. Pete Beach a $2 million grant for wastewater infrastructure improvements — funding the Governor anticipates will allow the city to finalize its system.
The grant, which comes from the state’s Job Growth Grant Fund, is expected to create 1,300 jobs and generate $13 million annually, the Governor said. The funds, which the city will match, will be used to continue and finish the wastewater system overhaul.
“It was rated the number one beach in the U.S. and fifth best in the world, and we have a lot of people that want to come here,” DeSantis said of St. Pete Beach. “As you can see, it’s a pretty nice place to be, at this time of year especially, but this infrastructure is needed to allow the city to be able to expand its economic footprint.”
The wastewater system overhaul will provide greater hotel capacity, the Governor said, in turn helping local businesses. The Governor added that hotel room revenue in Florida during August 2021 was up 11% compared to pre-pandemic rates in August 2019.
“If you have more hotel capacity, that helps restaurants here like Crabby Bills, it also helps people who do things like charter fishing, helps retailers, it really helps across the board,” DeSantis said. “This announcement, of course, builds on the commitment that we’ve made to this area’s wastewater improvements through the Department of Environmental Protection.”
DeSantis’ visit to St. Pete Beach follows Monday’s announcement at Winter Haven, where the Governor announced more than $9 million for road improvement projects in that city’s Railroad Warehouse District.
“We can finally complete those wastewater projects and open up this this area for growth, which is going to be phenomenal for job creation, which is our goal here today, so thank you to the Governor for his leadership,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle.