Florida readies for federal infrastructure dollars

Imprint of the U.S. Capitol building on a dollar bill banknote
Federal and state grant monies will expedite the timeline on much-needed projects to combat flooding and sea level rise.

Florida’s communities are queuing up to receive billions of dollars in federal and state monies to upgrade their aging infrastructure.

In many Florida communities, federal and state grant monies will expedite the timeline on much-needed projects to combat flooding and sea level rise. In other instances, funding will go toward more long-term projects to transition to more sustainable energy sources, as well as become more energy efficient. In either case, communities don’t want to miss out.

The Florida Race to Zero project, which is helping cities implement sustainability plans, held a webinar last week to walk communities through the funding that is coming available through the bipartisan Investment Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA). Some of the highlights include $13.1 billion for highway programs in Florida, $2.6 billion for public transportation in the state, $198 million for the state’s EV charging network, and $3.5 billion for weatherization in the state. Most of that money will become available in the late spring into the early summer.

Tom Lewis of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) encouraged municipalities to partner with community groups and the private sector to pursue funding. And, he also encouraged community groups and the private sector to proactively approach municipalities with potential opportunities. Lewis indicated that the strongest applicants will have the buy-in and participation of local community groups and businesses. According to Lewis, it also will be important to show that projects fit within a community’s larger sustainability/resilience plans, and thus, have a multiplying effect within the community.

Lewis encouraged participants to visit Grants.gov (as well as federal agency websites) and sign up for alerts to stay abreast of opportunities as they become available. Communities should be prioritizing projects now and preparing to submit grant applications. AEE also has released a toolkit to help communities think through the process.

IIJA monies are not the only funds available to Florida’s communities. The webinar also previewed funds that may come available in the future through the Build Back Better (BBB) plan, and noted that American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding is still available for many communities.

On top of that, Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers have also been making big commitments in this space. In fact, DeSantis has been critical that Florida is due more funds from IIJA.

The Governor began the process of reorganizing state government to better address climate impacts, creating the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection in 2019. Each year that office has grown and, due to efforts by the Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, last year that office receives an annual commitment of $100 million.

Legislation this Session (SB 1940), carried by Sen. Jason Brodeur has earned broad bipartisan support and would formalize the office. $276 million was awarded through that office in December 2021 and more funding will become available in 2022.

The Florida Race to Zero project continues to track federal and state dollars and intends to continue advising communities on how to pursue both state and federal funds. The organization will continue to hold webinars as federal and state funding becomes available. You can learn more by signing up for alerts at https://www.floridaracetozero.com/join.

Staff Reports


3 comments

  • Concern Citizen

    February 2, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    Is this the money coming from the funds that the Republicans voted against?

    • nail

      February 3, 2022 at 8:26 am

      Every single FL Repugs, Senators and Representatives voted against the bill. DeSantis said he didn’t want the funds, but yet has already demanded of his President Biden a wish list for next year.

  • just a comment

    February 5, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Good thing our market is stable..Miami will keep raising the market Tell you the truth other states should not be paying in to over priced value of things

Comments are closed.


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