Veto list: Central Florida loses Poinciana Parkway extension money, fire stations

Poinciana Parkway extension
Vetoes also hit fire stations, Little Wekiva Creek and the Kissimmee-Shingle Creek Trail.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ record $3.1 billion worth of budget vetoes announced Thursday included the elimination of $15 million allocated toward the long-awaited Poinciana Parkway extension.

The Governor’s veto pen also axed fire stations, fire station rebuilds or fire station equipment in Clermont, Longwood, Winter Park and Mount Dora. The Governor also nixed money for cultural attractions in Maitland, Groveland and Daytona Beach; park planning in St. Cloud; a trail security system in Kissimmee; help for the struggling Little Wekiva River in Seminole County; and a downtown parking garage in Sanford.

The Governor also vetoed money to support a documentary film being made of the 1920 racist massacre in the Black neighborhoods of Ocoee.

Those were among hundreds of line-item vetoes DeSantis settled on as he signed what is a $109.9 billion state budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

“I have exercised my line-item veto authority for by far the largest number and amount of line-item vetoes in the history of the state. I broke my own record,” DeSantis said at a press conference Thursday in The Villages.

The Poinciana Parkway veto was the largest single item in Central Florida, hitting a traffic relief valve in the Poinciana region, which is exploding with growth in western Osceola and eastern Polk counties.

The money was to go toward the Florida Turnpike Enterprise’s planning project development and environmental study for a four-mile segment that would have connected between State Road 532 and Interstate 4 at the State Road 429 interchange.

That was to alleviate traffic crowding narrow two-lane roads to get to the freeway or to Kissimmee or Orlando from the rapidly growing Poinciana bedroom community.

Among other vetoes affecting Central Florida:

— $8 million towards implementation and renovation of Lake-Sumter State College’s Emerging Media and Fine Arts Center.

— $500,000 that was to go towards a scholarship program at Beacon College in Leesburg, the nation’s first accredited college offering four-year degrees designed around the needs of students with diagnosed learning disabilities, including autism.

— $1 million for Valencia College to participate in the production of a documentary movie on the 1920 Ocoee massacre, called, “July in November: The Story of the 1920 Election Day Riots.”

— $200,000 for Bethune Cookman University’s Mary McLeod Bethune Center in Daytona Beach.

— $2 million for a Mount Dora fire station.

— $289,000 for generators at two Clermont fire stations.

— $1 million for the rebuild of a Clermont fire station.

— $300,000 for a Winter Park fire station.

— $1 million for a Longwood fire station

— $236,000 for the Groveland Historic Train Station.

— $200,000 for the Maitland Arts Center.

— $126,000 for the Daytona Beach Veterans Museum.

— $1 million for a marine life education building in Volusia County.

— $1.5 million for a parking garage in Sanford.

— $500,000 for improvements to the distressed Little Wekiva River watershed in Seminole County.

— $400,000 for the Kissimmee-Shingle Creek Trail security system.

— $1 million for the Chisholm Park master plan in St. Cloud.

— $4 million for smart city grants in Central Florida.

— $3 million for a Haines City water treatment plant.

— $545,000 for dredging in Spruce Creek in Volusia County.

— $2 million for a water project in the Oakland-South Lake Apopka area.

— $500,000 for the decommission of a retention pond in Oviedo.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].

One comment

  • John Hauer

    June 8, 2022 at 7:54 am

    Regarding Poinciana Parkway extension . This plan was to run a 6 lane highway down the middle of Poinciana. And it offered to traffic relief for local traffic. This road could have been run down Reedy Creek and not divided/destroyed a community. There is huge local opposition. The road it designed to route trucks around Orlando. Run it through some high priced community. They wouldn’t dare. This was planned abuse of lower class community

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