Federal money for seagrass research at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and a slew of local projects in Orlando — including help for the congested Corrine Drive — made it through the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Stephanie Murphy announced.
The appropriations bill now includes money for 15 projects sponsored by Murphy, worth nearly $14 million, the Winter Park Democrat said. They include money for public safety, transportation, public health, housing, and the environment throughout Central Florida, plus the Mote Marine money and some Nature Conservancy money.
“From expanding resources for law enforcement to protecting our most vulnerable residents and our environment, these 15 investments will directly impact thousands of people living in our Central Florida community,” Murphy said in a news release issued by her office. “I am proud that these projects are advancing through the legislative process, and I will keep fighting to get this crucial funding signed into law.”
Tops among them, dollar-wise, is a federal grant for $5 million for the City of Orlando to complete safety improvements to Corrine Drive. In a project in conjunction with Orange County, Orlando is installing traffic calming features, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, raised intersections and mid-block pedestrian crossings and other safety upgrades to the arterial that connects north Orlando with south Winter Park.
The Mote Marine Laboratory would receive $750,000 in funding for Mote Marine Laboratory to develop approaches to restore seagrass areas in Florida. These efforts will help Mote find the most resilient seagrass strains for restoration efforts.
Among other appropriations tucked into the bill:
— $1.3 million for Sanford to improve the stormwater management systems in the historically underserved Midway community.
— $1.1 million in funding for Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County and Greater Apopka to complete an infrastructure project for the development of a transit-oriented, affordable housing subdivision in Sanford.
— $1.1 million in funding for the City of Sanford to manage and reduce stormwater floods in the historically underserved Georgetown community.
— $1 million for AdventHealth for Children Orlando campus to remodel an existing medical unit into a crisis stabilization unit for children under 18.
— $750,000 for the Nature Conservancy of Florida to develop a pilot program that will modernize recreational fishing catch data and support efforts to educate recreational boat captains and anglers about humane catch and release methods to reduce fish mortality.
— $640,000 to expand the Seminole Wekiva Trail system, creating more than two miles of a trail and shared-use path, and implement signalized turning lanes at key intersections.
— $533,000 for NextStep Orlando, a paralysis recovery center, to purchase new equipment for care of survivors of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and stroke.
— $526,000 to revitalize the Seminole High School’s Academy of Health Careers magnet program.
— $404,000 for Seminole State College’s Fire Science program through the purchase of equipment.
— $310,000 for Aspire Health Partners in Sanford to create the Seminole County Access and Assessment Center and renovate an existing administrative office that will serve individuals with emotional disturbance, mental illness and co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse.
— $239,059 for Orange County to purchase and outfit a mobile van, staffed by health professionals, to provide routine medical services to high-risk and historically underserved areas.
— $101,000 for Winter Park to modernize some of its traffic signals.
— $98,000 for the Sanford Police Department to buy safety equipment, including barricades, to help protect officers, event participants, and bystanders at community events.