St. Joe receives waterline funds during governor’s visit to Gulf County

Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped at the Indian Pass Raw Bar Friday morning to speak to a gathered crowd of locals, tourists and officials from around the panhandle.

There, the governor announced  $23.1 million, which will go to infrustructure projeccts throughout northwest Florida, including an almost $700,000 project in downtown Port St. Joe.

“We’re awarding, today, $23 million for panhandle communities,” the governor said.  “And it’s from three difierent programs through the Department of Economic Opportunity – the Rural  Infrastructure Fund, Community Development Block Grant, and then the Hazard Mitigation match program.”

The Port St. Joe project aims to replace the waterline running through downtown, according to the city’s mayor, Rex Buzzett.

It has been in the works for more than five years, Buzzett said.

“It’s a project we’ve had engineered for five or six years for downtown water line replacement,” he said. “It’s the only area in the city that doesn’t have new water lines, and any time there’s a disruption in the city all of those restaurants, businesses get rusty water.”

Money for the waterline project was awarded through the state’s Rural Infrastructure Fund,  which is directed towards the planning, preparation and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities.

Other awards went to Panama City, Century, Bay County, Holmes County, Chipley, Ponce de Leon, Marianna, Wakulla County, Cottondale, Fort Walton Beach, Alford, Jackson County.

The governor also spoke about some of his priorities, including workforce development efforts, disaster mitigation and imigration, ahead of the 2022 Florida gubernatorial election, which will be held in November.

After completing his speech and taking photos with some of the gathered citizens, DeSantis took a short drive to Franklin County, where he spoke to a crowd in Apalachicola less than an hour later.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.