Updated June 26, 2019 – BRADENTON BEACH – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed off on more than $3 million in state funds for the city.
The Florida Legislature supported the funding requests earlier this year and DeSantis gave them his blessing on Friday, June 21.
DeSantis vetoed Bradenton Beach’s third request for $2 million to assist with increasing the city’s multi-modal and alternative transportation capacities.
The city will receive $2.6 million for stormwater projects and improvements and an additional $500,000 for seagrass mitigation. City officials hope to use the seagrass mitigation money to move forward with a long-desired plan to dredge the shallow navigation channel that runs along the Bradenton Beach shoreline between the Bridge Street Pier and the North Coquina Boat Ramp. In order for that long-dormant dredging project to take place, the city must mitigate any seagrass impacted by the dredging.
City Attorney Ricinda Perry, City Engineer Lynn Burnett and the city’s contracted lobbyist, Dave Ramba, spearheaded the city’s funding request efforts.
Two or three years ago, Vice Mayor Jake Spooner suggested using Ramba and his team to pursue state funds in addition to utilizing the lobbying firm to help combat vacation rental deregulation and other attacks on the city’s home rule rights.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved. Our City Attorney Ricinda Perry, our City Engineer Lynn Burnett, State Rep. Will Robinson Jr. and Florida Senate President Bill Galvano for getting this past the finish line. This is going to make a huge difference to the timeframe of our stormwater improvements and will save our taxpayers a great amount of money,” Spooner said on Friday.
“I’m also very pleased to hear the governor signed our seagrass mitigation bill, which had been holding up the opening of the channel south of Bridge Street to the North Coquina Boat Ramp. Boating is very important to Floridians for both enjoyment and the economy, and navigation channels are crucial for access,” Spooner said.
“We’re blessed,” Mayor John Chappie recently said.
Chappie also praised the efforts of Ramba, Perry and Burnett and expressed gratitude for the support provided by Galvano, Robinson, DeSantis and the Florida Legislature.
Perry recently praised Galvano and Robinson for their assistance and support.