DeSantis vetoes $ 700,000 for Washington, Holmes to see new interagency facility

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a $ 109.9 billion state budget for fiscal 2022-2023. The historic budget includes more than $ 40 billion in federal funding and a record $ 1.24 billion in tax breaks for Florida residents. He also called for a nearly $ 3 billion veto, including more than $ 1.75 million on proposed Holmes and Washington projects.

The governor vetoed three requests for funding in Holmes County; however, these projects will still be implemented due to the fact that they are already in the budget as a combined article known as the Holmes County Government Center Effectiveness Center.

The proposed building area of ​​†‹вЂ‹ 22,500 square meters. feet is planned to be built at the current Holmes County Emergency Service (EMS) office on Highway 90 in Bonifa. DeSantis vetoed individual requests for $ 500,000 for the construction of the facility and $ 325,000 for the construction of a separate facility measuring 60 x 125 feet UF / IFAS. The governor also vetoed a $ 250,000 request to acquire the Holmes County Department of Agriculture from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which was convicted in 2019 for having a high concentration of mold. The county commissioners said that by purchasing the facility, the county would be better prepared to apply for the funding needed to complete the repairs and renovations so that it could resume normal operations at the center. Although the request was also vetoed, the governor approved $ 4 million for the Holmes County Government Efficiency Center on Thursday, funding which, according to Holmes County Coordinator David Corbyn, would include the agricultural center in the new complex.

“I am pleased with the amount of funding we have received,” Corbin said. “We appreciate the governor, as well as MP Brad Drake and Senator George Gainer for caring for our rural counties.”

The Holmes County Government Efficiency Center will house several agencies, including the EMS, the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, the UF / IFAS Extension Office and the Holmes County Agricultural Center.

In Washington County, the governor vetoed a $ 700,000 request to fund improvements to Washington’s Canty Agricultural Center. The project was proposed to renovate the entrance in accordance with the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as to improve drainage, expand the parking area and make aesthetic improvements such as landscaping.

Washington County Council of Commissioners Chairman Trey Hawkins says these improvements remain a priority.

“We value the governor’s budget and understand that it is fiscally conservative,” Hawkins said. “We will continue to look for other funding options in the next fiscal year and look for other grant opportunities.

“Florida has maintained freedom and kept the economy open, which has allowed the state to outperform the nation in jobs, growth and business formation,” DeSantis said in a press release Thursday. “Our commitment to freedom has paid off. Our responsible fiscal policy has put the state in a strong position to make the record investments needed to support growth and opportunities, despite the reckless fiscal and monetary policies of the Biden administration. ”

The governor further said that by the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year the budget will have historical reserves totaling more than $ 20 billion, and the reserves for the 2022-2023 fiscal year are estimated to start the year with more than $ 16 billion.

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