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Apalach to get millions in infrastructure funds

An announcement by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week that more than $58 million
had been awarded to 18 communities in seven counties impacted by Hurricane
Michael was well-received in Apalachicola.

About $5.3 million worth of well-received.

Apalachicola’s chunk of the Rebuild Florida Hometown Revitalization Program was fourth, trailing only Panama City’s $19 million, Marianna’s $7.3 million  and Lynn Haven’s $5.4 million 

As outlined in a release from DeSantis’ office, the Hometown Revitalization program, administered by the Florida Department
of Economic Opportunity, “supports the revitalization of downtown areas and
commercial districts impacted by Hurricane Michael, facilitating the return and
recovery of businesses, jobs and services to the area.

“In this round of funding, awards include projects that
reconstruct streetscapes and install lighting in downtown areas, restore structures
in commercial districts damaged by Hurricane Michael, and provide funding to
businesses to help them make repairs they could not afford and keep their doors
open after suffering revenue losses caused by the storm,” it reads.

City Manager Travis Wade and Finance Director Leo Bebeau went through a careful process, in conjunction with the city commission, of selecting eligible projects.  Much of the monies will either be ladled on, or sprinkled, into about 14 projects in downtown Apalachicola, many of which also have qualified for other monies from other pots. 

These include putting in sidewalks, pervious parking and lighting in several spots, as well as completing a parking lot near the site of the old fire station. Dock repairs or rebuilds will be completed at Water Street Seafood, Scipio Creek Marina, the Water Street Hotel and J. V. Gander Petroleum, with repairs also slated for the Cotton Warehouse, the Raney House, the Popham Building and Andries Pier.

On the Hill, sidewalk repair and street lighting will be made with some of the monies, as well as repairs to Ther Game Room, Q’s Lounge, A.J.’s Restaurant, and Croom’s Mini Mall. The Massey  property is also slated for demolition.

The revitalization program draws on
funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community
Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program, and makes them available to
local governments, state agencies, Community Revitalization Agencies, Community
Development Districts and community-based development organizations within
federal and state Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) areas.

Non-profits that are primarily engaged in community
redevelopment activities were eligible to apply in partnership with a state
agency or local government. DEO is the governor-designated state authority
responsible for administering all HUD long-term recovery funds awarded to the
state. Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida’s long-term
recovery efforts from the devastating impacts of natural disasters.

The following is a list, from highest total to the smallest,
of the 18 communities across seven counties that received funding:

Panama City – $19 million

Marianna – $7.3 million

Lynn Haven – $5.4 million 

Apalachicola – $5.3 million

Springfield – $5 million

Quincy – $3 million

Chattahoochee – $2 million

Bristol – $1.9 million

Cottondale – $1.7 million

Panama City Beach – $1.4 million

Callaway – $1.3 million

Calhoun County – $1.25 million

Bascom – $973,000

Sneads – $951,000

Chipley – $852,000

Campbellton – $499,000

Malone – $424,000

Jackson County – $415,000

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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