$20 Million in State Funds Slated for Charlotte County
When you put the right people in the right positions with the right mission, great things can happen. That’s the case with Charlotte County this year in appropriations for the state budget. Charlotte County commissioners and elected officials, including the majority Whip in the state assembly, did an extraordinary job in securing budget line items designed to help Charlotte County. We’ll learn the results of their efforts in the coming weeks, but all signs look good. Approval of these appropriations will represent a record-breaking amount of funds for our community. County commissioners and elected officials asked for four major appropriations this year:
$12,655,117 for Renourishment of Manasota Key Beach.
This project will add roughly fifty feet of sand to the shoreline on a four-mile stretch from Blind Pass Park in Sarasota County to Don Pedro-Knight Islands Beach. More than half a million cubic yards of sand will be used in Charlotte County, taken from offshore areas. Work is expected to begin in November and is critical to prevent the loss of dozens of waterfront homes.
$250,000 for Airframe and Powerplant Program.
Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics are often viewed as the “surgeons” of their industry. The A&P certification course through Charlotte Technical College will develop new generations of highly skilled workers for the aviation industry, right here in Charlotte County.
$500,000 for Airport Rescue and Firefighting Training.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires airports serving carriers that fly planes with more than thirty seats to provide advanced training in rescue and firefighting, in order to be FAA-certified. With Punta Gorda Airport serving as a hub for Allegiant Airlines, and airport Master Plans calling for expansion in future years, this training is essential to ensure the safety of passengers and workers at PGD.
$750,000 for Charlotte County “C.A.T.” Team.
A Children’s Community Action Team (C.A.T.) is a multi-disciplinary, clinical team that provides comprehensive, community-based treatment for families with children and young adults who are at risk of out-of-home placement, due to mental health or other issues for which traditional services are not or have not been adequate.
An additional appropriation contained in the budget for the benefit of Charlotte County and regional citizens was requested by Babcock Ranch—$8,000,000 For Southwest Florida Regional Shelter. It’s a fact of life in Florida that we need to be prepared for storm events that can quickly become major disasters. It’s critical to protect our citizens. This funding will allow construction of a regional emergency shelter paired with a centralized emergency response staging facility for Florida Power & Light. When not utilized to serve the needs of our most at-risk citizens, the facility will operate as a field house and sports venue.
Again, our county commissioners, elected officials, and staff deserve recognition and appreciation. They work tirelessly all year in Tallahassee and locally to secure funding and support that benefits and protects our citizens—and that shows their compassion for the community. We are breaking records in many ways in Charlotte County. Let’s keep the positive momentum going!