County to request state funds for generators, water projects

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 12, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- With the Florida legislative session just three weeks away, Leon County is finalizing its session priorities and funding requests.

This session, hurricane preparedness and disaster recovery is expected to be a big theme, and Leon County, like many others, plans to help boost their ability to respond to storms.

"One of the things we've heard over and over in our discussions is that we did not prepare enough as it relates to generators," said Chairman Jimbo Jackson.

That's why Jackson said the county is asking for funding for more generators.

Specifically, it is requesting $300,000 for a backup generator to open a second special needs shelter. Additionally, there is a $1 million request for backup generators for libraries and community centers, which often serve as comfort stations in the aftermath of a storm.

"It's a big ask obviously, but I think that one of the big things is to have at least an emergency source of power," said Jackson.

The county believes the additional generators will not only benefit Leon, but the surrounding counties.

"We're a destination when it comes to people evacuating, whether it was Matthew from the est coast, or the west during Michael and it can really support our efforts here," said Commissioner Kristin Dozier.

And, the county will heavily support a bill pushed by Senator Bill Montford. The bill seeks an annual allocation of $50 million, which would help counties in the panhandle and big bend affected by Hurricane Michael, for the next seven years. Leon is on that list.

"Those funds could go towards things like land management and
reforestation, as well as things like waste water," said Andy Johnson, assistant to the county administrator.

Other funding requests include $100,000 for the Leon Works Expo, $3.5 million for septic to sewer projects at Harbinwood Estates and Centerville Trace, and $2 million for Lake Henrietta Renovation, among others.

The Florida legislative session begins on March 5.

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