Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis handed over a check of $3.2 million to Okaloosa County to fund infrastructure improvements. The county will utilize these funds for infrastructure improvements at the Shoal River Ranch industrial site. Moreover, the project is likely to bring 11,000 jobs to Okaloosa County. In addition, it will also help in creating 4,000 new manufacturing job openings.
Expansion of Shoal River Ranch
The funding will help in expansion of roads, rail lines network and infrastructure at the Shoal River Ranch gigasite. “This commitment to the services at the industrial park is going to be huge, because this is going to give them the confidence that they have all the infrastructure they need to be able to be successful. I anticipate there will be some announcements in the not-to-distant future.” Gov. DeSantis said in during a press conference in downtown Crestview.
Huge economic impact
The Shoal River Ranch Gigasite is located around 7 miles away from Crestview. It will have access to Interstate 10, Highway 90 and the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad. Moreover, the 10,500-acre site will have an economic impact of more than $47.6 million after completion of infrastructure improvements. The Okaloosa County Commission approved the purchase of site for approximately $2.5 million in 2020. The Republican Governor had requested Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) for $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund. However, lawmakers only approved $50 million.
11,000 new jobs
The project is likely to bring multiple job opportunities in the Okaloosa County over the next decade. According to Gov. DeSantis, the industrial site will create as much as 11,000 new jobs. In addition, he is expecting an addition of another 4,000 manufacturing jobs. These developments will have an estimated economic impact of almost $50 million by the next decade. “Right now, there are 2,900 manufacturing jobs in all of Okaloosa County, and so this project will more than double manufacturing jobs in this area, so this is big. I know the county is working with a lot of companies right now, and I know there’s a number of them that are on the verge of making announcements and signing on the dotted line to come here. This commitment to the services at the industrial park is going to be huge.” DeSantis further added to his statement.
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