Projects in Northwest Orange County could get $1.7 million in state funds

Orange County District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore

If Gov. Ron DeSantis does not wield his line-item veto pen, three projects in Northwest Orange County will get a combined funding of nearly $1.7 million in state dollars.

The proposed 2019-2020 state government budget that was approved by the Florida Legislature on Saturday, May 4, had nearly 1,700 appropriations that are generally for local governments, including schools and colleges.

In years past, governors have used the line-item veto to cull the list of appropriations at various levels, but Gov. Rick Scott, who recently finished two four-year terms as Florida’s governor, slashed many such projects out of the state budget, including several in the Apopka area.

Two of the projects listed in the budget until the governor makes his final decision are $500,000 for a permanent Fire Station 6 in Apopka, and $184,175 for the Apopka Birding Park that is planned to be built near the entrance to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.

The third project is a $1 million appropriation for improvements to the entrance of Wekiwa Springs State Park in order to provide relief for traffic that backs up on warm-weather weekends as citizens attempt to get into the state park to experience the cooling spring waters.

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson said he likes the chances of Gov. DeSantis leaving the two Apopka requests in the state budget.

“I think they’re pretty good,” Nelson said of those chances. “We just sent a letter yesterday to the governor outlining why we thought it was important to have the fire station and the birding park. I hope that happens.”

According to stat budget documents, the city of Apopka, through state Sen. Randolph Bracy, asked for a little more than $1.9 million to build the permanent fire station, but that was cut to $500,000 by the legislature.

For the full story, pick up a copy of the Friday, May 10, issue of The Apopka Chief.