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8 Major Palm Coast Initiatives Receive Funding from Tallahassee

Lauren Boehmer of THe Southern Group and Palm Coast Chief of Staff Jason DeLorenzo deliver their legislative update on Tuesday. ⓒ AskFlagler

The Palm Coast City on Tuesday received a presentation on the results of the 2024 legislative session, detailing the overall impacts to the state and to Palm Coast specifically. The presentation was given by Chief of Staff Jason DeLorenzo alongside Lauren Boehmer from The Southern Group, Palm Coast’s lobbying firm in Tallahassee.

Most directly relevant to the City of Palm Coast was a list of eight items which all received funding of at least a million dollars. The initiatives go toward various areas of the city’s infrastructure.

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The list of eight items recited to the City Council on Tuesday were as follows:

  1. Colbert / Blare Drainage Improvements – $4,000,000
  2. Rapid Infiltration Basin Land Acquisition – $2,000,000
  3. Regional Rapid Infiltration Basin Expansion – $5,000,000
  4. Wastewater Treatment Facility No. 1 Capacity Expansion – $1,000,000
  5. Loop Road Connector Phase 4 – $30,100,000
  6. Palm Coast Parkway Extension Loop Road – $24,950,000
  7. Matanzas Woods Parkway Extension Loop Road – $24,950,000
  8. Town Center YMCA Construction – $6,000,000

These items were included in the finalized budget, which passed in March. The legislature has yet to send this budget to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who would then have 14 days to approve it. It’s slated to go into effect on July 1st. Prompted by the inquiry of Mayor David Alfin, DeLorenzo provided a bit more elaboration on a few of the items.

The Colbert/Blare drainage improvements, DeLorenzo said, would better equip Palm Coast’s The Woodlands neighborhood in flooding during a hurricane. Such capabilities may well prove crucial as forecasters predict an especially active year for named storms.

The two items concerning infiltration basins would improve the recharging of Palm Coast’s aquifers, DeLorenzo continued. There is currently one basin in Palm Coast, and the city now has funds to acquire the land needed to expand.

Lastly, DeLorenzo explained the expansion of Palm Coast’s Wastewater Treatment Facility #1. The plant was constructed in 1977 and subsequently expanded in 1982. It is the oldest such plant in Palm Coast as DeLorenzo pointed out, and so this expansion would be its first in over four decades.

The four items which didn’t receive particular attention from DeLorenzo were the four largest allocations of funds on the list. Each of the four items are directly relevant to Palm Coast’s ongoing and accelerating growth, the theme behind most of the city’s hotbed issues over the last couple years. The funding for a YMCA in the city’s town center reflects anticipated increases in Palm Coast’s younger population, which would rise in gross numbers even if its percentage of the overall residency stayed the same.

The road expansions are part of a future goal to expand Palm Coast’s major roadways west of US-1 (a presence that’s currently minimal) to accommodate development for the projected population boom. Even as residential developments take flight on Seminole Woods Parkway and Royal Palms Parkway, west of US-1 is considered the greatest aim of Palm Coast’s manifest destiny.

Once Governor DeSantis signs the FY 2024-25 budget into law, Palm Coast will have been appropriated a total of $80 million to pave a major connecting roadway that unites the western ends of Palm Coast Parkway and Matanzas Woods Parkway. The two points currently lie just under four miles apart in a straight line, and the connector road will be about seven miles, curving westward through what’s currently primarily wooded land.

The appropriations secured for Palm Coast were praised by DeLorenzo and Alfin, both of whom lauded praise upon state Senator Travis Hutson and state Representative Paul Renner for helping draw it in. Both officials are being ushered out of office by term limits, and both have made moves to posture the appropriations as their grand finale of local advocacy in the state legislature.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

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