ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that his administration will be providing $2 million to improve the wastewater infrastructure at St. Pete Beach.
DeSantis said the upgrades will help the city expand its economic footprint, particularly with the addition of new hotel.
“We have a lot of people who want to come here, as you can see, pretty nice place to be at this time of year,” the governor said.
The governor said the city would also commit $2 million to finalize the improvements. Around 1,300 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project, which will help generate an extra $13 million per year.
DeSantis said that a greater hotel capacity would also help the local restaurant and charter fishing in the area.
““This infrastructure will serve a vital role in protecting the incredible environment here while allowing the area to expand accommodations and welcome more visitors, which will bolster all parts of the local economy. By investing in projects like this one, we continue to make Florida the top destination in the country for job growth and economic activity,” DeSantis said.
“Our system was operating over capacity,” said St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson. “Based on that, we did a moratorium on multi-unit building, and that went into affect while in the middle of 2016. Until we sign a contract to upgrade the sewer system we can’t issue any development orders for multi-unit structures of any sort.”
The Mayor said now that they have the additional funding they can finish the upgrade in one shot, as opposed to in phases. That also means new buildings can be occupied once the work is finished “They can’t occupy these buildings until we put the sewer system, which is going to be January,” Mayor Johnson said.
The Mayor also said some existing hotels will now be able to expand. “That means some of these 25 and 30 unit hotels can expand maybe 50 units, and that’ll help bring the prices down, because I want to keep the prices affordable,” he said.
You can watch the more of his announcement in the video player above.