Message from Dr. Ann Shortelle

New year kicks off with two cost-share program opportunities

January 10, 2020

Construction crew working around a pit
The District’s cost-share funding programs help communities complete water projects that they might otherwise not be able to do, such as this water quality “baffle box” installation in the city of Titusville.

With the new year comes a new opportunity to participate in the St. Johns River Water Management District cost-share programs. This week we kicked off the application cycles for our Districtwide and our Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) / Innovative funding programs.

The District’s Governing Board continues to place an emphasis on allowing the District to forge partnerships and help fund cost-effective, beneficial water projects. Since I joined the District team in fiscal year (FY) 2014–15, we have completed 183 Districtwide and REDI/Innovative cost-share program projects, with more than 97 percent completed within two years. By the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2020, we will have invested $119 million in local communities for worthy water projects!

The District’s cost-share programs help local communities stretch their dollars to increase water conservation, develop alternative water supplies, improve water quality, enhance natural systems and provide flood protection. We’ve celebrated many successes during the past five years. These include recipients of FY 2018 funding for water quality improvement baffle boxes in Titusville, an alternative water supply project in the city of DeLand to benefit water flows in Volusia Blue Spring, and a flood reduction project in the city of St. Augustine that includes retrofitting stormwater outfall structures with backflow prevention valves. Many local government officials have told us that they might not be able to accomplish the work in their communities without District assistance.

While these funding programs have previously been launched at different times of the year, launching them at the same time in 2020 will allow our staff flexibility to recommend funding for the best construction-ready, cost effective, and beneficial water resources projects considering the total available funding in the FY 2020–21 budget. As always, applicant projects for both programs will be ranked and scored according to their unique set of criteria previously approved by the Governing Board.

I encourage our local government partners to reach out to staff in the District’s Bureau of Project Management to learn more about these funding opportunities. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 17. We anticipate providing our Governing Board members with a ranking of applications at their April 2020 meeting, with funding available Oct. 1. Additional information is also available on the District’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/funding.

Thank you to our Bureau of Project Management staff who continue to do a great job finding ways to work together with the region’s communities to protect our precious water resources. I appreciate the community support and partnerships that make these projects happen and I wish everyone a wonderful start to the new year.

See our past stories