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Gov. DeSantis Offers Infrastructure Money to Orange County, But Not Access to Statewide Coronavirus Database

Photo: Gov. Ron DeSantis
Photo: Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced nearly $150 million dollars to cities and counties throughout the state for more resilient infrastructure. 

The grants are part of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program to help local governments prepare for disasters.

Money for Central Florida counties will be spent on things like stormwater systems. 

“Orlando $2.8 million, Sebring $2.6 million, another Sebring at $3.5 million and then Osceola County at $4.7 million.”

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DeSantis says there will be two additional rounds of funding through the program that will go to areas that were hard-hit by Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew and Irma.

The money for the program is allocated to the DEO by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

While the county received infrastructure monies, the Florida Department of Health has cut off Orange County’s access to a statewide coronavirus database containing information about the area’s vaccination rates. 

DeSantis says he doesn’t know anything about that policy change. 

“You’ll have to ask the department of health. I’m not involved in that. Right but only certain issues get to my desk, you know some of that is just not something that would reach my desk.” 

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At a weekly coronavirus update in Orange County last night Mayor Jerry Demings said the county does not plan to sue the state to regain access to the numbers. 

Some 7.6 million people have been vaccinated in the state of Florida.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.