All Community Project Funding Requests Submitted by Soto Approved by House Committee on Appropriations

July 14, 2021
Press Release
The 10 projects were included in FY2022 funding bills to be considered by the House Committee on Appropriations before a vote in the House of Representatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09) announced that all 10 of the Community Project Funding (CPF) requests he submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations in May were included in FY2022 funding bills. These projects consider the most urgent needs of Florida’s Ninth Congressional District and aim to improve the lives of Central Floridians. They will now be considered by the full committee before a vote in the House of Representatives.

“I am thrilled that the House Committee on Appropriations understood the impact that this funding would have on our Central Florida community,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “From fixing the traffic to protecting clean water and promoting solar energy, from boosting jobs to combatting homelessness and improving our quality of life, these projects encompass the direct needs of Osceola, Polk, and Orange County residents and will have a lasting impact on future generations. It is an honor to advocate for our community every day in Congress and have the opportunity to see the fruits of our labor reflected so positively.”

The following projects submitted by Congressman Soto were approved by the House Committee on Appropriations:

1) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: Polk County Board of County Commissioners located at 330 W. Church Street, Bartow, FL 33830

Funding approved: $850,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: Polk County Behavioral Outreach Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) works closely with deputies to assist in crisis intervention of individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorder issues and makes direct contact with each individual the Sheriff’s Office has enacted a Baker Act within ten(10) days of the individual being admitted to a receiving facility, prioritizing individuals who have been Baker Acted multiple times.

2) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: School District of Osceola County located at 1200 Vermont Avenue, St. Cloud, FL 34769

Funding approved: $450,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because NeoCity Academy is the School District of Osceola’s first STEM magnet high school. This school focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics subjects and provided an immersive learning environment in advanced manufacturing and engineering, biomedical engineering, and cybersecurity.

3) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: City of Kissimmee located at 101 Church Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741

Funding approved: $1,000,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because due to the current condition of the Berlinsky House, the city has greatly decreased its programming at the facility. Once the improvements are complete, the building will function as a downtown cultural programming destination.

4) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: City of Lake Wales located at 201 Central Avenue W, Lake Wales, FL 33859

Funding approved: $800,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it addresses a critical need in replacing aging street infrastructure, improves safety, and enhances economic development and redevelopment.

5) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: The City of Orlando located at 400 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801

Funding approved: $1,000,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The City of Orlando Southeast Government Center would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the fastest growing sector of the City of Orlando is the Southeast, which includes the Orlando International Airport, Lake Nona, and Medical City. To address the growth in the Southeast sector and provide more effective city services, the City is planning to develop a general government service center in the community.

6) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: City of Winter Haven located at 451 Third St NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881

Funding approved: $500,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the expansion of available dark fiber to the Intermodal Logistics Development Zone is critical to maximize and expedite targeted job growth, specifically advanced manufacturing and distribution.

7) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: Hope Partnership Inc. d/b/a Community Hope Center located at 2420 Old Vineland Road, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Funding approved: $1,000,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: Hope Apartments-Motel Conversion would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because in 2018 the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area was deemed the worst in the nation for affordable and available housing for low-income renters by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. There are only nineteen units for every 100 households. The Hope Partnership seeks to purchase a hotel for extensive rehabilitation into attainable apartment units for families experiencing homelessness and poverty in Central Florida.

8) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: Valencia College located at 3255 Pleasant Hill Road, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Funding approved: $500,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because Valencia College’s Poinciana Campus was constructed to increase access to higher education for a historically underserved and diverse community.  Given the importance of environmental sustainability, the campus was built to support the future installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system to move toward carbon neutrality.

9) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: City of St. Cloud located at 1300 9th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769

Funding approved: $2,500,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because an alternative water supply (AWS) project will help offset and conserve potable water used for irrigation by increasing the City’s reuse storage capacity.

10) The proposed recipient and address of the recipient: City of Haines City located at 620 Main Street, Haines City, Fl 33844

Funding approved: $750,000

An explanation of the request, including project site location, purpose, and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the City of Haines City will be constructing a new fire station to support the rapid development of the city and the fire service needs.

Total funding amount: $9,350,000

For a map of the projects, please click here.

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