U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor Announces $14M in Tampa Bay Area Community Priority Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) announced twelve community priority grants for a wide range of local projects that will lower costs, grow the middle class and build safer communities as part of the FY24 federal appropriations package. The final vote in the House was 207 Democrats and 132 Republicans supporting the legislation. Castor-sponsored projects include expanded services for veterans and their families at the Hillsborough Veteran Resource Center to more affordable housing in East Tampa and South St. Pete to cost-saving clean energy projects on both sides of the bay. Castor championed the projects in partnership with local communities and their pressing local needs. 

“As the Tampa Bay area grows, I am working with local partners on solutions that address our toughest problems, such as keeping pollution out of Tampa Bay, tackling housing affordability, and using solar power to lower electric bills. 

“In Tampa, as the Tampa Housing Authority begins redeveloping the aging 35-acre Robles Park Village community from 433 to 1,500 apartments, I am proud to have secured funding for the Robles Park community Smart HUB, which will serve residents as a’ one-stop shop’ for financial, economic, and educational support.

“In South St. Pete, the Sankofa on the Deuces redevelopment and improvements to the Enoch Davis Recreation Center will provide a much-needed boost for housing and community needs. 

“As ‘Tampa Bay’s Congresswoman,’ a clean and healthy Tampa Bay is a top priority, and I am thrilled to assist neighbors in moving from septic tanks to the Hillsborough County sewer system and expedite the drainage improvement project to replace aging water mains along Manhattan Avenue in Tampa.

“Through cutting-edge initiatives to reduce pollution and more at USF St. Petersburg, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, and the Tampa Police Department, we are building a safer, more resilient Tampa Bay area.

“Through the Hillsborough County Public School’s Medical Academy and Building Construction Academy, we will equip students with the skills necessary for jobs in high-demand fields while strengthening our local economy and workforce and raising wages for families across Tampa Bay – and we will do it with a solar roof that will lower costs. The Pinellas County Urban League will refresh its computer lab and update its technology to better help individuals who are applying for jobs, paying their bills and doing their homework.

“You can count on me to stand up for a stronger, healthier, more prosperous Tampa Bay area. My team and I work every day with local partners – from St. Pete to Tampa, Hillsborough to Pinellas – to make life better for our neighbors, and I couldn’t be more proud of our collaborative efforts.

“Extreme Republican calls for government shutdowns and abortion bans delayed FY2024 appropriations. After months of turmoil and chaos in GOP ranks, Democrats prevailed on important Democratic policy priorities like combating inflation; expanding the middle class; safeguarding the environment for future generations; ensuring adequate funding to provide veterans with the care they’ve earned; providing more than a $1 billion increase for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) assistance; and fully funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program while rejecting a harmful SNAP pilot program proposed by Republicans.

“Notably, the package rejects a number of poison pills that would have restricted women’s access to reproductive health care; attacked diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs; blocked funding for gender-affirming care; and prohibited the Administration from implementing various climate change Executive Orders that were included in the House-originated versions of these bills.”

Projects Requested

Listed alphabetically by sponsor below are the twelve projects Congresswoman Castor successfully championed in the first FY2024 Minibus Appropriations package:

Enoch Davis Center Planning and Construction – City of St. Petersburg

This project would fund assessment, pre-construction, and energy-efficiency costs for improvements to the Enoch Davis Recreation Center, a multi-service community center in South St. Petersburg.

Funded amount: $1,500,000

Sankofa Affordable Housing Development – City of St. Petersburg

This project would support the Sankofa redevelopment and bring much-needed affordable housing in South St. Pete to an area that was decimated by the construction of I-275.

Funded amount: $850,000

Electric Vehicle Public Safety Fleet – City of Tampa

This project would update and electrify police cruisers in the Tampa Police Department and contribute to a safer community.

Funded amount: $963,000

Flood Mitigation / Stormwater Improvement – City of Tampa

This project would fund the Manhattan Avenue Flood Mitigation/Stormwater Project to capture stormwater runoff and pollution and improve the water quality of Tampa Bay through the Clean Water Revolving Fund.

Funded amount: $959,752

Town ‘N Country Rocky Creek septic-to-sewer Phase 2 – Hillsborough County

This project would fund the Town ‘N Country Rocky Creek septic-to-sewer Phase 2 (design and construction for Troydale Road portion) through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to improve the water quality of Tampa Bay.

Funded amount: $959,752

Veterans Resource Center – Hillsborough County

This project would provide for Phase 2 of the Hillsborough County Veterans Resource Center to expand and upgrade this “one-stop shop” that provides wrap-around services for veterans and their families.

Funded amount: $750,000

Building Tampa’s Tomorrow: Workforce Development Initiative – Hillsborough County Public Schools

Funding for the capital costs, including solar roof installation, for the Medical Academy and Building Construction Academy, which will train students in the highest demand fields within Hillsborough County, creating a critical career pipeline and providing opportunities for underrepresented youth across high-skilled trade careers.

Funded amount: $1,000,000

Electric Bus Charging Infrastructure – Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

This project would fund electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support the conversion of the PSTA bus fleet to electric buses and replace the St. Petersburg Pier tram system with energy-efficient electric vehicles.

Funded amount: $1,116,279

Technology and Infrastructure Improvements – Pinellas County Urban League, Inc.

This funding would provide for a computer refresh, updating infrastructure and technology at the Pinellas County Urban League to increase reliable access to computers and boost digital and economic opportunities in an underserved community.

Funded amount: $81,330

Robles Park Smart HUB – Tampa Housing Authority

This project would construct a Smart HUB at the new Robles Park Village Redevelopment in Tampa Heights/Seminole Heights – an energy-efficient community center to connect residents – from infants to seniors – to financial and educational support services.

Funded amount: $4,000,000

Coastal Resilience Data Visualization Center – USF St. Petersburg

This project would fund a Coastal Resilience Data Visualization Center at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Sciences in St. Petersburg for scientific planning purposes, simulations of coastal threats, and public outreach activities to protect the natural environment and improve coastal resilience.

Funded amount: $963,000

Disrupt Human Trafficking Data Project – USF St. Petersburg

This project would aggregate and analyze the data needed to inform the state of Florida’s anti-human trafficking efforts, aid law enforcement and provide information to stakeholders to disrupt human trafficking and effectively respond to survivors.

Funded amount: $963,000

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