No money for Hilliard Community Center

Among more than $3 billion of government vetoes. Ron DeSantis Thursday: $5 million for a community center in Nassau County that would also have served as a hurricane shelter.

Sen’s request for credits. Aaron’s Beana Fernandina Beach Republican, pointed to the dual-purpose request: a 10,000-square-foot multi-purpose community center that would also serve as a hurricane shelter for the town’s 3,100 residents.

“The building, which would be fully air-conditioned, would include a gymnasium and a community center. The proposed facility will include an indoor basketball court, kitchen, ADA-compliant restrooms, and backup generator. The design and construction of the building would meet both the requirements for a hurricane and storm shelter, as defined by the ICC 500 Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters and the 7th Edition of the Florida Building Code,” the credits request explained.

A total of $5,144,800 was reportedly spent on the project, all from non-recurring funds. This money was to cover “architectural and engineering design, tendering and construction observation services, as well as construction of the proposed facility by a licensed contractor.”

Hilliard was to own the facility once built, and it was expected to be used extensively for basketball and volleyball games. Additionally, non-sporting events including community gatherings, family reunions, weddings, bridal showers, educational forums, and other types of gatherings were considered for the completed space.

The House and Senate get millions in tax revenue to play with towards the end of budget negotiations. This money is divided between different projects in what is called in legislative language the “sprinkle list.”

The Governor gets the last call, however, with the ability to veto items and remove individual spending items from the budget.


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Jill E. Washington