- Florida will spend $4 million to build an interchange and other infrastructure improvements for a Buc-ee’s travel center and other possible economic development projects in Marion County.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis says that the state is always looking for ways to impact economic growth and has expanded the economy with over 80,000 manufacturing jobs added in the past four years.
- The Job Growth Grant Fund is funding the interchange project and will bring employment opportunities and traffic solutions to the area.
(The Center Square) — Florida taxpayers will spend $4 million for an interstate interchange and other infrastructure improvements to assist with the building of a Buc-ee’s travel center and other possible economic development projects in Marion County.
Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement in Ocala on Friday and pointed out that life is getting harder for Americans in other states and bad governance is urging people to move to the Sunshine State to seek a better life.
“We’re here today because we are always looking for ways to make an impact in terms of economic growth.” DeSantis said, adding that his administration was able to do this through funding community projects.
“I wanna build more things in Florida, and we have been expanding.” DeSantis said, stating that there have been over 80,000 manufacturing jobs added over the past four years.
The Job Growth Grant Fund is a fund available to the governor’s administration and funds can be used for infrastructure and workforce projects that facilitate better job outcomes and quality of life for Floridians.
DeSantis noted that this grant had been used recently for a project that funded truck drivers getting their commercial licenses. The project was a success and went from producing 600 truck drivers per year to over 3,500.
A $4 million JGG fund grant will be helping to build a new interchange on Interstate 75 to ease traffic, while bringing more economic opportunity to Marion County. This will include an 80,000-square foot Buc-ee’s travel center, the third in the state.
Arch “Beaver” Aplin, president and CEO of Buc-ee’s, thanked DeSantis for the opportunity to expand his business, noting that Florida has become a haven for business owners with its business-friendly policies and stated that growing inflation and tax burdens in other states are what is forcing people to look for greener pastures.
“[This] is exactly why businesses, businessmen…want to be in Florida.” Aplin said, adding that the large infrastructure project will bring many opportunities for employment in construction and the service industry.
Jared Perdue, Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation thanked the governor for his tireless leadership on improving the lives of Floridians.
“One of the things you learn very quickly when working for the governor, there’s never a time to rest, you must always be moving forward…we’re incredibly excited, this is a great project,” Perdue said.
Perdue stated that the grant that they are receiving will help get the interchange project off the ground and added that it was something his department and Marion County officials had been planning for many years.
“Under the governor’s leadership, the economy has continued to grow and diversify and really it’s creating jobs all over the state.” Perdue said on the interchange project.
U.S Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla, who represents District 3 which includes the majority of Marion County said the new interchange provides more than just employment opportunities, but also solutions for First Responders.
“The expansion with this interchange is going to be a release valve in helping with some of the traffic and the congestion.”