Scott’s vetoes impact county

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While some Gadsden projects sliced from budget, others accepted

By Alice Du Pont

Gov. Rick Scott used the power of his veto pen Monday to put the skids to three Gadsden County projects which totaled $750,000.

The most expensive item to get the ax was the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office request for a community and recreation enter for $400,000. Sheriff Morris Young said he needed the funds to purchase a former tomato warehouse off Bostick Road and begin transforming it into a multi-purpose family center geared toward recreation and education for youth.

The veto came because Scott felt funding a privately-owned building for the county is the responsibility of local government.

“Of course I am disappointed, but we will continue to try to find funding for the project. We’ve been actively searching other avenues. We have to keep trying, because we need to prevent our youth from filling our jails,” said Young.

Gretna City Manager Antonio Jefferson was also disappointed that the city’s request for $150,000 for upgrades to the city’s potable water supply was cut.

The reason given for the veto was that the upgrades did not provide significant return for the investment of the fiscal year 2013-2014 Florida Families First budget.

“We’ll continue to seek out other funding. We plan to go back next year with a better plan to present to the governor and the Legislature,” Jefferson said. “We’ve learned that we have to make a better business case.”

For the second consecutive year Scott vetoed a $200,000 request for a mobile health unit for the county.

Max Martinez, spokesman for the Gadsden County Health Department, referred all inquiries about the veto to State Rep. Alan Williams. Williams could not be reached for comment by press time.

All of the news, however, was not bad for Gadsden County. Projects that remained on the budget include:
• Technology transformation grant to establish/enhance wireless network of Gadsden School District: $229,434
•  Farm Share: $1 million dollars
• Quincy Music Theatre: $20,000
• Gadsden Arts Center: $5,994
• Quincy Loop north from State Road 12 to County Road 268: $700,000.
• State Road 8 (Interstate 10) from west of State Road 10 (U.S. 90) to Ochlockonee River Bridge: $750,000.00
• State Road 65 over Ocklawaha Creek replacement: $3.9 million
• Lewis Lane to Glory Road replacement: $605,011.
• State Road 8 (I-10) from west of U.S. 90 to Leon County line resurfacing: $423,210.00