GULF AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES, Fla. (WMBB) — When Governor Ron DeSantis is in town he’s bringing big news, big checks or sometimes just touching base.

“Today is you know kind of Christmas in April. DeSanta Claus is coming to town,” Governor Ron DeSantis said.

In Gulf and Franklin Counties on Friday, DeSanta Claus brought the checks.

“We’re awarding today $23 million dollars for Panhandle communities,” DeSantis said.

These grants are coming through the Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rural Infrastructure Fund, Community Development Block Grant, and FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Match Program.

Panama City was awarded a little less than $1 mil.

Mayor Greg Brudnicki said some of the money will go towards infrastructure and wastewater treatment projects.

“We had a project that was going to be funded 75% and this helps us to pay for the other 25% that taxpayers of our city would have to pay for,” Brudnicki said.

City officials want to install two culverts to mitigate flood risks.

They also plan to make improvements to the Robinson Bayou drainage system that will rehabilitate 300 acres of wetlands to store stormwater.

“We’re also doing for Franklin County money to have four permanent generators so you have a source of backup power if you have one of these natural disasters,” the Governor said.

Franklin County leaders said they are honored to have been included in the grant giveaway.

“There’s no gift like the gift you didn’t know you were going to receive but it’s very huge to look at economic stability and also the possibility of economic growth for a small rural county such as ourself,” Franklin County County Commission Chairman Ricky Jones said.

Governor DeSantis also announced some other exciting news while in Franklin County.

He said he’s approving a $4 mil. line-item appropriation in this year’s budget to replenish sand at St. George Island State Park.

Find the full list of grants awarded below:

  • The City of Bonifay ($254,075) – to conduct a study to address the drainage infrastructure along State Road 79.
  • The City of Cottondale ($1,000,000) – to conduct a comprehensive infrastructure improvement plan to improve the downtown area.
  • The Town of Campbellton ($281,500) – to conduct a study to extend wastewater and natural gas from Marianna to the town limits. 
  • The City of Port St. Joe ($675,426) – to install a new waterline in the downtown commercial district.
  • Holmes County ($154,000) – to conduct a comprehensive stormwater, drainage, and flood study along State Road 79. 
  • The City of Jacob ($144,500) – to conduct a study on broadband internet availability, accessibility, affordability, and transmission speeds in the city and surrounding areas.
  • Jackson County ($106,500) – to design and develop a plan for a campground at the Blue Springs Recreational Area. 
  • Jackson County ($994,712) – to design, permit, inspect, and construct public roadways and utilities into a commercial park south of Interstate 10.
  • The City of Marianna ($992,000) – to finalize roadway improvements and utility extensions on the Mashburn Road project leading to the Endeavor Industrial Site. 
  • The Town of Ponce de Leon ($196,500) – to conduct a study and create a plan to expand public wastewater infrastructure. 
  • The Town of Jay ($300,000) – to help with the renovation of the Bray-Hendricks Sports Complex.
  • Wakulla County ($220,044) – to extend natural gas service to the county’s business park.
  • Town of Alford ($250,262) – to rehabilitate the Alford Community Center and erect an electronic public information sign to notify city residents of the ongoing process and future resources.
  • City of Cottondale ($1,426,659) – to rehabilitate and expand the City’s Community Center to accommodate increased demand for services.
  • Town of Century ($3,255,000) – to rehabilitate the Carver Community Center and Town of Century Community Center to better accommodate citizens and increase public health compliance.
  • Holmes County ($954,000) – to rehabilitate and expand an existing Senior Center in the City of Bonifay to meet demand for additional services.
  • City of Fort Walton Beach ($58,703) – to provide medical assistance and employment assistance for Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) residents and to improve local food banks.
  • Jackson County ($2,879,000) – to conduct improvements to patient rooms at the Jackson County Hospital.
  • Town of Jay ($1,072,500) – to rehabilitate the Jay Community Center to enhance safety and public health compliance.
  • City of Marianna ($3,996,209) – to rehabilitate Marianna Health and Rehabilitation Center to improve air purification and HVAC systems and construct a Bio-Hazard Isolation Room for the disposal of hazardous material.
  • City of Paxton ($1,129,640) – to construct a new Senior Center that will eliminate current city limitations on services provided.
  • Town of Ponce de Leon ($950,000) – to rehabilitate the Multipurpose Recreation Center to provide more suitable accommodations for public health screenings and allow the center to operate as a satellite medical clinic open to the public.
  • Bay County ($56,055) – to engineer improvements to the Cedar Grove wastewater drainage project.
  • City of Chipley ($44,070) – to install permanent generators at two lift stations to maintain operation during power outages.
  • City of Cottondale ($93,897) – to install permanent generators at five lift stations to maintain operation during power outages.
  • Jackson County ($68,333) – to install five permanent generators and two portable generators at multiple lift stations to provide backup power during future outages.
  • City of Marianna ($568,126) – to install hurricane-grade doors and windows at the Public Safety Building to enhance safety during future weather events.
  • City of Panama City ($91,031) – to harden two fire stations through the installation of hurricane-grade doors and windows. 
  • City of Panama City ($891,111) – to install two culverts to mitigate residential flood risks and engineer improvements to the Robinson Bayou drainage system that will rehabilitate 300 acres of wetlands to store stormwater.
  • The City of Apalachicola ($652,000) – to construct a new vacuum sewage station on Market Street to upgrade the existing wastewater infrastructure and mitigate future sewer overflows.
  • Franklin County ($156,088) – to install four permanent generators to provide a source of backup power for future disasters.