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St. Pete Beach will receive $2 million in state funding for wastewater system upgrades

Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis
The stop in St. Pete Beach was part of his statewide tour touting job growth and infrastructure.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the project will allow the longtime tourism hub to increase its capacity.

Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged the state’s commitment to the City of St. Pete Beach’s growth with a $2 million state grant to help finish upgrades to the city’s wastewater system.

DeSantis made the announcement Tuesday as part of his statewide tour touting job growth and infrastructure.

The governor — who earlier this month said he is running for reelection — chose the iconic Crabby Bills restaurant to highlight the Florida Job Growth Grant.

He said the money will allow the longtime tourism hub to expand its capacity.

“We have a lot of people that want to come here. As you can see, pretty nice place to be this time of year, especially," DeSantis said. "But this infrastructure is needed to allow the city to be able to expand its economic footprint — hotels, accommodations."

Crabby Bills and rows of hotels sit along St. Pete Beach's Gulf Boulevard, currently torn up by crews replacing sewer pipes. DeSantis estimated this project will generate nearly $13 million annually.

An increase in visitors will bolster all levels of the local economy, DeSantis noted — from the hotels and businesses to individuals who run charter fishing operations. The project will also create more than 1,300 jobs, he added.

He said the project should be completed within the next two years.

“We’re going to continue plugging along to continue to make Florida really the top destination in many respects,” DeSantis said.

Earlier this week, the governor announced that Polk County would receive $9 million in economic growth funding.

Bailey LeFever is a reporter focusing on education and health in the greater Tampa Bay region.