“I am thrilled with the approval of these appropriations and what it means for the City of Jacksonville,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “This success demonstrates the support state leadership has toward our efforts to improve Jacksonville, and enhance quality of life for our citizens.”
Since taking office, Mayor Curry has identified several key priorities designed to build a stronger and more vibrant community for all of Jacksonville citizens. One of those priorities, public safety, has been top-of-mind for many as a result of recent violence plaguing the city. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant allows the City to hire, train and deploy 15 new law enforcement officers in areas where gang and other criminal activity have increased. COPS is a four year project receiving $250,000 in state funds. The $250,000 received in 2015 and again in 2016 from the State of Florida helps Jacksonville with the local cash match requirement.
Mayor Curry relaunched the Jax Journey initiative late last year as part of his efforts to improve public safety. Jax Journey is an initiative that aims to address crime through intervention, prevention and enforcement efforts supporting programs that focus on serving the most vulnerable in our city such as ex-offenders. The Jacksonville Re-Entry Center (JREC) was a program launched with the first Journey initiative in 2008 to help improve the lives of ex-offenders with training programs and employment opportunities that help reintegrate them into society. JREC is operated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as a “portal of entry” for all felony offenders released in Duval County. Recidivism rates of those that complete the one year program have been reduced by up to 33 percent. In fiscal year 2015-2016, JREC served 642 individuals with funding at $655,737. Receiving $900,000 in funding with the recent approval of the state budget, JREC anticipates that approximately 450 additional individuals will be provided the necessary services offered by JREC.
Support for neighborhoods is another key priority for Mayor Curry and his administration. A successful city is characterized by its robust neighborhoods where citizens feel safe, have access to quality infrastructure, and take pride in their surroundings. Stormwater challenges have continued to plague the Mandarin-Julington Creek area with flooding. The Julington-Cormorant Stormwater Improvements project will eliminate current flooding from rainfall on local roads. The $202,450 appropriated funds will be used for design and permitting of a stormwater detention facility. This project is both a water quality and flood control project which allows the residents of the City of Jacksonville and the State of Florida to maximize their return on investment. When this project is completed, the City estimates that the new facility will provide total nitrogen reduction of 286 pounds per year, which will go toward the City’s 2023 Basin Management Action Plan goal required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) - to reduce nitrogen in the water entering the St. Johns River. The nitrogen reduction will improve water quality that enters the St. Johns River and tributaries to make sure the river is healthy.
The City will also receive $500,000 toward replacing the Moncrief-Dinsmore bridge located on the city's northside. This funding will help the City of Jacksonville with the cost of design and construction to replace the bridge. The Moncrief-Dinsmore bridge is the only access to residents in the neighborhood across the bridge which has been deemed structurally deficient by the Florida Department of Transportation. Construction of the bridge, which is expected to take approximately one year, is expected to begin once design is completed. The City appropriated $1,100,000 toward the cost of design and construction of the bridge.
Mayor Curry, City Council, local business leaders, and the City Policy and Lobbying team made several trips to Tallahassee to, alongside the Duval Delegation, demonstrate to the Governor and State Legislators a unified effort to secure more resources for the people of Jacksonville. These appropriations are a testament to those efforts and the continued commitment on behalf of this administration to ensuring a good quality of life for every resident in Jacksonville.
View the Summary of Appropriations