Founder & Editor
The City of Coral Gables Mayor and Commission made it a priority to lobby Tallahassee for state funds to push some of its priorities this Legislative Session. The Legislature approved $3.5 million for seven different projects for the City of Coral Gables.
Three different visits to Tallahassee by members of the Commission and a meeting locally between the Governor and the Mayor helped secure a record amount of funds for the City, $2,525 million.
On Thursday, June 2nd, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved the state budget, but he used his veto pen to remove $3.132 billion from the $112.1 billion budget.
$2.525 Million Approved
Six of the City’s projects survived the veto pen to a tune of $2.525 million, however, the $975,000 of matching funds for the controversial Mobility Hub were struck down by the Governor. (Click here to see the full veto list).
Approved and funded by the State will be:
- $750,000 for the restoration of historic Gondola Building sponsored by State Senator Ileana Garcia and State House Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan Avila. Requires a 50% City match.
- $500,000 for the City’s Stormwater Master Plan sponsored by State Senator Ileana Garcia and State Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera. Requires a 50% City match.
- $500,000 for the Legacy System Repair and Replacement Project sponsored by State Senator Ileana Garcia. Requires a 50% City match.
- $375,000 for the Citywide Septic to Sewer Conversion Assessment sponsored by State Senator Ileana Garcia and State Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera. Requires a 50% City match.
- $200,000 grant for the Blue Road Neighborhood Park.
- $200,000 grant for the Toledo & Alava Neighborhood Park.
“This year has been our most successful legislative session to date,” said Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago. “Together with my colleagues on the city commission, we traveled to Tallahassee and engaged directly with our legislators. I believe our success was due to showcasing our city’s conservative fiscal approach and explaining the importance of our requests in person. We thank Governor Ron DeSantis and our sponsors Senator Ileana Garcia, Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera, Representative Bryan Avila, Representative Nick Duran, and Senate and House leadership or working together on behalf of our 50,000 residents. These projects will positively impact the quality of life for our residents, businesses and visitors.”
The veto by the Governor of the Mobility Hub is just another blow to City Manager Peter Iglesias’ self-acclaimed “legacy project.” Since the project was proposed, the cost of building the parking garage has increased from $28.9 million to over $62 million. Even Iglesias has come to grips with the fact that the Hub, as designed, is far fetched. At the April 12th City Commission meeting, Iglesias stated that “now is not the time to build.”
The City will proceed with its plans of seeking federal funds to complete the Mobility Hub. The Mayor is scheduled to visit Washington, DC this month to meet with members of Congress to seek funds for the Hub.