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Lighthouse Boat RampCity projects receive preliminary support from Port District and FIND

The City of St. Augustine recently received initial approval from the St. Augustine Port, Waterway, and Beach District (Port District) for several projects totaling half a million dollars. This money will be used as the matching portion of three Florida Inland Navigational District (FIND) grants the city will be applying for before March 31. Final consideration of the FIND grant application will be in September.

Projects selected for funding are a dredging project for Salt Run, a kayak launch at the southern of Riberia St. near Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park, and a boat for the St. Augustine Police Department.

Funds requested from FIND and the matching amount from the Port District are:

  • Salt Run dredging:  Total project cost - $200K, FIND grant: $150K, SAPWBD matching - $50K
  • Kayak launch:  Total project cost - $180K, FIND grant: $90K, SAPWBD matching - $90K
  • St. Augustine Police Department boat:  Total project cost - $120K, FIND grant: $60K, SAPWBD matching - $60K

The Salt Run channel, as well as other waterways within the City of St. Augustine, require periodic dredging, and Salt Run more frequently that some other locations because of its proximity to the inlet. 

Securing funding for the kayak launch near Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park will bring to fruition an idea considered since the earliest planning of the park because of its proximity to both the Matanzas River and the San Sebastian River.

The Police Department’s boat, important in the department’s law enforcement operations, has been in need of replacement for some time, the previous one having been in service for more than nine years. 

The Port District is governed by five at-large commissioners elected to four-year terms. Commissioner Jerry Dixon, first elected to the board in 1998 and now serving his third term, is the current board chair. Established in the late 1930's by the Florida Legislature and subsequently approved by referendum vote of those residing within its boundaries, the Port District is an ad valorem taxing authority with a broad range of authority for building warehouses, wharfs, bridges, and other structures for the commercial development of the port.

FIND consists of the twelve counties along the east coast of Florida from Nassau through Miami-Dade County with a board comprised of a governor-appointed commissioner from each county. Commissioner Carl Blow has served as a commissioner since 2009 representing St. Johns County, including a term as the board’s chair. FIND levies a real property tax on all property within the district's boundaries to generate the funds necessary to fulfill its responsibilities. 

For more information on these grants, contact the city’s General Services Department at 904.825.1010.