NS. PETERSBURG BEACH, Florida – It was recently named America’s Best Beach, yet St. Pete Beach’s growth has been stunted for years. For seven years, St. Pete Beach has had a moratorium on new construction that would give the island more capacity as the sewage and sewage system could not handle the increased capacity.
Work is now on to overhaul the sewer system, and St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson said 10-12 hotels have expressed a desire to build or expand in the beach community.
On Tuesday, October 12th, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state is contributing $ 2 million to complete work on the sewer system.
The work on the sewer system should be completed in January so that the hotels can finally expand. Business leaders said it is a crucial time as tourism recovers from its toughest year imaginable.
“We’ve basically only been completely new for a year. Anything we already have will allow us to grow our business, pay our employees more, and make more money to come full circle. ”Said JT Corrales, director of business development at Crabby Bills St. Pete Beach.
Greg Nicholas just wishes the upgrades could have been completed sooner. His family sold the Sirata Beach Resort in 2017 after 55 years, and they never managed to push through a planned expansion of $ 100 million.
“In fact, we very much regret that we could not achieve what we always imagined the Sirata could be,” he explained. “The Sirata could have been the first hotel on the beach in St. Petersburg and I always keep that in mind.”
Nicholas said he was glad to get the job started now.
“There is a business world that has been waiting very patiently for many years to make the improvements they need to do to keep up,” he added.
The $ 2 million comes from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. According to Governor DeSantis’ office, the sewer rehabilitation project is set to create 1,316 new, permanent jobs and generate nearly $ 13 million annually for the local economy.
The announcement at Crabby Bill’s in St. Pete Beach on Tuesday is part of a week-long series of events in which the governor highlights projects to strengthen Florida’s economy.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program promoting public infrastructure and labor training across the state.
Over the 2020-21 period, $ 74 million in awards are available for projects that focus on the rapid development of a highly skilled workforce and infrastructure initiatives that attract businesses, create jobs and fuel economic growth.