Florida beach nourishment funding stands after all
A program prized by Pinellas tourism businesses escaped Gov. Rick Scott's veto pen.
After pledging earlier this year to cut any new state funding to pump sand onto Florida's eroding beaches, Scott let stand $16 million the Legislature approved for beach nourishment in the state.
Without the new funding, millions of dollars in federal matching funds would have been axed as well, said state Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole. That would leave two local projects, Treasure Island and Upham Beach, dead in the water.
Jones says Scott staffers dropped their opposition after learning the unexpended funds were already in the pipeline for ongoing projects. Scott's press office didn't respond Monday to requests to explain the governor's change of heart. The $16 million in next year's state budget money will grow to about $60 million with matching federal dollars, said Jones.
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