Press release from Duke Energy
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Duke Energy Foundation today announced $160,000 in grants to support eight local community projects in Alachua County to aid revitalization and local economic development efforts, and help strengthen and uplift the community.
A first for Duke Energy Florida, the company worked alongside the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce Foundation to identify local projects that have meaningful impacts in north-central Florida communities.
“At Duke Energy Florida, we are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “By investing and collaborating with our local chambers, cities and municipalities, we are honoring that commitment. We will continue to work together to create strong, vibrant communities where our customers, employees and neighbors live, work and thrive.”
The targeted grants, in the amount of $20,000, support initiatives ranging from park revitalization to signage projects, as well as equipment and plan upgrades, among others.
“Building strong connections with our residents, visitors, businesses and communities is what the Greater Gainesville Chamber does best,” said Eric Godet Sr., Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce president & CEO. “We are proud to work with a community champion like Duke Energy and assist them in identifying areas where their investments will create even greater opportunity, success, engagement and prosperity.”
To help guide the economic growth and development of the community, the City of Waldo received a grant to update and enhance the city’s Comprehensive and Economic Development Plan.
“The City of Waldo’s Comprehensive and Economic Development Plan is outdated and is actually an impediment for new growth,” said City of Waldo Mayor Louie Davis. “The cost of these updates is beyond our budget at this time and this grant has made it possible for the updates to happen.”
“With the growth expected in Florida’s future, Waldo needs to be ready with a strong plan to handle the growth and development in our city,” said Davis. “Thank you, Duke Energy, for awarding grants like these for the small towns. Your dollars make a difference.”
Also among the grant recipients is the city of High Springs. The grant will assist Parks & R.E.C. (Recreation, Education & Culture) in upgrading a frequently visited basketball court at Walter Howard Park.
“With this grant, we plan to resurface the outdoor basketball court and upgrade the baskets at Walter Howard Park, High Springs’ crown jewel pocket park,” said Damon J. Messina, Parks & R.E.C. director. “This park has been a favorite among children in our community for several years. These upgrades will ensure it will be available for many years to come.”
The revitalization grants were awarded to the following eight cities and towns.
- City of Alachua – Funds will support the city’s efforts to provide educational exhibits and signage at Mill Creek Preserve to inform residents and visitors about the Mill Creek Sink Water Quality Improvement Project.
- City of Archer – Funds will support efforts to add a kitchen at the Holly Hills Community Center.
- City of Hawthorne – Funds will support the city’s Hawthorne Historical Park with educational signage, benches, and grills, among other items.
- City of High Springs – Funds will support upgrades to the basketball court at Walter Howard Park.
- Town of LaCrosse – Funds will assist the town in replacing equipment used by the town’s fire department.
- Town of Micanopy – Funds will support the town’s Micanopy Entry Sign Project.
- City of Newberry – Funds will support the city’s business incubator feasibility study at Newberry AgTech Innovation Park.
- City of Waldo – Funds will support updates to the city’s Comprehensive and Economic Development Plan.
The Duke Energy Foundation is focused on strengthening and uplifting communities throughout Florida with grant funding. To learn more, visit duke-energy.com/foundation.