Board to Designate $4 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funding to Town of Callahan to Expand Water & Sewer Services for Economic Development and Job Growth in Nassau County

Nassau County Press Release
Sabrina Robertson
June 23, 2022

Nassau County, Florida, June 23, 2022 – The Crawford Diamond Industrial Park is a McCallum Sweeney Certified Industrial Park consisting of 1,814 acres and approved for up to 10.5 million square feet of heavy industrial use. It’s proximity to three ports, two interstates, and two railroad lines makes it a prime location for Economic Development with the opportunity to brings thousands of jobs to Nassau County. However, attracting companies has been difficult due to the site’s lack of water and sewer services.

A coalition consisting of the Board of County Commissioners, the Nassau County Economic Development Board, JaxUSA, and the Town of Callahan have been collaborating efforts to expand the Town’s current water and sewer system to the Crawford Diamond.

In an attempt to fund the expansion, the Town of Callahan applied for a 21/22 Florida Job Growth Public Infrastructure Grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in the amount of $4 million. In order to qualify for the grant, the Town of Callahan needed support from the Board of County Commissioners. The County’s contribution will be the final financial piece to make this estimated $12 million project a reality. The investments into these critical infrastructure projects will place the County in a very competitive position to bring significant economic development and job growth within the County.

On January 4, 2022, County Manager, Taco Pope, sent a letter to the Economic Development Board tentatively committing $4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding

received from the U.S. Department of Treasury following the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding the project is consistent with guidelines set forth by the U.S. Treasury and the Nassau County Prosperity Plan adopted by the Board of County Commissioners in May 2021.

In the January 4th memo, Mr. Pope stated, “The establishment of a public water system to serve the Crawford Diamond Industrial Park supports community goals by creating a more diversified, resilient, sustainable and prosperous local economic ecosystem; improves access to public water; creates high wage jobs; leverages state and federal dollars to build strategic infrastructure; and expands the local tax base”.

We are excited to announce that on Monday, June 20, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Nassau County and presented the Town of Callahan with a check to assist in funding the project! This funding is in addition to $4 million awarded to the Town during the previous fiscal year.

Following the Governor’s check presentation to the Town of Callahan, County Manager, Taco Pope, stated, “This is a big day for Nassau County! By working together to find solutions, the Coalition has finally found a way to bring water to the Crawford Diamond. The Board of Commissioners will continue to invest in infrastructure and to expanding our County’s workforce to strengthen our local economy”.

Construction of the water plant follows the $9 million Crawford Road improvements project completed by the Board of County Commissioners in November 2021. Later this year, the Board of County Commissioners will commence a $2 million intersection improvements project at US 301 and Crawford Road to allow heavy truck traffic to access the Crawford Diamond Industrial Park.

Sherri Mitchell, Executive Director for the Nassau County Economic Development Board, stated, “This is such an exciting time for Nassau County and I couldn’t be more thrilled! When we all work together to create planned developments that are diverse, we are truly paving the way for a stronger future. I want to thank the Board of County Commissioners and the Town of Callahan for their commitment to this specific infrastructure project for the Crawford Diamond. Infrastructure is crucially important to foster Nassau County’s economic development and prosperity. This is a game changer and will have a direct effect as it contributes to higher productivity and growth, facilitates connectivity, and promotes economic inclusion”.


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Nancy Dickson
Nancy Dickson(@nancyjackathenshotmail-com)
1 year ago

just curious about why some areas of the county are getting sewers while many of those of us in the county but on the island are left with aging septic tanks. . .

Sherry Harrell
Sherry Harrell(@sherry-harrell)
1 year ago

This is such a worthy investment for this entire county!! Thanks to ALL that have worked on getting this project to this point. Now, we can legitimately invite corporations to come here to build, creating a tax base and employment for our citizens.

Joseph Kayne
Joseph Kayne(@jay-kayne)
1 year ago

No thanks to John Rutherford who voted against the American Rescue Plan Act/ And sad that the story did not mention the legislation was the first initiative of the Biden administration to jumpstart the economy after TFG was too busy protecting his own interests than ours. Shamefull how members of the GOP continue to show up to take credit for things they did not support.

John Goshco
John Goshco (@guest_65520)
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph Kayne

The article doesn’t clearly state all of the sources and amounts of funding, but it is clear that the governor presented a check from the Florida DEO.
The ARP money came from the County, not the governor.
Not clear where the rest of the money is coming from.

Joseph Kayne
Joseph Kayne(@jay-kayne)
1 year ago
Reply to  John Goshco

That’s exactly what he wants you to believe. The $4 million came were federal dollars under the Democratic proposed and passed American Rescue Plan. Instead of making stuff up, I suggest you read the law and you will see how the money for these projects was distributed to the states who then allocated it to localities. Not a single FL GOP senator or representative voted for the ARP, but they will gladly take credit for it.

BTW, the FL budget for the next fiscal includes approximately 35 percent federal pass through funds.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jay Kayne