Improving Community Infrastructure One Grant at a Time
Hurricane season is a fearful time for most Floridians, and by the end of fall 2017, many Florida communities were in desperate need of funding to compensate for the damage left behind by several destructive storms. For one neighborhood in the City of Boynton Beach, severe weather can wreak havoc, destroying properties and creating hazardous conditions for locals. Considered a more underserved area with a low- to moderate- income population of 74%, the San Castle community’s infrastructure was not designed, nor has the City had the funds to ensure it could withstand violent storms which has often led to severe flooding that can last days at a time. When flooded, these streets provide limited mobility to the 3,760 people who live within the community, rendering them unable to meet their basic needs such as going to the grocery store, accessing public transportation, meeting the school bus, and fleeing from dangerous situations.
Responding to Disaster
In response to this series of storms, Kimley-Horn jumped at the opportunity to provide grant writing and research in hopes of helping the community of Boynton Beach update their existing infrastructure through the Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. The grant request included infrastructure utility funding to improve roadway, stormwater, and water utilities for this neighborhood. To help secure the grant, Kimley-Horn called on teammates from across the firm, working closely with the City and local stakeholders to put together a detailed application to describe the importance of a first round of necessary infrastructure improvements.
After completing the grant and presenting the infrastructure improvement plan to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Mitigation Team staff, $16.5 million was awarded by Governor DeSantis to help fund the infrastructure improvements, resulting in a massive win for the City of Boynton Beach and its residents.
Grants like these help underserved communities address their worries and improve their quality of life with the hope of minimizing the loss of property and/or life as a result of future storms.