PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A number of line items affecting Pinellas County projects didn’t make the cut in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ $116.5 billion state budget.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis called the 2024-25 budget fiscally conservative

  • Millions of dollars were cut from the budget that would have funded a slew of projects locally, from education to restoration to affordable housing

  • A boardwalk replacement project at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve was also vetoed

Shortly after signing the budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year, DeSantis called the budget fiscally conservative, saying the state wanted to keep it in a certain parameter. The governor cut millions of dollars from the budget that would have funded a slew of projects locally, from education to restoration to affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco counties was denied a $3 million request that would have helped build 105 affordable homes in three subdivisions. The requested funding would have gone specifically to infrastructure, engineering and land acquisition for the new builds.

Last year, DeSantis approved $2 million in the state budget for the local nonprofit but vetoed this year’s request.

“We understand Governor DeSantis has some tough decisions to make when signing the budget, and we were unfortunately part of the veto list. As we approach our 900th home celebration next week, we will continue partnering with our community to make affordable homeownership opportunities available in Pinellas, West Pasco, and Hernando Counties,” President and Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco counties Mike Sutton said in a statement.

In southern Pinellas County, just more than $1 million was cut for a boardwalk replacement project at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.

The Local Funding Initiative request states the existing boardwalk isn’t safe anymore and is important for providing unique access to the area’s different ecosystems. Park staff said they have roughly 90,000 visitors each year.

Alizza Punzalan-Randle, the St. Pete mayor’s office managing director for communications and community engagement, issued the following statement:

“Through the state's appropriations process, the city of St. Petersburg was successful in securing $300,000 towards a St. Pete Fire Rescue ladder truck, which will help meet critical public safety needs in our city. While all of our requests were not funded, St. Pete is fiscally strong and will pursue other resources to complete our projects.

"We are grateful for the leadership of our delegation members who advocated for our projects. We are also pleased that these city-supported projects were signed into law: USF St. Petersburg's Office of Veteran’s Success ($10 million); St. Pete College's Manufacturing Lab ($1 million); and St. Pete College Palladium Theater ($1 million).”

In an effort to prepare for a major storm, Pinellas County was hoping for just more than $1 million to install power backup systems for sewer pump stations.

The Local Funding Initiative request states the funding would have been used to provide sewer collection services during power outages to essential infrastructure — including local hospitals, shelters, nursing homes and emergency operations centers.

Public Information Coordinator Sydney Criteser issued the following statement.

“The existing generators have been in use from 20 to over 30 years. Some of these generators need to be replaced due to age, while others will be installed at pump stations that do not have permanent generators in place," the statement said. "Our utilities department is currently reviewing the generator budget for any adjustments now that the supplemental funding request from the state has been vetoed.”

Other local vetoes included $550,000 for sand erosion and improving water quality at St. Pete’s North Shore Park and another $500,000 for education programs at the Dali Museum.