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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces millions that will expand Nassau County infrastructure

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The Town of Callahan has received a $4 million grant from the State of Florida to support a project that aims to keep manufacturing jobs local.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop at The Pig Bar-B-Q on Monday to announce the grant from the Florida Job Growth Fund. Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper was also there as DeSantis made the announcement.

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The funds will be matched and poured into an 1,800-acre plot of land known as the Crawford Industrial Complex to establish a clean water supply plant.

What the grant will help do is bring running water to the industrial park and attract more businesses.

“We’ll soon be seeing upwards of 400, 800 new jobs,” said Aundra Wallace of JAX USA.

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“We can flush toilets, we can turn on sinks. This grant gets us one step closer to being shovel-ready for businesses,” said Alyson McCullough, a Callahan native who is running for Nassau County Commissioner, District 4. “What I love about Nassau County is we still have that rural charm.”

But she knew they would need more than charm to qualify for this grant.

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“We are competing with more than 60 counties who want the funding too,” she said.

So she used her knowledge as a teacher in the subject of manufacturing, contributing to a plan benefitting taxpayers in the long run, including the clean water supply plant.

“We’re wanting to grow our county workforce. We’re pouring and investing into our students in this county, long-term, in this county,” McCullough said.

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Next, the town will file permits.

“We had every step in place to be ready the day the check came to move forward with plans,” McCullough said.

Big picture plans to keep students who graduate in Nassau working in Nassau as well.\

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“They reside in Nassau County, but then they go to Camden and work at the base for Triton facilities or Lockheed Martin. So they’re buying gas and buying their groceries and they’re supporting Camden’s economy,” she said.

Callahan, looking for ways to shift the focus back to Nassau.

“Everything is growing our Nassau County,” McCullough said.

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