St. Johns County Hosts Annual Legislative Delegation Public Meeting

St. Johns County Hosts Annual Legislative Delegation Public Meeting

St. Johns County hosted the annual Legislative Delegation public meeting today in the St. Johns County Auditorium, located at 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine. A recording of the meeting is available to the public. The St. Johns County Legislative Delegation, which included Sen. Travis Hutson, Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, and Speaker Paul Renner, heard public testimony on legislative issues, appropriations, and local bills from 41 different organizations that signed up to speak. The Florida Channel attended and broadcast the meeting to its platforms for the first time ever.

Vice Chair Sarah Arnold of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) welcomed the Delegation and presented the County’s 2024 legislative priorities.

“This year, our funding priorities include capital improvement projects that will enhance transportation connectivity, emergency response capacity, and coastal protection,” Commissioner Arnold said. “With our Delegation’s assistance, we have achieved long-term benefits, not only for the residents of St. Johns County but for the region as a whole. We are very grateful for the hard work of our Delegation in bringing much-needed resources to our community.”

Additionally, Sheriff Rob Hardwick presented the priorities of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

“The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office appreciates our Legislative Delegation and looks forward to working with them on obtaining funding for the Central Public Safety Station, which includes a backup Communications Center, also known as a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP),” Sheriff Hardwick said. “This Safety Station and PSAP will be a vital addition to our combined infrastructure needs with St. Johns County Fire Rescue and further our mission of providing first-class customer service to our citizens and visitors.”

The 2024 Legislative Action Plan, which the BOCC unanimously approved at the Sept. 19 regular meeting, requests more than $69 million in state appropriations for the following local projects:

  • State Road 16: to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety.
  • County Road 2209: to complete the central segment of this critical road corridor.
  • Central Public Safety Station: to provide additional emergency response capacity.
  • Regional Fire Training Facility: to address the emergency responder workforce shortage.
  • Porpoise Point Stabilization: to reduce persistent flooding and protect a federal navigation channel.
  • South Ponte Vedra Beach: to protect property and infrastructure from further erosion.
  • Genovar Park: to design andconstruct recreation enhancements, including a regional boat ramp.

The Legislative Action Plan also requests the Legislature address critical statewide or regional priorities, including:

  • Removing outdated requirements that raise the cost of school construction or inhibit investment in new school construction,
  • Identifying historic farming communities and providing pathways to conserve working lands and encourage public infrastructure investment.
  • Facilitating the restoration of the Matanzas River Estuarine Ecosystem in St. Johns and Flagler Counties.