Grant to aid space and military development, economic development
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Launch processing facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will get a fresh look in the coming months, thanks to $275,000 in Florida defense grants awarded to the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast.
Members of the Economic Development Commission said the award comes from Florida Gov. Rick Scott's distribution of $2.4 million in 2012 defense grants to communities and organizations that support Florida military installations.
Members of the Economic Development Commission said the award consisted of a $200,000 Defense Infrastructure Grant and a $75,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant.
Gov. Scott's office distributed seven Defense Infrastructure Grants and 11 Defense Reinvestment Grants throughout the state of Florida in 2012.
President and CEO of the Economic Development of Florida's Space Coast Lynda Weatherman said, in a press release, that the infrastructure grant will be used to upgrade the launch processing facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Ms. Weatherman said the reinvestment grant will be used in conjunction with the Space Coast's military installations for economic development.
In an email, Ms. Weatherman said the defense grant the organization received will help ensure that the county's space and military assets remain productive parts of Brevard's economic development.
"As our post-shuttle economy continues to evolve, we are working to keep space and its related industries a vital part of that future," she said. "The Space Coast is home to important aerospace infrastructure, such as Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, and we must ensure those valuable assets fit with the needs of commercial companies and other entities that choose to use them. (The grant) will allow us to continue to do that by improving and modernizing the launch vehicle processing facilities at CCAFS."
This is the largest defense grant the organization has received from the governor's office since 2010, according to the commission's records, when it received $585,470.
Members of the Economic Development Commission said previous grants the organization has received contributed to advocacy efforts for economic projects.
At a state level, the grants help protect a $60 billion economic impact and more than 686,000 direct and indirect jobs in the defense industry.
The grants are awarded annually on a project-priority basis by Enterprise Florida.
To see how the $2.4 million grant was distributed throughout the state, visit www.floridadefense.org/grants.asp.