DeSantis Vetoes Millions For Escambia, Santa Rosa Projects – Including The Bluffs In Cantonment, Jay Park Plan

June 30, 2020

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $92.2 billion budget Monday, over $1 billion was vetoed as the state prepares to deal with budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.

Millions that had been included in the budget by the Legislature for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were slashed, including projects in Cantonment and Jay.


The Bluffs In Cantonment

One of the cuts by DeSantis was a $750,000 transportation project for The Bluffs in Cantonment.

Announced in late 2015, The Bluffs was envisioned as the home of up to 60 new industrial and manufacturing companies and more than 15,000 jobs. The 6,000 acre master-planned development area includes about 1,700 acres of land that can be developed in an area east of Highway 29 bordered by the Escambia River to the east, Becks Lake Road near International Paper to the north, and the University of West Florida to the south.

The $750,000 would have funded an entrance for The Bluffs at the  intersection of New Chemstrand Road, Old Chemstrand Road, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s entrance drive, and  the Ascend Performance Materials entrance.

Other Escambia County cuts were:

  • University of West Florida Office of Economic Development and Engagement ($1.3 million)
  • Pensacola State College – Trucking Workforce Development ($500,000)
  • Southern Youth Sports Association – Pensacola Community Center Building ($300,000)
  • UWF Specialized Degrees for Firefighters ($158,000)
  • Brain Bag Early Literacy Program ($50,000)


In Santa Rosa County cuts included a master plan for the park in Jay.

Town of Jay – Bray Hendricks Park Master Plan

DeSantis cut $300,000 for the Bray Hendricks Park Master Plan in the Town of Jay.

The 39-year old park is in critical need of updated sports surfaces and support capabilities to place the park in compliance with ADA requirements. The master plan includes one competition softball field, four regulation baseball fields, three tee-ball fields, four tennis courts, a basketball court, a combination soccer/football field, a children’s splash pad, a playground, an accessory concession building, and ADA compliant bathrooms.

Other Santa Rosa County projects that were cut from the budget were:

  • Pea Ridge Connector ($750,000)
  • Milton North Santa Rosa Regional Water Reclamation Facility ($500,000)
  • Navarre Beach Pierce Saber Fire Pumper ($500,000)
  • Holley-Navarre Fire District ($500,000)
  • Santa Rosa County Santa Monica Street Paving ($100,000)


16 Responses to “DeSantis Vetoes Millions For Escambia, Santa Rosa Projects – Including The Bluffs In Cantonment, Jay Park Plan”

  1. mike on July 3rd, 2020 6:20 am

    thanks for the picture of the walkway, not so many pics online with that viewpoint. led me to find out about The Chimney, and it’s history of the mill it once was used for. :)

  2. nike on July 3rd, 2020 6:08 am

    silly Redneck Rivierans, don’t you know that money is for his South Florida buddies? :)

  3. isolated on June 30th, 2020 7:32 pm

    Seriously David, Chicken Coopes?

    The north end of Santa Rosa County always get the short end of the stick when the beaches gets new parking lots, walkways across the sand, Major League style ball parks at Woodbine, 50 acres of soccer fields near Chumuckla,, and new surface on hwy 98, through Tiger Point, every time a seagull craps on it…. But our young chickens do not deserve a facility they can be proud of.

    Where did you say you lived?

  4. David on June 30th, 2020 2:59 pm

    Its nice to have a Governor instead of a good ole boy ….who wants to fund a chicken coop….

  5. BRING IT ON on June 30th, 2020 2:58 pm

    These are the things that happen when you shutdown the economy. You reap what you sow.

  6. Joshua on June 30th, 2020 2:39 pm

    Considering he cut 1 Billion from the budget, the 5.4 million in local cuts is just a drop in the bucket. I’m glad he made cuts, he is showing some fiscal responsibility during a year where it counts. Since it’s my tax dollars, I like to see it used with some small amount of common sense. Hopefully the state will bank some of that money for a rainy day which appears to be coming sooner than later.

  7. Charlie on June 30th, 2020 2:36 pm

    Sorry to see that the Pea Ridge connector to Hamilton Bridge funding was cut, as it would have relieved the present heavy traffic on East Spencer Field Road. But, if the money is not there, not much they can do, even if this & others cut, are all “worthy” projects. Maybe change it from four lane to two to cut the cost, with some kind of local funding would be nice if possible, but not holding my breath. The estimated cost sounded reasonable & fairly low for a new road of this type. Too bad the County can’t do it themselves a little at a time, unless they don’t have the required equipment.

  8. Joe on June 30th, 2020 2:22 pm

    @Judy, have you seen Baker’s tax funded facilities compared to Jay’s? Also, you don’t understand how money works within local governments. So please Don’t comment if you do not know what you are talking about. You obviously don’t understand how small town funding works.

  9. Me on June 30th, 2020 1:00 pm

    People are still holding onto the “Small Town” mentality. Eventually we have to realize that the Greater Pensacola Metro Area (Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Beulah etc) is no longer the community of small towns it was 30 years ago and start treating it as such. Population is outgrowing infrastructure, education opportunities are slimming and public services are underfunded for the demand they are faced with. The items vetoed by the Governor would have addressed these issues directly with funding and indirectly with the eventual tax revenue produced by projects like The Bluffs. Investing in the future of our community is always a good idea.

  10. J-THE-G on June 30th, 2020 12:03 pm

    Now he just needs to cut the pay raises slated for himself and numerous state employees to make this seem right. If we need to back off from something its raises for government workers.

  11. judy on June 30th, 2020 9:31 am

    They all sound like non-necessary items to me. If people REALLY need a new park for recreation, they should get a permit and do it themselves. Baker uses a clay field for their teams to play on, and I think Jay could also come up with a plan. Thank you Governor! :)

  12. Bob on June 30th, 2020 9:15 am

    Thank you Desantes. We don’t need large corporations ruining our small towns. Bringing all that extra garbage here will ruin our city. Extra pollution and crime always comes with more industries. We live out here to avoid that garbage.

    @Tom: The money wasn’t there to spend in the first place you dope.

  13. Tabby on June 30th, 2020 8:35 am

    Unfortunate for some things but “The Bluffs”, YESSSS !

  14. Niknak50 on June 30th, 2020 7:57 am

    Re: Tom , its not a question of where the money is going, its a question of where is the money to come from.
    What you are seeing is chickens coming home to roost after 60-90 days of the state being shut down. Florida lost billions of tax dollars with no way to regain them, so, not enough money for everything.

  15. JTV on June 30th, 2020 5:45 am

    Time to tighten the belt. Balance the budget.

  16. Tom on June 30th, 2020 5:16 am

    So the question is why did he have to make all these local cuts after his big speech the other Day? Wheres the money going? We know unemployment has a nice nest egg and is all ready funded, so I know its not that. A lot of those projects/programs would have helped our economy and brain drain if nothing else. its a shame

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.