Bruce Register 0408

Bruce Register

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week announced that a Lecanto business will receive $559,000 to help it expand and create at least 16 new, full-time jobs.

Technology Conservation Group, off U.S. 44 at South Easy Street, is the recipient of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which it will use to help pay for sewer main improvements at its site. 

County Economic Development Director Bruce Register said the governor’s action is a coup, not only for Technology Conservation Group, but for the other businesses in the immediate area that will now have the capability to hook up to sewer.

“We’ve got a business that is expanding and an improvement in infrastructure that will not only assist them, but also the businesses in the neighborhood,” Register said.

Getting off septic and hooking up to sewer is a big deal because business and industry seek that out when considering relocating, he said. Being on a sewer system can carry more wastewater and makes more practical sense when adding employees, he said.

The only caveat in getting the money, he said, is that Technology Conservation Group must create at least 16 jobs and 51 percent of those jobs must be made available to people of low- to moderate household incomes.

The $559,000 in grant funds translates into $34,994 per job created.

Nobody at the company was available for comment Friday.

Overall, DeSantis green-lighted more than $5.2 million in funding for infrastructure projects in small and rural Florida communities. The goal is to stimulate job growth, boost economic development and improve quality of life.

“We will continue to invest in our state’s infrastructure to help attract new businesses and create opportunities for residents,” DeSantis said in a news release.

The CDBG funds are administered through a partnership between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The county’s in-house engineering cost for the sewer main lift station improvements will be $77,000, according to the county.

County commissioners last June approved the application and its submittal to the state.

County Commissioner Jeff Kinnard heaped praised on Register for working with the Lecanto company and making this happen.

“The more that county government can do to try and facilitate business expansion and create jobs, the better off we’ll be,” Kinnard said.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.