Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget Recommendations Encourage Economic Development by Supporting Library Services, Cultural Programs and Historic Preservation

Jan 31 • 166 Views • View Comments

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CONTACT: Chris Cate, (850) 245-6522

Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget Recommendations Encourage Economic Development
by Supporting Library Services, Cultural Programs and Historic Preservation
~ FY 2013-14 budget recommendation for Department of State is $80.1 million~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Scott today recommended $80.1 million of Florida’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget go to the Department of State to fund programs supporting library services, cultural programs, historic preservation and economic development. Recommended budget items include $20.2 million for state aid to libraries, $3.9 million for cultural and historic preservation grants and $2.75 million to renovate The Grove, a historic former home of Florida territorial Governor Richard Keith Call and Governor LeRoy Collins.

“Library services, cultural programs and historic preservation grants help create and sustain vibrant, safe and healthy communities that attract workers, businesses, residents and visitors,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “I commend Governor Scott for funding these proven economic drivers.”

Libraries and cultural organizations contribute to the vitality of their communities and bring in tourism and economic activity for investments made by the state. Many of these organizations will also help draw visitors to the state this year in partnership with the department as Florida celebrates the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival on Florida’s east coast through the Viva Florida 500 commemoration. Historic preservation grants also create jobs directly in the restoration of older buildings and indirectly in the entrepreneurial opportunities that restored buildings and downtown districts encourage. Preservation is also environmentally responsible. Reusing existing buildings depletes fewer natural resources, preserves greenways and conserves the energy originally required to extract, process, manufacture, transport and install building materials, and reduces the landfill waste that results from demolition.

Community Reaction to Recommendations

“Funding for State Aid to Libraries and Library Cooperative grants represents an investment in Florida’s libraries that pays big dividends for Florida residents and visitors,” said Faye Roberts, Executive Director of the Florida Library Association. “The Florida Library Association appreciates Governor Scott’s continued leadership in support of library funding.”

“The facts are in — arts and culture are part of the solution to economic diversification and development, job preservation and creation, expanded tourism, greater student achievement and drop-out prevention, business attraction and retention, revitalized downtowns and communities, crime prevention, health and wellness, enhanced sense of place, global competitiveness, successful public and private partnerships and quality of life,” said Sherron Long, President of the Florida Cultural Alliance. “Investments in Florida’s arts and culture industry are a win-win for so many diverse elements of our lives and communities.”

“The Florida Trust commends Governor Scott for recommending funding for historic preservations grants,” said Leslee Keys, President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. “These funds are vitally important to communities that are trying to preserve elements of their historic fabric. Recent research supports that historic preservation is an important economic engine in communities, providing jobs and heritage tourism destinations that support the local economies of Florida.”

“Viva Florida 500 is our chance to shine the spotlight on the Sunshine State, to share our rich history and diverse stories, and to remind Floridians and the rest of the country that Florida truly is ‘First America,’” said Janine Farver, Executive Director of the Florida Humanities Council. “The Florida Humanities Council appreciates Governor Scott’s support, which will help us create a wide array of programs and resources so that teachers can bring this historic event into their classrooms and help communities across the state tell their stories and commemorate their history.”

Recommended Funding Highlights

State Aid to Libraries ($20.2 million)

The recommended funding will allow 67 counties and at least 21 municipalities to receive state aid. State Aid is an important source of funding for public libraries, because it helps communities maintain a basic level of service and helps equalize the access to educational and informational resources. Some libraries use the funds to support basic services such as salaries and benefits and collection expenditures. Other libraries use the funds to support technology expenditures to keep up with the changing needs of library patrons. Some of these services made possible by state aid include E-government Services, digital literacy and life-long learning programs.

Library Cooperative Grants ($1 million)

The state’s priority for the Library Cooperative Grant program is to facilitate and encourage resource sharing. The fundamental core of library resource sharing in Florida is the statewide database which contains books and other materials owned by libraries of all types in Florida. The importance of the statewide database is found in the sharing of library materials among Florida libraries. Citizens are able to use materials that meet their needs even if their local public library does not own the item. Sharing materials can be a cost savings for local libraries. The statewide database currently contains over 42 million bibliographic records. Each bibliographic record represents a resource for use by library patrons.

Cultural and Museum Grants ($2.5 million)

Cultural and Museum Grants are designed to support the general program activities of an organization engaged in conducting, creating, producing, presenting, staging, or sponsoring multiple cultural exhibits, performances, events, or providing cultural services during the grant period. Eligible applications are reviewed in an open competitive process by peer review panels. Panel recommendations are then reviewed by the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and forwarded to the Secretary of State for approval. Subject to Legislative appropriation, all applications approved by the Secretary of State will be awarded their full requested fund amount or award amounts will be determined by a score-based formula that proportionally distributes the appropriation. Grantees match awards dollar for dollar with cash and in-kind contributions.

Historic Preservation Grant Funding ($1.4 million)

Historic Preservation Grants preserve Florida’s historical and archaeological resources through restorations and rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures, as well as through survey and evaluation of historic and archaeological resources and education about Florida history. This recommended amount will fund the entire Historic Preservation Small Matching Grants list.

The Grove ($2.75 million)

The Grove is the historic former home of Florida Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call and Governor LeRoy Collins. The home was built by Governor Call in the 1830’s and later purchased in 1942 by Governor LeRoy Collins who was married to a descendent of Governor Call, Mary. While Governor Collins was serving and the current Governor’s Mansion was being built, Governor Collins moved back into the Grove, which is adjacent to the Governors’ Mansion, and the Grove temporarily served as the Florida Governor’s Mansion.

The recommended funding for the Grove will complete the interior rehabilitation of this historically significant structure and provide access and parking for the site. Funds will be used for the restoration of hardwood flooring, cabinetry, trim, doors and windows as well as plaster replacement, restoration and painting. Site improvements will be required to provide enhanced public access and parking for the site. The completion of this phase will result in a certificate of occupancy enabling the building to be fully operational as a public museum.

For more information on Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget, please visit www.floridafamiliesfirst.com.

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