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Press Release

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor Announces Support for 15 Community Priority Grants

Projects will create jobs, improve energy efficiency and grow affordable housing across the Tampa Bay area

TAMPA, FL – Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) announced fifteen community projects for consideration by the House Appropriations Committee for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025.

“Locally-driven priorities are key to lowering costs, making the Tampa Bay area safer and our neighborhoods more sustainable. I enjoy working with dedicated community leaders to lift our vibrant community. We are working together to champion investments that expand the middle class and expand good-paying jobs across the Tampa Bay area.

“Together with the Mayors of Tampa and St. Petersburg, I am continuing my work to make neighborhoods more resilient to costly, chronic flooding due to increased flooding and stronger storms that have upended lives, harmed small businesses and hindered economic growth.

“As we invest in resiliency initiatives, it’s critical we also lower electric bills and improve energy efficiency and expand access to low-cost solar to reduce the pollution that is overheating of the planet.

“We also are tackling housing affordability by improving and expanding access to affordable housing and community services that provide families with stable housing while connecting them with jobs, health care and other essential support services to help lift all our neighbors.

“Clean water and a healthy environment are vital to our region, so projects to clean up our waterways and protect our ecosystems are big priorities as well.

“I intend these community investments to lift our Tampa Bay area neighbors, and I am grateful to all our local partners who remain dedicated partners in action. I will continue to advocate on behalf of these projects as they continue through the appropriations process.”


Below are the fifteen community priority projects Congresswoman Castor has submitted for consideration to the House Appropriations Committee for FY25 in alphabetical order by sponsor.

Adonai’s Second Chances, Inc. – Project I Can

This funding would be used for a diversion, mentoring and employment readiness program for youth ages 12-20 in partnership with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and local educational institutions.

Requested amount $575,000

“It is so important for us, as a collective community, to provide guidance, support, and opportunities for success and growth for our youth. Such investments, with positive influences, sound mentoring, and employment options, create economically strong, productive adults.  Adonai's Second Chances, Inc. program, Project I Can, in partnership with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department, City of Tampa Police Department, and Hillsborough Community College, strives to invest in our youth today, creating those productive adults for the future,” said Reverend Karen J. Sims, Senior Past, CEO, Adonai’s Second Chances, Inc.


City of St. Petersburg – MLK Street South Flooding Alleviation

This funding would be used to elevate and improve MLK Street South from 30th Avenue South to 36th Avenue South to address persistent flooding events in a major thoroughfare in South St. Petersburg.

Requested amount: $5,000,000

City of St. Petersburg – Seagrass Mitigation Bank

The funding would be used to fill a dredge hole in North Shore Park with several resulting ecological and economic benefits, including a higher level of water filtration, sediment stabilization, photosynthesis, and restoration of lost seagrass.

Requested amount: $1,500,000

City of St. Petersburg – West Side Crescent Lake Improvements

The funding would be used to improve the water quality of Crescent Lake, provide an enriched community space, and build community resilience through upgrades to this important regional park and lake.

Requested amount: $1,300,000

“I’m incredibly grateful to Representative Castor for recognizing the significance of the City’s Community Project Funding Requests and for choosing to carry them forward through the appropriations process,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth T. Welch. “The MLK Street South Flooding Alleviation, Crescent Lake Improvements, and Seagrass Mitigation Bank projects are vital for our city, and are the result of careful consideration, reflecting my administration’s commitment to accountable and responsive government.”


City of Tampa – West River Walk Expansion

This funding would be used to complete the 12.2-mile pedestrian and bicycle path along the Hillsborough River, expanding safe mobility options between jobs, schools, and homes while restoring the native shoreline.

Requested amount: $3,000,000

"The West Riverwalk will be transformational for the entire City and is the crossroads where our citywide bicycle and pedestrian network comes together. It will connect people to jobs, schools and opportunities. We are so appreciative of Congresswoman Castor's commitment to this project and making our mobility network safer and better for all of our residents," said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.


Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) – HART Operations Facility and Resiliency Improvements

This funding would be used for the energy-efficient rehabilitation of the Operations Control Center, acquisition of solar pole lighting at 500 bus stops, and replacement of 29 gas-powered non-revenue vehicles with electric vehicles.

Requested amount: $4,000,000

"HART is honored that our Community Project Funding request has been selected for submission to the House Appropriations Committee. The HART Operations Facility and Resiliency Improvements projects are critical to enhancing our transit infrastructure and ensuring reliable, efficient service for our community. This funding will enable us to modernize our operations control center, improve emergency response times, and provide sustainable, solar-powered lighting at bus stops, thereby increasing safety and accessibility for all transit users. Additionally, replacing aging gasoline vehicles with electric vehicles will further our commitment to sustainability and operational efficiency. These projects will support bus, van, and streetcar routes, benefiting thousands of daily riders and enhancing our operational resilience across Hillsborough County. We appreciate Representative Castor’s long-standing support of public transportation and her commitment to improving transit services in the Tampa Bay Area,” said Scott Drianville, CEO, HART.


Hillsborough County – Ruskin Septic-to-Sewer Phase 1

The funding would be used for converting legacy septic tanks to sewer systems in South County, providing more reliable residential wastewater service and improving water quality in Tampa Bay.

Requested amount: $3,000,000

“Septic-to-sewer conversion projects have become a top priority initiative for Hillsborough County. The Ruskin Septic-to-Sewer project helps to further Hillsborough County's goals to improve both the health of its residents and the environmental conditions of the surrounding waterbodies. The funding for this project will aid in the removal of septic tanks from an environmentally sensitive location and assist residents with the transition to a central sewer system. Collectively, this will help to ensure that necessary safety and environmental regulations are met and that the project is financially viable for all involved.”


Moffitt Cancer Center – FLASH Radiotherapy for Cancer

The funding would be used to purchase a Mobetron ultra high-dose rate electron beam linear accelerator for breakthrough cancer research, delivering precision radiation therapy to cancer patients and performing preclinical trials to advance the field of radiation oncology.

Requested amount: $3,000,000

“Congresswoman Castor’s advocacy to help Moffitt acquire the FLASH Radiotherapy system has great potential to improve survival rates and quality of life for people battling cancer here in Tampa Bay. This breakthrough modality, which is currently approved for skin-related cancers and certain pancreatic cancers, delivers a powerful, precise dose of radiotherapy that protects normal healthy tissue while killing cancerous cells, requiring fewer patient visits than conventional methods, with fewer side effects. The FLASH system will immediately benefit local families battling cancer and will also be used by Moffitt in research to expand the uses of this technology to benefit more patients,” said Kosj Yamoah, MD, PhD, Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.


Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) – 34th Street Corridor Improvements

This funding would be used for intelligent and energy efficient transportation system improvements including transit signals and passenger information along Route 34. The project will improve commute times and passenger experiences along one of the highest ridership routes with connections to the Bus Rapid Transit service.

Requested amount: $2,500,000

“PSTA couldn’t be more excited and thankful to Congresswoman Castor for her support of improving access to public transportation on 34th Street in St. Petersburg. As this corridor continues to develop, it is imperative that we maintain a forward-thinking and strategic view of how to improve efficiency and accessibility for our community. We look forward to seeing the positive impacts these improvements will bring,” said Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.


Port Tampa Bay – Port Tampa Bay Channel Improvement Project

The funding would be used for project, design and engineering work, enabling Port Tampa Bay to make navigation improvements in the harbor to improve safety, increase the port’s capacity, and enhance the local, regional and state supply chain for a growing population.

Requested amount: $2,700,000

“The Tampa Harbor Channel Navigation Improvement project is truly generational. New and larger vessels will come, bringing with them economies of scale and all the things Floridians use in their everyday lives. The project will have a profound impact, greatly enhancing regional and state supply chains in one of the fastest-growing regions of the country.  On behalf of Port Tampa Bay and the entire maritime community, I would like to thank Congresswoman Castor for her steadfast support of Port Tampa Bay and for choosing this regionally strategic and important project for consideration, said Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson.


St. Petersburg College – SMART Tech Industry 4.0 Lab

This funding would be used to create a lab to provide training and education for today’s high-tech manufacturing workforce in South St. Petersburg, improving the pipeline for jobs in the semiconductor, mechatronics, automation, and robotics industries.

Requested amount $4,000,000

"We are deeply grateful to Congresswoman Castor for recognizing the importance of this project and advocating on our behalf," said Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College. "Her support, along with the community's backing, is vital as we move forward in the appropriations process."


St. Petersburg Housing Authority – Ed White Senior Housing Redevelopment

This funding would be used for the conversion of a former hospital into 71 units of affordable housing for low-income elderly residents with supportive services on site and clean, efficient energy upgrades.

Requested amount: $5,339,791

"We are thrilled that our Community Project Funding request for the Edward White Redevelopment project has been selected for submission to the House Appropriations Committee. This funding will allow the St. Petersburg Housing Authority to provide high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable housing for the seniors of St. Petersburg. The transformation of the former Edward White Hospital into an affordable housing complex will provide 71 much-needed apartments for low-income seniors. Additionally, it will bring our administrative offices closer to the community we serve. We are immensely grateful to Congresswoman Kathy Castor for championing our Community Project Funding request. The Edward White Redevelopment project is a testament to the St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s commitment to fostering safe, affordable, and accessible housing for St. Petersburg's senior population," said Michael Lundy, President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA).


Tampa Housing Authority – 29th Street and Lake Avenue Revitalization

This funding would be used for a new mixed-use facility with 20 affordable housing units and a healthy grocery store in a food desert, while also implementing the first large solar project in East Tampa.

Requested amount: $4,000,000

“We are thrilled with our continued partnership with the CDC of Tampa to foster affordable housing and enable economic development in our community. We are profoundly grateful to Congresswoman Kathy Castor for her unmatched commitment and leadership in striving to improve life for everyone in Tampa. The selection of our partnership’s Community Project Funding request for the 29th Street and Lake Ave Revitalization is a testament to her dedication and vision. This $4,000,000 grant, if approved, will be instrumental in uplifting the historic East Tampa community and creating sustainable opportunities for economic growth. We thank Congresswoman Castor for her steadfast support," states Leroy Moore, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Tampa Housing Authority.


USF St. Pete – Research Vessel Modernization & Equipment Upgrades at Florida’s Institute of Oceanography

The funding would be used for equipment upgrades for oceanographic research vessels and facilities, enhancing scientific capacity to protect ocean resources and address critical coastal issues.

Requested amount: $8,115,000

"Our oceans are critically important to the future of our state, and the University of South Florida's location and expertise make us uniquely positioned to be a leader in ensuring the health of these vital natural resources," said USF President Rhea Law. “We are incredibly grateful to Rep. Kathy Castor for requesting funding for this project and for her ongoing support of USF's impactful work in environmental and oceanographic sciences."


USF St. Pete – Veteran Workforce Support Center

This funding would be used to support a clean and efficient energy remodel of an aging facility to expand resources, career counseling, and workforce training to student veterans and military-connected students.

Requested amount: $4,000,000

The University of South Florida is proud to host one of the largest populations of student veterans and military-connected students among our state’s universities. We are committed to providing a community that offers even more opportunities for these students to succeed during their time at USF and in their next chapter after graduation,” USF President Rhea Law said. “We are incredibly grateful to Rep. Kathy Castor for requesting funding for this initiative and for her steadfast support of USF."