JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would bring more than $50 million to Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport.
A good part of that money will be used at Mayport to build a littoral combat trip operational training facility. It will be used for the several littoral ships that are expected to call Mayport home by 2020.
It's a move people like Deanna Bongiorno hope finally brings an economic boost to the Mayport area. She's owned Bongiorno Philly Cheese Steaks for the last 5 years.
"I don't know how many places open up in the plaza, stay open for a month or two or a year, then close because there's just no business," she said.
Part of the money will also be used to improve and expand the runway and taxiways at NAS Jax.
Congressman Ander Crenshaw says the passage of the bill is a big step forward. In a statement, he said;
"Naval Station Mayport and Naval Air Station Jacksonville are central to our national security. With my strong support, Congress underscored that point one more time today by passing a comprehensive, bipartisan MILCON bill that funds defense infrastructure projects on the First Coast – the only ones in state of Florida," said Crenshaw. "Construction of a Littoral Combat Ship operational training facility at Naval Station Mayport and expansion of the MH-60R helicopter parking apron and improvements to Naval Air Station Jacksonville runways and taxiways are critical to keeping our Navy forces strong and ready to serve whenever they are called to duty."
The bill now heads to the U.S Senate.