Today, Governor Ron DeSantis attended the memorial ceremony marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers condominium where he announced $1 million in funding to construct a memorial in the victims' honor and designated a portion of Collins Avenue in Surfside as "98 Points of Light Road."
"The collapse of Champlain Towers one year ago was an unimaginable tragedy, and for the family and friends of those whose lives were lost and for those whose homes were destroyed, the pain and horror we all experienced as we watched the smoke billow from the rubble has not faded," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "By allocating $1 million for a memorial and renaming this section of road, we will honor the memory of the victims and the heroic actions of our first responders."
"On this solemn day, we remember those we lost one year ago to the Surfside tragedy," said First Lady Casey DeSantis. "We offer prayers of peace and compassion to their families, and, to the first responders who led search and rescue efforts with great courage, we thank you. The Surfside Community is resilient. Florida is resilient."
"Champlain Towers South was more than a place of residence, it was a microcosm of our South Florida community," said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. "Everything changed in our state that day and yet we found a way to call upon values that we share -- community, compassion, perseverance, and resilience. One year later, we are united and stronger because this tragedy could never shake our faith in one another and our community. May the memory of those 98 beautiful souls always be a blessing."
"The Surfside building collapse will live with every one of us forever," said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. "While we honor and mourn for the 98 souls that are no longer with us, we also pray for the parents, brothers, sisters, and children that were left behind. On this day one year ago, I saw the work of God when 400 of Florida's Urban Search & Rescue Team members fought, and kept fighting, for any hopes of life. On that mound of rubble, I saw hell on Earth. But I also saw God's presence in the men and women that fought with every ounce of their being to save lives."
In the Freedom First Budget signed by Governor DeSantis earlier this month, $1 million was appropriated to the Department of State for the Champlain Towers South Memorial. Additionally, today Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1469, which designates a portion of Collins in front of the former site of Champlain Towers South as "98 Points of Light Road" to commemorate the 98 victims of the tragic collapse.
Last month, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 4-D to address condo safety shortfalls revealed by the Champlain Towers collapse. Senate Bill 4-D increases the safety of Florida's condominiums by:
Requiring inspections for all condominiums and cooperative buildings that are three stories or higher.
For buildings within three miles of the coast, Phase 1 inspections must occur 25 years after initial occupancy and every 10 years after.
For all other buildings, Phase 1 inspections must occur 30 years after initial occupancy and every 10 years after.
If a Phase 1 inspection reveals substantial structural deterioration, a more intensive Phase 2 inspection is required.
Requiring condominiums and cooperatives to conduct structural integrity reserve studies for buildings three stories or higher to ensure the funding necessary for future structural repairs is available and prohibits waiver of funding for certain structural reserves.
Increasing transparency by requiring all structural inspections reports and reserve studies to be part of the associations' official record and must be provided to potential purchasers of a unit.