Commissioners join port community campaign

Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM.

Port St. Joe city commissioners boarded the port bandwagon pushing forward for jobs Tuesday night.

Commissioners unanimously approved a request from Commissioner Rex Buzzett to carve out $10,000 from the city’s settlement with BP – which totaled more than $500,000 – to provide operational funds for the Port St. Joe Port Authority.

“If we get that port going… it will be all about jobs,” Buzzett said. “They need our help… I think it will come back to the city many times over if we get that port going.”

Commissioners earmarked that the funds be spent on dues to the Florida Ports Council and to pay the liability insurance for the Port Authority board.

The dues for the Florida Ports Council, the lobbying organization for state ports, are crucial, said Port Authority chairman Leonard Costin.

The Port Authority still owes half its $13,000 in dues from the last fiscal year and the key to being at the table for state funds, and in turn any federal funds those state dollars can leverage, is as a dues-paying member of the Council.

With a Ports Council meeting coming soon, Costin said, the Port of Port St. Joe was better positioned not going “hat in hand, so to speak.”

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