Goal of aggressive timeline is permit in six months

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 10:03 AM.

The import of last week’s Port St. Joe Port Authority meeting was masked by the straightforward discussion.

Last week the Port Authority approved a contract and scope of work to draft the application for a permit to dredge the existing shipping channel.

Board members also heard and approved a presentation from a representative of the Haas Center at the University of West Florida concerning a study to benchmark a return on investment as the port is poised for development.

It would almost be difficult to overstate the importance of both contracts.

To move forward on development, to transform into revenue two Letters of Intent between the St. Joe Company and energy supply firms to ship wood pellets through the Port of Port St. Joe, to become a benefactor for state and federal funding pots, those two contracts mark a pivotal moment.

The contract on the dredge permit application was preceded by a recent meeting among engineers hired by the Port Authority and state and federal agencies to determine heading into the process what would be needed to obtain the permit.

Bill Perry with Hatch Mott MacDonald said that the objective and the timeline aggressive.

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