Hearing looms large for Port Authority

Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM.

A hearing next month will have significant impact, for better or worse, on development at the Port of Port St. Joe.

The hearing, scheduled for July 17 before Circuit Court Judge Shonna Gay Young, is on a motion to foreclose on 67 acres of port land brought by Capital City Bank.

Both sides seek summary judgment, meaning there is no dispute of material legal facts.

The bank seeks foreclosure due to a $4.3 million loan in arrears – the Port Authority has not made a payment on principle in at least two years.

The Port Authority’s defense is that the body lacked authority, under state law, to mortgage public property without a public referendum in the first place.

A decision, port attorney Tom Gibson said, would not be expected immediately.

“The most likely outcome is the judge makes no decision” that day, Gibson said.

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