Key port study moves forward

Published: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 09:28 AM.

A study characterized as “imperative” to the future of the port has taken a turn but continues forward.

The study, to analyze the Return on Investment (ROI) that could be realized with a developed and operational Port of Port St. Joe, has been undertaken by a private consulting firm, but is still on track to be completed by next month.

Originally, a representative of the Haas Center at the University of West Florida, which studies economic trends in Northwest Florida, verbally agreed that the center would undertake the study.

A preliminary approval was given by the Port St. Joe Port Authority.

However, a contract could not be completed due to various factors and with the guidance of staff at the Haas Center the Port Authority was put in contact with the Washington Economic Group out of Coral Gables.

That consultant will perform the study along the same timeline and at the same cost the Haas Center staff had agreed upon, roughly $20,000 which is being paid from the Florida Department of Transportation grant funding work on an application to dredge the shipping channel.

“It is critical we move forward with this study,” said Port Authority chair Leonard Costin. “Time is of the essence. That document is key to funding for dredging.”

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