Key port study moves forward

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

County administrator Don Butler said he was there at the request of the BOCC to understand what the Port Authority was requesting and County Commissioner Joanna Bryan corrected White by clarifying the BOCC did not offer anything; commissioners were approached by White.

Port attorney Tom Gibson noted a significant hurdle if the county is in the loop on grants – the BOCC is subject to specific public records laws which could conflict with potential clients seeking confidentiality as they deal with the Port Authority.

Costin said he hoped to secure local volunteers to help man the phones and said he thought current operations were “fine.”

Guerry Magidson of the EDA said that organization was in the process of hiring a staff person who could also assist the Port Authority.

Raffield said more than an operating agreement, the Port Authority needed to return to meeting once a month while urging that all stakeholders – the BOCC, municipalities, the St. Joe Company, etc. – attend.

Coordination among stakeholders, those who wish to invest in the port, who wish to see an operational port producing jobs, was essential.

“It is imperative we have all the groups at the table, working for the same things,” Raffield said. “We should meet once a month and have anybody here that can help the port.

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