Permits, revenue focus of port board

Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 09:51 AM.

Permits to dredge the federally-authorized shipping channel remain on track as the Port St. Joe Port Authority looked beyond dredging last week.

Tommy Pitts, project manager with Hatch Mott MacDonald, said the final obstacles to dredging appear close to being cleared and an application for a permit to dredge the shipping channel, and open development of the Port of Port St. Joe, remained on a timely course.

“We continue to make significant progress on the permitting,” Pitts said, noting that the application is still likely to be submitted sometime next month with a goal of having permits in hand by the first of 2015.

The hope is to have the channel dredge work complete sometime in the second half of next year.

Hatch Mott is working on the disposal areas for dredge material, an intensive analysis of available lands, native flora and fauna and potential costs of constructing berms, among other aspects.

Pitts said nailing down disposal lands has been complicated by AgReserves, the company that bought hundreds of thousands of acres from the St. Joe Company earlier this year, including land above the power lines adjacent to the Gulf County canal that had been identified as potential sites.

Pitts said thus far AgReserves has not been inclined to discuss allowing some of those acres to be used for disposal.

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