Port Authority faces foreclosure hearing next month

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:40 AM.

A $5 million Florida Department of Transportation grant has been approved to allow the upgrading of Genesee Wyoming rail lines between Port St. Joe and Chattahoochee.

The rail is in generally good shape to the north, but improvements over bridges are needed and the work should be completed in a year. Linking the port to Chattahoochee and destinations beyond is considered critical for port development.

In other Port Authority news:

*Port Authority members, joined by Jennifer Jenkins, director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council as well as County Commissioner Joanna Bryan and Economic Development Council director Barry Sellers, discussed the potential for luring “boutique” cruise lines to the community.

One such proposal was approved by the Port Authority and city of Port St. Joe – under an agreement pertaining to the city’s Jetty Park – but the cruise never took place.

“I think we have a great opportunity there,” said Port Authority member Patrick Jones, also noting such tours as a way to promote the so-called “low docks” in the port planning area. “It probably won’t boost bed tax but it would generate sales tax for the county with people (disembarking) for a day trip.

“But common sense dictates any activity down there enhances the experience for tourists and for people living here.”

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