Port Authority seeks closure with Capital City


Leonard Costin, chairman of the Port St. Joe Port Authority, received a $500 donation from the corporate headquarters of Buy-Rite Drugs as the Port Authority embarks on community capital campaign. The donation was presented by Yvonne Guillot, Jonathan Knight, Linda Littleton, Donna Lucas, Jena Hogan and Guy Sweazy. Costin anticipates the port to be operating by mid-summer of 2015.

Wes Locher | The Star
Published: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 09:39 AM.

One way or another the Port Authority of Port St. Joe wants to put foreclosure litigation with Capital City Bank in the rearview mirror.

Port Authority members met in a public meeting last Friday and decided to see, as attorney Tom Gibson characterized it, “see if there is anything they would want from us” that might be worth some dealing to close the case.

If there is not, Port Authority members decided, they would let the so-called Parcel B mortgaged through Capital City Bank to be auctioned on the steps of the Gulf County Courthouse April 10.

Since a circuit court judge ruled in favor of Capital City Bank and subsequently signed a final order in the foreclosure litigation, some Port Authority members have expressed an interest in seeing the case closed, rather than appeal the ruling.

The perception surrounding seeking tens of millions from the Florida Legislature to dredge the federally-authorized shipping channel while battling foreclosure litigation in court had provided pause for some Port Authority members.

“We should vote to walk away and have a meeting with Capital City Bank,” said board member Jason Shoaf during the last regular monthly meeting. “We should be putting this to bed immediately. And separate the port from the foreclosure.”

There is also the reality that the Port Authority, currently in the midst of a community capital campaign aimed at raising basic operational fund, lacks the resources for a protracted legal fight.

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