Port dredge case ‘positive’

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 03:08 PM.

A consultant told the Port St. Joe Port Authority board last week that the case for state investment in dredging the Port of Port St. Joe shipping channel was “positive.”

Rod Lewis, working with the Washington Economic Group, said a Return On Investment study commissioned by the Port Authority had resulted in numbers even more positive than he had estimated before undertaking the study.

The ROI study is considered critical for the second path – permitting is the first – the Port Authority is pursuing for dredging, namely the funding.

The ROI, once finalized after input from board members, would be offered in Tallahassee as state lawmakers consider this spring making the estimated $25 million investment in dredging.

“Is there some return on investment? That is what the state is interested in,” Lewis said.

At the bottom line, the study – and Lewis emphasized that it and the numbers contained therein is in draft form – estimates that the modernization and expansion of the Port of Port St. Joe would carry nearly $941 million in economic impacts over a decade, a return of $4.66 for every $1 of state investment.

Lewis noted that the study only factored in the two energy companies, Green Circle and Enova Energy, with signed Letters of Intent (LOI) with the St. Joe Company to ship wood pellets through the port for overseas markets.



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