Port receives extension of critical designation

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 09:54 AM.

Officials with the Port of Port St. Joe received some strategically important news from the state on Monday.

The Florida Department of Transportation announced a three-year extension for the port’s designation as part of the state’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS), a crucial designation that provides a link to federal and state funding for the port.

The port was named an “emerging SIS” member in 2008, but that designation, which is linked to criteria for goods and people moving through the port, was due to elapse this year.

The Port Authority, armed with a new collaborative agreement signed last year with The St. Joe Company, applied for an extension of the SIS designation, with FDOT District III officials assisting in the application and lobbying the main office in Tallahassee for the extension.

District III Secretary James T. Barfield wrote to port officials on March 11 to officially confirm the Port of Port St. Joe was granted the extension – the FDOT no longer uses the “emerging” designation – through Feb. 25, 2016.

“This is very good news indeed,” said Barry Sellers, director of the Gulf County Economic Development Alliance, Inc.

The designation also includes the waterway connector to the port harbor channel and turning basin to the Gulf Coast shipping channel and the Genesee Wyoming rail connector from the port to the rail corridor.

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