Port receives master plan update grant

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 12:21 PM.

The Port of Port St. Joe has been awarded a $70,000 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Development to fund the update of the port master plan.

The Port Authority board also heard encouraging word on maintaining the critical designation of being part of the state’s Strategic Intermodal System and also on instruction to enhance the local workforce in anticipation of the arrival of Eastern Shipbuilding Group either late this year or early next year.

The DOE grant will allow Port Director Tommy Pitts to do most of the work in-house while finally drawing a salary that exceeds one dollar per month.

The update of the master planning document is crucial as the port moves forward with development under collaboration between the Port Authority and St. Joe Company.

“The properties committed to port development have changed so dramatically,” Pitts said. “The collaboration with St. Joe brings the mill site in. There is the Arizona Chemical property, the rail access. The funding the state makes available for ports is for property within the port master plan.”

Those properties will also likely include those lands and activity to the north of the Intracoastal Waterway owned and operated by Woods and Raffield Fisheries.

“We included them in the 2003 update and we can include them again,” Pitts said.

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