Potential port partner increases region land holdings

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM.

Costin said the letter from the Ware Foundation, “demonstrates a growing commitment by businesses to use the port and (Apalachicola Northern Railway), helping create jobs in several counties in Northwest Florida.”

Holland M. Ware provides a significant exhibit to the case for state investment in dredging the shipping channel and releasing pledged funds for improvements to the AN rail line.

Gov. Rick Scott and state economic development officials have linked dredge funding – estimated at $25 million – and $5 million in Florida Department of Transportation funds for rail improvements to a return on investment.

A recently-completed study of the potential return was deemed “positive” by the consultant who conducted the study, with the potential 10-year return pegged at $940 million or roughly $4.66 dollars for every $1 of state investment.

However, that study only considered two customers at the port – Green Circle and Enova Energy, the two companies with formal agreements with the St. Joe Company.

Those two companies would ship an estimated 1.25 million tons through the Port of Port St. Joe annually, the numbers on which the return-on-investment study was based.

The Holland M. Ware Foundation proposes to double that number of tonnage.

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