St. Joe agreement 'game changer' for port

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 09:20 AM.

The LOI with Green Circle anticipates that some time will be required to secure the permitting, permission and execution of dredging, but in the LOI the obligations of either party are contingent upon the Port of Port St. Joe receiving funding to complete maintenance dredging of the shipping channel.

And that changes the narrative for dredging. No longer is it “if” dredging is completed a customer will come. Now, the port and St. Joe can argue a customer is present and waiting.

"A viable business is ready to use the Port and rail access to the Port site is being improved; the missing link to an operational Port is the necessary dredging improvements to the shipping channel," Brady said.

The port has a navigational channel that is federally-authorized to a maximum of 37 feet. Dredging to the authorized depth has been the top priority of the Port Authority and St. Joe in luring customers.

Once dredging has been completed, the port’s options will only grow, said port director Tommy Pitts.

According to Pitts, the commitment of tonnage through the port, though still conditional, “is a phenomenally huge step in the efforts to revitalize port activity here.”

Once a commitment to dredge and the dredging is accomplished, Pitts said, other opportunities that were previously out of reach come closer.

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