St. Joe engages Bank of Montreal on port development

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 09:59 AM.

The risk for the Port Authority in the litigation, Gibson noted, would be losing the land on which the barge bulkhead sits and, if the value of any sale of that land did not reach the amount of the loan, might see a partial lien on the currently unencumbered Arizona Chemical property.

“We have a major piece of infrastructure under threat of being taken from the public use by a bank,” Jones said. “I would not want to lose that bulkhead. Ports are different in that the logistics are driven by infrastructure. The infrastructure is why they come.”

One suggestion offered by board members would be to approach the RESTORE Act committee about a proposal for the county to establish some form of economic development revolving fund with some of the BP fine money the county might see.

That fund could assist the port with the Capital City Bank loan, with the Port Authority paying back the money has clients arrive and business picks up.

While indications from the bank are it does not want possession of the land, and Port Authority members want to pay down the loan, but how that process unfolds remains an open question.

“Everybody wants the same thing, it is a matter of how we get there,” Jones said.

New officers

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