Stakeholders express support for port development

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 09:58 AM.

The Port St. Joe Port Authority recently held a formal stakeholders meeting to reach the first significant milestone in updating of the port master plan.

The Port of Port St. Joe is undertaking an update of its 2008 master plan, the work funded by a $70,000 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The master plan update is essential as a partnership with The St. Joe Company takes shape on port development. The master plan will reflect changes from four years ago, including the addition of the old Arizona Chemical site (in port hands) as well as lands owned by St. Joe within the planning area.

“This sets up where we are today, where we want to be in the future and a skeleton of how we get there,” said Port Authority board member Patrick Jones. “This is the map.”

And in completing the stakeholders meeting – an opportunity for oral or written comments on issues pertaining to the port and its development – the Port Authority will also be able to draw down the initial grant payment and provide some income for port director Tommy Pitts and assistant Nadine Lee, who have been working for months on what amounts to a volunteer basis.

Pitts will do most of the work on the master plan update in-house with assistance from St. Joe. “Ports are one of the governor’s priorities,” said Ana Richmond with the DEO Division of Community Development, Office of Community Planning. “There is so much opportunity here.”

That opportunity was reflected in statements from various stakeholders attending the meeting.

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