Stakeholders express support for port development

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

“The Apalachee Regional Planning Council has always thought the Port of Port St. Joe was essential to the economic development of the region,” said Bruce Ballister with the ARPC. “The future holds an awful lot of promise.”

Ballister said that an emphasis is being placed nationally on so-called “shovel-ready” projects and added that it was essential the port perform as much ground work as possible to lure tenants. He said once the port has attracted its first customer, that would only raise the lure of the port for other businesses.

“We are ready to provide assistance for anything within our ability,” Ballister said. “The port needs to be ready and kept ready and we are here to help where we can.”

Jones said Ballister’s point was on target.

“With the competitive environment we have nobody wants to want two years to have the port shovel ready,” Jones said. “It’s incredibly important we have not just shovel-ready, but pad-ready is essential.”

The master plan update will travel back to the 2003 initial master plan, which included commercial activities in the port basin area, including import and export from Raffield and Wood Fisheries.

That offers two advantages: increasing the diversity of port activities and strengthening the case for the Port of Port St. Joe to maintain its designation in the Florida Strategic Intermodal System (SIS).



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