Remaining operationally viable key for Port Authority of Port St. Joe

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 09:28 AM.

Officials with the Port of Port St. Joe are taking the first steps toward dredging the shipping channel, the key to development for the port.

Meanwhile Port Authority board members are examining options to maintain ballast until those ships begin arriving.

The first steps on a path toward dredging were discussed during the Port Authority’s regular bi-monthly meeting last week, with port director Tommy Pitts informing the board on the direction.

Pitts said officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection recommended that the Port of Port St. Joe move ahead as the applicant to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the dredging.

Various alternatives had been discussed in meetings with state and federal officials, Pitts said.

“We have had a variety of meetings pursuing charting the path forward,” Pitts said. “The DEP indicates the quickest way is to proceed with the port as the applicant seeking assistance from the Corps.”

Pitts said the St. Joe Company has agreed to provide local match funding of roughly $250,000 to get started and will be involved with the crafting of a task agreement with engineers.

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