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

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

“We need industry, we need jobs, to balance the overhead people have here,” Raffield said. “I love to be positive. I am also a realist. I understand where we are in the county.

“But his has the potential to set the pace for Northwest Florida for the next 100 years.”

The solution is to get all stakeholders on board the train, from the federal level down. The governor, Costin said, wants to understand the return for any state investment. The local legislative delegation is seeking ways to appropriate state dollars.

“I don’t know where we get it unless we have people in this community who would step up,” Costin said. “We could talk about it all day and run out of money.”

Jones said the board must quantify an investment in the port. How, he wondered, would it look to federal and state officials that the Port Authority could not fund itself?

“The question is what is the port worth?” Jones said. “What is it worth to the community, to the region? We invest in ourselves by the choices we make. We invest in our community with the decision we make. This is no difference.

“Everyone in this community should be solicited and they make a choice. If the community does not want to support us then we have our answer.”

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