4/4: Port price tag worth it?

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s the $650 million gamble: Should the state deepen the Savannah River to accommodate supersized cargo ships? Politicians and port officials foresee more business and jobs. Opponents question the price tag and worry about environmental impact.

Georgia’s senators explain why they support the project while an environmentalist deems it wasteful and destructive.

Plus, we offer some more views on the port.  Read the commentaries and give us your thoughts.

10 comments Add your comment

too little time

April 4th, 2012
5:00 pm

It is absolutely worth it. To the Greenies and tree huggers: Georgia has one of the most unspoiled coasts in the country. The Georgia Conservancy should weight the rest of Georgia’s coast against the port of Savannah, and realize that Georgia has done the right thing. If their aim is to preserve 100% of Georgia’s coast… it is not going to happen. Look at Georgia’s mostly unspoiled islands and intercoastal waterway, and consider carefully that we have saved a hell of a lot more than we have spoiled… more than any other state. The commerce from the port of Savannah is vital to Georgia and the nation, and deserves expansion to meet the predicted size and depth of future shipping.

Anne Reeves

April 4th, 2012
12:20 pm

yuzeyurbrane, you should really be more informed of matters before making such allegations. First, the federal government is funding the port through maintenance dredging funds ($22 million to Sav and $3 million to Brunswick) and the most recent FY 2013 budgt proposes additional federal funding for the Savannah port. Second, Georgia has committed or budgetedfor an additional $180 million. Third, since the state and federal governments are broke, Georgia has begun negotiating public-private initiatives to have the shiplines finance new terminals, which they in turn will be able to manage.

I’m not saying you didn’t make valid points that more could be done, but it’s worth noting that efforts are being made at the state and federal level.

As to whether we need the dredging, yes, we do. Already, 18 other east coast ports have been deepened to accomodate for the Panama Canal’s extension. If Savannnah’s isn’t deepened, it WILL lose current business, much less be able to compete for future business. Currently, the port supports nearly 300k jobs in Georgia, accounting for over $15 billion in income and nearly $62 billion in revenue – we can’t afford to lose any of that. If the port is deepened, the Corps expects up to 5k jobs will be created, not to mention the fact that the port will attract more businesses to create more jobs, leading to a better economy in Georgia.

yuzeyurbrane

April 4th, 2012
9:51 am

Can’t happen w/o Fed money and Feds are broke; could be picked up by state but state is broke and already committing to hundreds of millions for Artie Blank’s new stadium even with billions in education cuts; Chatham County? I doubt it. How about private enterprise? Our politicians talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Busn. as usual in Ga.–crony capitalism or socialism for the wealthy–take your pick of labels. But large Ga. companies have traditionally minimized their risk and maximized their profit with the financial assistance of the rest of us thru the Legislature. Maybe its time to require them to pony up.

zeke

April 4th, 2012
9:36 am

The expedited development of Jasper port should be a first priority! It is more favorable to shipping, nearer the ocean, less dredging! This port would benefit both states and not harm Charleston or Savannah! It could be done in 2 to 3 years if the radical enviro not groups would get the hell out of the way! NO ONE WANTS TO DESTROY NATURAL THINGS! HOWEVER, HUMAN PRIORITIES MUST TAKE PRECEDENT IN ALL CASES! And, I cannot understand any sane person supporting and funding groups that advertise, ” save lives, put your land in conservation easements and save lives by preventing the hunting of animals”! MORONS!!

John

April 4th, 2012
9:34 am

Why not take a page from the GA 400 toll road and tax the ships? Then after the announced sunset, the state can lie and continue to collect the tolls.

nelsonhoward

April 4th, 2012
7:21 am

Savannah is the fastest growing container port in the U.S. It services 21,000 companies in all 50 states including 25% that are in the Atlanta area. Savannah port is the largest exporter of containerized poultry in the U.S. The port of Savannah created 3,800 new jobs this past year.
It is the only U.S. port that exports more than it imports.
Lastly, the larger the container ship the cheaper transportation costs.
Now, the dredging of the harbor should be expedited, the sooner it comes on line, the sooner 100,000 new jobs will be created.
The ecology of the area will be minimally effected, no question about it.

DeborahinAthens

April 4th, 2012
6:37 am

The port will bring a lot more jobs as ancillary businesses grow around the port and the highways going inland. More jobs mean more tax revenues. By the way TruthBe, why do you waste your time and our time with such an asinine comment?

seabeau

April 4th, 2012
5:32 am

If Ga. fails to join SC in the Joint Deep Water Port Jasper Project then Ga. needs to move its port facilities down the Sav.River to the North end of Tybee Island and stop the destruction of the Lower Savannah River by dregging and ship prop wash effects.

TruthBe

April 3rd, 2012
9:33 pm

We could take it from Michele Obama’s taxpayer’s vacation fund.

Hillbilly D

April 3rd, 2012
7:10 pm

Takes a lot of increased tax revenue to pay back $650 million.