State News

November 16, 2013

Lobbying heats up for port deepening

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will travel with Vice President Joe Biden to the Panama Canal on Monday as Georgia officials seek federal money to deepen the Port of Savannah.

Reed, a Democrat, is likely to lobby Biden for federal funds to deepen Savannah’s port so ships passing through the newly enlarged Panama Canal can load and unload goods locally. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal took a similar trip in September.

“The port deepening will be Georgia’s largest economic development project and the positive impact on Atlanta cannot be overstated,” Reed said Friday, according to (http://bit.ly/17b3vs0 ) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The project will fuel the state, region and city’s economic growth, strengthen our global competitiveness” and boost airport business.

The dredging project in Georgia was first approved in 1999 but was stalled by political disputes, environmental conflicts and administrative delays. In October, House lawmakers voted to authorize the $662 million project to deepen Georgia’s port from 42 feet to 47 feet. However, the U.S. government has not yet committed any funding.

It remains unclear whether larger ships sailing across a newly deepened Panama Canal will stop in Georgia. A review by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that 10 ports from New York to Miami are planning billions of dollars in expansions over the next decade. Some of those ports will be deeper than Savannah’s even after the local expansion project.

In addition to Biden, Reed will travel to Panama with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the mayors of Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, said Friday that he has met with officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Obama administration budget planners to lobby for money for the Georgia port expansion. Meanwhile, Georgia officials have already committed $231 million for the project. Deal said this week he will request an additional $35 million in state funding.

“I’d hate for the federal government to let the little state of Georgia embarrass them, but we’re putting them in that posture if they don’t,” Deal said.

1
Text Only
State News
  • One charged in death of Dalton woman, another sought

    A Dalton woman found dead in Calhoun earlier this month is believed to have died of a drug overdose after two Calhoun residents abandoned her in a car behind the VFW on East Line Street, Lt. Tony Pyle with the Calhoun Police Department said Wednesday afternoon.

    June 18, 2014

  • Guard shot at FedEx center to undergo 14th surgery

    A security guard critically wounded when a gunman went on a rampage at a FedEx facility is scheduled to undergo his 14th operation Tuesday.

    May 27, 2014

  • Arson ruled out as cause of chemical plant fire

    Police say investigators have been able to rule out arson or foul play as the cause of a massive fire at a chemical plant outside Atlanta that spewed black smoke and flames visible for miles.

    May 27, 2014

  • Teen tied to shopping cart drowns in lake

    Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials say a teen has died after being tied to a shopping cart and pushed into Lake Allatoona.

    May 25, 2014

  • Underground tattoo artists frustrate officials

    The work of tattoo artists whose living rooms double as body art studios might come cheap, but experts say the unsterile -- and illegal -- work environments could leave clients in pain long after the initial sting of the needle subsides.

    May 25, 2014

  • No runoff lets Republicans focus on Rep. Barrow

    While Georgia Republicans have to wait until July to settle runoff races for the U.S. Senate and three open House seats, one of the biggest GOP victories in the primary elections last week went to Augusta businessman Rick W. Allen.

    May 25, 2014

  • Audit probes juvenile justice turnover rate

    A state audit cites low pay, long hours and management concerns as reasons for a relatively high turnover rate at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

    May 25, 2014

  • Atlanta schools ex-tech director to be sentenced

    After his relationship with the superintendent of Atlanta’s school system soured, a former technology director for the district set up a kickback scheme to pad his pockets before he left his job, according to court documents.

    May 24, 2014

  • Georgia veteran, 92, honored at surprise ceremony

    Family and friends surprised a 92-year-old World War II veteran from Georgia on Memorial Day by honoring him and presenting him with the World War II Victory Medal.

    May 24, 2014

  • Police: Massive chemical plant fire extinguished

    Authorities say a massive fire at a chemical plant outside Atlanta that spewed black smoke and flames visible for miles has been extinguished.

    May 24, 2014