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'No Port Southport' claims deepwater port plan is dead

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SOUTHPORT, NC (NO PORT SOUTHPORT NEWS RELEASE) -- The White House this week announced that the federal government will focus its maritime expansion projects on just five major US ports. This expedited work will fund the Port of Miami, the Port of Savannah, the Port of New York and New Jersey and the Port of Charleston. No federal money will be applied to any ports in North Carolina.

Recently also the Republican candidate for Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory, criticized the state’s spending of $30 million dollars to procure the 600 acres in Southport for the proposed deepwater mega port (NCIT) before any feasibility studies had been done to determine whether this was a viable business venture. His views appeared in an article in the “Cape Fear Watchdog$” by Pat Gannon.

“Questions of feasibility should have been asked before we wasted millions to buy the land and conduct studies,” according to a statement released by McCrory’s press secretary Ricky Diaz.

The Democratic candidate for NC Governor, Walter Dalton, also issued a statement saying that he would not support the construction of a new port if elected and that the project does not have the support of the congressional delegation or the General Assembly.

No Port Southport has consistently, from its beginning, argued that the 600 acres of land was purchased prior to any knowledge of its justifiable use as a deepwater port. Our organization has repeatedly pointed out the flawed and backward process the state has taken with this on-going waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

Over the past two years, No Port Southport has shown through contracted independent studies that precisely the ports that the federal government has now put their money behind would eventually handle the future East coast deepwater container traffic.

From Governor Perdue, to all elected state officials and the Department of Transportation, it is time for each person and department to close the book on any deepwater port and put the taxpayers’ money into making our ports at Wilmington and Morehead more competitive and efficient for the markets that they now serve.

Any further consideration by the state to fund more studies on NCIT will be simply wasteful politics at its worst.

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Obituary for the Megaport at Southport

This is the third time No Port Southport has "claimed" the project dead. Save the Cape takes a more circumspect view. We are not influenced or deceived into declaring victory when there have been "wins". Instead, we've kept about the business of working through the General Assembly where the funding comes from. Save the Cape had a big win this fiscal year with legislation prohibiting any further spending on the megaport this year. But, we never take our success for granted nor do we dance on the grave of the megaport. It ain't done until it's done.

Save the Cape is certainly encouraged by the statements by Pat McCrory and Walter Dalton. When we met with Pat McCrory several weeks back, we sensed he was opposed to this project and left the meeting cheered by his common sense, market driven sensibilities about this project. This has been confirmed by his statement. But, are we declaring the project "dead"? Not by a long shot.

The 600 acres remains, purchased for $30 million with borrowed money, and now valued at $12.7 million. Political winds shift and change and until the land is sold or transferred and zoning changes from heavy industrial to somethinig more benign, Save the Cape will continue to keep its eye on the ball. We'll continue our travels to Raleigh to shore up support against further funding so there are no surprises next year. As much as we would like to declare the project is dead, we know it is not.

In Related News...

In related news yesterday, we received multiple reports of flying pigs being reported in the Raleigh and Southport areas.

Southport as a port? Ruin its beauty?

Southport is too beautiful a town to ruin with a deepwater port and all the industrial infrastructure that would require. Focus on tourism and film/television and no additional investments in infrastructure will be required.

600 acres

Well, since the state now owns these 600 acres on the river wouldn't It be great if they took about 100 acres of it and turn it into park space for people and preserved the remaining 500 acres. Turn a big negative into a giant positive. Would be a giant plus for our whole area.

500 Acre Park Hardly

GOOD IDEA,but you know the politics will never die for this site.
If the state was serious the land should be put up for sale,and this would settle the issue of a port at the old ADM site.

ANOTHER PARK. JUST WHAT WE

ANOTHER PARK. JUST WHAT WE NEED.