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Shipping Tonnage Up at Port

Shipping tonnage is up at the Port of Cleveland and on the Great Lakes this year, giving shipping industry representatives hope that the economy is heading up again. Shipping tonnage of materials including iron ore, limestone, salt, cement and imported steel has increased 30 percent over last year at the port, officials say.

 

 

On a side not, I talked to the director of the port athourity and he commuted to me that the port generaly feels all the trends 6 months in advance, be it boom, or bust.  This is good news, lets just hope we can get that port moved soon.

 

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Just add water

The Port Authority found a new recipe for development. But critics fear it's left the port itself high and dry.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sarah Hollander

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

..........

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look what i found. note the date!

 

Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Port Authority: The Power of Development Financing

Aired January 25, 2002

 

In the midst of a national recession, Cleveland seems to be struggling with more than its fair share of economic bad news. The recent bankruptcy of LTV Steel, job losses at Ford and TRW, and reduced funding from both the state and the county have hit Northeast Ohio hard. Local leaders are trying to attract new high-tech industries like bio-technology, but most are still a long way from making significant contributions to the local economy. But there’s one often-overlooked source of local funding that could help keep companies in the region and make it easier for new firms to locate here. 90.3 WCPN®’s Karen Schaefer has this report on the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

 

Karen Schaefer: Traditionally, port authorities oversee maritime operations, where products and raw materials enter or leave a city by water. Sometimes port authorities are created at other points of entry, such as airports. But in 1993, The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority began a new venture to create more revenue while helping to improve the region’s economy. Port Director Gary Failor says the Port’s new development financing is a natural outgrowth of port authorities’ ability to raise money for developing their own resources.

 

Gary Failor:We used to say that port authorities are economic development engines with water. And now I think most of the port authorities in the state have realized they’re also economic development engines in terms of financing.

 

KS: Over the last eight years, Failor says the Port Authority has helped finance more than $600 million worth of new investments for companies wanting to expand operations or build new facilities. The Port’s first project was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then, the Port has had a hand in financing the Brown’s Stadium, Mid-Town Corridor projects, and the Applied Industrial Technology headquarters at E. 36th and Euclid. The Port has also helped to raise money for smaller projects like the conversion of the former Collingwood Yards on the Shoreway for the new Jergens Manufacturing complex. Failor says Port Authority funding offers a real advantage to companies who want to keep their debt in line.

 

GF: And that’s basically a fixed-rate mortgage payment. Most businesses have to go to an adjustable rate nowadays, which goes up and down like crazy. But particularly for small, family-owned businesses, fixed-rate is so important. And the ports in the state can actually provide that to them at the company’s risk. And they see a great advantage to that.

 

KS: The funding works like this. Companies estimate the cost of a project, then show how they’ll be able to pay back the debt. By borrowing through the Port Authority – which has an unlimited debt ceiling – companies can avoid raising their own debt rating. In turn, the Port Authority can offer much lower, fixed-rate interest than most banks. The loan is then financed through the sale of bonds. Failor says that as long as businesses can demonstrate a solid repayment plan, the Port assumes little or no risk, even for multi-million dollar investments. But this development financing isn’t limited to the city or even the county. Ken Fisher is the law director in University Heights.

 

Ken Fisher: The project is 615,000-square-feet of new retail on twelve-and-a-half acres, with a five-level, 2,100 car decked garage. Besides Kaufman’s, Best Buy, Target, Tops supermarket, Old Navy and others. And again, you have to see it, because we’ve seen renderings, we’ve seen models, and it’s really phenomenal. I mean, people will drive by it and say, that’s beautiful.

 

KS: Fisher says his small community is delighted to be able to take advantage of $40 million worth of Port Authority bond financing on the $125 million project. He says it should bring a big return to local residents.

 

KF: As part of the arrangement with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district, the payroll tax benefits, which we project somewhere around $400,000-per-annum goes to the city. The city district, of course, received a large sum at the closing of the bond on December 28. And the school district also receives the incremental increase in the real estate tax dollars that theoretically would go to the city.

 

KS: But financing retail development – especially in a recession – can be a risky proposition, as the Port of St. Paul, Minnesota learned the hard way. St. Paul was the Midwest’s first port authority to try its hand at development financing. But it got into trouble when businesses like hotels and restaurants failed to thrive. For that reason alone, some civic leaders like Genevieve Ray of the Cleveland Waterfront Coalition think the public should know more about how the Port Authority’s public dollars are spent.

 

Genevieve Ray: I would think the county or the city would want to know what has been the success rate, how many of the businesses are still in operation, how many jobs have been brought into the county, new jobs, how many jobs saved. It would just be a responsible thing to do to look at how it has succeeded.

 

KS: Nonetheless, Ray is not alone in believing that this method of financing new development shows real promise for creating a competitive economic advantage for the region. Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora wants the county to have more say in Port Authority funding. Unlike the airport authority, which is under sole city control, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is a shared responsibility. Currently the county appoints just three members to the Port’s 9-member board. The city of Cleveland names the other six. He’s asking the Cleveland city council to consider a proposal to split the appointments equally between city and county, with the board choosing their own 9th member.

 

Jimmy Dimora: The Port Authority can be a tremendous asset, because it makes the project more feasible of coming to fruition and more feasible that they can financially make the project work. And it’s continuing to be looked to more and more for financing of major capital projects. Bio-tech, for example.

 

KS: Another investment Dimora would like to see the Port Authority make is the financing of a new downtown convention center, a move many city planners agree could help bring more dollars to the region. While a convention center was a priority under the White administration, new Mayor Jane Campbell hasn’t yet set a timetable for the project. Commissioner Dimora agrees with civic leaders clamoring for more public input on choosing a site for the center. But he says he still expects the project to move forward quickly, probably within the next few months. In Cleveland, Karen Schaefer, 90.3 WCPN® News.

 

Suggested Websites

Development Financing: Enhanced Revenue Opportunities and Diversification for Port Authorities

The Miami Valley Venture Fund

Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority

 

 

 

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detroit related comment:

 

some developers in detroit are finding that the port authority is a good resource for money also. The detroit one hasn't issued bonds in quite a while (something like 20 yrs) but they have an excellent credit rating and all that jazz

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Port authority looking at development ideas

Voters could see tax request in '07

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sarah Hollander and Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporters

The region's port authority supports a plan to convert vacant and underused property around Greater Cleveland into come-hither acreage for new businesses.

 

And it also has an idea about how to pay for it.

 

The agency, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, may ask voters for an early tax increase.

 

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's countywide levy won't expire until 2008. The port collects a 0.13-mill property tax for maritime-related needs.

 

But the agency may ask voters to increase the tax a year early and change its focus.

 

...

 

To reach these Plain Dealer reporters:

 

shollander@plaind.com, 216-999-4816

 

tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

 

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This whole region needs to be reminded (informed?) through a comprehensive campaign that we all live in the same building together. That building is called Greater Cleveland. It doesn't make sense to keep adding on to that building we're having virtually no luck attracting more tenants, while older parts of the building are literally falling apart and nearly empty. If we are to add more tenants, we need to do major renovations to the older parts of the building and make sure the newer parts are well maintained. Then we'll have a better shot at attracting more tenants.

 

This metaphor applies equally to the other discussion about the I-90 interchange in Avon at http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=7670.msg78619#msg78619

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Last month, more than two dozen area mayors, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, endorsed the idea of a $25 million to $50 million pilot project.

 

If the money materializes and the project succeeds, the port authority might consider placing a 1-mill request on the November 2007 ballot.

 

So it seems like this --> http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=7263.0

has to work before we get to the Port Authority idea. It's a nice plan.

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Study will assess options for port relocation

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sarah Hollander

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Port officials plan to spend $850,000 to finally determine whether, and where, to move downtown shipping docks to clear the way for lakefront redevelopment.

 

...

 

www.cleveland.com

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Cuyahoga River mud may be used to build island in Lake Erie

Associated Press

Thursday, October 19, 2006 5:04 AM

 

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build an island on Lake Erie to dispose of mud and sand dredged from Cleveland Harbor and the Cuyahoga River.

 

...

 

Putting the island along the breakwall fits with the lakefront plan Cleveland adopted in 2004, City Planning Director Bob Brown said.

 

...

 

http://dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=220434

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U.S. wants to build a lake island

Thursday, October 19, 2006

John Kuehner

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Cuyahoga Falls - The federal government wants to build an island in Lake Erie just off downtown Cleveland.

 

The island would cover at least 100 acres and be made of muck and sand from the bottom of the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor that must be removed yearly to keep the river and harbor deep enough for ships to navigate.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking at eight potential sites along the shoreline between Bratenahl and Edgewater Park to dispose of the mud because its present disposal site at Burke Lakefront Airport is filling up.

 

...

 

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: jkuehner@plaind.com, 216-999-5325

 

 

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/11612502026200.xml&coll=2

 

© 2006 The Plain Dealer

 

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So what will could this mean for the proposed Port relocation? One of the options they are looking at in their current study is to relocate on a new island north of Whiskey Island. I find it interesting that the Port was not mentioned at all in this article.

Also, no mention of the addition of construction debris from the west shoreway downgrade and innerbelt project. The 'clean' debris from those projects would fill in the site more sooner then the date given in the article (I'm guessing).

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I found this on the Port of Cleveland site. Their 2010 Maritime Facilities Plan calls for the build out of the area now occupied by Wendy Park. We already know this plan is obsolete.

The second picture is from the current Waterfront Plan that shows the proposed island around the same area where the article says the feds want to build (as briefly mentioned in the article). I called the reporter to ask about the Port relocation and left a message,

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Not a very thorough article from an otherwise good reporter. Perhaps he wasn't aware of why an island was being considered rather than merely adding to the existing shore as has been done in the past.

 

Here's a link to an article I wrote for the Stark/Pesht series in January that dealt with the Lake Erie island and port relocation issues...

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=6727.msg70057#msg70057

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Last I heard was that the Cle Port Authority is now hatching a plan to execute eminent domain to take the marina, fill it, and then use that location to store limestone.  Wendy Park on the eastern third of the island would be "technically preserved", but made quite unattractive by a giant mountain of rock blocking the view to the west.  So much for sunsets after the volleyball game. 

 

To give the ugly plan a bit of greenwash, the limestone is presumably for scrubbers for coal fired power plants in Ohio.  "It's for clean air and Ohio coal jobs.  You want that, don't you?"

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And now, for my 1000th post, I humbly present to you...

 

thumb_postwhore.gif

 

 

 

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20070215/FREE/70215008

Carney reappointed to port board

 

By JAY MILLER

 

2:27 pm, February 15, 2007

 

The Cuyahoga County commissioners reappointed John J. Carney to the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority after Mr. Carney voluntarily filed a financial disclosure statement with the Ohio Ethics Commission.

 

The vote Thursday morning was 2-1, with commissioners Tim Hagan and Peter Lawson Jones supporting the appointment while their Democratic colleague, Jimmy Dimora, voted no.

 

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Carney reappointed to port board

 

Mr. Dimora voted against Mr. Carney’s reappointment over a separate issue. The commissioner strongly disagrees with positions the port authority has taken over Whiskey Island. The port would like the lakefront land for future dock expansion. Mr. Dimora wants the land to remain a park.

The Port Authority wants to bury the existing Whiskey Island marina under a mountainous pile of limestone, leaving the bit of Whiskey Island that is Wendy Park with a ruined vista and lime-dust blowing onto the park, ruining its natural aesthetics.  I hope this reappointment of the "ethically-challenged" Mr. Carney is not viewed as a "green light" for the Port Authority's rock-head plans.

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And now, for my 1000th post, I humbly present to you...

 

thumb_postwhore.gif

 

With more than 5,000 posts, what does that make me? An "Internet Superslut?" naughty.gif

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Port paying top dollar for its new president

Officials hope his expertise is worth it

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Lofty pay for the new president of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority ranks him among port honchos who oversee $100 million-plus budgets and scores of employees.

 

In Cleveland, Adam Wasserman will oversee $9.75 million in revenues and 23 workers.

 

 

 

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

 

tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

www.cleveland.com

 

 

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Officials at port authority fly high

Thousands spent dining, jetting, records show

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tom Breckenridge and Joan Mazzolini

Plain Dealer Reporters

 

Birthday cakes, fine dining and holiday bashes - all on the public's dime - were routine at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

 

But even the port's top accountant questioned this expense last September: a $425 membership for a port official to join Continental Airlines' Presidents Club, a "relaxing oasis" for the busy traveler.

 

tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

jmazzaolini@plaind.com, 216-999-4563

www.cleveland.com

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Great read, guv.  Yet another reason to diss offshoring.    Do you have a link for me to send around?  Your air-quality thread sounds like a good idea. 

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Officials see container cargo as boon to port

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

The relentless growth of ship-borne container cargo on the East and West coasts could be a boon to Cleveland's port, officials say.

 

Within five years, Cleveland could capture a chunk of the container-cargo traffic that threatens to overwhelm roads and rail lines at ports like New York and Los Angeles, says Stephen Pfeiffer, head of maritime operations for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority...

 

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

 

tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

 

 

 

http://www.cleveland.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1177230756204660.xml&coll=2

© 2007 The Plain Dealer

© 2007 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.

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In the context of "Regionalism", the Port Authority is an unnecessary duplicate government that adds costs to the taxpayer.  They are making no decisions that could not be done by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners.  They are unrepresentative, unchecked, unaccountable to the voters.  An easy target for influence peddling and graft.

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And the County Commissioners aren't?

The County Commissioners have to stand for election every four years.  Not so for the Port Authority.

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pd:

 

Cleveland's port looks to grow, boost projects

25-year goal: 'premier' status

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Cleveland's lakefront port wants to grow, and it wants to grow Cleveland's economy along with it.

 

The 130-acre port, which flanks the Cuyahoga River, plans to grow by half, possibly at a new location.

 

...

 

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

 

tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

 

The public can comment on the draft plan from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at the United Technologies Center at Cuyahoga Community College, Room 229, 2415 Woodland Ave.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1187685533149890.xml&coll=2

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