Port Manatee's 3 projects to get underway

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Port Manatee Aerial view

Port Manatee has been awarded a $1,837,500 security grant, allowing the port to proceed with three significant projects.

The award, the second-highest for any Florida port in the latest round of grants offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, facilitates full funding for each of the three projects named in the request of the port, which is putting forth a required 25 percent match.

The submitted projects include:
South Gate modernization, to enable safe and efficient handling of project cargo and processing of all cargo and vehicle data at the South Gate;
Upgrades and new equipment for the Port Security Emergency Communication Center, to enhance coordination during emergency events; and
Purchase of new geographic information system, or GIS, software to actively manage traffic patterns, as well as better identify and plan critical infrastructure.

“We are thankful to receive full funding to enhance security at Port Manatee as it is crucial in continuing the growth of the port,” said David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of seaport security. “This grant will help us promote the safe and efficient movement of cargo, as well as pave the way for new projects.”

Port Manatee, the closest deepwater seaport to the expanding Panama Canal, is located at the entrance to Tampa Bay and serves bulk, breakbulk, container, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs regionally, without levying ad-valorem taxes. 

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