GALVESTON

Plans to kick off a traffic study to alleviate the effects of future Port of Galveston growth on residential areas and nearby businesses are moving forward this week with a review of qualifications for a consulting firm pending at this week’s Wharves Board meeting.

Kathryn Eastburn: 409-683-5257; kathryn.eastburn@galvnews.com.

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(5) comments

Jonathan Welch

Seems like they are spending a lot of money for improvements based on the assumption that a third terminal will be built. What happens to that money if they do not come to an agreement with Royal Caribbean to build that terminal?

Miceal O'Laochdha

The workscope described in this story is systemic infrastructure improvements that urgently need to be made for the current activity load at the Port, regardless of whether a new cruise terminal at Pier 10 is built or not.

Charlotte O'rourke

Good question and answer.



My question is related to the RFP on the traffic study. Is it from the closed March 2019 RFP traffic study on the port website or a new traffic RFP proposal?



Miceal, do you have any thoughts or concerns on the almost exclusive emphasis on cruise terminals and minuscule expenditures and focus on obtaining and keeping other types of maritime businesses?


Miceal O'Laochdha

Charlotte it is apparent that our new Port Director came here armed solely with knowledge of the cruise ship business and has no interest in expanding his field of knowledge to cargo operations, ship repairs and maintenance, and similar waterfront endeavors that make for a well rounded seaport with a diverse maritime portfolio. I have twice now listened to the Director at public meetings casually concede to what he considers to be the "inevitable" loss of Del Monte, one of our oldest and most loyal tenants, long providing good-paying jobs to the benefit of more than one generation of Galveston families. His tone on both occasions was the it was a minor issue, not worth discussing. He and the consultants took exactly the same tone as they freely admitted they had given no consideration whatsoever to ship repair tenants when developing the new master plan. So little concern was given to WWL, another long term and loyal tenant, that he went around for a year just casually assuring everyone WWL and the FTZ could be moved to the West end of the Port without ever bothering to read the existing lease agreement for Pier 41. They just plain got lucky that that tenant wanted out of the lease as bad as they wanted him to go; or we could be losing WWL's extensive operations too. Ship managers prefer to have regular ports of call for their vessels at places where planned and emergency repairs of their ships is readily available and, to the extent possible, they try to avoid those ports without this capability. It is my considered belief that as long as the present Director is in place, all focus will remain on the eggs that are in the one pretty-colored basket (passenger ships) and Galveston cannot expect to see expansion of cargo tenants or ship repair operations during his tenure. Except perhaps by accident....

Charlotte O'rourke

This is a pivotal time for the port’s future. It can right the ship or become basically, a single purpose port with the resulting consequences and issues.



The long delay in negotiations for the third terminal and failure to include the city in a healthy, meaningful way in these negotiations has undermined Galveston’s negotiating position.



My opinion .... thanks for yours.

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