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Lisa Blair

The headline is “POG worries” yet the article attributes the issue to Shannon alone. It wasn’t too long ago that some Board members challenged their chairman’s right

to speak to the newspaper on behalf of the Board. And does violating the terms of a lease fall under day-to-day operations or setting policy? Issue has also been made of the chair’s interference. It’s obvious that some members of this Board hold themselves to a different standard than they seem to expect from their chairman.

Miceal O'Laochdha

The Wharves Board has only fairly recently (last 2 years) discovered the world of laid-up ships and its potential to provide revenue to the POG. The problem with their new knowledge is that it appears to be very limited; the expression "Lay-Up" covers a broad range of circumstances. There is a major difference between vessels in long term lay up and those in short term lay up. The former typically require a skilled workforce to conduct periodic inspections and routine maintenance and substantial electrical shorepower supply to ensure they do not deteriorate during the out-of-service period. And again a large and skilled workforce to re-activate them when returning to operational status. The POG has recently focused on lay-up vessels which are only short-term, such as ships awaiting commencement of a new charter, or those docked to undergo inspections and surveys. These vessels do not require a skilled workforce to support their activities and the POG has no such workforce to offer the customer. The POG can only offer dock space and potable water, they do not even have shore electrical power available. It is the POG that cannot compete with a ship repair facility, not the other way around.

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Michael, please don’t forget that many of these lay-ships include repairs that require welders, electricians etc. employing from several local shipyard companies. Lay-ships also take bunkers requiring skilled tug captains. And don’t forget port pilots, truck drivers for stores and deliveries and Linehandlers. Most of these vessels are only alongside for a day or two due to cargo operations. None are employees by the Port; however, it does contribute to the local economy.

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My apologies, Miceal- darn spellcheck!

Miceal O'Laochdha

Quite true, short term lay up often includes voyage repairs, which provide work for ship repair workers from Galveston (and Houston and beyond). I am hoping to clarify the fundamental difference between short term layup of vessels with crew onboard and their own power plants operational, vs. the work scope involved in long term layup of de-activated vessels such as the drill rigs at Gulf Copper. According to this newspaper account, the Wharves Board fears those vessels may be in competition with POG lay-up Dockage income. That is an apples and oranges comparison which I doubt is causing loss of income to the POG. The revenue stream to the POG for long-term lay-up vessels is in the lease payments of the shipyard, rather than in Dockage payments by the vessel. In the case of short term lay up vessels at POG piers, the direct payment of Dockage to the Port, plus the related support work of 3rd parties on the waterfront, represents a substantial value to both the Port and the whole community. It is just a different matter from long-term lay up of vessels in a shipyard environment.

Charlotte O'rourke

While I support the cruise business and a third cruise terminal, I believe our community needs a well rounded port that includes diversity of operating revenues.

41% of the operating revenues is created by 2 customers according to the 2018 CAFR. With the 3rd terminal with one of the 2 customers, the percentage will increase significantly.

This is an unsecured credit risk, and the port needs to diversify its revenue stream and help cargo and ship/oil rig repair increase their business instead of pouring the majority of funds into ever more cruise terminals and displacing these other types of maritime customers.

We wouldn’t have the cruise business unless we had invested in both incentives and significant capital improvements for cruises. Decisions can’t be based JUST on what the business currently generates, but what it could generate if we help expand our customers business.

Every board has made this statement of diversification, but has FAILED to take corrective action. By listening to the audio of the Master Plan meeting, it appears we may continue this risky trend.

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