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Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 10:11am

Atl. Mayor Optimistic On Port Money

Atlanta's mayor says he believes a $600 million project to deepen Savannah's harbor will receive a "significant appropriation" this year from Washington, where he just paid a visit to the White House.

Mayor Kasim Reed declined to give specifics about why he's so optimistic. He spoke with reporters Tuesday after addressing a seminar of port officials in Savannah.

The Georgia Ports Authority is scrambling to get federal money to start construction next year on deepening the Savannah River to accommodate supersized cargo. But the federal budget crisis has made securing funding extremely tough this year.

Reed, a Democrat with close ties to the Obama administration, has become one of the project's key pitchmen. He was among mayors invited to the White House on Monday to discuss the economy.