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Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 3:29am

Deal: Army Backs Savannah Port Funding

Gov. Nathan Deal says a federal official has recommended funding to dredge the Port of Savannah in the next federal budget.

Deal made the remarks during a panel discussion Tuesday after the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers gave a long-awaited approval for the $652 million project to deepen the port so it can accommodate supersized cargo ships.

The Republican governor said the assistant Army secretary for civil works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, recommended the funding in a letter informing Congress of the agency's approval. That could happen two ways. Deal said Congress could increase the project spending approved in an old project authorization from years ago. The cost of the project has increased since that authorization was passed.

Deal said Congress could also authorize the spending in a future budget bill.

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