A new report says, building a cruise ship terminal in Savannah could bring Georgia $89 million a year in new spending and create 1,000 jobs. A Miami-based consulting firm prepared the study. It says, the city could build a terminal in four years at the Georgia Ports Authority. Five years later, it could build a terminal at the city's historic waterfront.
The public comment period on the Savannah harbor deepening project ends Tuesday. The half-billion-dollar project is one of the state's highest political priorities. The comment period has been a ping-pong table for environmental groups and business interests.
A massive federal report on the half-billion-dollar harbor deepening project in Savannah doesn't examine the project's long-term impact on employment. Critics doubt the project will bring more jobs. Proponents say the link between the port and jobs is obvious.
Savannah harbor deepening is first and foremost among legislative concerns for Georgia's coastal delegation. But there's another port-related project coming up behind harbor deepening that supporters hope lawmakers take up. It's a new Savannah River seaport that is to be jointly run with South Carolina in that state's Jasper County.
A US Army Corps of Engineers official says, the agency is likely to extend the public comment period on the Savannah harbor deepening project. Some environmental groups and others have said the public comment window was too short given the immense size of the report and its technical difficulty. The official said an extension should be announced this week.
State lawmakers are at The Biennial Institute Conference in Athens this week to prepare for the 40 day legislative session. Aside from training for new lawmakers, conferees may also get a glimpse of the proposed tax code.