The Port of Cleveland approved a resolution at its March Board of Directors meeting directing the Port’s management to work with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the timely start and completion of dredging necessary for the 2014 shipping season utilizing existing confined facilities for disposal of the material.
In its resolution, the Port Board noted that, to avoid significant detrimental impact to the economic vitality of the region, dredging the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor must start without delay.
The Board also asked that the decision process of the Army Corps of Engineers with regard to the placement of dredged material in the open waters of Lake Erie be deliberate and transparent and provide for adequate time for careful consideration of all pertinent data and views, including State regulatory agency findings and local plans.
“It’s extremely important to our local economy that dredging begins as soon as possible on the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor so we can keep shipping channels open. More than 10 million tons of cargo pass through these vital marine highways each year,” said Marc Krantz, Chairman of the Port Board of Directors.
“We know there is adequate capacity in the existing confined disposal sites to accommodate the placement of sediment scheduled to be dredged in 2014. We are respectfully urging the Army Corps to avoid completely unnecessary interruptions to commerce by starting Spring dredging as soon as possible.”
The Board of Directors also reviewed the Port’s 2013 unaudited financial results, which confirmed the Port had one of its best years on record.
Financial performance significantly exceeded its budget projections with a 6.4 percent increase in operating revenues and a 4.9 percent decrease in operating expenses.
The increase in revenues was attributed to improved performance in both the maritime and development finance lines of business.
The total tonnage shipped through the Port in 2013 exceeded the budget projection by more than 20% and development finance revenue was 82% above budget targets.
Will Friedman, Port of Cleveland CEO, said the Port saw its best operating performance in a decade, resulting in a $3 million improvement in the Port’s net assets.
“Our positive financial position lays the foundation for our major initiatives during the next few years.
With the startup of the Cleveland-Europe Express in April, we expect up to 400,000 additional tons of cargo through our Port, representing roughly 10-15% of Ohio’s European trade, translating directly to an expected increase of $50 million in economic activity and hundreds of new jobs.”
Press Release, March 14, 2014