Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves Chair Roland Bassett was the featured speaker at this week’s meeting of the Galveston Kiwanis Club.
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Bassett said the Port of Galveston operates as an enterprise and must generate more revenue from its operations than expenses.
“The port gets absolutely no tax support,” Bassett said. “It’s one of two ports in the United States that does not get tax support.”
He said the cruise industry represents about 20 percent of the port’s annual revenue.
Bassett reported that the port’s roll on roll off (RoRo) facilities between Piers 9 and 12, which include a Free Trade Zone, have proven successful, following years of inactivity in the area of the former container operation.
He also reported on activities on port property on Pelican Island.
“The port is doing very well,” Bassett said. “Revenue in 2011 is up more than $1 million and operating income is up more than $500,000, for this year alone.”
He said his vision of the future of the port is bright.
“Galveston is in a unique position with respect to container ships which will be coming through the Panama Canal,” Bassett said. “The expanded locks for the canal will allow much larger ships to come through.”
He said ports from Corpus Christi to Savannah, Georgia are positioning themselves to compete for the larger vessels, and that Galveston is almost ready.
“Very little needs to be done, other than the building of a container terminal,” Bassett said, noting that there are diverse opinions on the AECOM study underway to determine whether Pelican Island is a suitable location for such a terminal.
The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves will hold a special meeting on Monday to discuss and consider a contract to dredge the Turning Basin to accommodate large vessels, including cruise ships; and to discuss and consider options available to the board with respect to collection of insurance proceeds payable for Hurricane Ike claims. Agenda
There also will be an executive session of the wharves board to discuss several items; and two committee meetings.
The Public Relations Committee is scheduled to meet after the wharves board meeting to discuss several items, including goals and objectives, the port’s public relations program, speaking programs, a crisis management program, website goals and objectives, “grass root efforts”, “reputation management”, and local bidder preference policy and training. Agenda
The Finance Committee is scheduled to hold most of its meeting in executive session. Agenda