Dr. John Martin, president of Martin Associates, LLC appeared before the Port of Houston Authority Commission today to report on a study that concludes that more than one million Texas workers benefited last year from activity at the port of Houston. Listen Full Report
“We have done about 500 economic impact studies,” Martin said, noting that he has been monitoring the economic impact of the Port of Houston since 1971. “We do the impact studies for most of the ports in the United States as well as in Canada.”
According to the study, the Port of Houston has had some impact on 1,026,820 jobs in Texas, including 174,852 direct, induced and indirect jobs and 851,968 related jobs. The study concluded that Port of Houston activity contributed to $178 billion of statewide economic activity and $4.5 billion in state and local taxes.
At a news conference following the meeting members of the commission unveiled banners touting the results of the study. Listen
“We take great pride in care in operating our public facilities here at the Port of Houston,” said Jim Edmonds, chair of the PHA Commission. “Our role as the agency on record to keep the Houston Ship Channel open for commerce and for economic development is going to be exemplified here today.”
Edmonds praised the International Longshoremen’s Association, the Houston Pilots and the Greater Houston Port Bureau for their part in helping the port meet its mission.
During the regular meeting, the port commission voted to negotiate with AlliedBarton Security Services for a security contract to provide unarmed, uniformed security gate officer services for the port.
Captain Marcus Woodring, senior managing director of port security and emergency operations, explained the process that was used to select finalists for the contract. Listen
The commission voted unanimously to settle claims of the port authority against Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership and Shell Chemical LP regarding the statutory and regularatory aspects of the administration of Foreigh Trade Zone N. 84. The issue had been discussed in executive session.
All other agenda items were approved. Agenda
All votes were unanimous except that Edmonds and Commissioner Janiece Longoria recused themselves from issuance of two pipeline licenses to CenterPoint Energy Resoruces Corporation for projects on port property.
In his report on selected financial results and operational issues, Colonel Leonard Waterworth, executive director of the port, said operating tonnage is “green” with some minor concerns. Listen
“Total tonnage at the Port of Houston facilities, excluding bulk cargo associated with lease locations for April 2012 was up about 81,000 tons, or about four percent versus last year’s year-to-date and continues to show growth,” Waterworth said, giving credit to steel for the growth. “I do have some concerns. The container tonnage declined 230,000 tons or about four percent for the year.”
Waterworth said the decline can be blamed on the reduction of cotton and resins.
Tom Heidt, vice president of finance and administration reported on the port’s participation in the Texas Comptroller’s Leadership Circle. Listen
Several people opposed to a proposal to deepen and widen the Bayport Channel in preparation for larger ships at the Bayport Container Terminal addressed the commission. Listen
“Specifically, we oppose the creation of a shallow 475-acre disposal area on the west side of the Ship Channel opposite the Houston Yacht Club,” said Edward Matuszak, speaking for the Houston Yacht Club. “This plan fills in and makes unusable for sailing about a fifth of the upper Galveston Bay.”
Edmonds assured the protestors that the port commission is considering their objections.
“Given the fact that we have a business obligation to make sure that we are able to accommodate larger ships in the Bayport Channel, we will be exhaustive in our thought process and fair as we can be,” Edmonds said. “You are going to get a fair hearing.”
Also at the meeting, Port of Houston Elementary School Principal Anna White, introduced two students who helped achieve "exemplary" status for the school, thanking the commission for its financial support; and Jose L. Cantu, president of the Houston Hispanic Forum presented a plaque to the port for its support during Higher Education Day, a career and education event.
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