Port gets a push - OneVoice agenda supported by commissioners
Salesha Wilken Staff Reporter
The Rogers County Commissioner unanimously endorsed the OneVoice Legislative Agenda for 2013, Monday after a recommendation by a Port Director Bob Portiss.
Portiss presented the information after the conclusion of multiple task force meetings including more than 350 community leaders and business.
The initiative will support a large range of issues including the expansion of a four lane state road from the port to 169 and back to I44.
Additionally, the agenda includes the preservation of existing funding and appropriate additional funds for education, supporting the local medical community through both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University medical programs.
OneVoice also supports a number of federal agenda items.
“It is time for us to get congressional delegate support to dredge the port to 12 feet,” Portiss said.
The support of lawmakers is critical to the success of the project, according to Portiss.
He continued to outline the role the Port of Catoosa plays in the local economy with more than 3,700 employees and 64 business operating daily.
The port continues to grow, for example the truck staging area located at the front of the port features 65 spaces.
It provides a parking area for trucks doing business in the port.
The project that was completed this year leaves room for expansion that could double the parking space, ultimately providing for increases shipping traffic.
“You build it and they will come,” Portiss said.
Portiss highlighted multiple projects for growth that are ongoing at the port. The main dock project is starting after the first of the year, he added. The port is also seeing an increase in rail traffic and oil exports.
“We are blessed because the energy industry is driving out boat,” Portiss said. “I don’t see that slacking off at all.”
The port has three locomotives and recently added an addition to the rail spur.
Properties within the port continue to be developed and the progress seems, “to good to be true”, he added.
Portiss believes that participation in the OneVoice program will only benefit that progress.