Clarke Makes Bevy of Announcements On Port-Related Initiatives
Mayor Cecil Clarke announced a series of economic development initiatives during a private luncheon in Sydney today. Clarke first revealed that the construction and engineering group Bechtel is in the CBRM exploring possibilities for port development. The San Francisco-based company and several unnamed partners have committed to funding two-thirds of a 650,000 dollar feasibility study to look at the possibilities and costs associated with a potential terminal handling facility in Sydney. Clarke says that funding commitment will allow the municipality to secure other sources of funding for the project. Bechtel representatives were not present at today’s announcement, though Clarke says that the company’s engineers are currently scoping out the Greenfield property at Sydport, where it’s hoped that a major port operation will be developed. Clarke also revealed today that the municipality has applied for three million dollars through Transport Canada’s Gateway Borders and Crossings Fund to support a proposed three-year plan to market the port. In addition, it was announced that marine transportation company McKiel Marine is hoping to make an investment in the port, details of which Clarke said will be made public in the coming days and months. The investment will be facilitated by the municipality’s proposed 1.2 million dollar purchase of 24 acres of property from Sydport Operations and East Coast Metal Fabricators. That property would then be leased to McKiel Marine for 20 years. Council is expected to vote on the plan in the near future.
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