Florida commits $288 million in seaport infrastructure improvements including Port Everglades

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Governor Rick Scott today in his State of the State address emphasized the need for strategic infrastructure investments to grow Florida’s economy, highlighting his budget recommendation of $288 million in seaport improvements, including more than $35 million for Port Everglades in the state’s 2013/14 budget.

“Governor Scott clearly recognizes the need to invest in Florida’s future through its seaports, which create high-wage jobs through capital improvements and increases in international trade and cruise travel,” says Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak.

During his address, the governor recognized the importance of Florida’s 15 seaports working together with the manufacturing industry to create jobs.

The strategic seaport investments include improving connectivity for enhanced freight movement, enhancing existing berths and terminals, strategic dredging of channels, and increasing capacity for larger ships both for cargo and cruise. These investments are complemented by the Governor’s business development initiatives such as removing the manufacturing equipment tax, which together will result in increased exports, further promoting job growth in Florida.

As one of South Florida’s leading economic powerhouses, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations.  Already one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, Port Everglades is also one of the nation’s leading container ports and South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels.  The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $143 million in Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012).  It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations.   The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades is approximately $15.3 billion.  More than 160,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including almost 11,400 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades.

More information on Port Everglades, which is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, is available on the Internet at porteverglades.net  or e-mailing PortEverglades@broward.org .

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