Area Ports Sign Cooperation Agreement

Feb 15, 2011 | News

Regional cooperation is a key element in attracting new industry to the mid coast of Texas, and regional Ports have signed an agreement to work together to bring new jobs to the area. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Victoria County Navigation District, the Calhoun Port Authority, the West Side Calhoun County Navigation District, and Matagorda County Navigation District has been agreed upon for the promotion and development of the region.

“We at the Port of Victoria view this MOU as a positive and optimistic approach to the economic future of our respective communities. We are agreeing to work together as neighbors for the good of our citizens and our region. In today’s very competitive world integrity, friendship, and teamwork are invaluable assets”, said Chairman Robert Loeb of the Port of Victoria. The MOU commits the entities to the efficient and cost effective distribution of cargo throughout the region. Working together the Ports of Victoria, Calhoun, and Matagorda Counties will show that cooperation between deepwater ports and shallow draft ports can produce economic and operation benefits to the region.

“I truly believe this working agreement between all of our regional navigation districts is one of the most important steps forward for the positive expansion of our various communities”, said Arlene Marshall, President of the Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation. “ Water, whether it is through our deep water port, or the Victoria Barge Canal, is so very significant for our future economic development. As our country is experiencing changes it becomes imperative that we must all work together for the common good.”

“Matagorda County Navigation District No. One Commissioners unanimously support this unique opportunity to work closely with our regional counterparts,both shallow and deepwater, and to join in a united effort to expand the synergies of our coastal area for the benefit of all of our constituents,” said Matagorda Chairman Ted Bates, from the Port of Palacios. At recent transportation meetings in Texas experts have said the movement of freight keeps our economy going, and Texas will become the new gateway for goods coming into the North American market from around the world. With the deepening and widening of the Panama Canal, Texas is seen as the logical place for more freight to enter into the U.S. Shippers will use the marine highway system, the intracoastal waterway, to access all ports to get their goods to market.

Victoria Economic Development Corporation President, Dale Fowler, agrees. “With the increasing importance of ports, which are seen as vital intersections of the transportation system, the benefits resulting from our ports could greatly increase the region’s potential market size and investment opportunities. The industrial clients and the location consultants we talk to are looking for regional cooperation. Today, no one community has all of the assets a major industrial project needs. Every community will need to pull from their regional partners to make a deal happen. I am encouraged by today’s announcement that the ports in this region are working together.”

Board Chair, Randy Boyd of the Calhoun Port Authority says that by entering into the Memorandum of Agreement, it will be a valuable tool to help local industry stay competitive in the world marketplace as well as stimulate economic growth and create jobs for this region of Texas. “The Calhoun Port Authority Board Members unanimously support this endeavor to work with our regional partners and by doing so insures enhanced cooperation between the ports that will help continue economic growth and development for the entire tri-­‐county area.”

The mid coast of Texas, and the counties of Victoria, Calhoun, and Matagorda are seen as prime locations for large industrial projects. With the ports, waterway system, the expansion of rail, and four lane divided highways that lead to a market of more than fifteen million Texans within half a days drive, the mid coast is also seen as a future location for distribution centers and containers with consumer goods ready for market.