Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

JPA and its quest for money

Isn’t it interesting?  JPA has aggresively pursued Hanjin to locate here (the signing ceremony is today) and they have aggressively pursued a cruise terminal.  Now they are announcing they have no money.  They do still intend to issue hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds for Hanjin, that Hanjin will supposedly repay over the terms of the 30 year lease they are signing toay. But I’m guessing the credit crunch news probably won’t make the Hanjin folks feel real comfortable with the leadership of JPA. 

Seems with the national credit crunch, JP Morgan Chase has refused to renew JPA’s $85 million short term borrowing agreement after the Port has already expended $24 million of it.  The Port is set to vote on another line of credit – this one for $50 million with Suntrust.  However, $24 million of that amount will go to pay back JP Morgan Chase, leaving them with only $26 million at the end of the day.  That may be enough to design and engineering of the Hanjin Terminal, but what about the preliminary esimates of $60 million for the Cruise Terminal?

Just another example of  Port officials making grandiose plans without doing their homework first.  That fits right in with the series of missteps that got them where they are now – attracting large shipping companies with no rail line available on Port property and insufficient roads to handle the truck traffic that will come with the shipping companies (Peyton is trying to fix that one by putting it on the backs of taxpayers through the extension of the local option gas tax); locating the Cruise Terminal at Sisters Creek; trying to lease land from the Navy; trying to  force an unwilling property owner to sell his land to them – unsuccessfully; or trying to take property through eminent domain – again unsucessfully.   Or the big one – the contract improprieties that the FBI is investigating.

No wonder the Port was so willing to put off the Cruise Terminal vote in City Council last night.


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