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Corey Mehaffy, executive director of the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, announced June 23 the Missouri Department of Transportation has approved funding for the Marion/Ralls Regional Port Authority, dba Hannibal Regional Port Authority, to purchase land in Taylor/West Quincy for a new public port development.
Mehaffy confirmed his office received confirmation in April of up to $1,670,545 of Missouri Port Capital Improvement Program funding available for purchase of property at the new port site.
Mehaffy indicated these state funds require a minimum 20 percent match.
Formerly the Marion County Port Authority, MRRPA was established as of Dec. 2, 2020 as a political subdivision of the State of Missouri by action of the commissioners of the counties of Marion and Ralls, together with the Marion County Port Authority and approval of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, all pursuant to sections 68.010 through 68.075, inclusive, of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, as amended (collectively, the “Act”). MRRPA boundaries include jurisdiction in all of Marion and Ralls counties.
In 2020 and 2021, MRRPA commissioned two feasibility studies with Klingner and Associates, P.C.
“I am not interested in spending tax payer money if there is no long-term sustainability to the port development,” Mehaffy said. “It was important for us to complete the studies to provide the Port Board of Commissioners with data to inform their decisions moving forward.”
The recent port feasibility studies conducted by Klingner identified companies that could potentially utilize a multimodal port on the Mississippi River, offering rail, truck and barge access, for outbound and inbound shipments of commodities, final products and materials, both domestically and internationally.
The goal of these studies was to learn how commodities, manufactured goods and raw materials flow from producers to markets, and how producers receive their components for production.
Findings indicate there is a potential locally for port facility development at the proposed West Quincy location. It is hypothesized that not only will the local businesses seek to utilize a public port facility, but new and out of region businesses will likely seek out the facility in the future.
As there appears to be both a desire and need for a port facility at the location, an examination of the financials to construct such a facility has been undertaken as well.
“The market and feasibility studies looked at multiple locations in the counties of Marion and Ralls, but the West Quincy, site was determined as one of the most feasible for a number of reasons,” said Mark Bross, branch manager of the Hannibal Office for Klingner and Associates
Mehaffy said the current landowners were eager to work with MRRPA. Family members mentioned they had held this property over the years looking for a project like this that would positively impact the area.
“We are very grateful to the Baker and Dawe families for their willingness to sell this property to the port,” Mehaffy said. “This property is strategically located on the river and will be the only public port from St. Louis to the Quad Cities to offer truck, barge and rail services.”
Mehaffy said his office submitted an application for the 2022 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Grant Program as well as an application for the 2022 Port Infrastructure Development Program Grant Program.
According to Mehaffy, Klingner has estimated the infrastructure development for the proposed port will cost over $17 million.
MRRPA expects to hear back about these funding applications later this summer and in the fall.
“In addition to the Baker and Dawe families, we would like to thank MoDOT, Klingner and Associates, P.C., the Haerr family, Accurate Land Title Co., Special Counsel Cunningham Vogel and Rost, P.C., the HREDC Transportation Committee, and HomeBank for their support of this project,” Mehaffy said.
The MRRPA exists to grow the economy of Marion and Ralls counties through promoting transportation, logistics and revitalization.