Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 13, 2015 4:48 p.m.

The Ocean Highway Port Authority (OHPA) will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Nassau County Commission Chambers in the James Page Governmental Complex on Nassau Place in Yulee, FL. The Port Master Plan is an agenda item. Phil Scanlan will present and discuss the citizen recommendations he has forwarded to both the OHPA and State Representative Janet Adkins, reflecting local concerns and suggestions for modifying the master plan. Scanlan has been scheduled to speak following an update on the OHPA website and public comment at the beginning of the meeting.

Audience in attendance at Adkins' April meeting on citizen concerns over port master plan.
Audience in attendance at Adkins’ April meeting on citizen concerns over port master plan.  Phil Scanlan seated at far left.  Port Commissioners Richard Bruce (hand over eyes) and Danny Fullwood (white shirt) seated near window.

In a cover email to his report dated May 4, 2015, Scanlan advised OHPA Administrative Office Manager Joanna Cason:

On 4/16/15 about 20 citizens and three OHPA Commissioners attended a meeting called by our Florida State representative Janet Adkins to get input from citizens on community issues with the OHPA Port Strategic Master (10-year) Plan. At the end of that meeting OHPA Commissioner Danny Fullwood asked that a citizens input document be prepared for the OHPA Commissioners review on the items the citizens present would like to see eliminated from the port plan. I have worked with about 20 other citizens to develop a response to commissioner Fullwood’s request.

According to OHPA Administrative Office Manager Joanna Cason, general inquiry email for the OHPA is OHPANC@gmail.com. The OHPA may also be reached by telephone (904) 491-7422 and Fax (904) 432-0229.

Contact information for the elected port commissioners is posted on the Port’s website (www.portoffernandina.org):

Richard Bruce (District 1) (904) 753-0590

Danny Fullwood (District 2) (904) 716-8668

Adam Salzburg (District 3) (904) 753-1781

Carroll Franklin (District 4) (904) 845-3802

Ron Braddock (District 5) (904) 879-9396

Representative Adkins schedules additional meeting on May 20

State Representative Janet Adkins has scheduled a follow-up public meeting for May 20, 2015 from 4-6:00 p.m. in the Peck High School Auditorium, 516 S. 10th Street, Fernandina Beach. People who wish to speak at the meeting or offer handouts are asked to contact Adkins’ office by May 18th at (904) 491-3664 or carol.hays@myfloridahouse.gov.

According to a press release from Adkins’ office, “During the first meeting [held by telephone from Tallahassee with people assembled in Adkins’ Fernandina Beach District Office on April 16], it was apparent that there were opportunities for better communication between the citizens and the port. We concluded the meeting in April with some follow up topics for both the citizens and the commissioners.  This second meeting is to listen to updates from both the citizens and the port commissioners and analyze any needed next steps.  I recognize that the Port of Fernandina is an important partner and neighbor in the community.  It is critical that we achieve the necessary balance between the need for the Port to remain viable and successful and the concerns of the neighbors and the local residents.  I invite stakeholders to share your input, ideas and solutions on how we can strengthen the relationship between the Port and the community.” said Adkins.

In addition to Representative Adkins, Mike Rubin, Vice President of Governmental Affairs with Florida Ports Council is anticipated to be at the meeting.

 

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chuck hall
chuck hall (@guest_34948)
7 years ago

thanks for the post!

Steve Crounse
Steve Crounse (@guest_34986)
7 years ago

These two meetings. Tonight at the Commissioners Chambers @ the Page Gov’t complex @ 6:00 pm in Yulee, and the Rep. Adkins round table at the Peck Center on May 20th from 4:00 to 5:30 pm are paramount to the direction of Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. As stakeholders in the future of our Home,(This Community), we must show our elected officials we care what transpires at our Port. Our future should not be dictated by Kinder Morgan Corp. We all need to understand what the Ports Master Plan, and The Florida Port Council Five Year Mission Plan really means. What types of Cargo? Solids? Liquids? Hazardous? How does our Port go from 275,000 ton through put ( that was in 2012 ) to 1,350,ooo tons projected in 2017. A 600% increase? The citizens of this Island have been asking that question since Aug. of 2014 The OHPA commissioners and Clyde Davis refuse to give us a straight answer. This is not rocket science. What is their Hidden agenda? Please turn out for both meeting, we need your support.

Robert Warner
Robert Warner (@guest_35009)
7 years ago

I will be simple and brief. I have contacted Ander Crenshaw, about the U.S. Navy’s interest in what happens here. Given King’s Bay to our immediate North, and it’s absolutely vital national security mission involving the deterrence of nuclear war and unimpeded access to the Atlantic Ocean, I think it – and our entire nation – has a critical interest, for various speculative reasons. I also think that my opinion about our local point of view is not too relevant – my neighbors know what they think important, and thus I am staying out of this area. I also think that allowing an energy giant, such as Kinder Morgan, to control our local future is wrong and dangerous for many reasons transcending business activity. I also think that an approach that would allow our naturally given port resources to focus on a world class scientific, maritime and environmental training perspective would benefit all of us, young and old, business and educationally oriented, enormously. Who or what corporation wins, otherwise.

Eric Bartelt
Eric Bartelt(@ericbarteltgmail-com)
7 years ago
Reply to  Robert Warner

One aspect of the Port issue that doesn’t appear to be discussed much by OHPA is what happens to the Port facility if it is unable to recover. Are there alternative uses for the facility that would be a better fit for the community and generate greater economic benefit locally? Mr. Warner’s “world class scientific, maritime and environmental training” seems to suggest a research facility. Such a facility, perhaps associated with a major university, might focus on studying the impacts from sea level rise on coastal communities, the environmental impacts of the offshore drilling coming to the east coast, and other related maritime issues. An educational facility such as this would be of great benefit to Fernandina and Nassau County – it adds a desirable component to our community we don’t now have. Another possible use for the facility might be as service and repair facility for yachts in the 60 to 150 foot size range. This would provide many more jobs than the Port now provides, many of which would be high paying. It would also spawn the smaller crafts businesses that provide custom work needed for refurbishing yachts. There is currently a backlog at other such service facilities in Florida. Fernandina is ideally located for this and has the kind of direct ocean access and deep water that would make such a facility attractive. Either of these uses would avoid all those current issues pertaining to toxic chemicals, coal, LNG, truck traffic and cruise ship terminals.

Steve Crounse
Steve Crounse (@guest_35123)
7 years ago

Well it’s hard to put into words, my thoughts on the OHPA Commissioners meeting last night. It’s especially difficult, in an open forum. It started out well, Phil Scanlan, Medardo Monser, Faith Ross, and Mike Harrison shared their concerns and Issues confronting the Port and this City, Commissioner Fullwood suggested that the OHPA Commissioners should entertain the omission in the Master Plan of the Cruise Ship Terminal, A Oil Refinery on Amelia Island, and a Coal distribution area at the Port. That’s when the Meeting went south real fast. Commissioner Franklin shared his thoughts on not changing anything on their Master Plan, Asking why Rep. Adkins would or should have any input into their Master Plan or the Port Issues?. The Issue of the Master Plan being approved by the Port Commissioner prior to It’s submission to the city planning advisory board, or if in fact the OHPA Commissioners ever approved it, Commissioner Fullwood said yes Commissioner Bruce said no. Later on in the discussion, Bruce said he really didn’t know, as he was in Europe at the time? Really. The Port Director, Val Schwec, tried to calm the commissioners down, and get them focused. He and commissioner Fullwood were the only adults at the Dias. Commissioner Bruce continues to scold the citizens of this Island for their concerns. He’s continues to say “just trust us, we know better than you” Folks this group of people could not manage an Ice Cream stand with more than One Flavor. It’s time to revoke their 74 year old charter. The County/ City Commissioners could much better control the future of the Port of Fernandina. Mr. Scanlan, told the Commissioners that their financials “Just didn’t make sense”That after, $57,000,000 dollars in Capital spending at the Port. In ten years, the end result would be a negative ($40,000,000 ) Didn’t seem to concern Commissioner Bruce at all. Wow. Looking forward to the May 20th meeting at the Peck Center. See ya all there.

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