Port could be epic game changer

Published 7:29 am Saturday, March 5, 2011

If the possibilities of a Port of Demopolis don’t excite you, I hope you’ll get that way soon.

Geographically, Demopolis represents the perfect storm of viable highway, rail, water and air transportation. If you were in need of a port along the Tenn-Tom and had to pick an ideal place to put a port, you would likely pick Demopolis based on its position to the water alone.

Lets add a healthy rail spur, a high quality municipal airport and an expanding highway system and this picture comes into focus pretty clearly.

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A small local delegation traveled to Washington D.C. this week to make a pitch for federal funding assistance. There are a handful of lynch pins in this effort and securing the required funds is certainly one.

Every municipality and little side project heads to Washington when they need cash. It wouldn’t have been surprising if Debra Fox, Mike Marshall, Mike Grayson and others had their ideas been brushed off.

However, that didn’t happen. Not even close. The key leaders that couldn’t attend personally, sent key advisors in their place. Terri Sewell attended personally, missing another meeting to make this one. Senator Richard Shelby sent his Chief of Staff in his stead and she was late to another obligation so that she could take in all that the Marengo County group had to say.

That some of the state’s largest heavyweights are in our corner here speaks volumes. Alabama Power Company and Alagasco have a lot of political clout and are respected in the halls of Montgomery and Washington D.C. That they have spoke up on behalf of this project lends it even more value.

The local delegation left our nation’s capital with high hopes that they made a significant enough impression to keep this project on the federal front burner.

The way you can help is to call on those whom we’ve elected to represent us and tell them this is an issue that needs their immediate and unwavering support.

A Port of Demopolis would change the circumstances of this entire region.

If you live in about a nine-county area, this would be a tremendous coup for your city and county.

For the sake of your friends and neighbors, and yourself, call your federal officials and tell them you support this, that you want this and tell them to get behind it and push with all their might.

You can reach Congresswoman Terri Sewell’s office at (202) 225-2665. Richard Shelby’s office can be reached at (202) 224-5744 and Sen. Jeff Sessions can be reached at 202-224-4124.

A call to each of those listed above could go a long way in improving the lives of your family and friends and improving the economic condition of an entire region for years to come.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of The Demopolis Times.