Don’t let port drive area’s efforts apart

Published 12:05am Friday, March 8, 2013

Vidalia continues to slowly plod ahead with its plans to construct a port facility on the Louisiana side of the river.

Critics — particularly those in Adams County — suggest that building another port doesn’t make sense because the community already has a good, workable port facility in the Natchez-Adams County Port.

Such an argument may make sense, but at this point, the proverbial “horse” has already left the barn. That happened once big dollars began being allocated for the port’s construction.

Could construction of the Vidalia Port harm the business of the Natchez-Adams County Port?

It certainly could, particularly if the two ports begin trying to compete with one another for the same business.

For far too long, each side of the Miss-Lou has worked separately. While that may seem natural or even capitalistic to some people, it’s not necessarily what’s in the best interest of the area’s economy.

The addition of a new port facility provides an opportunity for both sides of the river to work together and make the region’s port capacity even better.

That’s best done not by competing, but through cooperation.

Other areas have multi-state port authorities that oversee a variety of facilities that technically cross state lines.

Perhaps the most well-known in the U.S. is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Why can’t a similar cooperative entity be created here?

The only thing stopping us is, well, us.