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Miss-Lou’s ports need to communicate

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came to the Miss-Lou last week, and when he left, the Vidalia port was $5 million closer to fruition.

For the state’s investment, Jindal said, the state should receive $60 million in return. That’s an amazing return on investment, one that any private sector investor would love to have.

The governor said 1-in-5 jobs in Louisiana are dependent on a local port authority. That speaks volumes to the importance of Louisiana’s use of the state’s God-given waterways.

Jindal’s announcement of additional funds came on the heels of the $5 million in state funding already approved by the Louisiana Legislature earlier this year.

The $10 million in cash will pay for approximately 25 percent of the estimated $39 million total cost of the port.

With that much cash committed, the horse has left the barn on the Vidalia port. It’s going to happen now.

Before any concrete is poured on the new Vidalia port, we urge Vidalia and Adams County port officials to continue preliminary talks begun recently to consider how the two ports might work together.

If both ports begin to compete with one another for the same pool of business, their competition will drive pricing down and make it a lose-lose proposition for each.

Both sides of the river must realize the global pie is big enough for all, and we can take a bigger piece if we use two forks, working in tandem.