Funds help port dreams become reality

Published 12:02am Sunday, August 31, 2014

With millions more in state funding secured, Vidalia’s dream of creating a slack water port on the Mississippi River is all but secured.

Vidalia’s ability to patiently work through the hoops required to garner state funding is unheralded.

The port project has been in the planning stages for approximately two decades. With another $5 million in state funds recently committed to the project, bringing the total to approximately $10 million in state funds, the port is full steam ahead.

Critics, particularly some in Adams County, argue that the area already has a port, the Natchez-Adams County Port.

But such critics miss a key fact — having two ports doesn’t mean the new port will directly rob business from the existing one.

Probably years ago when the first fast-food chains began moving into the area, the local burger shops may have cried foul, “How many burger shops can our community support?”

In the end, the answer is: Quite a few.

The new Vidalia Port has the potential to lure additional business to the area. By joining forces and working with the existing Natchez-Adams County Port, the Vidalia Port could expand the capacity of cargo our community can handle.

That capacity, combined with improved marketing, should be able to result in additional business and new jobs in the area, but like the Vidalia Port itself, those may take a little patience and time to come to fruition.