State Has Eye On Port

Jackson County supervisors are opposed to a proposal to give the state control of the Port of Pascagoula. State Rep. Danny Guice, R-Ocean Springs, has filed a bill in the 2002 legislative session that would allow the Mississippi Development Authority to decide whether the state should buy the port from the county.

The Pascagoula port is one of two deep water ports in the state. The other port in Gulfport is state-owned. ``We need to send a letter to the MDA telling them that we are opposed to this and it was done without any approval or backing from us,'' Supervisor Tim Broussard said Monday. Port officials declined to comment on the proposed bill. Broussard said he was concerned that Guice did not get a response from the port commission or county officials before filing the bill. Guice said he did not intend to slight county officials. ``All the bill says is ... let's take a look at it,'' he said. ``It may be something we may want to do, or after we look at it, it may be something we don't want to do,''

Guice said turning the Port of Pascagoula over to the state could free up the county's funding and reducing the burden on county taxpayers.