Lawmaker Looks Into Selling Port Of Pascagoula To The State - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lawmaker Looks Into Selling Port Of Pascagoula To The State

The Port of Pascagoula has been an independent driving force in Jackson County for many years, and some fear all of that could change if the state takes over.

"The port can be a tremendous asset to this county," Jackson County Supervisor Tim Broussard said. "I don't understand the concept of selling something that can make you money.

But Rep. Danny Guice Jr. says his bill doesn't go that far. He wants to merely explore the idea of selling the port.

"The bill does not say 'state buy the port,'" Rep. Guice said. "The bill says 'Let's look at this to see if it's a good idea.' If it's a good idea, it would require a willing buyer and a willing seller. Well, if you don't have both of those, then the whole point's moot.

Guice says Jackson County taxpayers would benefit if the county no longer had responsibility for the Port.

"This would have an effect of reducing the debt of Jackson County," Rep. Guice said. "It would have the effect of all the citizens of the state of Mississippi supporting it financially, not just the taxpayers here in Jackson County."

Guice says if the Port of Pascagoula was owned by the state, like Gulfport, there would be more cooperation between the two. But Pascagoula Port Director Mark McAndrews says that's already happening.

"There are some lines in which we compete in terms of markets or lines or business opportunities, but more often than compete, we cooperate, we do joint marketing. We promote each other's facilities."

Guice's bill still hasn't been passed by the legislature and even if it does, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors would still have to approve the sale before it could take place. Rep. Guice also says his bill has gotten a lot of publicity, and as a result, he now doubts legislators will pass off on it.

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