State Budget Would Cut Money for Port Projects

Port Cuts Raise Concerns for Shipping Season

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Governor Walker’s proposed budget will cut funding to Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance Program.

The fund helps pay for harbor projects like dock repairs, ship building and more,

Last year, the program received nearly $13 million dollars.

Under the current budget proposal, all bonding for ports has been eliminated which leaves barely $1 million dollars for harbor improvements.

If this goes through, Fraser Shipyard’s in Superior says facility improvements will slow down considerably and cause a major set back in developing infrastructure. 

Director of Operations, Tom Curelli says although highways and bridges are also important, the waterborne transportation is vital for the economy.

“The waterways is pretty important.  For a boat to come in and be able to use those waterways it needs a dock facility, material handling, cargo handling, transportation, interfaces and all those kinds of things that this grant helps with,” Curelli said. 

Fraser’s multi-million dollar dock improvement project will not be affected because it has already been approved.

But, any future projects will be affected. 

There is still a lot of discussion within the current proposal. 

A final decision will be made this summer.

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