JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon announced that $3 million will be released in FY 2015 for Missouri’s river ports. Earlier this week, Sen. Paul Wieland (R – Jefferson County) and eight of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to Gov. Nixon requesting that the funds be released.
“We are thankful to Gov. Nixon, Sen. Wieland and the eight signatories for their leadership and support of the river trade industry,” said Michael Collins, President of the Port Authority of Kansas City, Mo. “The additional investment will greatly impact the capabilities of Missouri’s ports, and ultimately their capacity to contribute to Missouri’s economy.”
The anticipated release of these funds is a portion of $43 million that will be available for initiatives benefitting economic development, workforce training and education. The bipartisan group of senators who joined Sen. Wieland included: Senators Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Jamilah Nasheed, Brian Munzlinger, Doug Libla, Wayne Wallingford, Ryan Silvey, Rob Schaaf and Gary Romine.
Missouri is home to 13 public port authorities. According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, an average of $4.1 billion in cargo is transported each year over its 1,000 miles of navigable waterways. In 2008 alone, exports generated $123.8 million in net Missouri general revenue, $2.1 billion in personal income, $1.5 billion in gross state product and $2.5 billion in total economic output which supplied over 75,000 jobs within the state. Further, some Missouri ports have seen over $27 of private investment for each dollar of public funds.
The Port Authority’s mission is to foster the economic vitality of Kansas City, Missouri, through transportation, trade, commerce and development.