Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder Press Releases
April 30, 2012
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Officials Urge Restoration of Funds for Jefferson Co. Port Project
Project critical to region and state, he says
HERCULANEUM – Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder today joined Missouri Sens. Ryan McKenna, D-Crystal City, and Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, and other state and local officials to urge that lawmakers restore money in the state budget for a Mississippi River port in Jefferson County.
“This project represents a true expansion of economic opportunity for this region, creating an estimated 7,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 to 4,000 construction jobs,” Kinder said. “These jobs are vital to Jefferson County and the St. Louis Region.”
Auto plant closures in the area already have hurt the region's economy. The scheduled closure Dec. 31, 2013, of the Doe Run lead smelter site in Herculaneum will further decrease tax revenue.
The Jefferson County Port Authority and county and city officials from Herculaneum, Crystal City, Festus and Pevely began working on a port development plan in 2008. A coalition of local business, labor, government and regular citizens raised about $500,000 to study the plan, and, this year, $1.2 million was included in the state budget as seed money to move the plan toward implementation. But the money recently was pulled from the budget in the Senate.
“We’re here today to urge lawmakers to restore that money to the budget,” Kinder said. “The money is an investment in our state that will pay dividends for all Missourians for many years to come.”
Sens. McKenna and Engler also spoke for the benefits of a public-private partnership to develop the port project. Also attending were city and county officials from Jefferson County, as well as several residents from the area.
“The port project’s strongest supporters recognize this project transcends politics and targets the need to create new job opportunities for the region and the state of Missouri,” Kinder added.