National leaders hear of port importance

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

LAPLACE — Following Sujit CanagaRetna’s tour of the Port of South Louisiana last week, he said it should be obvious to legislators across the country just how critical infrastructure upgrades are in the 21st century economy.

“What we heard and saw today reinforces the importance of ports, not only to the local and regional economy, but nationally as well,” he said, according to a release from the Port.

State Sen. Gary Smith speaks during the Southern Legislative Conference briefing last week.

State Sen. Gary Smith speaks during the Southern Legislative Conference briefing last week.

CanagaRetna, who serves as the Council of State Governments fiscal policy manager, was part of a large contingent of local and national elected leaders who visited St. John the Baptist Parish.

The Port held the briefing for the Southern Legislative Conference, one of four regional groups operating under the Council, which encourages intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states.

Senators from Georgia, Missouri and Virginia attended, along with Louisiana representatives.

Port leaders said the visit dealt with the enhancement of Port intermodal capacities, preparations related to Panama Canal expansion and efforts to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Tours of Globalplex Intermodal Terminal, the Port’s public cargo facility, and the port district were included.

“I am extremely happy to have a delegation of southern legislators from SLC visiting our great state and port district,” state Sen. Gary Smith said.

“The SLC represents many great ports so I consider it an honor and proof of the dedication and level of service we offer at the Port of South Louisiana for them to choose to visit our port.”

Port Executive Director Paul Aucoin said the event was a “wonderful opportunity” to showcase the port to legislators from neighboring states.