The state legislator of Florida has approved a funding increase of US$10 to $25 million under the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development (FSTED) initiative, which will provide Florida’s ports with more money to build warehouses, docks and other infrastructure in the coming year, of which Port Manatee will benefit, according to the Bradenton Herald.
Carlos Buqueras, Executive Director of Port Manatee, said: “FSTED money is an important tool in improving his port’s facilities.
“The port has two current projects on the books that have been allocated $4.8 million in FSTED funds since 2011.
“That money is matched at a ratio of at least 50-50 by the port. FSTED funds applied to ship berth construction projects must be matched at a 75% level locally.”
The funding could also be used to give the port a competitive advantage, particularly in the wake of the Panama Canal Expansion, which is due to be completed on June 30, 2016, as East and West Coast ports compete to divert cargo to its ports.