This report is given prior to the reading and approval of the minutes of the port commission meeting, and reflects an overview of the commission highlights. The order and events may vary from the actual minutes of the Port Commission meeting when finally approved.


Thursday January 22, 2013 the Commission meeting for the Port of Palm Beach was held. The meeting was opened by the newly appointed commission chairman George Mastics at approximately 3:00PM. The pledge of allegiance to our flag and country was given and the minutes of the last meeting were approved. A call for an immediate recession was then made with some confusion, and the commissioners conducted a private executive session.

The meeting was called back to order at approximately 3:41PM. The days consent agenda was then amended, and Commissioner Wayne Richards moved that the amended consent agenda be accepted. The meeting continued with the Tri Rail Corp. requesting from the podium for help from the Port for acquiring more land for the expansion of the tri rail system. It was also stated to the commission that Tri Rail will be purchasing three to five new locomotives from Pennsylvania.

Executive Director Manuel Almira reported on the port statistics and also gave an informative speech about Cuba, its sea ports, and their plan for rebuilding and expansion. Mr. Almira also informed the commission that the three major imports to Cuba are corn, meat, and soybeans in that order.

The next topic at hand was discussion as to whether the port should hire a lobbyist to assist the port in acquiring more federal money for growth and expansion. It was decided that the POPB would not hire a lobbyist at this time.

The floor was then given over to Ken Murphy of the army corp. of engineers who reported on the ongoing study concerning the deepening of our port’s channel and turning basin. Dredging is scheduled to start in February and should take the channel and basin to at least 39 feet.

The engineering report was given and it was reported that the roof had been raised on the shelter for the locomotive. This was done to make accommodations for the improved tracks. It was also reported that the stone rock scale project had been completed. Then there was discussion of the slabs poured and finished by Joseph Russo Paving, Inc. It seems that these slabs were poured and finished with less than satisfactory results. We were later informed by Joseph Russo Paving, Inc. that the strength was present in the slabs even if the cosmetics were not all that appealing. It was then reported that the granite in the pour was harder than was expected causing saw blade issues. This caused  the stress cuts in the concrete to be cut on twenty foot intervals instead of the fifteen foot interval that was specified. Joseph Russo Paving, Inc. claimed that they would work with the Port and its tenants to resolve these issues.

The meeting then moved to discussion of the parking lot feasibility study. Of all the firms that were seeking the bid from the Port for this study the commission deemed seven of them qualified to perform the work. These seven now move into the finalist’s position where they will be allowed to address the port with a brief presentation followed by questions and answers. From these finalists one will be chosen to perform the feasibility study for the Port of Palm Beach.

The meeting continued with a brief overview of the order of importance of the immediate issues that confront the port, and comments from the public were heard. Then the meeting was adjourned.

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