It’s no secret that port commissioner Floyd Holcom is putting a lot of pressure on port director Jack Crider to come up with a business plan for North Tongue Point. For those that aren’t aware, this nearly led to Mr. Crider resigning. Rumor has it that Holcom is still putting on the pressure and Crider is still trying to come up with the plan.
I blogged about the port buying tongue point some time ago and stated it didn’t make good business sense to pursue a lease or buying it without a bird in hand. I’m starting to sound like a broken record but when I was on the commission, with the depth of institutional knowledge previous port director Peter Gearin had with Tongue Point (he tried to put a car import deal together at TP), we studied buying TP in great depth and number crunching. We entertained a few potential clients for TP but none panned out so WE DIDN’T PULL THE TRIGGER.
Fast forward to the present. The port commission decided to lease TP with an escalating lease WITH NO BIRD IN HAND. I’m sure the Washington Group is elated. They finally have a tenant to make big payments.
Ok, what was the first clue that the port should not have went into this deal without an anchor tenant. #1 – The Washington Group has all the resources and cash a business needs to make something work and they couldn’t do it. My daughter who is 10 understands this concept.
So what were we the public told? Port commission president Bill Hunsinger said it will become the fishing boat capital of the world (so to speak). What else? Biomass facility. Word has it this is not going to happen. The investment to make TP a fishing boat capital is also not very realistic.
Jack Crider hasn’t delivered a business plan because he knows anything he presents is going to be BS. He’s caught in a trap that was sold to him by Commissioner Hunsinger.
Tongue Point’s time hasn’t come yet. There is too much of an investment to make it ready for any type of economy. It’s dredging limitations are also an impediment for any deep water cargos that would be considered. The last time I checked, I think there was about 25 feet draft because of a rock shelf at the entrance. I spent 13 years on the port commission and lived and breathed dredging issues. Dredging tongue point for deep water cargo is a waste of time to even talk about. It’s a non starter and the feds would never go for it. It would be expensive beyond your wildest imagination.
So, in the mean time, the port is trapped in an escalating lease with no potential source of revenue to make it pencil. Thanks for rushing in to this guys. In a couple of years, you will be realizing your legacy and the taxpayer bailout.
The sad part is this could have been avoided with using a little intellect and simple economics that one would learn, say, in 4th grade.
I’m just hoping our local media takes the time to ask the financial questions and reports to us how TP is doing.
Jack, tell Floyd this is his and Hunsinger’s baby. I would get myself as far away from anything to do with Tongue Point. Don’t let it be your legacy.