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1/30/17

MIC-MWRA BOARD MEETING / DINNER reservations.

MIC-MWRA BOARD MEETING / DINNER reservations.

 A block of rooms have been reserved for February 8, 2017 - February 9, 2017. 

The special room rate will be available until January 20th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

To make your reservation click here.

To pay for dinner by credit card click here.

Transportation Facilities Tax Incentive

Recently, Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals (IRPT) and a team of Members met with Mississippi State Senate leaders to explore a new piece of legislation aimed at serving the State’s freight transportation needs. The legislation is similar to bills passed in West Virginia and Missouri which offers a tax credit for shippers to use the waterways for freight transportation.

This act creates three types of income tax deductions for entities transporting cargo through port facilities in Missouri. The deductions will be administered by the Department of Economic Development.

Beginning January 1, 2017, manufacturers or distributors shipping cargo by through a port facility may be eligible for a deduction. The taxpayer must increase by 5% the volume of cargo they transport through a port facility over the prior year's total.

The deduction will be $50 per TEU over the prior year's cargo volume. For cargo transported through a new port facility in its first year, the deduction will be $50 per TEU. Taxpayers are limited to $250,000 in deductions per year.

Beginning January 1, 2017, taxpayers operating an international trade facility may qualify for a deduction based on the amount of cargo transported by airplane, rail, truck, or barge. The deduction will be equal to $25 per TEU or 16 tons of non containerized cargo. No more than $2 million in deductions may be claimed in a fiscal year.

Taxpayers operating an international trade facility that increase the volume of cargo by 10% over the prior year may qualify for a deduction. The deduction shall be in an amount equal to $3,500 per new full-time employee or 2% of the capital investment made in the facility. The new employees or capital investments must be related to an increase in trade activities through international shipping to qualify for the deduction. No more than $500,000 in deductions may be claimed in any fiscal year.

In Missouri, SB861 authorized port authorities located in Missouri to establish an advanced industrial manufacturing ("AIM") zone, which is an area that is being developed or redeveloped for any purpose so long as any infrastructure and building built or improved is in the development area. A zone may include any portion of the area located in the port authority's jurisdiction, and its boundaries must be determined by the authority.

The act created the Port Authority AIM Zone Fund consisting of 50% of the state withholding tax from new jobs within the zone after development or redevelopment has begun.


The money in the fund must be used for expenses to continue expanding, developing, and redeveloping zones identified by the port authority board of commissioners. No more than 10% of the total amount collected within the zones of a port authority may be appropriated by the legislature for the administration of a port authority. The authority must approve any projects, disperse money in the fund, and submit an annual budget for the collected funds to the Department of Economic Development explaining how and when the money will be spent.

1/20/17

Water Recycling - Drinking Sewage?

Drinking Sewage?

We’ve all heard the joke: Put a spoonful of wine in a barrel of sewage and you’ve still got a barrel of sewage. But put a spoonful of sewage in a barrel of wine and it changes into a barrel of sewage.

But is it true? It depends on whether the sewage is raw or treated and how it’s been treated.

Nature is the ultimate water recycler. Any drop of water we drink may have flowed through some animal before entering the continuous hydrologic cycle of precipitation, runoff, flow to the sea, and evaporation. We count on nature’s dilution and cleansing processes plus sophisticated water and sewage treatment systems to ensure a safe water supply. We assume, usually correctly, that the water coming out of our faucets can be safely used to drink, wash with, or dilute wine.

As strange as it seems, Mississippi’s water resources aren’t enough to satisfy all our demands. We have been depleting our groundwater supplies for years. Some of our rivers suffer from too little flow during dry seasons, unable to sustain our needs, even though they may flood during other seasons. Reservoirs, once thought to be the best solution to both flooding and dry spells, are a hard sell in the 21st century. So what do we do?

The first thing to do is accept the fact that sewage can be purified and become clean enough to reuse. We can look to our magnificent Mississippi River as an example. It provides both water supply and treated sewage dilution for states from Montana to Mississippi. We can learn from Nevada, where virtually every water drop gets recycled. We can learn from Columbus, where treated wastewater flows to the Cogentrix combined cycle power plant for use as cooling water. We can learn from the Landscape Architecture Department at MSU, whose building harvests rainwater for the native plants surrounding the building.

EPA offers the following terms:
Water recycling is reusing treated wastewater for beneficial purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing, and replenishing a ground water basin (referred to as ground water recharge).
Gray water is reusable wastewater from residential, commercial and industrial bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and clothes washing equipment drains.  Gray water is reused onsite, typically for landscape irrigation.


The next thing we can do is look for opportunities to recycle our water and put these technologies to work.

1/12/17

Progress at the Port of Gulfport

The restoration project has moved firmly into the vertical construction phase, with five major construction projects underway and eight more planned during the next 18 months. More than 65 percent of the total project funds have been committed to date and more than $70 million has been awarded during the past year alone. These contracts have had a significant impact on the local economy, supporting a total of 747 design and construction jobs. Of the 747 jobs, 538 are new hires within the companies working on the project with 155 held by low- and very-low-income local residents.


The unprecedented level of construction activity has included continued wharf upgrades to accommodate new gantry cranes, progress on a transit shed facility, installation of vital site infrastructure and the completion of additional storm protection measures. This transition to vertical construction represents several years of work, and Port leaders and staff are pleased to showcase this visible progress.