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Port getting much-needed improvements

GREENVILLE — A $3-million bond bill approved by state lawmakers will soon provide the Port of Greenville with some much-needed improvements. The project includes renovation of the dock, addition of an automated grain-handlng facility and acquisition of new ground equipment.

In addition to providing jobs to the Greenville area, officials say the repairs and improvements will directly affect more than 400 farm families in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana regions of the Delta.

Port chairman Phield Parish said the Port Commission began developing priorities in early 2008. Those priorities were set last June, and the commission immediately began searching for funding sources.

“After completing the needs assessment, we put together a plan,” Parish said. “And from that point forward, we started walking through the halls of state agencies, state government and Congress to determine support and funding that those programs might warrant.”

The $3 million is less than the commission proposed, but provides approximately $1.5 million for the grain-handling facility, $400,000 for the purchase of a new fork truck and front-end loader and $556,000 to repair the dock’s concrete front slab.

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