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Governor pushing port to act; worried about losing $500M

GULFPORT — Gov. Phil Bryant says he wants quicker action on issues stalling development at the Port of Gulfport.

Bryant says the project needs to move forward and produces 1,200 new jobs in order for officials to avoid the chance of losing $500 million in federal money.

The governor is worried the project’s unused funds could be taken back by Congress. The money comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In a meeting with the Sun Herald, Bryant said that about two months ago, he heard from the HUD secretary who told him the project needs to speed up.

Only about 1,300 are working at the port now, but the state needs to have about 2,600 total employed there to meet the HUD guidelines.

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