The Port of Brunswick, should a spending bill clear Congress, is to receive more than $5.2 million for maintenance and operations out of a total of $3.82 billion slated for the Army Corps of Engineers for similar projects nationwide.
The bill — H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2019 — passed the House of Representatives on Friday by a vote of 235-179, mostly on party lines. The funding is scheduled to run through Sept. 30, 2019.
“(I am) very pleased with the amount of money we got for that,” U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, said about the legislation Monday at the Golden Isles Republican Women meeting on St. Simons Island. “Remember, we’ve been a donor port for so many years, both in Savannah and in Brunswick. That is, we’ve been sending more money to Washington than we’ve been getting back. Well, finally that’s beginning to level off and we’re getting more money back for our port maintenance than we’ve been sending up there, and that’s very significant.”
According to the Army Corps’ fiscal year 2019 budget, of the $5,258,000 marked for the Port of Brunswick, $4,304,000 is for dredging. That allows for $777,000 for operations and the balance, $177,000, for placement area maintenance.
“The funding level allows for removal of approximately 30 percent of sediment in the bar channel,” the budget states.
The funding comes on the heels of $11,222,000 for fiscal year 2017 and a presumed fiscal year 2018 level of $4,528,000. There were 3.1 million tons of commodities passing through Brunswick Harbor in fiscal year 2015, and the federal Census Bureau pegged the 2013 value of waterborne commerce through the harbor at $5.7 million.