I have long heard of Fall River's desire to host a short sea shipping port. In May 2008, Lt. Governor Tim Murray visited Fall River to discuss short sea shipping with Mayor Robert Correia. At that time, Mayor Correia expressed an interest in short sea shipping. Short sea shipping would be highly beneficial to the city and would likely bring hundreds of jobs to Fall River. Therefore, it was rather unsettling to learn that Fall River will not be in the running for federal stimulus money to develop a short sea shipping port. According to the Providence Journal, Providence, RI; Quonset, RI; and New Bedford, MA have applied for the federal stimulus money under the America’s Marine Highway program. According to the three proposals, the jobs created are estimated from 500 in Quonset to over 1,000 in Providence and New Bedford.
Fall River needs jobs.
Fall River needs Jobs for Fall River, Inc. (aka Fall River Office of Economic Development) to succeed in attracting jobs for Fall River!
While Rhode Island submitted both of its proposals to the federal Department for Transportation for consideration, Massachusetts chose to only submit one proposal. The Projo article does not state who made the decision to drop the Fall River proposal from consideration.
We elected a 30 year State Representative as Mayor for his promise that his experience would provide “Leadership that gets things done.” How can Fall River’s proposal for short sea shipping be eliminated at the state level and not even submitted to the federal government?
Once Fall River’s proposal was submitted to the state agency, did either Mayor Correia or Ken Fiola follow-up the proposal with a call to determine whether the proposal would be submitted to the federal government?
So, since Fall River’s proposal for short sea shipping was not submitted, there will be no federal stimulus funds for Fall River to develop its port. The residents of Fall River are owed an explanation regarding what happened with the city’s proposal. All we are left with is this quote from Ken Fiola, “It’s a shame. The state should have applied for both and let the feds pick and choose.”
Fall River is out of contention to receive stimulus funds for short sea shipping. Hundreds of short sea shipping jobs won’t come to Fall River.
…. It’s a shame, indeed.