eNewsletter: November 2012

William D. Friedman
President & CEO

Our Port is undergoing an important and exciting transformation. We are focused on our core maritime mission, while taking on important work to sustain and renew the Cuyahoga River ship channel, create new pedestrian connections to our downtown lakefront and river, and manage a unique urban nature preserve. 

Before embarking on our new strategic direction last year, we conducted a survey that indicated our plan is well aligned with community priorities. Today, as I travel around Cuyahoga County and meet with a broad range of people, I am gratified by the enthusiastic response I see for our current and proposed work. 

The stories in this issue exemplify the range of ways the Port is working to support job growth and economic vitality. They also span the length of the Cuyahoga River ship channel main stem, from the Flats East Bank mixed-use project, for which the Port issued nearly $137 million in bond financing, to the ArcelorMittal Cleveland steel complex, which employs more than 1,800 workers and needs a well-maintained ship channel to transport iron ore. And along the channel, the Port is leading the development of innovative ways to manage and beneficially use the sediment that’s dredged annually to keep the river open for business.  

More than half the dollars in our levy proposal – Issue 108 on this month’s countywide ballot – would be directed to projects that safeguard the ship channel for the companies, workers, and recreational users who depend on it. Those projects include development of a sustainable program for managing sediment, repairing bulkheads that line the channel, and fixing the 31-acre riverfront hillside that is slowly sliding into the river and threatening the channel. Other proposed projects include increasing public access to the lakefront, making market-driven investments in Port facilities, and improving a key stretch of roadway for trucks and pedestrians on the west side of the Flats. The cost of our proposed five-year levy to the owner of a $100,000 home in the county would be about $20 a year or $1.65 a month. 

We will continue our outreach efforts and ask you to help us expand our communications network by forwarding this eNewsletter, following us on Twitter (@portofcleveland), liking us on Facebook (facebook.com/ThePortofCleveland), visiting our revised website (www.portofcleveland.com), and joining our online conversation on The Civic Commons (theciviccommons.com).  

We are energized by the momentum around the community and our new initiatives at the Port. As always, please contact me with any questions or comments.

Did You Know?

  • Flotsam & Jetsam, the Port’s two boats that are removing floating debris from Cleveland Harbor, survived the Hurricane Sandy damage. They now are joining local storm cleanup efforts and will be working in Edgewater Marina removing the chunks of destroyed boats that are floating on the water.
  • Last month the Port won an environmental enhancement award from the American Association of Port Authorities for opening and managing the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, a unique 88-acre site on Lake Erie near downtown Cleveland.