Officials with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge are asking lawmakers to file legislation during the spring regular session that would allow it to take control of the Pointe Coupee Port.
Hesitant to call the move an annexation, Jay Hardman, executive director of the Baton Rouge port, says taking over the Pointe Coupee Port has been intermittently proposed for decades, dating back to 1998.
Pointe Coupee officials approached the Baton Rouge port officials with the most recent proposal. While previous efforts have never materialized, Hardman says this time there is a “grassroots groundswell” from Pointe Coupee politicians and the business community to make the change happen.
“We don’t have a magic wand to pass over the Pointe Coupee Port or any other facility, but we do have a good track record of growing and being able to match people with infrastructure and location,” Hardman says, adding the immediate goal for the port would be to increase barge traffic.
Les Cantrell, head of economic development at the Greater Pointe Coupee Chamber of Commerce and a proponent of the move, was unable to be reached for comment prior to this morning’s deadline, but previously told Business Report the annexation was one of the issues he was watching in 2019, saying the move would be a huge economic driver for the parish.