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|Port to borrow $40,000 for spreader bar|
The Greater Ouachita Port Commission will borrow $40,000 from Community Trust Bank to buy a spreader bar for its crane to make moving containers on and off barges easier.
Action was taken Wednesday during the port commission's regular meeting.
Port commission chairman Ricky Guillot said the vendor required full payment before the spreader bar was built. The federal government will repay the port commission, but the item must be received by the port before it will be paid by the government.
"This vendor requires a prepayment before the unit can be fabricated and delivered," Guillot said. "Based upon that, I suggest that rather than exhausting our general operating account, we incur a short-term debt to issue the prepayment."
Kevin Crosby with Lazenby & Associates said prepayment is required by the vendor to eliminate slow payments and non-paying clients.
"We just really need to get this done," Crosby said. "Paul (Trichell of Ouachita Terminals) has had a couple of clients come in and are basically waiting on it."
Guillot said the port will have no trouble in getting reimbursed from the federal government.
"The money is already there, and we just have to go in and request it, but we can't request it until we have the product in hand," Guillot said.
Once the port receives the spreader bar, the commission will request the federal funding to pay off the debt. Payment should be delivered to the port within six weeks of that request, Guillot said.
The port, on Monday, loaded its first cargo onto a river barge, which will be shipped to Port Allen in West Baton Rouge Parish.
While the cargo was being placed on the river barge Monday, Trichell and others snapped photographs from an airplane.
He suggested the port commission use the photographs, along with pictures from early 2000 when there was little activity, to show state lawmakers how far the port has evolved over the past few years.
"We can show them that if they give us the money, we'll put it to good use and put people to work," Trichell said.
Guillot agreed that the photographs could be used to market the port. He also said U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander should have copies of them to show other members of Congress how federal dollars are being spent in Ouachita Parish.