The Port That Almost Got Away
Courtesy of news.delaware.gov.

It wasn’t that long ago, Markell and Alan Levin said: “With a private investor we were going to get $500 million invested in the port. There would be new upgrades, new docks poking out into the Delaware, new infrastructure”, and the New Castle County construction industry, labor and contractors, saw that $500 million aimed at them….. .

Monday, February 11th, we finally heard the deal….

$5 million towards expansion.

It is being rolled out as a $200.5 million dollar deal. But, that comes spread over 50 years. $200.5 divided by 50 years is $4.1 million a year.

But wait again. We are getting $16 million up front, which disappears into the General Fund this year, and is gone forever. And some of those costs will go to infrastructure. So if we pull the $5 million for expansion, the $24 million for maintenance over 50 years (or $480,000 per year), and the $12.5 million for infrastructural improvements (or $250,000 per year), we have a lease payment coming in of…..$2.85 million a year….

$2,85 million is exactly the tiny bit the state of Delaware spent on funding Pencader Charter School, which is about to go belly up … Despite state investment the school has had difficulty working with its annual budget, leading to it having been at risk of closure in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013.. In October, 2011, the school fired three teachers who had been reported by the state for being paid a state pension at the same time that they were getting teaching salaries. They immediately rehired the fired teachers as independent contractors, a fact which came to light when one of the teachers was recorded calling a student a “bitch”. That teacher, Bob Lewis (husband of school head Ann Lewis) was found to be being paid $6,500 a month for teaching a single class on morals and ethics…..

We are thinking of giving away our port for what it costs to fund a Charter School that teaches “morals and ethics”…

As previously mentioned, if the 420 dock workers have their union dissolved and make $10 less per hour, that bodes a deficit of $5 million every year to the City of Wilmington and County of New Castle economies…..

Delaware’s seaport creates 4,300 family-sustaining regional jobs which produce $365 million in annual business revenue and $31 million in regional annual tax revenue. Port activity generates $34 million in annual Port revenue.

You can’t blame Kinder Morgan. Anyone would jump on getting control of this port for $2.8 million a year….

The blame has to belong solely to whomever it was who decided to sell the 2nd best fruit and banana port in the entire global market, across the entire circumference of the planet, for almost nothing.

We cannot afford to lose the port of Wilmington and only to get a negative return back on it.

Forget absolutely everything else but money. This is just a plain bad deal….