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Leaders Back Issue 14 Renewal

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 7:29 AM

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A wide-ranging coalition of community leaders is backing the renewal of a levy supporting the activities of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. And while Issue 14 is targeted for Port operations, advocates claim it has a much bigger impact. ideastream's David C. Barnett has more.

Dozens of rolls of finished steel served as a backdrop to a gathering of Greater Cleveland government and labor leaders who stood yesterday in the morning chill at Warehouse A—one of several that sit to the west of Browns Stadium—housing the materials that move in and out of the lakefront site.

The Port Authority was created nearly 40 years ago as a way to maintain industrial maritime operations for the region.  But, in recent years, the Port has exercised additional impact due to it’s ability to create bonds for economic development projects. Deborah Sutherland, who heads the Cuyahoga Country Mayors and Managers Association says that the Cleveland Clinic...the Rock Hall...and Cleveland State University—and the people they employ—have all benefited.

Deborah Sutherland: 51 economic development projects, totaling $1.6 billion have been financed by the Port Authority, protecting thousands of jobs.
Some critics have questioned the Port’s participation in some commercial ventures, such as developer Scott Wolstein’s Flats East Bank project.  Issue 14 will cost 25 cents per month on a $100,000 home.  Backers claim it will raise $3.2 million a year.  David C. Barnett, 90.3.

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