City Council Seeks State Funding To Increase Depth Of New Bedford Harbor
NEW BEDFORD – A motion to request Governor Charlie Baker and Congressman William Keating to appropriate $35-million dollars in funding to increase the depth of New Bedford Harbor was passed unanimously by City Council on Thursday night.
The $35-million would come from the 2014 Environmental Bond and would help pay to increase the depth of the harbor by 30 feet. An impact study by Martin Associates found that New Bedford Port activity has generated $9.6-billion in annual revenue since 2015. Despite owning the title of ‘richest harbor in America’, the impact study also found that lack of depth is causing the port to be less utilized, generating negative economic impacts on the region.
Ward Five Councilor Kerry Winterson initiated the motion requesting the funding from state legislature and argues that the issue should be at the top of the to-do list for state officials based on the annual revenue coming from New Bedford Harbor.
“I can’t believe they (state government) aren’t on their soap box about this with all of the revenue this harbor generates,” Councilor Winterson said.
Councilor At-Large Linda Morad and other councilors co-sponsored the motion with Winterson and argue for the importance of the harbor to the regional and state economy. Morad says that the funding to increase the depth of the harbor is deserved.
"We shouldn't have to be asking for that money, that money should have came a long time ago,” Morad said. “I can't agree more with Councilor Winterson. Shame on this legislative delegation, they don't work for what's important for New Bedford.”
The motion further requests the Federal and State Legislative Delegation communicate with New Bedford Deputy Port Director Edward Anthes-Washburn about the specifics of the matter.