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Officials await master plan

Officials await master plan

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Ken Eriksen has spent the last 12 months working on a master plan for Cates Landing, and within the next two weeks he is expected to reveal a preliminary draft of his report to the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority.
Eriksen is senior vice president of informa economics, the Memphis consulting firm hired by the port authority to draft a master plan for the Cates Landing project.
The master plan is seen as a critical element to the success of the $20 million Lake County riverport, which is scheduled to open within the next two months. Low water conditions on the Mississippi river have delayed the completion of the port.
The Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority met Wednesday morning at the Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce and port authority chairman Jimmy Williamson announced he expects to have a draft of the master plan in his hands within the next two weeks.
With the port’s official opening expected by March, there is a growing sense of urgency kicking in for the hiring of a port operator and a master plan.
Eriksen’s report is expected to address both those issues and considerably more.
The port authority is paying informa economics $144,000 for the master plan.
The Memphis-based consulting firm is considered a world leader in broad-based domestic and international agricultural and commodity market research. The company also performs market analysis, evaluation and consulting for its clients.
Informa economics was founded in 1977 and serves hundreds of firms, institutions and trade organizations worldwide.
The master plan from informa economics will serve as a basic business plan for the port operator, which has yet to be hired.
Once operational, Cates Landing is expected to have a major economic impact on the region.
The port will include a 9,000-foot slack-water harbor with an intermodal dock and freight transfer system, providing truck and barge connections. The multi-million dollar port complex includes a 350-acre industrial park and a 40,000-square-foot warehouse that is currently under construction at the port site. There are also plans in the works to build a rail line to the riverport.

Published in The Messenger 1.10.13

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