Awards contract for purchase of 50-foot command and control vessel

A top priority for the Port of New Orleans moved closer to reality, as the Board of Commissioners selected a firm for the engineering and design phase of the Port’s new Riverfront Cold Storage Processing Facility project.

State capital outlay funding through the Division of Administration Office of Facility Planning will fund the $30.5 million project at the Port’s Governor Nicholls Street Wharf, which will provide a new home for New Orleans Cold Storage on the Mississippi River.

‘I am proud to say the project is moving forward,’ said Gary LaGrange, the Port’s President and CEO. ‘This first-class facility will allow a valued and longstanding Port tenant to grow its business and provide well-paying jobs for many years to come.’

New Orleans Cold Storage found itself forced to look for a location on the Mississippi River after silting and the impending closure of the Mississippi River ’ Gulf Outlet reduced deep-draft access to its dockside cold-storage facility following Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, NOCS generated 718 direct and indirect jobs and had a $35 million economic impact on the local economy. NOCS officials predict the company could double its cargo at a facility on the River.

Board members selected New Orleans-based Morphy, Makofsky Inc. as the prime consultant for the project. The firm’s fee and the project’s timeline will be based upon final negotiations with the firm.

In other Board action, Monticello, AR-based Sea-Ark Marine, Inc. was awarded a $1 million contract to purchase a new 50-foot Command and Control Vessel, which the Harbor Police Department will use to patrol and answer calls on the Mississippi River, throughout the Port’s jurisdiction. Department of Homeland Security Grant funding will fully pay for the vessel, along with Maritime Situational Awareness technology to be installed onboard for $99,250.