Calhoun Port Authority

An aerial view of the Calhoun Port Authority, which is in the upper half of the photo.

POINT COMFORT—The Calhoun Port Authority plans to dip into reserve funds to cover a significant increase in expenses in the coming year.

The port’s board amended the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget at a Tuesday meeting and approved the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which includes about $29.7 million in expenditures.

The increase in expenses will leave the port with a net revenue of nearly $13 million in the red, Port Director Charles Hausmann said.

“We will be spending funds out of our fund balance to cover that, but we’re looking to make sure that we do not drop below an estimated $20 million-$21 million in the fund balance,” he said.

Significant expenses include $11 million for the LD-1 Dredging Project on the South Peninsula, $1 million for sampling and analysis of pre-dredge material for the project to widen and deepen the Matagorda Ship Channel, $2.6 million for a repair project on the AN/NH3 facility, and $2.5 million for a remediation project that the port is required to do in conjunction with the dredging project on the South Peninsula.

Hausmann said the expenses were expected as part of the port’s ongoing expansion projects that will play a role in increasing revenue in the future.

“We’ve been putting money into reserve in the event that we knew this was going to come one day, but we’ve tried to do this in a way that we’re not completely depleting our reserve fund,” Hausmann said. “We’ve got it broken down, and we shouldn’t have this kind of expenditure in the next fiscal year.”

The vast majority of the port’s operational costs are funded by revenue the Port generates from business. While the Calhoun Port Authority is a taxing entity, it only generates about $20,000 in revenue from property taxes, Hausmann said.

On Tuesday, the port’s board also approved a 10-year tax abatement request from Formosa Plastics Corp. for an about $200 million project the plastics corporation plans to start construction on in 2022 at its Point Comfort facility.

The project will take about two to three years to complete and generate about 20 operation jobs, Jack Wu, vice president of Formosa Plastics Texas, told the board.

The abatement will wave 100% of taxes owed on the investment area for a 10-year period. Board Chairman Luis De La Garza said the value of the abatement will be about $18,000.

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Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

I was born and raised in Houston, but spent many summers and weekends in the Crossroads while growing up. I studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and feel lucky to cover a region I love dearly.

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