Port Freeport file

Tenaris workers load steel goods onto trucks at Port Freeport.

FREEPORT — The global economy might have hit a bump, but Port Freeport’s plans for expansion and growth aren’t missing a beat.

The Port Commission hosted its annual strategic workshop last week to discuss how to move forward during the past few months’ global decline in economic activity, Port Freeport spokeswoman Lauren McCormick said.

Alexa Crenshaw is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0155. ​

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From the article: “Port Freeport, Brazoria County and Fort Bend County will get the money back they have invested in the project, he [Pirtle] said. ‘Once ACR is paid, and the grant money comes back from TxDot, then the rail district project can be closed out,’ Pirtle said. ‘Then everyone will get their investment back.’”

Fact check: At last week’s Port Commission meeting, the commissioners voted to extend a loan to the rail district in the amount of $175,000, which will indeed get paid back when the rail district is reimbursed by TxDOT. They also voted to give the rail district another $30,000 in operating funds, an amount matched by the counties for a total of $90,000. If any of that is left over after the rail district pays its obligations, there may be a few dollars eventually refunded.

However, local taxpayer funds spent on the railroad fiasco by Port Freeport and the two counties in previous years total $1,050,000, and are now in the hands of consultants, engineers, staff, attorneys, and a public relations firm. That money will not be reimbursed, and the taxpayers will never see it again. The claim that “everyone will get their investment back” is absolutely not true.

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