While at Great Lakes Day, he personally met with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development on increasing commerce and economic development in the Great Lakes.
“As the only representative from New York at this conference, I made the most of my opportunity to personally meet with members of the Biden administration and Congress to invest in projects and programs that will increase economic development for our Port and for our region,” Scriber said.
One of the most important meetings, Scriber said, was with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, (D-OH), co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force working with the newly created Great Lakes Authority (GLA). “This Authority will receive up to $30 million a year in appropriations and it has a special mandate to develop the transportation infrastructure of the region. This includes port infrastructure. Congresswoman Kaptur stressed at the meeting that the economic development of the Great Lakes is its primary mission.”
Scriber also met with Adam Tindall Schlicht, administrator of the Great Lakes Seaway Development Corporation on the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). It’s the primary source of federal investment in the nation’s port infrastructure, such as dock reconstruction, rail improvements, road access, storage expansion, and modernization of cargo handling equipment. Although authorized by Congress in 2010, the program was first funded in 2019 at $293 million. Congress continued program funding at $225 million in 2020, $230 million in 2021, $234 million in 2022, and $212 million in 2023. In addition, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), provides an additional $450 million per year between 2022-26. Scriber said he will be applying for funding through this program which has funded $154 million to-date for critical Great Lakes ports infrastructure projects.
The Port of Oswego set a record year in 2022, with shipping alone up over 300% compared to 2021, Scriber said. It’s also a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) and its strategic location at the crossroads of the Northeastern North American shipping market puts them less than 350 miles from 60 million people.