A public hearing on possible privatization of Virginia Port Authority facilities has been set for next week.
The Hampton Roads Daily Press
reported that Virginia State Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment announced Monday a working group of state legislators advising Gov. Bob McDonnell will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, July 17 at 1 p.m. at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk.
"Holding a public hearing now is essential to ensuring we hear from those who might be affected by a potentially significant change in the operations of the Port of Virginia," Norment told the Daily Press
In late May, APM Terminals, a subsidiary of the A.P. Moller-Maersk group,
made an offer under Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation
Act to operate the Virginia Port Authority’s facilities in Hampton
Roads, as well as at inland locations.
APMT said its offer is worth between $3.16 billion and $3.9 billion over a 48-year period.
The state has given other companies until this Thursday, July 12, to make
alternative proposals. The state will then determine whether to advance
one or none of the proposals by the end of July. It’s not obligated to
accept any proposal.
Norment has created a working group that includes four other state senators, and seven members of the House of Delegates, many with port facilities in their districts, to advise the governor.
Meanwhile the Daily Press
published an editorial
last week suggesting the state should give other companies more time to prepare competing bids.
"As an unsolicited bidder, APM has likely been crunching numbers for months, certainly far longer than 45 days. It is neither fair nor wise to restrict competitors from producing meaningful proposals that could produce better deals for the state," the newspaper wrote. "We call on the governor and the Port Authority to reel in this runaway circus and provide a more realistic timeline." - Chris Dupin