The Gainesboro Port Authority heard two proposals Thursday night to begin bringing commerce to the Cumberland River.
The Port Authority Board heard from two local businessmen, Hugh Cameron and Truman Sterns. Cameron is seeking the board’s support to begin developing a new generation of energy efficient barges to help bring commerce back to the river. Sterns represents an investment group seeking to lease the port in Gainesboro for a tourist destination including riverboat tours.
Board Member Eddie Lane said he feels like its time for Jackson County to better utilize one of its greatest resources.
“We have the river here,” Lane said. “A lot of people want to come in here and kayak and everything else. A tourism thing would probably be a good thing. And like Hugh (Cameron) was talking about a while ago, I like what he had to say.”
The Board asked both parties to submit long-range plans before its next meeting in September.
“We have this river, and it’s pretty scenery,” Lane said. “We need to do something with it. That’s why we need a proposal or a plan to see what all you’re proposing to us and what our commitment will be. They’re looking at the five of us to make sure we don’t mess up.”
One area of concern for the Port Authority is a lack of funds. As an independent entity, it receives no funds from the county government. Board Member Alice Barlow said they would have to approach the Jackson County Commission for funds to have a lawyer review any legal documents either project requires.