400+ employee spike expected at Port of Iberia

Employment at the Port of Iberia is expected to rise by the hundreds, after they finish their latest expansion in November.

“If we can use the last expansion as we had as an indicator, I anticipate somewhere between 400 and 500 employees, once we are 100 percent occupied,” says Port Director Roy Pontiff.

The expansion includes 100 acres of land with over a mile of waterfront property, costing more than $7 million with most of the funding coming from the parish.

“They contributed $5 million to the project,” says Pontiff.

Pontiff says the port is situated in a Tax Increment Financing District—or TIF District—in this particular district there is a 1 percent sales tax dedicated to expanding and spurring businesses; it's where the $5 million technically came from.

Pontiff doesn't know what kind of revenue the new land will bring in.

“I cant project that because I don't know what kind of facilities will be constructed here,” says Pontiff.

But, he thinks the port will more than reimburse the TIF District.

“We feel we are going to have an immediate payback on that investment, because we are talking to several prospects about leasing property immediately,” says Pontiff.

“Pontiff says they are on track for a November 8th date of completion and they expect tenants to move in around December or next January. But, it will take some time to build their facilities, so he says he doesn't expect the bulk of hiring to come until this time next year.

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