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Published: Friday, 10/7/2005

Search continues for Toledo Shipyard partner

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has not yet found a replacement to operate at the Toledo Shipyard, but officials report there is plenty of interest.

Manitowoc Marine Group announced last month that it will pull anchor by the end of October. The Wisconsin-based group has been operating a ship building and repair yard at 2345 Front St. since 1992.

With public funds already committed to modernize the facility, port authority officials have confidence the shipyard won't remain empty long.

More than $3 million in federal funds, $1.5 million from Toledo and $1 million from Lucas County, is available to update the facility, although officials have decided to sign a partner before investing the money.

"There are a number of local firms, a number of regional firms, and a couple of coastal firms that have contacted us," James Hartung, president of the port authority, said.

County Commissioner Pete Gerken said officials hope to attract a company that would become more involved in the community.

He added that those involved in rejuvenating the shipyard - including the city, county, and port authority - agreed a company should be chosen before the money is spent.

"We need to do our due diligence and make sure someone is ready to come in," he said.

Mr. Hartung said that once a pool of interested parties is created, then the port authority, which leases the land, will put out a request for proposals. Ideally, he said, the chosen operator will become involved in the design of the facility.

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