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Published: Tuesday, 4/14/2009

Port gets dock security funding

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority will distribute more than $1.1 million in federal funds designated for security projects at various docks along the Toledo waterfront, the agency announced Monday.

The money will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Port Security Grant Program, which funds projects that protect "critical infrastructure facilities and transit systems" nationwide, the port authority said.

The Toledo grant is part of more than $388 million to be distributed nationwide.

The grant "is not for any specific project," but rather for "preparedness activities" throughout the Port of Toledo, port authority spokesman Carla Firestone said.

Once FEMA formally releases the funds, the port authority will notify all facilities within the Toledo port area that it is ready to accept grant applications.

Applications will be reviewed by the Toledo Area Maritime Security Committee, a panel organized by the Coast Guard with representation from the port authority and other local maritime interests.

Ms. Firestone said the agency may apply to use some of the money for its own facilities, but expects most of it to be spent at private terminals around Toledo where security enhancements have been discussed.

Ms. Firestone said port officials expect to begin taking grant applications in August, with the resulting security improvements to be made next year.

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