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Published: Tuesday, 7/17/2012

Man hired to preserve Boyer takes job with port of Monroe


Paul C. Lamarre III, the man the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority hired to save the then-S.S. Willis B. Boyer museum ship, has left the agency to become director of the port authority in Monroe.

But Mr. Lamarre, who worked his first day Monday for his new employer, said he will continue to work with the Great Lakes Historical Society and its planned National Museum of the Great Lakes on preserving and managing the historic freighter, rechristened last year as the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker.

Taking charge at Monroe's port, Mr. Lamarre said Monday, is "a priceless opportunity for me to play a role in maintaining the sustainability of Great Lakes shipping."

Monroe's port, he said, has "a very diverse makeup of tenants that all are having significant economic impact."

Mr. Lamarre said the port of Monroe now handles about 1.8 million tons of cargo annually, primarily coal bound for the Detroit Edison power plant as well as stone and petroleum products.

"What made this opportunity so appealing," he said, is that there are prospects for new cargoes, including wind-turbine components, steel-related products, and other shipments that could arise if prime land near the port were developed.

The Monroe port also may have opportunities to collaborate on cargo development with the nearby ports in Toledo and Detroit, Mr. Lamarre said.

"Mr. Lamarre was selected from a slate of highly qualified applicants and has the training, skills, plus maritime and port-operating experiences to provide immediate leadership for both the development and management of the port," Tom Krzyston, chairman of the Commission for the Port of Monroe, said in a statement announcing the appointment.

Along with the Lake Erie port, the port commission oversees Custer Airport and two industrial parks.

In addition to overseeing the museum ship, Mr. La- marre's job as the Toledo port authority's manager of maritime affairs involved marketing the port-owned Toledo Shipyard, coordinating training events with the Coast Guard and Toledo police and fire departments, speaking to school and civic groups, and serving as a liaison between the agency and the Great Lakes shipping fleets.

"It was a good opportunity for Paul to advance his career," said Joe Cappel, the port authority's director of cargo development. "We're sad to see him go but happy for him that he has gotten this opportunity."

Mr. Lamarre, who will receive an $80,000 salary, lives in Milan, Mich., but expects to move to Monroe "at some point sooner rather than later." His pay at the port authority had been $68,340.

Mr. Lamarre said he also receives a $500 monthly consultant fee from the Great Lakes Historical Society for his work at the Schoonmaker, but he said he expects that to end after the museum ship is moved to its new slip near the Toledo Maritime Center later this year. He then hopes to join the historical society's board of directors.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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