ATLANTA -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and business leaders in the capital city pledged their support today morning to efforts to secure federal funding for the deepening of the Savannah River.
Reed said it fits his goal of making Atlanta the global logistics center and has been working to convince fellow Democrats in Washington to get on board. However, he offered a warning to a logistics conference on the harbor held in Atlanta.
"I will tell you, after being in a couple of those meetings, it's vital to educate the White House," he said. "... It is going to be extremely competitive. ... We have ports that are near us that would like to get that traffic that we can get."
Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce said most Atlanta executives agreed with Reed's support of the project as a step in making Atlanta the logistics hub of the world. But he said Savannah's success as the nation's fastest-growing port brought another risk.
"I think the biggest danger in this is we've taken for granted it's so successful that it will continue to grow," he said, urging the audience to convince their colleagues to get involved.
Leaders from giant shippers like Home Depot and poultry exporter AJC International joined civic leaders from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Regional Commission at the conference in offering their organizations' support of the lobbying effort in Congress.