June 8, 2017

Minutes of the June 8, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Les Greer at 12:10 PM. Tommy Fulton offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Scholarship Winners
Jay Turner presented the 2017-18 Rotary Scholarship Awards to Cate Hodges, a graduate of St. Paul’s and Cecilia D’Olive a McGill-Toolen graduate. Miss D’Olive plnas to attend SMU and prepare for medical school while Miss Hodges will attend the University of Alabama and plans to eventually pursue a degree in pharmacy.
• Les Greer announced that a board meeting is scheduled following next week’s meeting on June 15.
• Les Greer noted that the new roster is being prepared and noted that the current roster lacks a number of member’s photo’s. He urged members to get a photo in as soon as possible.
Program: Mike Lee – What’s Happening on the Mobile Waterfront
Joe Mareno introduced Mike Lee, President and CEO of Page & Jones. Mr. Lee brought the club up to date on the following:
• Cruise Ship: Lee said that the cruise ship has become a familiar part of our city’s skyline and has cruises sold through April of 2019. The ship recently sailed with 2,500 passengers and 950 crewmembers and he noted the positive economic impact the cruise industry is having on Mobile’s economy.
• Alabama State Docks: According to Lee, the completion of the Walmart distribution center will lead to an increase of 25,000 containers annually, and that in the future it is likely that the Amazon facility will eventually use the port as well. Steel shipments continue to increase, he added.
• The I-10 Bridge: Lee discussed the future of the proposed bridge noting that the projected cost has risen from $850 million to $1.5-1.8 billion and a construction time of from 5 to 7 years.
Environmental studies continue and he noted that the height of the bridge has been increased from original plans to allow for potential storm surges. Although the federal government will provide 75% this is a matching program and the state would have to make up the difference.
He said that it is now planned for tolls to be put in place for both the new and the old bridge. Some 60% of the vehicles are from out of state, he said, and added that those other states would not be interested in providing funds for the bridge.
After answering a number of questions, Les thanked Mr. Lee for sharing his knowledge with the club and noted that in his honor a donation has been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Tom McGehee