Area Development
Winn Marine LLC announced, last week, plans for a major expansion of its Clarksville, TN port operations, positioning Montgomery County to become the largest commercial water port on the Cumberland River.

Winn Marine Vice President and General Manager Chad Swallows said the announcement is the result of more than a year of study by company officials, and aligns with the community's overall economic goals.

"Winn Marine is proud to invest in Clarksville and Montgomery County and participate in what will be a major economic development victory for the entire region," Swallows said. "We believe there is a strong demand for a major general-purpose port to handle the shipping and warehousing needs of local businesses, including the area's major employers such as Hemlock Semiconductor and Fort Campbell."

Cargo would be more efficiently transported into and out of the region by barge rather than rail or truck. This reduces transportation costs to businesses and consumers as well as attracting new businesses to locate in the city and county. Additionally, this would enhance local tax revenues through increased real estate values and higher sales-tax collections.

"A major port expansion will make Clarksville and Montgomery County a major port destination and put us on par with cities such as Cincinnati, Nashville and Louisville in terms of commercial activity," said James Chavez, president and CEO of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council. "The net effect will be an economic boost that will help us continue our momentum in creating jobs and improving the quality of life for all of our residents."