Lorain Port Authority Facts

  • The Lorain Port Authority was the second port authority created in Ohio. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority was the first, while the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority was the third.
  • Of the 10 1,000-foot vessels currently in operation on the Great Lakes, 5 were built in Lorain. The first 1,000-foot vessel built in Lorain was the James R. Barker, which was launched in 1976.
  • The 1,000-foot vessel is capable of carrying 60,000 tons of iron ore. This is equivalent to 3,000 truckloads of material.
  • Mary Jo Cook was the first 'Chairwoman' of a port authority board of directors in the United States.
  • In the 1980's, the Lorain Port Authority repaid all of the money provided by the City in the early years to assist in initial operations.
  • The Lorain Port Authority has the only Marine Patrol Program operating in the State of Ohio not administered by a police or sheriff department.
  • Since 1990, local tax dollars have generated $8.5 million in matching funds from the State and Federal governments to support port projects.
  • The Black River Wharf Boat Launch Ramp was presented with a national Outstanding Project Award for its design in 1997.
  • In 2009 the Port receives $3.3 million grant to rehabilitate the MIle Long Pier with funds from ARRA.
  • In 2010 the Port receives a $475,000.00 grant to build a Ferry Terrminal Support Building.
  • In October of 2012, the Follow the Fish art sculpture at the Black River Landing wins a Lorain County Beautiful Award.
  • In October of 2012, the Mile long Pier project wins a Lorain County Beautiful Award.

Board Membership

Since 1964, over fifty (50) individuals, representing all walks of life, have served on the Board of Directors. The Mayor appoints each board member with consent from City Council. Each member serves a four-year term and terms are staggered. Since its creation, the Lorain Port Authority has been non-partisan in nature. The Lorain City Council ordinance creating the agency stipulated that membership shall not consist or more than five members of a single political party.

Current Board Members

  • Chair - Carl Nielsen
  • Vice-Chair Barbara Cook
  • Stephen Bansek Jr.
  • Thomas Brown
  • Connie Carr
  • Roberto Davila
  • Bradly Mullins
  • Neil Sommers
  • Harry Williamson

Executive Director

  • Richard M. Novak 1987-Present

Lorain Port Authority Board Meetings

The Lorain Port Authority's Board of Directors meet at 7pm the second Tuesday of every month at the Ferry Terminal Building located at 319 Black River Lane. All Port Authority Board meetings are open to the general public and media.