Port To Be Renamed After Former Mayor Johnson

Port To Be Renamed After Former Mayor Johnson



By Jim Aroune

Rochester is set to rededicate the Port of Rochester in honor of a former mayor closely tied to the start of its renaissance.

The city will announce on Friday its intent to rename the port for Bill Johnson, who worked with local leaders to rebuild infrastructure on the Charlotte waterfront for future development and the port’s main building. Johnson also championed a fast ferry service that became, for some, the most memorable chapter in his service at city hall in the ‘90s and through 2006.

The ferry ran between the Port of Rochester and Toronto for two turbulent years. It was shut down shortly after Johnson left office. A state audit moved many to call the endeavor a misuse of taxpayer dollars.

Johnson calls the ferry an idea ahead of its time that triggered the rebirth of the port that can now be seen in the latest development efforts in Charlotte.

“To hear so many people who didn’t have the vision to appreciate what it meant to have a city the size of Rochester physically connected to one of the major metropolises in the world; there’s no way to buy that,” Johnson said.

Johnson salutes Mayor Lovely Warren’s guidance of new port redevelopment.