A port development assistance program is established for the purpose of:
(1) expediting the movement of commodities and passengers on the commercial navigation system;
(2) enhancing the commercial vessel construction and repair industry in Minnesota; and
(3) promoting economic development in and around ports and harbors in the state.
The commissioner shall administer the port development assistance program to advance the purposes of subdivision 1. In administering the program, the commissioner may:
(1) make grants and loans to applicants eligible under section 457A.03, subdivision 1, to apply for them;
(2) make assistance agreements with recipients of grants and loans; and
(3) adopt rules authorized by section 457A.05.