$828 Million Port Budget Gets OK
Spending plan prioritizes trade growth, environment
June 20, 2011
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday approved an $828 million budget for fiscal year 2012 that includes significant investments in development projects to expand trade. The spending plan includes $630 million in capital improvement projects that will support nearly 6,000 local jobs.
The budget reflects the Port’s strategy to boost its business activities by investing aggressively in environmental and capital improvement projects while keeping operating costs in check. The 2012 budget includes $59 million for pollution cutting shore-side electrical power for ships, $109 million for the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project and $231 million for the construction of the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project. Meanwhile, the budget also will cut the non-personnel cost of Port Operations by 7 percent, following a 12 percent reduction in fiscal year 2011 and 4 percent the year before.
“We are seeing some signs that the global recession is easing and our revenues are beginning to recover,” said Port Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. ”We are investing in our future, while living within our means today. Our prudent fiscal management is what gives us the ability to invest and to stay competitive in our industry. We must continue to modernize and ‘green’ our operations.”
The fiscal year 2012 budget represents a 26 percent increase from the previous year, mainly as a result of the increase in capital spending. Containerized cargo volumes are increasing at the Port and operating revenue is expected to grow by about 3 percent in fiscal year 2012.
The Port also expects to issue $300 million in new bonds to take advantage of its high credit rating and low interest rates and draw $60 million from its reserve funds.
The Port has embarked on a construction program that will invest more than $4 billion over the next 10 years to modernize facilities, making them more productive and efficient, while supporting as many as 55,000 new permanent regional jobs and thousands of construction jobs.
The Port’s budget will be included with the rest of the City’s when it goes to the Long Beach Mayor and City Council for review.
The Port of Long Beach is second largest seaport in the U.S. Although it is a public entity, it does not rely on taxes to operate. The Port’s budget is supported mostly by income from terminal leases and existing reserves.