Port Releases Proposed $1 Billion Budget
Air quality efforts intensify and spur large spending increase
June 16, 2008
The Long Beach Harbor has approved a record Port budget that includes more than $440 million to pay for innovative air quality measures and other environmental programs.
The proposed $1.02 billion spending plan represents a 56 percent increase over the current fiscal year, as the Port's Clean Air Action Plan picks up momentum and brings cleaner trucks and cleaner ship fuels to the harbor.
As in past years, the budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 relies on no taxes and is 100 percent supported by Port revenue and existing funds.
"This budget represents a major milestone signifying the Port's commitment to improving environmental stewardship and security," said Richard D. Steinke, Port Executive Director. "It serves the Port's long-term strategic plan, and will responsibly reduce Port debt."
Highlights of the proposed budget include:
- $230 million in fiscal year 2008-2009 for the Clean Trucks Program, which will scrap and replace, or retrofit, the older, dirtier drayage trucks working at the Port. The vehicles will be phased out, beginning Oct. 1 with the banning of 1988 and older trucks.
- $10 million for an incentive program to encourage shipping lines to switch their vessels to cleaner fuels near the Port.
- More than $45 million to continue the proposed 10-year Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project that would remake three aging, inefficient piers and introduce diesel exhaust-eliminating shore-side power hookups to the wharfs.
- A $16.1 million transfer -- the largest ever -- to the City of Long Beach's Tidelands Operating Fund, which helps to pay for the city's beach and marina services. With this transfer, the total moved to the tidelands fund from the Port since 1995 would be more than $120 million.
- $57 million for security projects, including:
- $11 for technology and communication systems to be operated at the new Security Command and Control Center.
- $6 million to support a pilot project working with the Department of Homeland Security to field test electronic identification scanners for the new federal Transportation Worker Identity Credentials.
- $18 million in funding for the Long Beach Police and Fire departments to cover 100 percent of the costs of their services in the Harbor District.
The Port's largest source of funding, container terminal revenue, is expected to be very similar to the current fiscal year's level. The Port's new Clean Trucks Program Fee on containers of $35 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) and the $15 per TEU infrastructure fee are expected to bring in $170 million for truck replacement and roadway improvement. The Port also expects to receive funding from the statewide Proposition 1B transportation bond measure and security grants from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Port budget is now forwarded to the Long Beach City Council for final approval.