Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Portland Port to Begin FY2010-11 Budget Approval Process

The Oregon state Port of Portland will present its proposed budget for fiscal year 2010-11 for public review on Wednesday.

According to port officials, the $889.3 million budget "reflects a projected slow economic recovery, flat revenues and a transition from an unprecedented high capital project activity level."

The budget forecasts operating revenue of $241.7 million for fiscal year 2010-11, down $2 million from the 2009-10 operating revenues of $239.7 million. Port officials also project 2010-11 operating expenditures of $172.8 million, down $1 million from the 2009-10 fiscal year expenditures of $173.8 million.

The budget, according to port officials, also includes $161.5 million in capital costs (minus labor), and $78.6 million in debt service.

“This year’s budget represents prudent fiscal planning as well as the fact that we still have challenges ahead,” said Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt. “But I am optimistic about the future. Our recent investments in infrastructure position the port well to meet the region’s transportation needs in an improving economy and will help local shippers and businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

As part of cost cutting efforts in 2009-10, the port cut 49 full-time employees, began a furlough program, and implemented some salary reductions to save money. The furlough program is set to be discontinued on June 30.

Despite the cost cutting, the port has recently completed or will complete in the next year about $750 million in major multi-year projects including a new parking structure, the port’s new headquarters building, the extension of the airport north runway, the baggage screening improvement project, and airfield deicing system enhancements. In addition, several completed or planned to be completed general fund projects include rail improvements in South Rivergate and the Ramsey Rail Yard, marine terminal and berth improvements, and several taxiway and runway improvement projects at the port’s general aviation airports.

The more than 800 employees of the Port of Portland, in addition to operating the Portland maritime operations, oversees Portland International Airport, three general aviation airports, and various real estate holdings.

The governing board of the port is scheduled to vote on preliminary approval of the 2010-11 fiscal year budget on May 12. Because about 3 percent of the port's revenue comes from taxpayer monies, the budget must be reviewed and approved by the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission, or TSCC, following the port board's preliminary approval. Following TSCC review, another public hearing will be held on June 9. The port board will considering final approval of the budget in late June.