Tuesday, June 5, 2012

POLB Approves Bigger Budget

The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission has approved a new fiscal year budget that’s 12 percent bigger than its current budget, something port staff says is mainly the result of increased capital spending.
The $942 million budget, which would go into effect Oct. 1, includes no salary increases for management, but does add 25 additional jobs, which according to the port, is for the support of a multi-billion capital program and to reduce the reliance on contractors.

“Our net spending over the next 10 years is expected to be about $4.4 billion,” port Chief Financial Officer Sam Joumblat said in a June 4 presentation to the harbor board. “In fiscal 2013, we have budgeted $720 million in capital expenditure. This is a $90 million increase over (the current) budget.”

Also, Joumblat said, due to lower-than-expected container traffic during the present fiscal year, the port was revising its estimates of current operating revenue downward by four percent, and operating revenue for the 2013 budget is expected to be flat compared with the fiscal year 2012 estimate.

The port budget is a portion of the City of Long Beach’s overall budget, which by law has to be approved by mid-September, about two weeks before the new fiscal year begins. City Council budget workshops and hearings are scheduled to begin in August.