Tuesday, September 9, 2014

$858 Million POLB Budget Approved

By Mark Edward Nero

The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously on Sept. 2 to approve an $858 million budget for the Port of Long Beach for the upcoming fiscal year. Two-thirds of the spending is earmarked for a building and modernization program.

The budget was first approved by the port’s Board of Directors in July, but consent from the City Council was required for it to become official.

For the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2014, the Port of Long Beach plans to spend $579 million on capital projects as part of an ongoing, decade-long, $4 billion investment in upgrades and efficiency improvements.

“To remain competitive, the port needs to continually reinvest in major facilities upgrades,” POLB Chief Executive Jon Slangerup told the City Council just before its vote.

The budget projects operating revenue of $346.8 million in the coming year, on par with revenues in the current fiscal year. The approved budget also adds 28 new full-time positions, including 20 in the engineering department to support ongoing capital improvements, and six to enhance port security operations. The budget also includes funding of more than $30 million for environmental programs and projects, such as technology-advancement demonstrations of a barge-based pollution-control system for ships at berth and an electric highway truck system.

Earlier this year, the adjoining Port of Los Angeles approved a FY 2014 budget of nearly $939 million.