Port Keeps Expenditures at Current Fiscal Year Levels, Increases Capital Budget in Support of L.A. Waterfront, Security and “Green Growth” Priorities

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — June 5, 2008 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission today adopted a 2008-2009 fiscal year (FY) budget for the Port of Los Angeles. Holding operating expenses at current fiscal year levels in line with anticipated revenue declines, the adopted budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2008, recognizes the current trend of decreased import trade while remaining steadfast in support of the Port’s core priorities for the coming year. 

The Port estimates that construction and other project-related initiatives that it will pursue in FY 2008-2009 will create approximately 5,414 jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

Port priorities in the coming year include: advancing capital improvement projects for terminal operations; advancing environmental initiatives under the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan; continuing to develop and enhance safety and security assets for the benefit of the Port community; pursuing “green” technology enhancements; and actively engaging with the community in conjunction with advancing various Los Angeles Waterfront initiatives in San Pedro and Wilmington.

“The directive to our managers in creating this year’s budget was simple: shift expenditures to focus on capital and environmental priorities,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “The national economy is sluggish, demand for goods is weaker, so we are anticipating a decline in operating revenues. Because of these realities, we need to maintain a disciplined focus on critical Port priorities.”

The FY 2008-2009 budget reflects anticipated Operating Revenues of $403.3 million, a 12.1 percent decrease over the current year budget, due chiefly to lower than expected cargo volume, tariff/inflation adjustments and compensation renegotiations. Operating Expenses are anticipated at $208.5 million, a 0.3 percent decrease from the current year budget of $209.3 million. Priorities in Operating Expenses include increased Port Police and Construction and Maintenance Division staffing, Clean Air Action Plan initiatives, maintenance contracts for Port facilities, and “green” technology improvements.

The Capital Budget increased 29.2 percent over the FY 2007-2008 budget to $308.7 million, reflecting planned expenditures for various Los Angeles Waterfront projects, enhanced security projects, installation of shore-to-ship Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) stations at the World Cruise Center, equipment purchases, and land/property acquisitions. More than $10 million in transportation improvement projects earmarked for FY 2008-2009 include widening Harry Bridges Blvd. and design work related to the West Basin Transportation Improvement Program, which will improve traffic flow along the northwest parameter of the Port. The West Basin Transportation Improvement Program includes the South Wilmington Grade Separation (enhancing TraPac cargo flow); access ramp and intersection improvements along the I-110 Freeway at C Street and John S. Gibson Road; the addition of a second highway transition lane west-bound between the Vincent Thomas Bridge and the northbound I-110 Freeway; and design for the relocation of the Pacific Harbor Line rail yard as part of the recently approved TraPac container terminal expansion project.

Green Expenditures

Included in this adopted budget are several “green” initiatives:

  • Numerous environmental mitigation features integrated into the TraPac terminal expansion project ($18.2 million).
  • Port Police Headquarters, the first new home for the Port Police in 25 years, which will be LEED certified and environmentally-sound ($39.2 million)
  • Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) installation at the World Cruise Center, allowing cruise ships to plug into clean electric power while at dock and solar panel installation along with other terminal improvements ($38.2 million)
  • Clean Truck Program, including the Scrap Truck Buyback Program ($42 million)
  • Clean Air Action Plan and environmental programs such as the Vessel Speed Reduction Program, ocean going vessels low-sulfur fuel incentives, mandate for clean construction equipment on all new Port construction and others ($33.4 million)
  • Pilot program to utilize heavy duty electric trucks for short haul drayage ($5.4 million)
  • Development and testing of hybrid electric container handling equipment ($5 million)

More than $17 million is included in the FY 2008-2009 budget for community outreach efforts which include Port-funded educational programs, in-school curricula, youth sailing programs, local and regional chamber programs and rent-free agreements with local non-profit organizations.

In the coming year, the Port will continue to beautify and develop the Wilmington and San Pedro segments of the LA Waterfront at a budgeted cost of $67.4 million. Wilmington waterfront projects slated for the coming fiscal year include the start of construction on the Harry Bridges Boulevard Buffer and the Avalon Triangle Park. Design continues on the Avalon Boulevard Corridor North and South piers, public open space, pedestrian bridge, streetscape and infrastructure improvements. San Pedro waterfront improvements over the next year include the start of construction of Carbillo Way Marina, enhancements at Cabrillo Beach, 22nd Street Landing, 22nd Street and Sampson Way parking area, Downtown Plaza and S.P. Slip, as well as the demolition of above-ground structures at the former Westway Terminal. Additionally, more than $9.1 million has been budgeted for improvements to surface streets in and around the Port in the Wilmington and San Pedro areas.

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.