The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a USD 748 million budget for the Port of Long Beach in the next fiscal year, with more than 60 percent set aside to continue its modernization program.
The budget will be presented to the Long Beach City Council for approval. For the fiscal year starting October 1, 2017, the port plans to spend USD 457 million on capital projects, a part of this decade’s USD 4 billion program to increase efficiency by upgrading terminals, waterways, bridges, rail lines, marine safety and other vital infrastructure.
“This spending blueprint advances the nation’s largest seaport modernization program and our practice of investing revenue back into our harbor, a leading economic engine for this region, the state and the nation,” Lori Ann Guzmán, Harbor Commission President, said.
“The budget reflects this Port’s fiscally prudent, results-driven approach to budgeting and capital improvements,” Guzmán added.
The fiscal year 2018 budget projects a 1.8 percent increase in operating revenue over the current year.
The budget puts USD 16.4 million into “net position,” designating it for spending in the future, beyond fiscal year 2018.
Meanwhile, as part of the approved budget, the port is expected to transfer USD 18.7 million to the city’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which is used for beachfront improvements in Long Beach.
Ongoing major capital improvement projects include the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement and the Middle Harbor redevelopment, a model for green cargo operations and the most advanced facility of its kind in the world, the Port of Long Beach said.
Another highlight in the budget includes USD 404,000 in funding for the Port Community Grants Program, approved by the Harbor Commission this year. Over the next 12 to 15 years, funding from the environmental grants program will help offset the impacts of port operations on the surrounding community.