Port of Seattle remains in the black while building for the future
December 01, 2010 - LM Editorial
The Port of Seattle Commission authorized the port’s annual budget and plan of finance yesterday, approving nearly $500 million in capital projects and maintaining the agency’s tax levy at $73.5 million.
The budget also invests over $9 million in transportation infrastructure and $11.6 million in environmental projects.
“Generating jobs, protecting our environment, and holding taxes flat – those are our priorities and they are reflected in this budget,” said Commission President Bill Bryant.
Dollars from the port’s tax levy are invested in capital and environmental projects as well as freight mobility projects that improve access to port facilities.
Earlier last month, the port’s managing director, Linda Styrk, told LM that investment in sustainable infrastructure was key to future strategy:
“Because we are closer to Asia than any other U.S. port, Seattle has benefitted by attracting new business,” she said. “Now billing itself as ‘The Green Gateway,’ Seattle is promoting shorter ocean transit times and lower fuel consumption.
In May of last year, the port released the results of a study revealing that Puget Sound ports offer the lowest carbon footprint for cargo shipped by sea from Asia to major markets in the Midwest and East Coast, said Styrk.
“This is a competitive advantage that we believe will attract higher cargo volumes through our load center,” she added. “And, it’s an environmental advantage because those same shipments require less fuel, and therefore lower greenhouse gas emissions, from point to point.”
Projects funded in the 2011 budget include:
? Pre-conditioned air project: Sea-Tac Airport is building a pre-conditioned air facility that will allow planes to plug into centralized air, rather than running engines or diesel generators to power plane operations while at the gate. The project is expected to reduce emissions by 50,000 metric tons each year – the equivalent of removing 8,700 cars from the road.
? Congestion relief: The port is investing nearly $8 million in projects like the East Marginal Way grade separation and FAST Corridor projects in Auburn and Kent.
? Environmental investments: Over $9 million will be invested in the Green Port Initiative, a comprehensive program implementing storm water treatment, energy conservation, and emission reduction programs across port facilities.
Furtermore, added port spokesmen, Seattle is forecast to end 2010 in the black with a net income of $53 million