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New York/New Jersey makes difficult budget decisions

New York/New Jersey makes difficult budget decisions

Overall, the 2010 budget allocates US$2.5 billion for operating expenses, US$689m for debt service and US$44m for other expenses, such as heavy vehicles and equipment and computer systems, which are deferred and amortized in future periods.

Other highlights of the 2010 operating budget include an investment of US$444m in operating costs for facility security and US$326m in capital security projects, bringing the port authority’s total investment in security to US$5.2 billion since 9/11. In addition US$21m has been committed for the ongoing conservation and environmental programmes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a new Clean Trucks Programme to finance replacement of older, more polluting trucks at the port facilities, and other regional investments in green projects.

The Authority’s 10 year capital capacity has shrunk by US$5 billion to $24.5 billion due to the economic recession, which has caused continued projected declines in activity levels at all port authority facilities in 2010 when compared to original forecasts.

“The Port Authority is not recession-proof. Like all public agencies, we have been hit hard by the economic downturn and have made difficult decisions to make certain that our spending lives within our means,” said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. “This budget meets our critical spending priorities, but only because we continue to reign in operating expenses and prioritise capital projects, which we will continue as we go forward.”