Port Approves Limited Budget for Improvements

Byline: Taylor Hill

Port Approves Limited Budget for Improvements

SAN DIEGO — A $6.2 million budget for the Port of San Diego’s Capital Improvement Program was approved at the Board of Port Commissioners June 20 meeting, revealing a drastic change in how the port plans to fund future projects.

“When the economy was growing rapidly and the district had sufficient unrestricted cash and investments, it was able to pre-fund the five-year Capital Improvement Program,” the staff report stated. “Today, due to the impacts of the Great Recession and current economic conditions, the determination of funds available for the next five-year Capital Improvement Program will be based upon the district’s projected cash flows through fiscal year 2017-2018.”

With the budget now based on the port’s projected cash flow, project funding will be decided on an annual basis, after the port has ensured funding is available for its regular operations, core services, infrastructure and regular maintenance repair costs.

The difference has resulted in a nearly 90 percent cut in the initial funding available for capital improvement projects scheduled on the 2014-2018 budget in comparison to the 2009-2013 budget, which was originally set at $96 million.

For the 2014-2018 budget, the port received 40 project forms from member cities, 16 project forms from the public and 13 from the port district, for a total of 69 proposed projects.

The projects were listed in order of importance, with nine projects ranked as “high” on the priority list, five projects are ranked “medium, 18 projects were ranked “low” — and the remaining projects were not ranked.

The approved $6.2 million budget allows for the “high-” and “medium-” ranked projects to begin without having to wait for additional funding to be allotted.

Projects targeted for San Diego include:

* Demolition design for the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal: $500,000.

* Construction of a mooring dolphin at the B Street Pier: $400,000.

* Activation study for Cesar Chavez Park: $50,000.

* Modernization of the Crosby Street Pier and relocation of staff at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal: $2.55 million.

* Redesign of the baggage area at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal: $200,000.

* Possible joint use of Perkins Elementary School, in an amount to be determined.

For the other port member cities, projects include:

* Design work for the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan: $1 million.

* Construction of a tot lot at the Imperial Beach Pier: $100,000.

* Aesthetic improvements at Pond 20, on the shore of South San Diego Bay: $250,000.

* Feasibility study for a restroom with a shower at South Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach: $75,000.

* Street-end improvements in Imperial Beach: $200,000.

* Resurfacing on Tidelands Avenue and Civic Center Drive in National City: $175,000.

Other capital improvement projects receiving funding include a boat cleaning station in Coronado ($470,000) and directional signs in Coronado, to direct visitors and tourists to locations on Tidelands ($200,000).

The approved funding may not cover a project’s entire cost, as in the case of the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal improvements — expected to cost $6.2 million to reach completion.



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