The Port of Los Angeles is developing a new methodology for funding public projects and programs in order to have a more defined, accountable and sustainable approach to public investment.
The proposed Public Access Investment Funding Policy will be introduced for discussion at this Thursday’s Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commission meeting. Port staff is seeking public and Harbor Commission input before bringing the matter back to the Harbor Commission for action at a later date.
“Our goal is to develop a policy framework that affirms the Harbor Department’s year-over-year commitment to a financially significant and broad range of public investments,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “At the same time, we need to meet our core mission of facilitating seaborne trade and growing our revenue-generating cargo business while making environmental sustainability a top priority. I believe we are headed in the right direction and look forward to the input of the public and Harbor Commission.”
The proposed funding policy provides budget guidelines to Harbor Department staff for capital development of public projects and initiatives. Generally, the policy dedicates 10 percent of the Harbor Department’s annual operating income from the latest available fiscal year for the capital development of public access projects.
If approved, the policy would designate approximately $39.4 million for public benefit purposes in Fiscal Year 2015-16 and may be enhanced in subsequent years based on the Port’s commercial performance. The new policy also sets spending parameters on operating and maintenance expenses associated with new public projects as well as existing public facilities and benefit programs.
“Linking public-related capital projects to the Port’s operating income will ensure a funding stream in good times and bad,” added Seroka. “With the ongoing development of the LA Waterfront and our sponsorships and support of a variety of programs, we have made substantial, top-notch investments in the community in recent years. This policy will ensure that this practice continues in a defined and sustainable fashion.”
A draft of the proposed Public Access Investment Funding Policy is available here.