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New York, New Jersey port authority proposes $6.3 billion budget for 2010


Earlier this week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) released its preliminary 2010 budget of $6.3 billion, which proposes $3.1 billion for capital expenditures, $2.5 billion for operating expenses, $689 million for debt service and $44 million for other expenses, such as heavy vehicles and equipment, and computer systems.

The preliminary budget would reduce headcount by 150 positions — dropping staff levels to 6,977, the lowest point in 40 years — and institute cost-control measures, including a 20 percent reduction in overtime and 32 percent reduction in consultant expenses. In addition, the budget calls for no fare or toll increases.

The preliminary 2010 capital budget would enable PANYNJ to continue developing the World Trade Center site; building the ARC Tunnel project; and advancing the PATH modernization program, such as by replacing the 340-car fleet and installing a new signal system.

“This budget meets our critical spending priorities, but only because we continue to reign in operating expenses and prioritize capital projects, which we will continue to do going forward,” said PANYNJ Executive Director Chris Ward in a prepared statement.

The authority’s board will consider the preliminary budget at its Dec. 10 meeting.