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Port of S'side mulls preliminary budget

Final budget approval set for this November

Calling it "pretty much business as usual," Port of Sunnyside Finance Officer Carol Carter presented a preliminary budget for 2007 during the port commissioners' study session last night.

The port is proposing a budget of just over $689,000 for its general fund, an increase of less than one percent over 2006.

The port's primary source of income for the preliminary budget in 2007 is a proposed total of $462,540 in property tax levies. In accordance with state law, that is one percent over last year's tax revenues. Land rentals are another source of income the port anticipates for 2007.

Carter also presented a preliminary budget for the port's industrial wastewater treatment plant, which is funded primarily through fees the port collects from users of the plant.

"We did our level best to keep things as low as possible," Carter said of a preliminary wastewater plant budget for 2007 that calls for a two-and-a-half percent increase to just over $3.1 million.

One of the factors for the small budget increase, she said, was the rising price of fuel. She said higher fuel prices not only impact the port's equipment operations, but the costs of materials delivered by freight vehicles.

In other port budget news, Carter presented for the first time a list of items to consider for future capitol expenses, ranging from tools ($3,000) to infrastructure for the port's East Edison property ($4 million).

More of a wish list at this point, some of the items, such as East Edison, will require grant funding.

"This isn't something that's necessarily going to happen next year or in the next two or three years," Carter said during last night's commissioner's meeting.

Any items on the proposed capital budget would need to first be considered individually by port commissioners.

Regarding the preliminary budgets for the port and the wastewater plant, port commissioners will consider those through November when they will approve a final budget.

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