Port of Kalama commissioners Wednesday approved a $28.6 million budget for 2020, with a $2.3 million decrease due to a reduction in construction activity.
Liz Newman, marketing and communications manager, said the port is planning several projects for the next year while wrapping up other construction projects as 2019 ends.
Capital projects make up the largest part of the budget, with $18.7 million budgeted for 2020. Some potential projects include construction of a new building at the port's Kalama River Industrial Park and developing roads and utilities at Spencer Creek Business Park off of Kalama River Road.
The port's operating budget — the part that pays for staff and daily operating costs — increased 15%, well beyond the rate of inflation. The budget will be $9.9 million in 2020, up from $8.6 million this year. Salaries will be the largest single operating expense, at $1.7 million, followed by dredging at $1.5 million.
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Newman said expenses across the board increased for 2020 and nothing stands out as a single large increase.
Expected revenue is about the same as the last two years, at $15.4 million.
The commissioners approved a salary hike for port employees and the executive director in July. Unlike other local agencies, the port typically adjusts its workers’ salaries mid-year instead of during the fall budgeting season.