PORT OF ALBANY 'STILL THRIVING'

Cargo tonnage rose 6%, longshore hours up 54% through October

ERIC ANDERSON DEPUTY BUSINESS EDITOR
Section: Business,  Page: C1

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008

ALBANY -- This year has been a strong one for the Port of Albany, with cargo tonnage up 6 percent through October and the number of longshore hours worked up 54 percent.


The figures were released Wednesday during the monthly meeting of the Albany Port District Commission.


"We've had a very busy year. We're still thriving," said Terrence Hurley, the port's chief financial officer.


The port commission approved a 2009 budget, which projects revenue of $4.8 million and operating costs of $3.7 million. The budget includes a wage freeze for all except maintenance staff, who will receive 4 percent raises, said Robert Cross, chairman of the commission.


The bulk of the port's revenue comes from rent, which is expected to account for $3 million of the total. Dockage and wharfage fees together total another $800,000.


The port is moving ahead with plans to replace 500 feet of the oldest section of wharf on the Albany side of the Hudson River.


The project was scaled back when bids came in too high. Replacing 1,000 feet of wharf will now be done in phases.


C.D. Perry of Troy will replace the first 500 feet for $7.639 million.


Also on Wednesday, members of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission discussed the results of its study to measure the port's economic impact on the region.


Among the findings:


The port and its tenants account for $428.5 million of the Capital Region's $70.1 billion in gross product. By comparison, the University at Albany accounts for $1.56 billion, while Skidmore College accounts for $197 million. The figures measure only direct spending by the port and its tenants.


The port and its tenants also account for 1,382 jobs in the Capital Region.


Wages and benefits by the port and its tenants total $82.7 million.





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The port and its tenants also account for 1,382 jobs in the Capital Region.