The Port of Oakland’s commissioners voted Tuesday to send layoff notices. The notices, giving a 60-day notice of impending layoffs, would go to between 60 and 70 people as part of an effort to trim $18.6 million in spending from the port’s fiscal 2009 budget, according to a staff report.
The port operates Oakland International Airport and one of the West Coast’s largest container shipping ports.
The port is facing lower-than-expected revenues as well as increased expenses, and cuts will be needed to keep the debt service coverage ratios for port revenue bonds at acceptable levels, the report said.
According to a staff report prepared for the commission’s May 20 meeting, the “port’s annual debt service, as currently scheduled, will increase significantly over the next four to five years and we are approaching [the] limits of our borrowing capacity.”
At the same time, overall future revenues will be lower than projected, the report said. The port’s staff said it has begun the process of restructuring debt, and also recommended lopping $330.3 million from the port’s $967.6 million five-year capital improvement plan.
The Port of Oakland’s senior revenue bonds carry underlying ratings of A1 from Moody’s Investors Service, A-plus from Standard & Poor’s, and AA-minus from Fitch Ratings.