WELCOME TO THE LATEST EDITION OF CURRENTS!
In this issue you can read about our new Port commissioners and officers; progress on the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base; our budget for the new fiscal year; and events like the Eat Real Festival coming to Jack London Square this September. Plenty of links and resources for you too!
Enjoy the winning photos from our Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary photo contest, an update on the BART-Oakland International Airport Connector project, and a peek back in time as we celebrate 50 years of modern shipping at the Port! And don’t miss the listings of free events including dance lessons, outdoor movies and Pedalfest for biking enthusiasts – all at Jack London Square!
Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter. We hope that you will find the content informative and engaging. We want your feedback so we can continue to improve:
New Port Commissioners
The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners has three new members. On Wednesday, August 1, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan swore in two new commissioners for the Port Board, Cestra “Ces” Butner and Bryan Parker. Earlier this year Mayor Quan nominated Earl S. Hamlin and City Council appointed him as a commissioner May 15, 2012.
Commissioner Cestra “Ces” Butner is the President, CEO and owner of Horizon Beverage Company, an Oakland-based beverage distributorship. His community work includes serving on the boards of the East Bay YMCA and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Commissioner Bryan Parker serves as the Vice President of Davita, Inc., a Fortune 500 company. Parker’s broad expertise also includes investment banking, operations management and law and he volunteers at his local church, Allen Temple Baptist Church.
Oakland Mayor Quan swears in new Port Commissioners Butner (center) and Parker.
Commissioner Earl S. Hamlin has more than 30 years of experience in finance and economic development. Hamlin chaired the Alameda County Planning Commission for twelve years. He also has served as treasurer for the Chabot Space & Science Center and served on several commissions and committees.
Oakland Mayor Quan with Port Commissioner Hamlin
New Port Commission Leadership
The Port Board approved a resolution officially ratifying the election of new officers July 26, 2012. The Port Board elected Commissioner Gilda Gonzales to serve as President of the Board. Commissioner James W. Head will serve as 1st Vice President (1st VP) and Commissioner Alan S. Yee will serve as 2nd Vice President (2nd VP).
(From left to right): Port Commission President Gilda Gonzales; 1st VP James W. Head; 2nd VP Alan S. Yee
Progress on the Oakland Army Base Redevelopment
Since our last newsletter in April 2012, there has been significant progress on the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base (OAB). Working closely with the City of Oakland and its private developer partners, as well as our partners in state and federal government, we are pleased to report on the progress made that will allow us to break ground next year, creating jobs for the region and preparing the Port for the future.
Aerial of former Oakland Army Base – site of Port’s future rail access construction project
$15 Million Awarded to the Port for OAB Rail Project
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $15 million TIGER grant to the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal (OHIT) Rail Access Project of the Port of Oakland. The $15 million is from the fourth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program (FY2012). These funds, along with additional local and state funding will improve rail access to and from the Port and expand the Port’s rail capacity, leading to faster and cleaner goods movement, while also providing vital rail access for the proposed Oakland Army Base (OAB) development.
US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. toured the site where the Port will be constructing the first phase of its rail project that received the $15 million TIGER grant.
California Transportation Commission Support for OAB
Following on the announcement of the TIGER grant, this month the California Transportation Commission is scheduled to approve the City and Port of Oakland’s plans to utilize $242 million in Proposition 1B state transportation bond funding to build-out specific infrastructure elements at the former OAB.
In partnership with the City of Oakland and its private developer partners, the OAB project will deliver state-of-the-art trade and logistics facilities, enhanced rail connections, and increased business opportunities that will support thousands of construction and long-term employment opportunities in the city and region. As part of the state funding commitment, the project must break ground by the end of 2013. The rail project is a crucial first step in creating a world class trade and logistics hub at the former base. The combined City redevelopment and the Port’s first phase rail access project is approximately a $500 million investment.
Port Provides Community Briefing on Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal (OHIT) – Phase 1 of OAB
On Saturday, July 7th, the Port hosted a Community Information Session in West Oakland providing an update on the Port’s OHIT Phase 1 Rail Access Project. The purpose of the meeting was to build community understanding of the project, and awareness of the RFP (Request for Qualifications) process. As part of the Port’s continued commitment to engage the community, the Port will hold a follow-up meeting in September for any additional update on the OAB redevelopment. To find out more, please contact the Port’s Community Relations Representative, Laura Arreola: firstname.lastname@example.org; 510-627-1135.
OHIT Construction – OAB-Related Contracting Opportunity
The Port will select a qualified Design-Build entity (Design-Builder) to design and construct the OHIT Railyard, Phase 1, along the eastern half of the Port’s portion of the OAB. The Port anticipates issuing a Request for Proposals on or after Monday, September 17, 2012, with responses due approximately two months later.
Once this project is completed, the Port expects to see increases in bulk export cargo such as lumber, which is put into containers at the Port for ocean transport to Asia. As the Port attracts additional container traffic destined for inland points in the US, the yard will be used to stage longer container trains arriving at and departing from the Port. The increased rail access at the Port will provide more service options for U.S. shippers, avenues to foreign trade, increased market access for American businesses, and an enhanced gateway to world markets for California agricultural products, in particular from the Central Valley and wine country.
New Transportation Expenditure Plan will Benefit OAB
Looking ahead to upcoming funding opportunities that will help continue the forward momentum on the OAB redevelopment, in November 2012 a new Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) will go before Alameda County voters. Developed by the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), the measure will nearly double available transportation funding. While the bulk will go toward public transportation and transit (which will indirectly benefit goods movement by removing car traffic from local and regional roads and highways), there is funding for freight and major projects such as the OAB. To learn more about this important regional funding opportunity, please visit ACTC’s website on the TEP.
Port Board Adopts Fiscal Year 2012-13 Budget
On June 21, 2012, the Board of Port Commissioners adopted the Port of Oakland’s Operating and Capital Budgets for Fiscal Year (FY) ending June 30, 2013. The objectives used to develop the FY 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets included: ensuring operating needs are met; supporting organizational priorities and strategic initiatives; planning for the long-term; and maintaining and improving the Port’s financial position. As you can see from the graphic above, approximately 40% of every Port dollar goes toward operating expenses, including employee salaries and benefits, while roughly one third is invested in capital improvements and maintenance, and about one quarter is spent on debt service payments.
BART-Oakland Airport Connector Project On Time and On Budget at Halfway Point
BART and Port of Oakland staff recently updated the community on a major milestone on the BART Oakland Airport Connector (BART OAC). Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has reached the halfway point in constructing train-to-plane service for OAK, and girders placement between columns is highly visible and shows the trackbed along airport area roadways. What’s more, the project is on time and on budget. The project, once completed, will mean extremely convenient transportation for OAK passengers traveling to and from all BART-served areas in the region.
This press report describes the very big deal that BART’s Oakland Airport Connector is, as it creates more jobs, tourism and economic investment for the East Bay Area.
BART OAC trackbed construction
Port Security Always a Priority
The Port of Oakland will receive approximately $3.5 million in Federal Port Security Grant funding to implement three new security projects. The grant requires a 25% cost share from the Port and must be completed within a two-year performance period.
The projects include: 1) Expansion of the Port’s Geospatial Security Mapping System/Geographic Information System, a tool to streamline incident management for first responders and public safety agencies; 2) Enhancement of maritime domain awareness via improvements to the Port’s surveillance system and expansion of Emergency Operation Center technological capabilities; and 3) Addition to the fiber optic network to expand communications service and provide system redundancy.
Port Celebrates Restoration and Transfer of Wetlands to East Bay Regional Park District
East Bay Regional Park Distict (EBRPD) Boardmember Doug Siden (seated left) and Port Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin (right) sign ceremonial grant deeds for the transfer of Damon Slough Wetlands from the Port to the EBRPD.
July 23, 2012 the Port of Oakland joined with the EBRPD and other environmental and community leaders to celebrate the restoration and transfer of nearly 8.5 acres of valuable seasonal wetlands from the Port to the EBRPD. This is a significant addition to the existing Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline Park and will support birds and other wildlife that depend on protected wetlands for habitat.
The Port of Oakland undertook the design, restoration and monitoring of the Damon Slough site as mitigation for a runway overlay project at Oakland International Airport in 2002. The wetlands project was a successful collaboration among the Port of Oakland, EBRPD, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Save the Bay, US Army Corps of Engineers, URS Corporation, City of Oakland, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Federal Aviation Administration.
EAT REAL is Back on the Oakland Waterfront!
A Free Festival at Jack London Square
EAT REAL Festival – September 21st to September 23rd
Friday 1-8pm; Saturday 11am-8pm; Sunday 11am-7pm
Tacos inspired by flavors from around the world, curry dishes, BBQ, hot dogs, ice cream, noodles, and a whole lot more of the Bay Area’s awesome curbside eats! The Eat Real Festival celebrates all things tasty, fresh, and handmade with a focus on street food, local wines, handcrafted beers, and traditional food craft – all featuring sustainable, local ingredients. And no dish or drink costs more than $5.
Eating is only part of the fun. Experts will also show you how to make it and grow it. From home cheese making to backyard chickens, you can explore a DIY lifestyle with demos and activities galore. Or just grab some great event food and enjoy the full schedule of entertainment! See you there!