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Port Authority Approves $7.2 Billion Budget With 200 Fewer Jobs

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Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a $7.2 billion budget for 2011 that includes 200 fewer jobs, its third consecutive spending plan with “zero growth.”

The budget reduces the agency’s head count to 6,777, its lowest in 40 years, eliminates $14 million in contracts with outside consultants and revokes free E-ZPass toll devices for agency officials and some employees, saving $1.5 million a year, the agency’s board said in a news release. It includes $3.9 billion for capital spending to maintain agency facilities.

The Port Authority, a bi-state agency created by the U.S. Congress in 1921, owns and operates five airports, the George Washington Bridge and three other spans, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, a trans-Hudson River commuter rail line, a midtown-Manhattan bus station, five shipping terminals and the 16-acre World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

“We continue to hold the line on operating expenses so we can meet our highest capital priorities,” Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward said in a statement. “Unfortunately, given the severe economic downturn, we have had to make difficult choices to live within our means.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York City Hall at Hgoldman@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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