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Gold Line Deals with Monrovia Appear Imminent

Gold Line officials and the city have reached agreements on several parts of a critical land deal needed for the Foothill Extension to progress.

The Gold Line Construction Authority has reached key settlements with Monrovia in the ongoing effort to buy the city's land for a critical maintenance yard project, and the deals now await approval by a judge.

The Monrovia City Council will consider three resolutions Tuesday that are contingent on a judge approving several agreements between the city and GLCA. The agreements are part of the eminent domain court proceedings that the GLCA pursued after a $56 million deal between the two parties fell through.

The city had to split up its original agreement with the GLCA after the state eliminated redevelopment agencies, effectively nullifying a previous agreement reached between the city's redevelopment agency and the Gold Line.

"With redevelopment gone, we've had to take the agreement that we made and break it up into smaller agreements," said Monrovia Mayor Lutz in an interview. "Every single step is an important step and unfortunately it has to be in these steps now."

The most important part of the deal--the purchase price of the land--is still being negotiated, Lutz said.

"The big one is the actual sale of the property. We're working on that still," Lutz said.

Under the agreements to be voted upon by the City Council Tuesday, the GLCA would pay $15.7 million for public improvements on the land on Evergreen Avenue that will serve as the site for a Foothill Extension rail maintenance yard. The money will go toward improving sidewalks, intersections, freeway underpasses, and other infrastructure.

The GLCA will also pay $750,000 to improve intersections at Myrtle Avenue and Duarte Road, California Avenue and Duarte Road, and Mountain Avenue and Duarte Road, according to a council agenda report.

If the judge approves the settlement, the city will pay the GLCA for any legal costs it incurs through eminent domain proceedings to acquire land from a developer needed for a 350-space parking structure that the Gold Line will pay to construct. In return, the GLCA will give the city the Historic Train Depot near Duarte Road and Myrtle Avenue.

Finally, the agreement calls for the city to reimburse the GLCA for up to $200,000 in legal costs it incurred while fighting lawsuits brought by George Brokate, the local property owner who recently reached a settlement with to sell the Gold Line his land for $24 million.

The city would also be on the hook for up to $650,000 in environmental remediation costs for the property it is selling, according to a council agenda report.

Stephen McCarthy February 23, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Well said Gayle! The lack of restrooms at ALL rail stations is appalling! Partly, it's been an economic decision. It costs less in the short term to not install and maintain restrooms, but the long term costs of cleaning up stairwells and elevators, to say nothing of the health risks and loss of ridership because of the nasty surroundings is not worth it! Why is it that in this country, we seem to demonize a natural function, and fear that "Bad Things Happen" in public restrooms. On the issue of not giving up seats, it's a symptom of the breakdown in society. On the issue of parking, yeah, for this to work, the parking MUST be free! If the city or the MTA (I don't know which has control over this) charges for parking, people will stay away in droves. Make it EASIER for people to ride and they will. Now, if we can get them to install sound barriers at Madre and Allen...
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Thanks for the positive feedback, Stephen. I do have an app I keep on the iPad and iPhone that may be of value to some. It's put out by Charmin and is called "Sit or Squat." It tells you where public restrooms are located in certain geographical locales. It's a don't leave home without it app. The elevators at Pershing Square in Downtown were so badly maintained and cleaned, they were developing black mold. I wound up having to call one of the County Supervisor's offices to get that remedied. The mass transit options are well worth the while and make it so much better in terms of stress and traffic. The light rail and subways are a tremendous help. But there need to be accommodations for mother nature along the way. And for those who ride, if you Tweet, metro is EXTREMELY responsive when you sent a Tweet to their attention. When there have been a few issues on the train, sending them a message via Twitter gets responded to quickly. @metrolosangeles
Jerry A February 23, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Gayle, you are sure asking for a lot of extra perks from government. Restrooms at every train station. (It's not going to happen even though all of us wish there were restrooms at the stations. Think sex crimes, drugs and the homeless taking bird baths. ) Extra cars on the line so you don't end up having to stand. Trolleys to take who from the station to Old Town Monrovia ? From my observations, people don't take light rail to go shopping. I just don't see that many people carrying shopping bags who use light rail in L.A. You should really consider purchasing a car and using it to commute. It would save the tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars and you will discover you can get from Monrovia to downtown L.A. in less than half the time that it takes by using the Gold Line. The only thing you have to worry about is being car jacked. Remember that light rail is very expensive to operate, it can't support itself. It has to be subsidised by the 99 % for the less than the 1 % who use it. Kind of sounds like what the OWS are always complaining about. ;-)
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Jerry, are you the King of (False) Assumptions about other people? There you go again. I have a car. I drive it to the Gold Line Daily. I would have taken the bus to the station, but they eliminated the one of Foothill. I followed behind the bus from the City of Pasadena that was bringing its citizens into the station, and I've followed the one from Sierra Madre often. Many local communities offer such inner city transit. There may be tax incentives that inure to the Cities since many companies get tax benefits when their employees use mass transit. Extra cars so I don't have to stand. Hmmm. I manage to get a seat. I will ask for one if you sit in handicapped seating and it's the only option. I will speak up and ask for other people who won't ask for themselves and make sure they get them. But an extended line must have sufficient seating for its customers, or they will not ride. Occasionally, I do have to drive. Depending upon the hour, I can get there or home more quickly, but that is rare. It's 35 minutes (plus/minus) from Madre to Union Station. In that time, I've read, emailed, listened to music, played Scrabble, or watched a movie. I get to work and am far less stressed than when I drive and that much more productive. I may have met people along the ride who add value to my life. What did you do when you drove?
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Further, Jerry, I grew up in the time when you had PE and had to run or play in these huge pockets of smog. We cannot change our topography substantively. If we make the smog, it is not easy for it to get over the mountains and dissipate. We abut the mountains and get to be the benefactors of those pollutants. Mass transit vis a vis light rail is substantively less polluting than cars. Shall we consider the costs of health care for those impacted by pollutants in the cost of the light rail? The lungs you save by using mass transit may be your own.

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