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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.

Jerry A February 21, 2012 at 09:13 PM
All ready my wallet seems thinner than it should be.
Jerry A February 21, 2012 at 10:42 PM
What new businesses will be created by having the maintenance yard located in Monrovia ? Actually there will be a lost of businesses not to mention lower property values in the vicinity. The MTA doesn't pay any taxes in to the tax coffers but completely the opposite. If we are to look at the other light rail maintenance facilities in L.A. County, the employees are paid from the tax coffers, they come to work and they don't leave the facility during lunch breaks, they eat from a roach coach and when their shift is over they go home to spend their money. I don't know why you support an eye soar being constructed in Monrovia Johnathan ? Since it seems that the city is going to be stuck paying for the GLCA legal fees in regards to Brokrate's law suits, it's because the city caused them by violating the written agreement they had with Mr. Brokate's, that the city would do nothing to cause eminent domain to be used against Mr. Brokate's property. Also the GLCA knew that the EIR was rigged in favor of the GLCA. Just like the EIR for the Wildlife Preserve was rigged in favor of those in city government who already had an agenda for the foothills no matter what those who would be impacted the most said in protest. The City Council already had their minds made up before they even read the EIR if they even read it at all.
Stephen McCarthy February 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM
As to the crossings at Myrtle, California, and Mountain, I REALLY hope the city is smart enough to ban right turns on red for south bound traffic. Those crossings will be difficult for drivers to get used to, since it's been a LONG time since regular rail traffic ran through town. It would also be a REALLY smart idea to contact Operation Life Saver, a volunteer group sponsored by the railroads to push safety around the tracks. They could do a presentation to Santa Fe Middle School to make the kids aware of the dangers. This should be done well in advance of the opening of the extension and will cost the city and the schools NOTHING!
Erin Thorn February 22, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Stephen that is a great idea about Operation Life Saver doing a presentation at Santa Fe. I see kids using the tracks as a crosswalk everyday as there is no crosswalk or stop sign on Mayflower between Huntington and Duarte Roads and kids walk that route to Santa Fe. People zip down the street now with kids running across Mayflower. Once we have out of towners in the area, who aren't going to be aware there is a middle school so close by, it's going to be a lot more dangerous for kids to navigate the streets around the school. Parents and students walking to the elementary bus stops could use the same presentation, as they are walking in those same areas. A change to lower speeds on the streets will be necessary as well with so many drivers who are unfamiliar with our area on the roads. BTW Jonathan- Telling Jerry to quit complaining and move on is just wrong. We are all welcome to have our own opinion here. Don't be a bully. After all, you're getting what you want, we're not. That should be sufficient for you.
NWT February 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Jonathan, you might as well be talking to a brick wall. As previous Patch threads have shown, there's no logic or reasoning or even amicable disagreement with this guy. Basically in Jerry's eyes, Brokate is a deity who can do no wrong because he was a Marine in Vietnam, the Mayor is the Devil re-incarnate, Anyone who isn't an ultra (Orange County style) conservative is an enemy of the state, Municipal anything is a total fraud, and the entire world is a glass that's half empty. Ohh, and any Hope in the Promise for better times ahead is a fool's errand. Best thing to do Jonathan is to revert to elementary school tactics and simply disregard him. Like my Grandma always said, misery loves company!
Jerry A February 22, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Johnathan and NWT, I'm not against the Gold Line. I'm not really against the maintenance yard being located in Monrovia because I live a couple of miles from where the yard will be located. But I do support all Americans personal property rights be he a Marine or some liberal pot smoking draft dodger. If he's an American, he has rights. And I expect our elected and appointed officials to carry out their duties in a lawful, ethical and professional manner. And some elected and appointed city officials weren't honest with those living on the south side of town. The city of Monrovia has a problem of being honest with the citizens of this community. Like the Monrovia Wilderness Preserve and the city lied when they said there wouldn't be an increase risk of wild fire by opening of the foothills to everyone. Just the rules of probability says there will be an increase risk of wild fires. Or saying that there will not be an increase of the public using the wilderness preserve, it will remain the same as it is being used today. How did they come up with that ? That's not being honest with the people of this community. If the city of Monrovia was constructing the Gold Line maintenance yard, they wouldn't start an EIR until all the land was already condemned and purchased. That's what the city did with the Wilderness Preserve. The city is just now going to start talking about easement rights, that should have been done over ten years ago ! They did every thing backwards.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM
"be he a Marine or some liberal pot smoking draft dodger." Uh, Jerry, there is no draft, and are you suggesting conservatives don't smoke pot?
Jerry A February 23, 2012 at 03:47 AM
But Gale, there still is a draft registration under federal law and I'm surprised how many younger adults haven't registered with the Selective Service System. If your a male you must register with the SSS when you turn 18 years of age or you are a draft dodger. Even our current President seemed to have failed to register with the SSS when he first turned 18. The unanswered question is, when did Obama finally registered with the SSS ? President Obama himself publicly admitted he was in violation of the law by not registering with SSS when he turned 18 but he said he did finally register, but when ? -> http://theobamafile.com/_eligibility/DraftRegistration.htm
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Jerry, I will file this tidbit right next to requests for his birth certificate. And along side the AWOL Dubya papers.
Jerry A February 23, 2012 at 05:58 AM
You do that Gayle, put it right next to Bush's papers. But remember when the liberal bias MSM got busted in particular CBS News with their forged Air National Guard letter ? I guess liberals didn't know that back in 1973 there was no internet as we know it today and there was no Microsoft Words back in 1973. From the original website that busted the Libs. Thu Sep 9, 2004 at 10:24 am PDT • Views: 22,822 I opened Microsoft Word, set the font to Microsoft’s Times New Roman, tabbed over to the default tab stop to enter the date “18 August 1973,” then typed the rest of the document purportedly from the personal records of the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. And my Microsoft Word version, typed in 2004, is an exact match for the documents trumpeted by CBS News as “authentic.” A screenshot of the “original” document as found at CBS: continue -> http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/12526
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Jerry, you're posting a bunch of non sequitur's to push a conservative agenda. When I said there was no draft, that is a statement of fact. There may be a requirement to register, but no one has been drafted of which I am aware since Viet Nam. I had countless classmates who were drafted; it's not something you forget. But promoting statements of "dope smoking liberals" casts aspersions that are biased so as to present a stigma. Many people smoke dope. I don't happen to be one of them, but there are many with illnesses who smoke marijuana as a way of assuaging pain and illness. Your twisting this to infuse some scandal, which has, in itself, questions of illegality in the securing of "key data," is a non sequitur to this discussion.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 06:53 AM
Now taking this back to the topic at hand, I'm hoping to find the following at the new Monrovia Gold Line Station: Sufficient FREE parking, some thought of a trolley that might pick up Monrovians from key spots within the City as Sierra Madre has done at the Madre Station, unlocked self-cleaning for fee restrooms so that patrons do not pee in the elevators as they do at Madre because there are insufficient restrooms on the route (this is especially important if, due to disability, you HAVE to take the elevators), regular maintenance of the elevators, including power washing the elevator cars at least quarterly. Now, if there are no elevators, this is obviated, but I can't see doing this without some sort of stacked parking. The comments I offer come from being a regular Gold Line rider since 2003. If Monrovia charges to park at the lot, I, for one, will go to a place where there is no fee, and I suspect many will.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2012 at 06:58 AM
One last thing: Since this will not be the first or last station on the line, it is important to keep pressure on Metro to keep sufficient cars on the line. If, by the time it hits Monrovia, the cars are full, and it's SRO, this is going to be a real problem for some of us who cannot stand. Unfortunately, though there are signs for handicapped seating, able bodied people sit and read in those seats, and the sheriff does not enforce handicapped seating as they do for handicapped parking. It is up to the disabled person to "command" a seat. I've seen gross examples where the elderly and disabled have had to stand when men and young people (could be one and the same) ignore them and compel them to stand. I believe we'll have people on the line coming from spots significantly further east than the first stop on the line such that, by the time it hits Monrovia, it will be crowded. When they first started the Gold Line, they had more cars on it, but they cut that back significantly. Some of that has to do with the fact they often audit on days where there are things like Easter break and people are off work and not riding.
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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