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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 for the extension project to the Glendora/Azusa border. 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.

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