Unless a new ballot measure is created and approved or unless something unexpected happens with current funding assignments, the Gold Line Extension will make its final stop in Azusa, where construction is currently underway and set to open in late 2015 or early 2016. It will no longer continue to Claremont or on to the Ontario Airport as planned.
That was the message at this morning’s Government Affairs Forum, sponsored by Expedia, where Chairman Jack Orswell and Co-Chairs Mary Dougherty and Peter Ulrich welcomed Lisa Levy Buch, Director of Public Affairs, Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
Government Affairs Forum sponsorA decision earlier this month by Metro, over the strong objections of County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, several area Congresswomen, and most of the cities along the Gold Line corridor, including Arcadia, designated as much as $6 bil. – $9 bil in potential federal funding from Measure R to Metro projects in other parts of L.A. County, including the “Subway to the Sea.” Buch said the Subway to the Sea project cannot be completed with those funds which are many times more than the cost to extend the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont.
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In more encouraging Gold Line news affecting Arcadia directly, the bridge being built over Santa Anita Avenue is scheduled to be completed before Breeders Cup weekend Nov. 1-2. The Gold Line is expected to be completed with construction in September 2015, after which it would be turned over to Metro for testing before it is open to the public, most likely early 2016. This month the Gold Line is celebrating its 10th anniversary of operation from downtown L.A., and ridership has steadily increased to more than 1 million per month.
In other monthly updates from state and local officials:
- Assembly Ed Chau’s rep Olivia Lee spoke about two bills that are going to the Governor’s office: AB 267 – Lawyer Referral Service Confidentiality which provide confidentiality between a client and the lawyer referral service. AB 1275 – Unclaimed Property, will specify that only an owner may file a claim for unclaimed property. The Assemblymember is holding a District Office Open House from 10 a.m. – 12 noon Saturday, July 20, at the 49th Assembly Office, 1255 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 206, in Monterey Park, Ca. Chau’s district represents Arcadia as well as Alhambra, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City, and portions of Montebello and South El Monthe. Please RSVP by July 18: 323-264-4949 or e-mail Henry Lo at email@example.com or Daisy Ma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich rep Brian Mejia, reported the Supervisor will have his annual meeting with City officials that is open to the public at 8 a.m Wednesday August 7 at the Council Chamber meeting room. He also noted the Supervisor is fighting the allowance of rapists to wear ankle bracelets for monitoring as he believes they are not effective. And he remains concerned about the thousands of extra prisoners dumped on the County by the State government.
- Arcadia City Councilman Bob Harbicht once again praised the efficiency of the Gold Line construction process. Economic Development Manager Jerry Schwartz reported that the buildings along Santa Anita Avenue owned by the City and the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency will finally be demolished beginning Tuesday and ending within three weeks. That will make room for Rusnak Mercedes to finally begin the expansion of its lot and showroom that has been in the works for ten years and for which Rusnak is going to spend about $10 million. Rusnak is already the City’s largest single sales tax generator. The property is now in escrow and expected to close on the ownership transfer in October.
Meanwhile, the City Council approved mailing of ballots to property owners in the Downtown area (centered at Huntington Drive and First Avenue) for votes on establishing a Community Benefits District that would tax property owners for self-marketing and improvements that would be determined by their own steering committee. Ballots are coming in and will be opened on August 6 at public hearing.
- Monrovia Arcadia Duarte Town Council reps reported on two issues: Live Oak Village, a four-story Hope House affordable housing facility proposed by non-profit developer/manager West Hollywood Community Housing Co. The 43 apartment units would be built on the south side of Live Oak between 8th and 9th Streets at the southeast corner at Center St. Hope House provides home and services for people who are mentally challenged. Residences are concerned about a lack of parking for the facility as well as the monitoring of these types of residents, who have been known to wonder into homes on neighboring properties.
- The Gas Company’s rep. Tony Tartaglia shared information about the new Advanced Meter which will read and transmit our natural gas usage information back to SoCalGas. The new meters will be installed in both residential and businesses through 2017. To find more information visit www.socalgas.com or call 1-800-427-2200 (residential ) or 1-800-427-2000 (business customers).