While the MTA Chief's blunt assessment three weeks ago that funding for The Gold Extension's Phase 2B may have derailed its arrival to Claremont for many more years than expected, officials continue to chug along with plans for construction.
At the last San Gabriel Valley Council of Government's meeting, Metro Chief Art Leahy laid it all out to foothill city leaders.
"Some of you are going to think I am a monster for saying this: The Gold Line is funded to Azusa. Period. There is no more money for the Gold Line," Leahy said.
Area leaders knew for quite a while that Metro was never too keen on the idea to extend the Gold Line further east, even though the Measure R language passed by voters four years ago stated the line would extend from Pasadena to Claremont.
"We had a discussion with Metro, trying to come up with some agreement to get them to follow the law. They, for whatever reason, refuse to do so. They're a very Los Angeles-centric organization," said Doug Tessitor, Glendora councilman and chair of the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
Tessitor said there is no other project as ready as Phase 2B. The Environmental Impact Review for Phase 2B will be ready sometime this November. The Metro Gold Line Construction Authority already estimated that the Azusa to Claremont segment would require $765 million in funding and the proposed route has already been surveyed.
Glendora has some happening that was thought of as a major component to the city's Transit Oriented Development with the 53 townhome development across from the proposed Gold Line Station near Glendora and Ada avenues. This project is still happening sans the transit.
The owner of that project, City Ventures, LLC, is also considering developing the currently vacant northeast corner of Glendora and Route 66.
"They [Metro] just refuse to recognize the taxes that citizens pay deserve to be spent on its own citizens. That's our frustration. We ought to be getting what we pay for." Tessitor said.
Adding salt to the wounds, the MTA board voted in agreeing to ask voters to make permanent Measure R -- without any proposed funding for the Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B. Governor Brown would need to sign some legislation first if this is to be put on the November ballot.
If it goes on the ballot and is approved by voters, Measure R would continue 30 years beyond the original expiration date. Tessitor is confident Construction Authority members have a potential solution to their Gold Line woes that could satisfy all parties.
Construction Authority board member and Duarte mayor John Fasana introduced an amendment June 28 to the Measure R extension vote that would allow tax revenues collected for highway construction to fund projects in the valley -- including the Foothill Extension to Claremont.
It is also a possibility that officials could sue Metro in an effort to get the agency to comply with the law, Tessitor said.
"Neither I, nor anybody I know of that's involved with the Gold Line Construction Authority is going to throw up our hands in defeat," Tessitor said.
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