Milwaukie City Council voted 4-0 to approve a light rail funding agreement at its June 5, 2012 meeting that sets the city’s payment terms to TriMet over the next 19 years and locks-in a series of local enhancements into the scope of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project.
Mayor Jeremy Ferguson abstained from voting due to his previous employment with TriMet.
The City’s first payment to TriMet of $360,099 is to be made by July 1, 2012, with annual payments to follow through July 1, 2031, at 5% interest.
In 2008 the City and TriMet entered an agreement obligating the City to pay $5 million for its share of the project. After applying TriMet’s permit fees and charges against that obligation, the City’s bottom line is drawn down to $4,010,099.
Among the improvements secured under the agreement are the capital improvements required to establish a quiet zone, reconstructed and widened sidewalks at downtown intersections, design improvements for the Kellogg Bridge and Main Street Station, water and sewer line replacement at intersections along the alignment, and habitat improvements at Kellogg Lake and Crystal Creek.
“We heard loud and clear from our residents that they wanted protection from the noise and vibration of trains – not just light rail trains, but freight trains too,” said Council President Greg Chaimov. “This agreement helps us meet that goal.”
The agreement also stipulates that the City Council will put a measure on the May 2013 ballot asking Milwaukie voters if they want to pay off the TriMet debt, and potentially finance other city projects, through a bond measure, or if local share payments should continue to be paid out of the city’s general fund.