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9/6/2002



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Who says you can't fight City Hall?


On Sept. 5, Sound Transit and City of Renton representatives negotiated an agreement, under which Renton will provide an easement on a small strip of vacant land to Sound Transit for $30,000 — ending a suit the agency filed against the city July 29.



Sound Transit needs the land — which had been appraised at $30,000 — for track and signal upgrades. In its suit against Renton, the agency claimed a city official priced the land at $100 million.



The dispute apparently arose from an unrelated nearby project that Sound Transit suspended; the city has said funds budgeted for those projects should be spent solely within Renton city limits.



As part of the settlement, Sound Transit agreed to work with Renton toward completing transit-related projects in the area including an access ramp and high-occupancy vehicle improvements. The agency also agreed to delay construction of a permanent Sounder commuter rail station at Longacres up to 10 years to allow additional evaluation of options and funding geared toward integrating the station with nearby projects.



"We appreciate Sound Transit’s willingness to work with Renton to address our concerns and achieve a solution that is advantageous to both parties," said City of Renton Mayor Jesse Tanner in a prepared statement.



In a show of good faith, Renton granted Sound Transit access to the land before the agreement was approved, which enabled crews to begin the improvement work the last week of August.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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