Foothill Extension Granted Its $10 Million, Now Has to Determine Where That Money Will Come From

Sorting through the confusion and circus that was yesterday’s Metro Board meeting (you can follow the minute by minute coverage on our Twitter feed @iwillride), we came away with the impression that the Metro Board of Directors had chosen to delay any action on the $10 million budget item for the Gold Line Foothill Extension when they approved the 2010 fiscal year budget. That was not the case.

Metro’s Board Secretary confirmed to us after the meeting that Motion 9.4 of the agenda (which directs the CEO to allocate $10 million from the nearly $28 million in unallocated rail funds to the Foothill Extension) was approved by the Metro Board as part of the overall package of budget items that they had voted in favor of.

So now the Foothill Extension is one step closer to that 2013 opening reality. But really, yesterday’s result was more like a toe (not even a foot) in the door.

The $10 million allocation now has to come from a proper funding source, which the Metro staff will try to determine next month before the Foothill Extension can be listed in the Long Range Transportation Plan. We can only assume the proper pot of money will be the Measure R rail funds but we’ll find out when Metro let’s us know. That will be a whole other battle in itself, mainly because Metro will be forced to put up real dollars for the Foothill Extension – something the Board hasn’t done in our two decades and has rejected at every opportunity in the last year.

For those who were at yesterday’s meeting to witness the Board succumb under the pressure of a big agenda and a large crowd of passionate supporters, one can assume that the Board of Directors were saving the real talk about funding for next month. How this pays off for the Foothill Extension remains to be seen. However, upon reading the comments of the Metro spokesperson in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, there appears to be an assurance that the Foothill Extension would get its funding.

Here’s hoping.

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