No one had anything to say about proposed changes to the Airport Master Plan Update and Comprehensive Plan Amendments at the City of Arlington's public hearing Monday. The update is expected to be approved at the May 7 council meeting.
An extensive process that has been going on for more than two years, the plan includes a rezone of the southwest corner of the airport, the creation of an historic district, and numerous minor changes, said airport manager Rob Putnam.
"Once this is signed off by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), we can move forward on projects," Putnam said.
After acknowledging five volunteer commissioners who are stepping down (Barb Butner of the Cemetery Advisory Board, Jim Cummins of the planning commission, Leslie Larson and Mike Zachman of Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission, and Linda Snider) Mayor Barbara Tolbert read a proclamation naming April 15-21 National Volunteer Week in Arlington.
Public Works Director Jim Kelly then asked council to approve a right-of-way agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, to clear the way for reconstruction of 67th Avenue from Lebanon Street to 204th (Cemetery Road).
The street needs to be widened to accommodate a new retaining wall along a section of the new road and Centennial Trail, at 211th Street.
"This is one of four agreements with BNSF," Kelly said. "BNSF does not sell parallel easements."
Rather than agreeing to a purchase price, BNSF is requiring a lease agreement, Kelly said.
The lease agreement is for $7,650 per year, with a 3 percent increase annually.
"This could add up over the years," said Councilman Chris Raezer.
Kelly said they were still negotiating the 3 percent, and that the cost of the sliver of land adjacent to the railroad track breaks down to 93 cents per square foot per year.
The road project is funded by a federal $6 million Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) grant and includes funding for rights-of-way.
City staff members have been negotiating with BNSF for a more than a year.
One of several agreements with BNSF for the project, the lease was approved this Monday.
The other agreements will be presented in upcoming meetings.
Other city news
• Leilani Lucrisia was approved to replace Barb Butner at the Cemetery Advisory Board.
• Council adopted a revised policy in its process for appointing or reappointing volunteers on boards and commissions.
• The president of the Downtown Arlington Business Associate, M.J. Drush, spoke during the public comment period, encouraging the city to make better use of the empty lot at the north end of Olympic Avenue, and a large sign board on West Avenue that was left behind by Dwayne Lane's car dealership there.
"We are passing up on some great opportunities," Drush said. "Let's sell bricks or something to raise funds for these projects."
In the April 5 edition of the Outlook, it was reported that the city of Arlington is waiving some fees for new business owners moving into existing buildings. The waiver is for properties being served by Arlington utilities.