Monday, December 20, 2010
The Monterey City Council will vote at its Tuesday Dec. 21 meeting whether to take up two items guaranteed to spark major debate in 2011.
City Councilwoman Libby Downey has requested the council consider placing on its agenda the public purchase of the CalAm water distribution system, while City Councilwoman Nancy Selfridge wants her colleagues to weigh in on light rail service in Monterey's waterfront area.
Some Monterey residents have raised objections to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County's proposal to place a rail line near the recreational trail and at Window-on-the-Bay park, while others back the current light rail plan as the most efficent way to relieve congestion on Del Monte Blvd, and lower carbon emissions on the Peninsula.
The proposed line would connect Castroville to Monterey by 2015. It would run along Highway One before turning onto Del Monte Blvd toward downtown Monterey..
The city of Monterey owns the right-of-way along which the light rail line would run, and could deny TAMC access to the city.
The Seaside Taxpayers Association has recently weighed in, opposing construction of the rail line altogether. The organization cites the $145 million price tag, and argues that the projected 3500 daily ridership won't pay for the system's operating costs.