City, Railroad Close On Lease Agreement for Front Street Property - The Missourian: Washington

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City, Railroad Close On Lease Agreement for Front Street Property

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Improvements along a stretch of Front Street, including construction of additional off-street parking spaces, are planned in the near future.

City officials are working out the final details with Union Pacific Railroad officials on a supplemental agreement to lease property from the railroad from the old freight depot west to the area of Olive Street.

Darren Lamb, community and economic development director, said Union Pacific has sent the city a copy of the supplement to the original lease agreement adopted in 2008.

“I think we’re ready to present an ordinance to the city council for approval of the supplemental agreement,” Lamb told The Missourian.

The ordinance is being prepared for a decision at the council’s Aug. 5 meeting, Lamb said.

Under the original 2008 agreement, the city leased 36,768 square feet of railroad property between Front Street and the railroad tracks, from a point near Stafford Street east to near Olive.

In the first year, the city paid $5,500 per year to the railroad for the property with annual increase of roughly 3 percent. Currently, the cost of the lease is about $7,000 per year, Lamb said.

Under the new supplemental agreement, the total amount of leased property would be 82,828 square feet and the beginning annual lease would be approximately $12,000 followed by yearly 3 percent increases, according to Lamb.

The city will be responsible for removal of the old wooden loading dock on the west side of the freight depot and all weed and grass cutting, under the new agreement.

The city has plans to construct about 75 parking spaces along the north side of Front between Cedar and Stafford streets, Lamb said. That will benefit both existing and new businesses and residences in the area.

The city will pave and stripe the parking spaces and install fencing between the parking areas and the railroad tracks.

Funds for the improvements will be proposed in the new city budget slated to be adopted in the fall.

The amount of property leased from the railroad in that area will increase from abouat three-quarters of an acre to almost 2 acres, Lamb said.

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