Updated: The PDF of the term sheet has been uploaded. Look at a copy of it by clicking on the PDF to the right, or by clicking here to get it directly from the City of Bellevue website.
The approved Monday night the start of negotiations with Sound Transit over how the city and the agency will split the costs for a new tunnel for the East Link light rail line through downtown Bellevue.
The tunnel could add up to $276 million to the East Link project according to Sound Transit.
The approved "term sheet" lays out the negotiations for a binding agreement to split the tunnel's costs between Sound Transit and Bellevue. Among the items that will be negotiated in the agreement will be what the city will do to carry some of the costs of the line, and how Sound Transit will design the light rail line to lessen the impact to the neighborhoods the trains will pass.
Among the amendments to the term sheet was to change the city's expected contribution from $160 million in 2010 dollars to $158 million in 2007 dollars, and to clarify that the city only would waive its right to sue Sound Transit until Oct. 25.
The deadline was added after Councilman Kevin Wallace proposed an amendement to remove the promise to avoid a lawsuit from the term sheet.
"The city is not in a position to put in a waiver of litigation at the moment," he said. "But agreeing to a waiver of litigation, giving up our rights as a city to litigate is not really a subject of this negotiation, and it’s not appropriate, certainly on such short notice."
While the amendment failed 4-3, the council unanimously approved Councilman Grant Degginger's proposal to add the Oct. 25 deadline to that waiver of litigation.
Sound Transit chose a route for East Link two weeks ago that included a tunnel for downtown Bellevue, but the development of that line will depend on the transit agency and city reaching an agreement on how to split the tunnel's $276 million cost (which was estimated in 2010 dollars).
The term sheet specifies that the city would carry some of the cost through tax breaks, property acquisitions and other actions.
Sound Transit chief executive officer Joni Earl said that the tunnel will depend on Bellevue and the transit agency coming to a binding agreement on how to split the costs.
If the financing talks don't result in an agreement, then Sound Transit can reconsider a surface route on 110th Avenue Southeast, she said.
The approved alignment also included the light rail route that connects Interstate 90 with downtown Bellevue via Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Avenue Southeast, which had been the transit agency's longtime preference.