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June 11,2006

By Diane Strandberg The Tri-City News
Jun 11 2006

Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini said he’s worried the new Evergreen Line through Port Moody to Coquitlam is in jeopardy unless the province kicks in $230 million or more to cover construction costs.

Tuesday, PoMo council will vote on a resolution calling for the province to pay $400 million, or half the projected costs, up from its current commitment of about $170 million.

According to Trasolini, funding uncertainty is “posing a serious threat to the implementation of this project.”

“There is a feeling on the TransLink board that unless we find sustainable funding, we can’t just keep doing things ourselves and say we will find sources in the future,” he said Friday. “Unless we have funding for the provincial government, we run the risk in not building the Evergreen Line.”

TransLink, which is fronting $400 million, or half the funding, has been casting about for other sources of revenue to cover the remaining $230 million, including federal funding, gas taxes, public infrastructure grants, partnerships and innovative financing. A decision won’t be made until Oct. 6 but TransLink spokesperson Carol Evans said the shortfall could be covered by several different sources, including paying for cycling improvements with bicycle infrastructure grants.

Meanwhile, TransLink is gearing up for its final round of public consultation meetings, which begin Tuesday at the Executive Plaza Hotel, 405 North Road, Coquitlam. The first meeting will address issues with the first Coquitlam segment of the line to the Como Lake Avenue.

Thursday, a meeting will be held at Seaview Community School, 1215 Cecil Drive, for the tunnelling portion of the line. Meetings June 22 at Port Moody City Hall and June 27 at Douglas College in Coquitlam will discuss issues related to the line on St. Johns and through Coquitlam to the college. The public can drop by between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Also on Tuesday, Port Moody council is expected to vote on the preferred locations for stations at Albert Street, Buller Street and Ioco Road. Work is still being done to finalize the location of a station for Moody Town Centre, possibly west of Moody Street, said Eugene Wat, the city’s director of engineering and operations. It’s also up in the air as to whether the Albert Street station will be in the middle of the road or integrated in a development proposed for the former Barnet Hotel land.

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