Irvington BART Station looks like a go

Last night the City Council approved a $120 million deal with BART to build the Irvington BART Station by 2015. BART is supposed to approve the same deal on Thursday.

After that it would be time to issue redevelopment bonds — the proceeds of which would go straight to BART to build the station.

Even through the future of redevelopment is uncertain, city officials are confident that this is actually going to happen. In fact it probably would have happened even if Jerry Brown had approved the Democrats’ “budget” last week. That plan allowed cities to keep their redevelopment agencies by agreeing to pass through more of those funds to local school districts, fire districts, etc.

It turns out, Fremont can afford to do that, so it probably will keep its redevelopment agency, if the legislature’s proposal ever does become law. The city calculated that it would cost them $9 million the first year and $2 million each additional year in redevelopment funds.

The city’s redevelopment agency generates about $35 million a year, so that’s less than 2 percent most years that would be going to the pimply faced youth of Fremont. Nevertheless City Manager Fred Diaz — and frankly nearly city official in the Tri-City area I’ve spoken to in the past week — decried it as a thuggish and immoral takeaway.

Matt Artz