11:30pm: Shocker! The council approves the term sheet. See the above blog post.
11:08pm: The city council seems likely to reject the term sheet.
10:45pm: Davidson’s amendment failed. The underlying term sheet is may not pass tonight, which would mean that the Sound Transit Board may not move forward on studying C9T, meaning that Sound Transit may move forward on just an at-grade alignment (C11A) that is unpopular in Bellevue but fits within the East Link budget with no city contribution.
10:36pm: Davidson’s “compromise” measure isn’t finding popular support for his motion, meaning the underlying term sheet may not pass this evening. The term sheet is important because it clears the way for Bellevue city staff to offer $150mn funding for the tunnel. Without a financial commitment like that — which is still unbinding, but rather an advance in negotiations — the Sound Transit Board is unlikely to move forward on the studying C9T alignment when it selects its preferred East Link alignment.
9:46pm: Mayor Davidson puts forward a motion that has the city council approve the term sheet, but only if B7 is carried through preliminary engineering. However, the city would pay for that preliminary engineering which would cost about $2.2 million. This is a compromise plan from Davidson, since before now it looked like the council was going to vote down the term sheet. It’s a gambit to move B7 — a plan unpopular with the ST board — forward, along with B2M.
9:24pm: City staff is presenting a term sheet to the city council. City staff support the term sheet, which stipulates a framework to work with Sound Transit to work together on the alignment and fund the C9T tunnel alignment and other sections of East Link within Bellevue. It would direct Bellevue city staff to present alternative options be unbinding, with a final agreement with Sound Transit on the segment B and C alignments to be decided in Spring 2011. The term sheet would mostly describe a framework for continuing future negotiations.
We reported last week that Bellevue intends to support the C9T tunnel alignment through downtown. The Bellevue City Council will be voting tonight on a measure favoring the alignment (pdf) during a meeting that starts at 8pm, and promising $150mn in city contributions to the tunnel. The vote would direct the city staff to create a term sheet with Sound Transit regarding the C9T alignment.
However, we’ve learned to take nothing for granted when it comes to East Link. There is no assurance that the term sheet will actually pass the council. We’ll let you know what happens tonight.