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Council Asks State to Help Build Platform

September 14, 1989

The Ventura City Council, which has been considering construction of an Amtrak passenger platform for three years, wants the California Department of Transportation to help finance the project.

Told by Ventura Community Development Director Everett Millais that estimated construction costs have increased from $138,000 to $500,000 since 1986, the council unanimously voted Monday to seek a $250,000 Caltrans matching grant.

In a report to the council, Millais said plans call for a passenger train platform near Harbor Boulevard west of Figueroa Street, across from the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The platform could serve as a commuter stop for Amtrak trains traveling from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles and San Diego.

"The consulting engineer's cost estimate is approximately $500,000," Millais said, adding that construction could not proceed without a sizable grant.

The vote in favor of applying for the grant came with little discussion after Millais said grant applications are due by Oct. 2. In a resolution, the council said it hopes to complete the project by the end of next year.

Dave Valeska, project manager for Ventura's Community Redevelopment Agency, said the Amtrak San Diegan, which stops in Santa Barbara and Oxnard, would also stop in Ventura if the platform were in service. He said two San Diegan trains will be traveling the route each way by 1990.

Valeska said one consultant has estimated that 20 Amtrak passengers would use the Ventura stop every day.

The Southern California Assn. of Governments, which must approve the city's grant request, has said Ventura has a very good chance of receiving the matching Caltrans funds, Valeska said.

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