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September 22, 2010

BNSF land deal details out

by Deena Winter

On Monday the Lincoln City Council will take a look at the details of the $44 million land deal between the city and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.
The city is buying the railyard for its $340 million arena project. BNSF is agreeing to move its tracks west.
The proposed purchase agreement is now online, if you really want to read it. I skimmed through it — a few highlights:
• All grading must be done in 2010.
• Prior to the first closing (there will be several), the city will make a $44 million payment to BNSF for the land and relocation costs.
• BNSF is not only indemnified from legal liability, but the city will waive its sovereign immunity and municipal immunity with respect to BNSF, in connection with environmental issues. That’s a big deal, in my book.
• Prior to the first closing, the city will close the at-grade railroad crossing at Second and J streets.
Read the details here: Master agreement with BNSF

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