Where will the stations for the proposed cross-Altamont light rail system be located in our region?

Answers to this unresolved question will be sought at two public meetings scheduled within the next month, reported Veronica Vargas, vice chair of the Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, which is spearheading development of a light rail line connecting the Tracy-Lathrop area to the Tri-Valley.

Vargas was appointed by authority’s chairman, Scott Haggerty, on Wednesday during the authority’s meeting at the Tracy Transit Station to head an ad hoc committee to hold the public meetings and come up with recommendations.

She said the meetings, open to the public, will be held at 10 o’clock on two Monday mornings — March 5 and 12.

The March 5 meeting, which she hopes can be held in the Tracy Transit Station, will focus on Tracy and Mountain House station locations. The March 12 meeting, at a place yet to be determined, will look at locations in Lathrop, including River Islands and central Lathrop.

“These meetings will be critical to nailing down where the stations for the light rail systems can best be located,” Vargas said. “The rail authority needs to hear from our residents.”

In another action at Wednesday’s meeting, authority directors authorized their legal counsel to negotiate a contract with AECOM consultants to develop a feasibility plan, including an environmental review, for the light rail system.

The state law establishing the cross-Altamont rail authority, AB 758, includes $1 million for the study, which according to the law must be completed by July 1, 2019, with a preliminary report due in six months.

The contract to be negotiated cannot exceed $794,842, the authority’s board stipulated.

Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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