BNSF Agrees to Renegotiate!
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
BNSF has agreed to negotiate the terms of the lease for the land upon which the historic NP Depot in Miles City is situated.

This break through in negotiations between BNSF and the city ends a three year stalemate over the terms of the lease. In 2009 BNSF was prepared to demolish the building when the city stepped in with a stay of demolition and passed a Resolution to seek alternatives to the demolition. The Custer County Commissioners soon lent their support in a similar resolution. The Board of the Directors of the Miles City Area Economic Development Council, and other local businesses and service groups also lent their support to the effort to save the building. Shortly afterwards, BNSF offered to donate the building to the city, subject to the terms of a lease for the land upon which the building is located.

Unfortunately, the terms in the lease for the land made it impossible to accept the donation of the building and begin restoration. The length of the lease was on a month-to-month basis, and additional terms in the lease imposed heavy liability and imposed heavy indemnification requirements upon the city. The short lease period precluded attracting investors or obtaining grant funding to restore the building. The liability and indemnification terms required the city to accept liability for potential pre-existing environmental damages, assume liability for damages in excess of insurance coverages, while indemnifying BNSF against all loss and damages without the right of recovery or subrogation, making it inadvisable for the city to enter into the agreement.

In March of this year BNSF presented a letter to the Mayor stating their unwillingness to negotiate the terms of the lease and presented the city with a May 1st deadline to make a decision to accept the donation and sign the lease.

The receipt of the letter preceeded the MCDARP team Due Diligence Report to the city council and county commissioners that summarized three years of research and demonstrated clearly that restoration of the depot is financially viable. The only remaining road block to moving forward with preserving the building as a platform for economic development in Miles City was the lease.

In response, to a letter from the City Attorney authorized by the City Council, BNSF has now agreed to extend the term of the lease to accommodate the long term time frame required by potential grant funding agencies and negotiate other specific terms within the lease with the city.

Hopefully as negotiations resume a win/win resolution will be reached for all involved. As these negotiations move forward, the MCDARP team will work with the city, county and community to begin planning the restoration. The first requirement will be to install secure fencing between the depot building and grounds and the ongoing BNSF rail operations. The funding strategy will be refined and scheduled to respond to the final signing of a lease, if satisfactory terms are reached.

The MCDARP team would like to thank BNSF for understanding how important this building is to the community; and extend heartfelt thanks to the many, many agencies and individuals both here at home in Miles City and across the state and country for the support lent in recent days in coming to this happy milestone in the life of a very worthy undertaking.
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Posted by MRH (+1505) 10 years ago
Thank you for sharing the Good News.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 10 years ago
YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

This is me meaning running around waving my hands in the air screaming with joy!


YAY!!!!!!!!!!

[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (4/27/2012)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
Hopefully, Steve has you on a short leash. Otherwise you'll scare the feral cats.

Seriously, it is very good news!
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Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
Oh, that is very funny Richard!

[This message has been edited by Connie Muggli (4/27/2012)]
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Posted by David Schott (+17521) 10 years ago
Nice to hear some good news on this. Thanks for the update, Connie. Thanks to BNSF for being willing to reconsider the terms of the lease.
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Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
Ummm - Richard -- who is Steve? It just occurred to me to ask.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
The guy that is contractually obligated to keep Amorette under control.
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Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
Oh -- I get it! Duh!
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Posted by Kacey (+3154) 10 years ago
http://billingsgazette.co...027f0.html


Tried to read the story in the Star online. It pops up as a headline and when you click on for more to read the story it's not there.

[This message has been edited by Kacey (4/27/2012)]
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Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
Thanks for posting the link to the Gazette article. I thought it was great that both the Star and the Gazette managed to publish articles today. We made the Star deadline by seconds -- and they still found time for front page. Thanks to both reporters and their papers for helping us spread the news!
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+758) 10 years ago
It's so refreshing to hear upbeat, positive news about my favorite little cow town. Way to go, keep it up!
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