Monday, January 23, 2017

How About Fixing Real Fort Worth Flood Issues?

This morning, prior to checking in on Facebook I did my regular habit of checking various online news sources, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where I read an article titled "Fixing Fort Worth flooding issues could top $1 billion, reports says".

Well, that headline hooked my interest, what with Fort Worth already spending, supposedly, around $1 billion on flooding issues with what has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

America's Biggest Boondoggle was, in part, supposedly supposed to solve some imaginary flood issues where no floods have occurred for over half a century, With that lack of flooding due to the fact that massive levees were installed by the Army Corps of Engineers way back in the 1950s, which have kept Central Fort Worth dry ever since.

The Boondoggle wants to remove those levees and replace them with a flood diversion ditch. However, the inept Boondoggle has been stymied for a long time now by being unable to figure out how to build three simple  little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Today's Star-Telegram article about flooding issues has nothing to do with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's inept flood control project. The article is about actual flash flooding which has repeatedly occurred in other areas of Fort Worth.

Many have long opined regarding the ridiculous wastefulness of throwing money away on an un-needed flood control project where there are no floods, while Fort Worth and Tarrant County have actual serious, deadly flash flood issues.

Such as the deadly flash floods which have occurred in Haltom City.

The Haltom City flood issues have largely been ignored, including being ignored by Congresswoman Kay Granger, who surveyed the Haltom City floods, but did nothing.

Kay Granger's efforts have gone into securing federal funds for America's Biggest Boondoggle, where there are no floods, but is a project which was able to give her son, J.D., a job for which he was totally not qualified, for which he has been paid well over $1 million during his reign of incompetence.

In typical Star-Telegram fashion, today's article about the need to spend $1 billion to fix flooding issues is a bit bizarre.

Bizarre because no mention is made of the money being wasted on the TRV Boondoggle fixing non-existent flood issues.

Two paragraphs illustrating the bizarreness of this Star-Telegram article...

“If we [spent $25 million to $35 million] we would have spent more money than we’ve ever spent to solve a single flooding issue in the city of Fort Worth and there would still be a significant flooding risk,” Simmons recently told the council.

And many other locations in the city have similar problems, but most of the serious problems are in the central city, or within Loop 820, where Simmons said the drainage system is below current standards.

If $25 to $35 million is spent this would be more than ever spent in Fort Worth on a flooding issue? How  much money has already been thrown down the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle drain?  I suspect it is well in excess of $35 million. How much was spent to build the existing levees  in the downtown Fort Worth zone?

Many other locations in the city have problems, but the most serious are in the central city?

Central City?

Isn't  Central City one of the many names which have been given the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Very perplexing.

So, when I did get around to checking in on Facebook I soon saw that I was being pointed to a Facebook post about this Star-Telegram article about which I have been opining.

That Facebook post generated many comments, including a long one from TRWD board member, Mary Kelleher.  I will copy the Mary Kelleher comment below, along with a couple  other comments....

My name is Mary Kelleher and I'm currently on the Board of the TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District). I'm frequently criticized by my fellow board members (Victor Henderson, Jack Stevens, Jim Lane, and Marty Leonard) for fighting for people like us against wasteful spending by people like politicians and Fort Worth Way Good Ole Boys and Girls. I could really use your help. Here's just an example:

In 2004, the citizens of Fort Worth voted for Proposition 1; the ballot read, “The issuance of public securities for street and storm sewer improvements in the aggregate sum of $232,000,000.” What the people didn’t know was this money was going to be used for the design and construction of the Trinity River Vision. 

In 2008, citizens of Fort Worth voted for another Proposition 1. The ballot read, “The issuance of public securities for street improvements in the aggregate sum of $150,000,000.” What the people didn’t know was this money was going to be used for three bridges over the TRV bypass channel. The bridges are to be built over dry land and the water will come later IF federal funding is still available by then.

So....while millions of our tax dollars go to this frivolous economic development project disguised as flood of our city are truly suffering unprecedented flooding as the city has failed to plan for the spike in development and its effects on our now-inadequate infrastructure. 

Following Mary's comment, a couple other Facebook  comments....

Deborah Forbes: This is what the TRWD should be doing instead of buying properties, forcing businesses out, building bridges, developing waterways. They should have helped the city become more flood resistant.

And this....

Wm Atkins: In Fort Worth, Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is more important than homes being flooded.

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