Thursday, October 4, 2018

Closer Look At Fort Worth Losing Federal Funding For America's Biggest Boondoggle

Yesterday I wondered what With Federal Funding Cut Will Fort Worth Finally End America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Yesterday's wondering was prompted by two Fort Worth Star-Telegram articles and multiple comments on Facebook.

At the end of yesterday's wondering mention was made of the possibility that I might get around to going through those two tiresome Star-Telegram articles, gleaning out what glares and commenting.

And, so let us start with the first of those two articles and go through them to the bitter end...

Article #1 told us Fort Worth’s $1B Panther Island project quietly cut from 2018 federal budget. Let's see what we were told in that propaganda piece...

Fort Worth’s behind-schedule $1.16 billion plan to re-route the Trinity River is no longer considered a top contender for federal funding — and the Army Corps of Engineers has quietly excluded the project from its budget.

The omission is particularly glaring for Fort Worth Rep. Kay Granger, a senior member of Congress’s powerful spending committee whose son, J.D. Granger, serves as the project’s executive director.

Granger declined to be interviewed by the Star-Telegram about the project on Capitol Hill last week. Her office also declined to provide comment for the story. She is vying for her party’s top spot on the House appropriations committee next year.

So, what a shocker, Fort Worth Congresswoman and leader of the Granger Gang, Kay Granger, declined to provide a comment regarding this Fort Worth debacle for which she is largely at fault for helping cause. That and finagling to have her unqualified son installed as the project's executive director. Kay is vying for her party's top appropriations committee spot next year? Kay is also vying for re-election. If the voters of Fort Worth were not largely a flock of mindless sheep Kay would not be re-elected next month.

Moving on...

“The administration does not consider the [Panther Island] project to be policy compliant for budgeting because of the lack of an economic analysis,” said Corps spokesman Eugene Pawlik. “The project did not receive fiscal 2018 Civil Works funding and is not in the president’s fiscal 2019 Civil Works budget.”

The Army Corps “develops the work plans in accordance with the congressional guidance and generally prioritizes projects based on their expected economic, life-saving and environmental benefits to the nation,” Pawlik said. “Before the work plans are finalized and presented to Congress, they undergo policy review within the administration.”

Fort Worth's infamous boondoggle is not considered to be policy compliant because of a lack of an economic analysis?

How many people over how many years have been saying, over and over again, that this inept project is not properly designed, not properly engineered, and certainly not properly implemented? The Trinity River Vision has been limping along for most of this century. The last four years have seen the inept attempt to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island. All it takes is a minimum iota of common sense to see that this particular Fort Worth vision is blind.

Moving on again...

So far the Army Corps has contributed $61.9 million to the project, also called the Trinity River Vision. It aims to rebuild the aging 1950s West Fork levees downtown and, in the process straighten the river channel and move it about 10 blocks north.

The project also called the Trinity River Vision? That was what the vision was originally called before other names were added, with the most recent being the bizarre Panther Island District, where there is no island and never will be an actual island of the reality based sort.

Rebuild the aging levees built in the 1950s? Aging levees which have prevented any flooding in the area they are protecting ever since. While there are other areas of Fort Worth which do flood regularly, often with deadly results.

Again, moving on...

The final product will also create a San Antonio-style riverwalk and 800-acre scenic “island” north of downtown, goals that have long angered conservatives both locally and nationally.

There has never been anything documenting how this inept project would in any way resemble San Antonio's iconic Riverwalk. Let alone somehow turn an industrial wasteland into something scenic.

These imaginary goals have long angered conservatives, both locally and nationally?


Only conservatives have found those imaginary goals to be aggravating? I'm just about dead opposite of being conservative. I know many others just as non-conservative as I am who think the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision has long been a corrupt, inept, possibly criminal fraud perpetrated without actual voter approval, creating an embarrassment for Fort Worth which has been boondoggling along for years and will likely linger for years to come.

Skipping ahead past a few paragraphs...

Last week Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price flew to Washington to attend an economic summit at the White House, and discussed the Panther Island project with Trump’s government relations officials.

“We mentioned that it was a critical project for us and we would love to have the funding secured for it,” Price told the Star-Telegram after the summit.

What a mayor! She mentioned America's Biggest Boondoggle is a critical project for Fort Worth and that Fort Worth would love to have the funding secured for it.

How about Betsy do what mayors in towns wearing their BIG CITY pants do? As in design a project, sell that project to the public. And then have the public vote to fund the project. You know, this should be such an easy sell, what with the Trinity River Vision being a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme. Yet somehow never vitally needed to a level sufficient to ask voters to support the project.  Until last May, when a fraudulently worded ballot measure asked voters to approve a quarter billion bucks for flood control and drainage. Which later boondoggle officials baldfacedly touted this vote as both approval of America's Biggest Boondoggle and that the funds would go to the Panther Island Project. Not flood control and drainage.

Moving on the final three paragraphs in this article, and they are doozies...

The project’s planners, who did not publicize the omission when it was announced in July, say they’ve used local funds to keep the project on pace with their previously set schedule. They say the flood control project remains a public safety concern for Fort Worth, and they don’t plan to scale back its scope.

“We’ve been able to continue moving forward with the current schedule,” said TRV spokesman Matt Oliver, who pointed to a $250 million bond approved by voters earlier this year by voters in the Fort Worth-based Tarrant Regional Water District.

“We have the local money in hand… we have the schedule based on the situation currently, so if you have times where a particular part of that schedule might speed up or a particular part of that schedule might slow down, that’s something we’ve never shied away from,” said Oliver.

Okay, in these three paragraphs we learn the Boondoggle's planners did not publicize losing the federal funds, two months after that fraudulent May vote. But they have the funds to keep the project on pace with their schedule?


There never has been a project timeline schedule.


 Little happens year after year. Bridges began construction four years ago with an astonishing four year project timeline, and now, four years later, those bridges are nowhere near anything anyone could drive over, and the current completion date has been shoved to sometime in 2020.

What bizarre idiotic hubris.

They say the project remains a public safety concern for Fort Worth, and they won't scale back its scope? How many times do how many people have to tell these people there has been no flood safety concern in this area for well over a half century, due to existing flood control federal dollars have already paid for?

One of the beneficiaries of Trinity River Vision nepotism, Matt Oliver, claims they are able to continue moving forward with the current imaginary schedule due to that $250 million voters stuck in the boondoggler's hands, which voters thought was for flood control and drainage?

So, with that local money now fraudulently acquired, the boondogglers have themselves a schedule based on the current situation? Parts of which may speed up? Or slow down? Which is something they have never shied away from.

What idiotic nonsense. The Star-Telegram needs to import an actual investigative journalist. Or 60 Minutes needs to visit Fort Worth.

Part 2 Tomorrow, if I am not consumed by why bother ennui....

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