Friday, December 21, 2018

No Big Mystery Why Fort Worth Has Trouble Getting Federal Funds

I saw this Sound Transit to get $1.2 billion for light rail to Lynnwood headline this morning in the Seattle Times, and, yes, yet again, I was seeing something via a west coast news source, thinking to myself, well, this is not something I would expect to see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about anything in Fort Worth.

Such as the town "getting" $1.2 billion to help pay for the town's long stalled Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, which is more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Fort Worth recently learned the town would not be getting any federal dollars to help pay for its imaginary island and bridges being built in slow motion over dry land.

Those doling out the federal dollars determined Fort Worth was not worthy of receiving such, due to the lack of any sort of legitimate economic benefit analysis of the slow motion pseudo public works project the public did not approve of via the voting method.

Greedy developers in Fort Worth somehow conned the city into going along with pretending this project was for flood control.

Flood control in an area of Fort Worth which has not flooded for well over half a century, due to existing levees which the Army Corps of Engineers determined could be upgraded for a paltry few millions bucks.

But those greedy developers saw an ill conceived vision consisting of a cement lined ditch diverting the Trinity River, creating an imaginary island with canals, with property value greatly enhanced, full of residential towers, restaurants and a beautiful river walk copy of that for which San Antonio is famous.

Rather than seeking federal funding in any sort of legitimate way, those ,behind this low IQ brainchild thought it brilliant to hire a low level county prosecutor with zero project managing experience to oversee this pseudo public works project the public did not vote for.

That low level prosecutor is the son of Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, who it was thought could somehow manage to finagle federal pork barrel earmark type money to Fort Worth, despite the town's, well, reputation, or lack of, with the rest of the country.

Granger's son, J.D., was hired around a decade ago. Recently J.D. was in the news due to the shocking revelation that he was going to stick with mis-managing this project til it was on some sort of auto-pilot, after which he could retire.

Many have long thought the hiring of J.D. Granger was a scheme festered by his mother to give him a job til he could retire, hence one of the world's slowest engineering projects.

A low level prosecutor does not make a lot of money, no where near the $213,000 annual salary, plus lots of perks, J.D. is paid to host beer parties in the Trinity River, among other activities which were never mentioned in the original concept of the Trinity River Vision.

Let's look at a couple paragraphs from Seattle Times Sound Transit to get $1.2 billion for light rail to Lynnwood article and see if maybe we can see some reasons the federal government is helping fund one public works project whilst refusing Fort Worth...

The Puget Sound region will receive nearly $1.2 billion in federal money to help build a light-rail line to Lynnwood, the Federal Transit Administration announced Thursday, putting to an end two years of uncertainty spurred by soaring construction costs and the Trump administration’s stated hostility toward funding transit projects.

“This grant agreement represents the department’s commitment to Sound Transit and the Seattle region to help mitigate congestion in one of the nation’s fastest-growing areas,” acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams said in a phone interview. “The administration continues to advance projects through the program in accordance with the law.”

She said that the fact that most of Lynnwood Link’s $3.2 billion funding comes from local taxes helped move the grant process along.

What a concept! Apparently foreign to Fort Worth. With most of the Seattle region public transit funding coming from local taxes. With those taxes levied as the result of multiple Sound Transit bond issues approved by the public, with the most recent, Sound Transit 3, approved in 2016, for $53.8 billion.

Another paragraph from this Seattle Times article which illustrates a HUGE difference between a Seattle region actual public works project and a Fort Worth region imaginary public works project...

Sound Transit also needed months to revise and negotiate its grant application, because construction inflation and new features drove estimated costs up $550 million in 2017. The FTA said Sound Transit was low-balling inflation risk and should add more contingency money into its local budget. At the same time, Sound Transit conducted “value engineering” to reduce costs on the Lynnwood line.

Value engineering? Is that not what has been missing from Fort Worth's Boondoggle? And is not the absence of such one of the reasons for the withholding of federal support?

If Fort Worth's imaginary public works project had actual trained, experienced project engineers overseeing the project, the relatively simple project likely would have long come to fruition, with Fort Worth enjoying whatever meager fruits that project might produce.

Instead, Fort Worth has been stuck for years with ridiculous looking bridge pier forms sticking in the air like a monument to hubris and incompetence.

That and Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the polluted Trinity River, one of J.D. Granger's proudest accomplishments...

No comments: