Friday, April 5, 2019

Fort Worth's Panther Island Boondoggle Budget Woes

Last month the Fort Worth Business Press published an article about the current sad status of the Fort Worth debacle which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

That FWBP article was titled During hearing, Army Corps officials express Trinity River Vision support.

That article was not up to the usual Fort Worth Business Press standard of accurately reporting on the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Boondoggle, and so we blogged about this in New Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Propaganda Source.

And now today multiple people have pointed us to a new article in the FWBP, about the same subject, this one titled Panther Island project not in 2020 budget and which paints a more accurate picture of what a mess this ill-conceived, poorly planned, ineptly implemented embarrassing debacle has become for Fort Worth, whose citizens did not deserve to be so ill-served by those they bear some responsibility for electing, and further responsibility for not rising out of their sheep herd to run the guilty perpetrators out of town.

Read the article for its details about how The Boondoggle's budget has spun out of control with little hope of securing the funding needed to bring the mess to any sort of working conclusion.

I particularly like two one sentence paragraphs in the article. The first of those two paragraphs being...

The project has received about $60.5 million from the Corps budget for this project, although it has received additional transportation funds for construction of three uncompleted bridges that would connect the mainland to the island.

This marks the first time I have read any of Fort Worth's print publications, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth Weekly, or the Fort Worth Business Press refer to that which those bridges connect to as "the mainland".  I have long sarcastically repeated a group of words along the line of "The Boondoggles pitiful simple little bridges being built of over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island."

And have repeatedly made the point that surrounding a chunk of land with a cement lined ditch does not an island make, and that it is likely if this ever does actually become a reality it will be yet one more thing that confuses Fort Worth's few tourists. Like for decades referring to the town's downtown as Sundance Square, where there was no square, til a little plaza was finally added a few years ago.

It does not take much imagination to imagine one of those few tourists in the future asking where Panther Island is. To be told you are on Panther Island. How is this an island the tourist will ask? And the local will have no sensible explanation.

And the second of those two paragraphs which I liked...

Critics have nicknamed the project “The Boondoggle.”

Critics have nicknamed the project The Boondoggle? Uh, the project has become a Boondoggle. This is not a nickname. It is a fact. I do not remember when I first realized this was a Boondoggle. Was it when the Trinity River Vision and J.D. Granger foisted that ridiculous, obviously fated to fail, wakeboard pond on the project?

We still have never learned how much money was funneled from the Trinity River Vision to build that pond and re-route the Trinity Trails for that failed wakeboard enterprise. J.D. Granger was a loud advocate for the Cowtown Wakepark. Why was its failure not enough to clue those who can fire him of the need to do so?

If I remember right it was after the arrival of Cowtown Wakepark that J.D. Granger and his minions of party planners foisted Rockin' the Polluted River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats as one more absurd Trinity River Vision product, with outdoor showers to wash off the e.coli, next to modern high quality cement enclosed outhouses.

When I read this latest Fort Worth Business Press article about The Boondoggle, there was, at that point in time, only one comment. A wise comment from one of Fort Worth's wisest citizens...

Clyde Picht Apr 5, 2019 11:20am
Promoters of this fiscal fiasco have been lying about the cost and benefits for so long they now believe what they're saying. Harking back to 2004, it was a $360M project the would reap a $1B increase in tax base. 2005 brought the first cost increase and questions about the management expertise of J D Granger. Subsequent cost increases, program changes in channel width, bridges, catchment basins, etc, etc, have been non-stop. As Richard Conner pointed out in this paper, the way to fix TRV is to fix TRWD. New board members, like Kelleher and Moates, must be elected and the TRWD general manager, Jim Oliver, needs to learn that he works for the Board, not the other way around. Spending $1.16B to achieve an increase in tax base of $1B is economics for idiots. Additionally, $1.16B isn't the end of it. Costs will be substantially higher and completion to the point of getting that $1B tax base increase will be after half the people in Fort Worth are dead.

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