Trinity Committee Goes Behind Closed Doors to Discuss That $15 Mil the Corps Wants Returned
It took Rebecca Rasor, director of the Trinity River Corridor Project, all of, oh, 15 minutes to walk the council's Trinity River Corridor Project Committee through that PowerPoint we previewed this morning -- you know, the one in which the U.S Army Corps of Engineers is demanding the city pay back $15 million. I won't repeat most of it; she just read from the presentation, recapping the history of the Rochester Park and Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Levees and the city's efforts to keep Cadillac Heights from drowning heavy rain after heavy rain.
And the rest I'm not sure I can repeat -- something about the Corps making a "boo-boo" and sending the city cash when it was supposed to be extending us credit for land acquisition for the Dallas Floodway Extension project. But as Friend of Unfair Park Wylie H. notes in the comments below, "If this were to be the case, then it seems that there would be offsetting savings, somewhere, that would make this a non-issue."
But it's not a non-issue -- quite the opposite. Rasor told the committee the Corps wants its first payment of $500,000 this fiscal year, which means by month's end, and that the city's gonna have to cough up $15 million, $8 million of which has been spent. She didn't say on what. And to raise the dough Dallas doesn't have, Rasor said, we have a few options -- like taking it out of the 1998 bond program, canceling something altogether or issuing commercial paper. Or something.
When Rasor wrapped, it should have been time for questions from the council. But, no: New committee chair Vonciel Jones Hill immediately sent proceedings behind closed doors and into executive session, so they could consult with city attorneys. She said it would take no more than 10, 15 minutes. Not quite. After 45 or so Muzak-filled minutes, the committee returned to open session, and ...
Hill said she, as the committee chair, was proposing "a motion which indicates the repayment agreement will not be placed on the September 28, 2011, agenda, and that the city's attorneys are instructed to work with the Corps' attorneys in moving this matter forward. Is there a second?"
In the words of James Tiberius Schutze below, "Yoohoo! Ain't gonna pay! All right! This can only get juicier."
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