First, my apologies to anyone trying to access and leave comments on Unfair Park last night and into the wee small hours of this morning -- a company-wide server issue led to some unexpected downtime. But this battle station is, once more, fully armed and operational. For now. Far as you know.
If nothing else, the break in the action gave me the opportunity late last night to read every last line in the council's agenda for today. And when I read this ...
It is now necessary for the Corps and the City of Dallas to enter into a new Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement for the Dallas Floodway to provide to the Corps $4,750,000 for funding assistance through March 2011 and to complete the ongoing feasibility study that is due in 2013. The new agreement will include provisions to reflect the Congressional language in the WRDA 2007 that allows for City of Dallas credit for advance design and construction of the Dallas Floodway project and advanced funding to the Corps by the City of Dallas to keep the Corps on schedule when federal funds are lacking. The Corps has indicated that about $11 million will be needed during fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013. If Congress fails to provide funding to meet these cost needs, then the City of Dallas will have the option to provide this funding to keep the Corps on schedule, while credit would be extended to the City of Dallas by the Corps for future design and construction costs.
... I went and found this, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' October 2009 Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Dallas Floodway Project, a Multipurpose Project Containing Levee Remediation, Flood Risk Management, Ecosystem Restoration, Recreation Enhancement, and Other Proposed Projects Along the Trinity River Within and Adjacent to the Existing Dallas Floodway in Dallas County, Dallas TX, which says this ...
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This NOI announces the USACE's intent to initiate the NEPA process for a comprehensive analysis of potential Dallas Floodway Projects. Projects that are currently proposed to be assessed in the USACE Dallas Floodway Project include: City of Dallas levee remediation plans; USACE and City of Dallas 2007 WRDA projects that include the BVP, flood risk management, and interior drainage plans; and other proposed projects within the Dallas Floodway such as the proposed Trinity Parkway Tollway and various bridge and utility improvement projects.
Proposed BVP alternatives for ecosystem restoration and recreation enhancement will be developed and evaluated based on ongoing fieldwork and data collection and past studies conducted by the Corps of Engineers, the City of Dallas, and regulatory agencies. Ecosystem restoration actions that will be evaluated in the DEIS include creating meanders within the Trinity River, restoring, protecting and expanding the riparian corridor, improving aquatic habitat, creating riffle-pool complexes, and constructing wetlands. Recreation measures that will be evaluated include the West, Natural, and Urban lakes, terraced playing fields, multipurpose trails, whitewater facilities, pedestrian bridges, utilities, parking facilities, amphitheaters, promenade, concession pads, boat/canoe access points, and passive recreation features, such as interpretive guidance, media, and picnic areas. Recreation measures will be developed to a scope and scale compatible with proposed ecosystem restoration measures without significantly diminishing ecosystem benefits.
... at which point I saw this, from Rudy Bush's story about the rerouting of Trinity project funds and the need to spend the remaining $46 million in bond funds meant for the road on levee repairs instead and the likelihood of another bond election ...
Council member Dave Neumann, who chairs the council's Trinity River project committee, said he isn't closing the door on using some of the remaining toll road money for the levees.
But he thinks the $1.8 billion road -- which lacks at least $1 billion in funding -- remains a critical part of the Trinity plan.
"The citizens twice have voted to proceed with transportation improvements, which include the Trinity Parkway," he said.
... at which point I thought about calling Jim, who, by that point had been asleep for many hours wrapped in a warm blanket made of wool and toldyaso.