City Hall

Take a Dip in the Trinity, Dry Off in Downtown

Where to begin, where to begin as we sneak peek the council's week ahead? Perhaps at Jim's favorite destination -- the shores of the Trinity River. Tomorrow's meeting of the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee looks to be the most interesting in a long while, as the council starts adding up the money spent so far on the project and looks at what little there is left. As in: Of the $246 million in '98 bond money, about $67 mil remains unencumbered -- with $40 mil of that in unsold bonds. The Trinity Parkway, for which $84 million was allocated, has already gone through $35 million; the lakes, through $19.5 mil of $31.5 mil budgeted. Lots of interesting math problems this morning.

The corner of Main and Akard of the future, per a guesstimation in the Downtown Dallas 360 plan pitch
Also on the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee's to-do list: an update on how those levee fixes are coming. Question is: Will the repairs to the "unacceptable" levees be made by the time the Federal Emergency Management Agency releases its revised flood maps? (About which there will be more public meetings, by the way.) That was supposed to be done next August but has been pushed back, per the briefing, to December 2011. Still, hard to say whether that's enough time for the city to do its thing: On August 25 and 26, the city met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials, at which time they decided it was necessary to do more soil testing. Still to be determined: Will the levees need major or minor surgery? Because you don't want downtown to flood.

That would make the Downtown Dallas 360 plan a total waste of time. Oh, and speaking of: The council gets its first look at that long(ish)-in-the-works plan this afternoon, at the Transportation and Environment Committee meeting, with another to follow at Economic Development tomorrow. We'll have more on this later, but worth a look-see this morning are the last few pages of the briefing dealing with the immediate to-dos, among them such vague suggestions as "recruit tenants for priority activation spaces" along Main Street; create vendor ordinances; create an organization that'll oversee nothing but downtown parking; and "explore potential for a special assessment for properties that directly benefit from transit access to provide enhanced streetscape improvements and support streetcar operation and maintenance." More to come on this, and the others, later. Still, that's enough reading for first thing Monday.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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