Why Hasn't City Made Some Trinity River Levee Fixes? Too Much Rain, Duh.

Sam and/or Schutze had been hoping to make it to the council's Trinity River Corridor Project Committee meeting this morning. Didn't happen. Slackers. Too bad too, as Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan told council members that, sorry, but a whole mess of those levee fixes won't be fixed till after the March 31 deadline.

At present there are 44 repairs that need to be made by month's end -- 28 of which are among those rated "unacceptable" by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ranging from gates that won't close to security fences that ain't too secure to trees that still need to be yanked. But last week, Jordan writers, the city asked the Corps for an extension, which is needed if the city is to remain eligible for the feds' "rehabilitation assistance" necessary to get the levees locked down. And, of course, the reason for the delay: "much higher than average rainfall."

And if I read this correctly, the city's also fronting the Corps $4.75 million to make sure that Feasibility Study and Integrated Environmental Impact Statement for the Dallas Floodway keeps moving "at full speed."

Update at 2:45 p.m.: Per The News's City Hall blog, yes, the committee will indeed recommend the council vote next Wednesday to use $4.75 million in 1998 bond money intended for the Trinity River Park project go toward funding the study, in the hopes that the feds will pay it back. Says committee chair Dave Neumann: It's important that citizens know that "right now, the mode that we're in as a City Council is we are burning through lakes and bond fund monies to sustain, renovate, repair our levees and our levee protection system, as opposed to the amenities and the features of the original Trinity project." I believe Schutze wrote that for him.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky