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Budget Worries Threaten Vision for Fort Worth Riverfront District and Flood Control Project

An ambitious stormwater infrastructure project in Fort Worth would also include a mega-project development of a new riverfront district. Funding has become a problem, well into work on the project.
September 23, 2019, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Panther Island rendering.

Amanda McCoy reports that the Trinity River Vision Authority, tasked with overseeing planning for the Panther Island project in Forth Worth, is running out of money for the project.

The $1.7 billion Panther Island project would implement flood protection for the city while also creating a pedestrian-oriented waterfront district in Forth Worth. Pantehr Island is planned to include new parks, including Gateway Park, new homes, canals to stroll, and more.

"The budget for the authority, which coordinates the local effort behind the $1.17 billion Panther Island project, has relied on a $200 million loan from the Tarrant Regional Water District since its inception," reports McCoy. "But little of that original loan remains, about $7 million, so the authority will have to turn to bond money to fund the rest of the $36.6 million 2020 budget."

"The problem: That $250 million bond can’t be funded without extending the lifespan of a special tax district designed to repay the debt. The Fort Worth City Council and Mayor Betsy Price have been unwilling to extend the tax district until questions about future federal funding are resolved," adds Mc Coy.

The project is currently doing "relocation, demolition and environmental work" to prepare the Panther Island site for the Army Corps of Engineers to dig a 1.5 mile channel in the Trinity River north of downtown for the floor control component of the project.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 in Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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