Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Water's getting deep...

We received this from one of our favorite contributors, thank you Eagle Eye!

Lone Star -

We attended the Riverside Park public meeting last night and were appalled by the condescending tone of the city officials that were leading it. Randle Harwood (Director of Trinity River Vision/City of Fort Worth employee- we learned this later, he introduced himself as "working in the City Manager's office") and Sal Espino (City Council) and Michael Someone? were all irritated that the public was asking questions. Isn't that what a Public meeting is for?

There were police at this meeting too. Is that a requirement? It seemed strange for a public input meeting on a park, that was held in a church.

J.D. Granger was there, though he didn't speak and wasn't introduced. There were other members from the Tarrant Regional Water District, in attendance, as well, not sure of their names, but saw their marked vehicles parked outside.

There were many valid points made by concerned citizens. Not many valid answers from the city.

Towards the end someone yelled "You are out of order!" Not sure if it was Sal or the gentleman who was speaking, because it was a little heated. By the time it was over, Randle Harwood was red faced and sweating and Sal Espino gave a frazzled, loud, exasperated speech and concluded, "We are going to end this meeting".

The citizens seemed to be taken aback by that, they still had/have questions!

The city folks seemed more concerned about putting sticker dots on the options. Someone asked what if you don't like either option? That was another question that went unanswered. They also asked why the option the city seemed to prefer (that costs more) had a fancy name, while the other one was named "Option".

We learned last night that the "Northern Expansion" piece is privately owned land, and the land owner (who was present) was never contacted by the city. We also learned that none of us knew about the first three public meetings because the notification process was "going door to door".

WHAT? Is that legal? Did they go to every door in Fort Worth? (Obviously not or the property owner that is having land threatened would have been notified?) And, as you would logically ask, WHO went door to door?

We were told that the PCB's in sediment have declined, or remain unchanged, since the 1970's and 1980's? Is this true? Wasn't it in the paper recently that they are the highest levels in the Tarrant County portion of the Trinity?

Best we could tell, the options range from $3 million dollars to $4.8 million. Seems like a lot for a park with no restrooms. Yes, you heard that right. No potty's.

The money portion was a hot button of course. Funding is made up from gas revenues, TRV funds, and Valley Storage Construction? Say it's Federal funding, they also say it's been appropriated. Some people argued the fact. So another Trinity River Vision/Fort Worth City employee, Mark Rowser(?) said $52 million has been appropriated, in which $12 million has been spent and $40 million remains. This was a little confusing as one of city rep's had said "future bond programs and gas revenues" will help complete the funding and maintenance.

There was also an argument with a citizen and Harwood about the Trinity Uptown EIS and the standard flood protection requirements.

Someone asked about voting on the northern expansion piece since it's $2.9 million of the total cost. We didn't hear a clear answer to that. Or much else. It's suppose to be presented to council in June. Mark your calendar, if it's anything like last night, you won't want to miss it!

Eagle Eye

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Randle Harwood has moved up. Mark Raush is trinity river vision director for the city.