Trinity Committee Goes Behind Closed Doors to Discuss That $15 Mil the Corps Wants Returned

TrinityRiverCorridorExecSession.jpg
It took Rebecca Rasor, director of the Trinity River Corridor Project, all of, oh, 15 minutes to walk the council's Trinity River Corridor Project Committee through that PowerPoint we previewed this morning -- you know, the one in which the U.S Army Corps of Engineers is demanding the city pay back $15 million. I won't repeat most of it; she just read from the presentation, recapping the history of the Rochester Park and Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Levees and the city's efforts to keep Cadillac Heights from drowning heavy rain after heavy rain.

And the rest I'm not sure I can repeat -- something about the Corps making a "boo-boo" and sending the city cash when it was supposed to be extending us credit for land acquisition for the Dallas Floodway Extension project. But as Friend of Unfair Park Wylie H. notes in the comments below, "If this were to be the case, then it seems that there would be offsetting savings, somewhere, that would make this a non-issue."

But it's not a non-issue -- quite the opposite. Rasor told the committee the Corps wants its first payment of $500,000 this fiscal year, which means by month's end, and that the city's gonna have to cough up $15 million, $8 million of which has been spent. She didn't say on what. And to raise the dough Dallas doesn't have, Rasor said, we have a few options -- like taking it out of the 1998 bond program, canceling something altogether or issuing commercial paper. Or something.

When Rasor wrapped, it should have been time for questions from the council. But, no: New committee chair Vonciel Jones Hill immediately sent proceedings behind closed doors and into executive session, so they could consult with city attorneys. She said it would take no more than 10, 15 minutes. Not quite. After 45 or so Muzak-filled minutes, the committee returned to open session, and ...

Hill said she, as the committee chair, was proposing "a motion which indicates the repayment agreement will not be placed on the September 28, 2011, agenda, and that the city's attorneys are instructed to work with the Corps' attorneys in moving this matter forward. Is there a second?"

You betcha!

" Discussion?"

Um, no.

"Motion carries."

In the words of James Tiberius Schutze below, "Yoohoo! Ain't gonna pay! All right! This can only get juicier."
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22 comments
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mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Ok, Ok.... I wasn't gonna do this 'cuz I was all like, "Fuck it, the city fucked up, let 'em fix their own mistakes." but now that I have seen the gravity of this situation, I know I've got to step up and do the right thing. I'll fix the damn levies for say... $12 million (plus a $14.75 per diem).

You can just send the money now, Mary Suhm, and I'll *definitely* get back to you...

The Derelict
The Derelict

la cabrona Suhm no vale verga la pendeja. 

JimS
JimS

The $50 million additional to fix the levees is very obscure. Suhm has been saying she could fix the levees for $150 million. So doe this make it $200 million? Does it mean the Corps does not accept Suhm's version  of how to do it? Why is Craig Holcomb of the private lah-de-dah Trinity Trust speaking to this and not the city? Curiouser and curiouser.

replay
replay

I'm betting ACE hasn't completely told them what the "additional requirements" will be. If that is so, the $50 Million is just speculation. With all the pressure from ACE to get the repayment agreement approved by the end of September, I'm thinking ACE wanted to have agreement on the money before they fully disclose the "additional requirements".

Renegade
Renegade

To show my levee-fixing ignorance, isn't it cheaper to fix your levees during a drought than to wait until the floods come?  I seem to recall it being a third of the price to fix a dock on the lake, you know, when the whole thing is exposed due to low water levels

RTR
RTR

Yeah, but the problems come when you don't have the money in either circumstance. 

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

The NBC 5 story is really interesting:  http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/loc...

The Corps' spokesperson makes absolutely no mention of this "credit" that Dallas was supposed to receive-- he simply states that the $15 million was sent without authorization (it sounded from Jordan's explanation that it was part of some sort of special entitlement that the City got attached to another bill-- maybe they botched it up, somehow).

Alarmingly, Kalthoff also states the Corps is now demanding the City perform extra levee repair work that will cost an additional $50 million.  If you add that $50 million to the $15 the Corps wants paid back, you're talking $65 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL CASH OUTFLOWS!!!

The Derelict
The Derelict

if the new mayor had a nutsack, he would call an AM pressr and basically say 'enough of this f'n nonsense, this tollroad business is over, ain't happenin', i didn't get us into this shit but i will end it because it's the only logical thing to do'.  

but i'm afraid we'll get something like this ...'this needs to be studied further so that we can give the citiziens of Dallas the project they voted for in 1998.'

The Derelict
The Derelict

ha... too funny, the Corps put the City on a layaway plan.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

But it's interest free, as Ms. Jordan pointed out today!

replay
replay

Considering that the City has had the $22 Million since 2004, interest free, THAT IS A PRETTY GOOD DEAL.

Appalled
Appalled

Neither Belo outlet WFAA or DMN is covering this as of 6 pm. DMN had all day and didnt. But NBC 5 just did. City wouldn't talk to Ken Kalthouf. Crazy world. DO rocks on. Congrats!

RTR
RTR

2 comments:

1) DMN does not want to touch this!

2) DMN reads DO to find out what is going on in Dallas Politics!

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

The DMN has buried the story at the tail end of an article about the Corps wanting the City to slow down its repair of the levees to accommodate some sort of new process.  Like all the DMN's coverage on the issue, they completely avoid discussing the actual condition of the levees, and continue to cover the matter as if it is all just a bunch of red tape.

Gotta' love the DMN....

http://www.dallasnews.com/news...

Downtown_er
Downtown_er

If I owned the DMN, the first thing I would do, is move Rudy Bush and Steve Thompson out of their City Hall offices. Incest is never going to serve you well. As proven by the ass thumping by the DO. 

Paul
Paul

So much for the sunshine which just got blown up our collective ....

Mountain Creek
Mountain Creek

Some day this drought is going to end.  And it might end with a vengeance.  The original levees were built within a matter of MONTHS.  Now it seems like we'll be dickering about for YEARS trying to determine how to protect downtown.  Let's hope we don't wait too long.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

If yer still watching: Scott Griggs said he wants trails in the levees now. "We need look at ways to get some quick wins" rather than "working on some some grand future plan." At next meeting: update on payment plan, maybe, said Hill. And other stuff. Hill also said she's going to come up with a list of goals for the Trinity River Corridor Project, per the mayor's request, just as soon as she finished studying the Trinity River Corridor Project. Maybe she should call Jim. It's what I do.

replay
replay

After 13 years and very little progress on the Trinity project, there are no "quick wins". Unfortunately, Scott Griggs is about 10 years late.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

Oh, somebody's gonna pay. Maybe this can be Mary Suhm's final act before leaving?

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