In The News

Water district approves more money for Trinity Uptown

by Gordon Dickson | Sep 18, 2013

Fort Worth Star-Telegram 

FORT WORTH — The Tarrant Regional Water District approved a budget Tuesday that pumps an additional $60 million into the Trinity River Vision project.

Funding for the sweeping $910 million flood control and economic development project on Fort Worth’s near north side will come from the agency’s $80.7 million general fund budget, approved unanimously by the board.

The agency, which provides water to about 2 million North Texans, also approved a $126.4 million revenue budget to pay for its massive water projects, such as initial work on a $2.3 billion pipeline that will bring water to a thirsty Metroplex. Money flows into this budget from cities that buy raw water from the district.

As part of its budget, the board also voted to keep the same property tax rate it has had since 2000. At 2 cents per $100 of evaluation, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $20 annually, not including homestead or other exemptions.

The water district is lending money to the Trinity River Vision Authority mainly to provide startup funding for a far-flung plan to dig a new channel for the Trinity River north of downtown Fort Worth.

The goal is to repay the Tarrant Regional Water District with proceeds from a tax increment financing district created in Fort Worth’s central-city area to capture future property tax proceeds as real estate increases in value.

When the river is moved into a new, roughly 11/2-mile-long channel, an 800-acre island will be created near downtown that officials hope will attract waterfront residential and commercial development. That plan is known as Trinity Uptown, although officials say they’re strongly considering renaming it Panther Island.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796 Twitter: @gdickson