June 4, 2011 · Filed Under Events and News 

Central Arlington Heights has experienced significant flooding issues over the years during intense rain events; and in response, the City of Fort Worth is in the process of planning improvements to the storm drain system to reduce the risk of flooding.  This past March, Fort Worth’s Storm Water Management Division gave a presentation regarding the issues and how it may impact us here in Arlington Heights.  You can access the presentation by clicking here: March 3rd Presentation (Power Point)

Since then, many serious concerns by residents of Arlington Heights, especially those who may be directly impacted, have been brought to the forefront of this project.  Here is a Question & Answer dialogue that was recently received by AHNA and neighbors directly impacted:

Dear Arlington Heights residents,

 I’m using the blind copy function for addressing this e-mail because I don’t want to assume that everyone is OK with their e-mail address being shared with a large group of folks.  But, just so you will all know, I included in the addressees to this e-mail those who have participated in our meetings about, or otherwise shown an interest in, the City’s efforts to address the drainage problems in the Central Arlington Heights area.

 Earlier this week Christina Patoski (President, Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association) forwarded to me a list of questions she has received about this initiative.  Below, for everyone’s information are those questions and my responses. 

– On the power point presentation that’s posted on the city’s website and that you gave at Stripling Middle School on March 3, are the maps that illustrate the “greenfield detention” options accurate?  Are those the exact properties that are under consideration at this time for buy outs?    

 At this time we are not considering the acquisition of any residential properties.  If a property owner of a floodprone property comes to us with a desire to have the City acquire the floodprone property we will consider that.  But our focus right now is to see how much improvement in the drainage situation is affordably achievable with a variety of other measures that do not involve the use of residential property.  

 – How can eminent domain be avoided if someone in the middle doesn’t want to be bought out?  

 I believe the answer to the question above answers this one as well.  

 – How much money is budgeted for the “fix” in Arlington Heights? (I seem to remember that someone said that all that can be spent is about $10 million a year, but that’s not just for Arlington Heights, correct?)  

 We don’t have a set budget for this project.  In order to determine how much we can or should spend to address this issue, we first must determine: the cost of the possible alternatives for improving drainage,  the benefit of each alternative in terms of the value of the level of protection each provides, and the priority of this project based on those factors as compared to other needed projects throughout the City.   

 – When staff makes recommendations to City Council, will they be recommending a single option from the power point or will additional alternatives be recommended as well?   

 We will be recommending a set of measures rather than a single option.  Before any decisions are made on the recommended course of action,  though, we will review with the District 7 City Councilmember the entire process and explain to him how we arrived at the recommended alternative.   And, of course, that won’t be done until we’ve briefed the entire community.   

 – What happened to the idea of doing a number of smaller fixes, rather than one single big one?  

 This is what we are focussed on right now and the first phase of an overall drainage improvement strategy will likely consist of a variety of smaller measures.  

 – Are you considering any other options that are not listed in the March 3 power point? 

  We are focused right now on surface and underground detention on non-residential properties and along streets.  Generally speaking, those are the sorts of things included in the options presented on March 3rd

  – Has there been any conversation with Walgreen’s about a joint mitigation project with them?  

 Not yet but we will talk to them about such possibilities.  

– Does the “acceptability to the community” factor have the same weight in the final decision as “affordability” and “effectiveness”?  

 We are striving to achieve a solid consensus amongst community, City staff, and engineering consultants on the optimal approach.  Each of those factors is crucial in achieving that goal.   

– When will the next public meeting be?   

Probably in late July sometime.  At that time we expect to report out on the set of measures that appear to be the key parts of the improvement plan.  If we can achieve the consensus desired at that meeting we will then turn over that plan to our design engineer to begin turning the concepts into an engineering design that can ultimately be constructed.  Likely the plan will have multiple phases.  The first phase would be executed in a 3 – 5 year timeframe and would provide a significant improvement in the level of flood protection.  Subsequent phases would be executed over a 10 – 15 year timeframe if priorities and funding availability allows.
Greg Simmons, P.E. 

Assistant Director 

Transportation and Public Works Department

City of Fort Worth

Additional information provided by the city of Fort Worth on stormwater management can be found at their website, click here to access directly:  CITY OF FORT WORTH STORMWATER MANAGEMENT CENTRAL ARL HTS


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