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Trinity River COMMON VISION Program

Introduction

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Reconnaissance Study

In the late 1980’s NCTCOG adopted a Regional Policy Position on Trinity River Corridor which affirmed, among other key points, that local governments must be the stewards of the Trinity River Corridor, that individual local goals can only be achieved through cooperative management, and that a comprehensive approach addressing flood damage reduction, recreation, and environmental quality must be pursued. An innovative Corridor Development Certificate process was begun (as discussed below) to stabilize the flooding risks.

Upon the request of the affected local governments, Congress authorized the Corps to undertake a Reconnaissance Study to determine if feasible flood protection plan(s) could be identified to reduce the risk of flooding, as well as address water quality, recreation, environmental enhancements and other allied purposes. The Corps studied a variety of flood control options in particular, and found at least a dozen with positive benefit-cost ratios that merited further attention in the Feasibility Study phase.

Feasibility Study Initiated

It was now time for local governments to act. Each of the nine cities, three counties and two special districts with development and regulatory authority for the Trinity River Corridor executed interlocal agreements with NCTCOG establishing a formal structure for cooperative planning. A Steering Committee of elected officials was formally appointed to provide policy guidance, along with a staff task force for technical support.

NCTCOG was identified as the administrative agent to coordinate the efforts and to enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the Corps for the Upper Trinity River Feasibility Study. Even at this stage it was recognized that a more comprehensive COMMON VISION was needed and would be pursued not only with the Corps but other local, state and federal partners. Thus, the interlocal agreements were written very broadly to allow a wide range of cooperative activities.

The first phase of the Upper Trinity River Feasibility Study was scoped as an $8 million six-year effort through the fall of 1996, with NCTCOG responsible for providing the $4 million non-federal match. In turn, NCTCOG negotiated and administered a $2 million grant from the Texas Water Development Board, and obtained the $2 million of local funds on a pro-rata annual formula based on the jurisdiction’s land area within the corridor. NCTCOG’s funding support came from a portion of the local share. The Feasibility Study began in the fall of 1990 to address flood damage reduction, water quality improvement, environmental restoration, recreation and other allied purposes such as transportation. Phase II extends the study to the Year 2000 with an additional $6.85 million for local and regional implementation planning.

 

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