Engineer explains Panther Island flood prevention project
Marty Leonard and Jim Lane will return to the Tarrant Regional Water District board.
The pair of incumbents took commanding leads against challengers in Saturday’s election. With 116 of 123 precincts reporting, Leonard took 30% of the vote followed by Lane’s nearly 23%. Mary Kelleher, who previously served on the board, trailed with 17% while Charles “C.B.” Team had 16% and Gary Moates 14%. More than 3,000 votes separated Lane and Kelleher.
Voters could chose two for at-large seats.
The water district’s principal responsibility is supplying almost 118 billion gallons of raw water to more than 2 million people. The district also manages several Dallas-Fort Worth reservoirs, including Lake Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain Lake and Cedar Creek Lake.
But the focus this election was on Panther Island. The $1.17 billion project aims to protect 2,400 acres from flooding with a river channel that would form an island near downtown. Though approved by Congress, funding has stalled.
All the candidates said they supported an independent review of the project that will look at management and finances, among other things. That review will cost more than $400,000 and should be done by early July.
Both Lane and Leonard have remained confident that even though Washington didn’t fund the project in this year’s budget, money would eventually flow to Panther Island.