Dallas Has $1.5 Billion in Unfunded Flood Control Problems

City to hold series of public meetings about proposed bond referendum

Dallas has $1.5 billion in unfunded flood control problems, according to a City Council committee briefing Monday.

Widespread flooding in March 2006 that made Baylor Medical Center an island and submerged several freeways is blamed in part on the problems the city had known about for years.

During a City Council briefing in January, City Manager Mary Suhm said she looses sleep worrying about it. She said then that the highest priority was an expensive deep tunnel project to relieve flooding in a large part of East Dallas, including the Baylor area.

The project would cost about $323 million.

Monday's briefing to the Transportation and Environment Committee also names a $91 million overhaul of the Able Pump station along the Trinity River as a priority project to relieve Central Dallas freeway flooding that also occurred in March 2006.

The city is planning a public improvement bond referendum this year that would provide money for flood control, but Suhm has said Dallas can only afford about $450 million in bond borrowing without raising property taxes to pay for it.

The city has many other unfunded needs, and council members have been concerned that their neighborhood problems will be ignored if so much is spent on just two flood control projects.

The briefing from city staff Monday responds to council concerns with the most detailed explanation in years about Dallas flood control issues.

A series of public meetings about the bond referendum will be held over the next few weeks to hear people's concerns about what public improvements should be included.

Four of those meetings are Monday night. Click here for more information.

People can also file comments online.

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