Fort Worth

Fort Worth Planning to Buy 10 Houses in Flood-Prone Arlington Heights

Future plans for houses isn't clear

The city of Fort Worth plans to buy as many as 10 houses in the flood-prone Arlington Heights neighborhood, but what it ultimately does with the houses isn’t yet clear.

The city council on Tuesday approved spending about $1.7 million to buy four homes that often flood.

The city is in negotiations to buy another six homes.

Ken Kirkwood is selling his home on Western Avenue.

He said his property has flooded every year since he moved in seven years ago.

"Is it the best solution? My opinion is yes,” he said.

But not everyone agrees.

Some like neighbor Nick Rich talk about a downside.

"I think it's a waste of money to be honest with you,” Rich said. “I think they could spend their tax dollars elsewhere."

Some worry about declining property values. And if some houses are torn down in the middle of the block, they worry it will alter the character of the neighborhood.

The drainage system is closing in on a century old and eventually needs to be replaced.

Greg Simmons, Fort Worth’s director of stormwater management, said the city is trying to address all the neighbors' concerns.

The original plan was to tear down the houses and add green space.

"We are going to go back, now that we're at the point we're at, go back and re-examine all potential ideas and see if there's any alternative use for those," he said.

Alternatives, like maybe elevating the houses instead of demolishing them.

But city officials caution while all this will help, nothing will guarantee no more future flooding.

Kirkwood and his family have already moved out.

"We moved into an apartment because we're not going to go through another year of this,” he said.

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