Panther Island Project Leader Walks Back Statements on Future Funding

The man in charge of Fort Worth’s “Panther Island” project says he now regrets comments he made to NBC 5 Investigates.

In an earlier interview, which aired this week, J.D. Granger suggested Panther Island will get more federal funding now that his mother, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, is the top Republican on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

He also said initially that his mother would retire once funding is secured.

Kay Granger is the longtime champion of the Panther Island work, north of downtown Fort Worth, billed as both a flood protection measure and as an economic development endeavor.

J.D. Granger is head of the Trinity River Vision Authority, which is overseeing the project.

In the earlier interview, hours after his mother had moved up in the Appropriations Committee, Granger told NBC 5 Investigates: “Today is a great day ...this is the day we have been looking for right now”

He suggested his mother would now be able to deliver the millions of federal tax dollars still needed to complete the project.

But in a statement he issued Tuesday to NBC 5 Investigates, Granger said, “While the congresswoman’s recent appointment ...is great news for Fort Worth, it does not guarantee remaining federal funds needed to complete the project.”

Granger also said in the earlier interview that once he and his mother feel comfortable that Panther Island is fully funded, “we both get to retire.”

But in his statement tonight, he said, “Regretfully, I misspoke” about his mother planning to retire after funding is accomplished.

That sentiment was backed up by a spokeswoman in Washington, who in a statement said, “The congresswoman looks forward to completing this project and continuing to serve the people of Fort Worth in Congress.”

The statement added: “She is not retiring.”

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