FORT WORTH, Texas - The city of Fort Worth is considering ways to fix an Arlington Heights neighborhood that floods every time it rains. But the fixes aren’t cheap, and the solutions are not what some residents want to see.
The city has already done millions of dollars worth of construction work to fix flooding here Arlington Heights. Some of it has worked while some of it hasn’t. But some residents and the city seem to be at odds on how to solve it.
Teri Kramer shot video last year during one of the hard rains as water rushing down her driveway. It was a flooding event that's all too common for residents in the neighborhood.
"It breaks my heart,” the Arlington Heights resident said. “And I think it's an admission that the city has really not kept up with the drainage, and they should have."
The flooding problem got the ear of city council on Tuesday during its work session. One option was a long term fix with drainage pipes and tunnels that could cost anywhere from $25-80 million.
The recommended option is the less expensive, less invasive idea of accepting voluntary buyouts from homeowners on the eastern side of the neighborhood. That would cost $2-4 million, less with FEMA money. The city says 6 homeowners on Carleton and Western Avenue have already volunteered to sell.
Once purchased by the city, homes would be knocked down and replaced with a green space area.
“So by acquiring the flood-prone properties, we can create immediate 100 percent reduction of risk for those people,” Storm Water Manager Greg Simmons explained.
But it’s a plan that doesn't sit well with some residents like John Morris.
“It's not a solution,” he said. “It becomes an eyesore, and we think it does depress property values."
He and other residents say the city needs to concentrate on an engineering solution that would route flood water away from their homes.
The city said taking the homes through eminent domains is not something they want to consider and have taken it off the table altogether. The city can apply for the FEMA money in January when they also plan to have a meeting with homeowners to discuss the options.