His resignation is effective April 29, however, his newly formed consulting group will continue to be involved in Panther Island.
TRWD’s general manager, Dan Buhman, said of Granger, “We are grateful for JD’s passion and numerous contributions toward creating a new vision on the Trinity River. During his 16 years at TRWD, he worked tirelessly on the Central City/Panther Island flood control project to assure the Trinity River was a clean, inviting place to live, work and play. His work has forever changed the perception of our river.”
Others were not as complimentary.
Lon Burnam, former state representative and a member of the Water District Accountability Project, is glad that Granger will no longer be an employee.
“He was basically an overpaid events coordinator for 16 years,” Burnam told The Texan.
Another WDAP member, Thomas Torlincasi, believes Granger has “cost taxpayers more than $100,000,000 in cost overruns.”
He’s also critical of Granger’s leadership, stating that “he almost never showed up to monthly board meetings and was never held accountable for his mistakes.”
Panther Island, which began in 2006 as a flood-control and revitalization project in the central part of Fort Worth along the Trinity River, has been the subject of scrutiny over the years.
Its management and finances were examined by an independent review in 2019. The cost of the project has nearly tripled, from an original estimate of $435 million to estimates of $1.2 billion now.
The project recently received a commitment of $403 million in federal funding through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete the Central City bypass channel.
Buhman said, “To that end, TRWD has entered into a 6-month consulting agreement with JD Granger Group, LLC to support program management, provide institutional knowledge and provide strategic input to the benefit of this critical community project.”
The $72,000 contract with the JD Granger Group falls just shy of the $75,000 minimum that would require open public discussion and board approval, Burnam pointed out.
The terms of the contract, as reported by the Fort Worth Report, include his coordination with the local Corps of Engineers leadership and providing input on funding strategies.
WDAP will continue to bring attention to this new arrangement with Granger, but are concerned about the transparency and how it was announced less than nine days before taking effect.
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Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.