An Army veteran who started a massage therapy business a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic asked the Tarrant Regional Water District on Tuesday whether she would have to move.

Within a few hours, Marquita Moore got her answer.

Yes.

The board unanimously approved offering Go Investments LLC $3 million for the land on which Moore’s and others’ businesses sit on Greenleaf Street. 

“I’ve built relations with people in the community where I am at so I am not exactly sure where I will go,” Moore said in an interview with the Fort Worth Report after the meeting.

Tuesday’s action follows 65 other land acquisitions the water district has made over the years for the Panther Island/Central City Flood Project totaling $93 million. And the water district needs to make an additional 18 acquisitions for this project, water district spokesman Chad Lorance said.

Steve Christian, the district’s real property director, said this particular property is needed to create a bypass channel that will better address flooding than the current 1960s levee system. 

Moore and others affected by the purchase will be given at least 90 days written notice to move and offered relocation assistance, Christian said, although he didn’t say how much.

The appraised value of the property, which is a little more than half an acre in the 300 block of Greenleaf Street, is $559,840, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District. 

The reason the water district offered to Go Investments LLC more for the property than what was listed on the Tarrant Appraisal District’s website is because the water district hired its own certified appraiser. This appraiser likely did a more detailed appraisal than the Tarrant Appraisal District. Go Investments LLC had also listed the property for sale for $3.2 million, Christian said.

The federal government has not provided the necessary funding for Panther Island/Central City Flood Project yet.

The project could receive funding through an annual appropriations bill Congress is expected to pass in December or through bills it has already passed that are related to Hurricane Ida and infrastructure, water district consultant Mark Mazzanti said in a separate public meeting. The infrastructure bill alone will provide the Army Corps of Engineers $2.5 billion for construction that this project is eligible for.

Congresswoman Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, also plans to invite Michael Connor to tour the project once he is sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. 

“The timeline for getting those funds is indefinite, but we anticipate knowing more specifically when those funds could be appropriated by early next spring, beginning that late January to early February time frame,” Mazzanti said.

This story was updated on Monday, Nov. 22  to correct the appraised value of the property.

Jessica Priest is an investigative journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at jessica.priest@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Jessica Priest

Jessica Priest was the Fort Worth Report's government and accountability reporter from March 2021-January 2022. Follow more of her work at www.jessicapriest.me.

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