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Had Wylie We. was available to the Observer only if the utility company in question chose to provide it. The Trinity Improvement Association was not particularly helpful. Lowell Duncan, executive director of the TIA, explained that the TIA “is a water resource development organization” that gets its money through membership dues. He refused to say how much the dues are or who pays them. “I’m afraid to disclose that information, exactly,” he said. “That’s the policy of the association.” As for the annual budget \(which has been given in numerous said, “You’re getting into areas that I believe are confidential due to the nature of the association.” The Observer was not even able to get a current list of the TIA’s board of directors, although this information is supposed to be filed annually with a corporation’s franchise tax payment. According to Article 12.11 of the state franchise tax law, “Each report of any corporation shall be sworn to by either the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, or general manager and shall give the name and address of each officer and director.” The list of directors that the TIA supplied with its 1975 franchise tax payment was at least two years out of date and it contained no addresses. The Observer repeatedly asked TIA Director Duncan for a current list of directors; for two weeks he has been saying the list is in the mail; it has not arrived. The amounts contributed to the TIA by various concerns obviously differ extravagantly. Large funds are often solicited by the officers of the TIA. In recent years, these fund raisers have included Ben Carpenter, currently the president of the TIA and the chairman of the board of a large Dallas insurance company; Amon Carter, Jr., chairman of the board of the TIA and the publisher of The Fort Worth StarTelegram; James W. Aston, chairman of the Republic of Texas Corp.; and John M. Stemmons, an industrial developer whose family owned a big hunk of Trinity bottom land in Dallas that became prime industrial land when the levy was built in the Thirties. The TIA is the direct descendant of the Trinity River Canal Association, which was founded in August of 1930: Among the founders were the fathers of the current . TIA officers, Amon Carter, Sr., and John W. Carpenter, who was at one time president of Texas Power & Light. The purpose of the Canal Association was “to improve the rivers and other waterways in this State, and to render the same navigable for steam vessels and other water craft, and with authority to charge and collect tolls for the navigation of such rivers and waterways.” The name was changed to the Trinity Improvement Association in May of 1938, and the purposes were expanded “to improve the rivers and other waterways in the State, to render the same navigable for steam vessels and other watercraft through conservation and proper development of its natural resources by means of a properly coordinated program including flood control, soil and water conservation, navigation, reclamation, and the alleviation of stream pollution, with the authority to charge and collect tolls for navigation of such rivers and waterways.” From the Thirties until very recently, Dallas politicians and fat cats all agreed that navigation on the Trinity would be great for business and for the people, the very essence of progress. As a utilities executive, John Carpenter understood that barge traffic might be a cheap way to transport TP&L’s coal and other raw materials. The canal plan was universally popularexcept with the railroad interests. Every year the TIA organizes and orchestrates a Trinity delegation to lobby before the House and Senate public works committees in Washington. In 1965, for example, the canal boosters flew to Washington 300 strong, including 62 mayors and , 15 county judges. Businessmen wereand areexpected to do their part too. As to how money is raised, Carolyn Barta described the process in a feature about John Stemmons last year: “The system of earning your stripes by’ providing and obtaining the money and thereby moving into a decision-making position has never been really questioned in Dallas. Nor has the system of virtually ‘assessing’ businesses for their fair share of this, that, or the other campaign. It’s been the way business was done in Dallas.” One can imagine the TIA officersmarching into a utility office and asking for 15 or 30 thou for the cause. The TIA was instrumental in getting the Texas Legislature to create the Trinity River Authority in 1955, From then until 1974, the TRA, a state entity, and the TIA, a private corporation, were as close as Siamese twins. They shared adjoining offices in the same building in Arlington, and their officers were often identical. In 1973, David Brune headed up both of the organizations. He was general manager of the TRA and president of the TIA. By the Seventies, however, citizens along the Trinity were beginning to ask some new questions about the worth of the canal, whether the cost benefit ratio wasn’t a little bit out of kilter, whether the tax rate to pay off the canal bonds wasn’t a bit steep, and whether the cost to the environment was really too great to pay. And state and federal regulations began to require the Trinity developers to consider the environmental impact of their plans. After the canal referendum was defeated in ’73, both the TRA and the TIA began deemphasizing the importance of the barge canal in favor of general goals concerning “development” of the river basin, flood control, soil conservation, and improving the quality of the Trinity water. Some, where along the line, the TIA and the TRA must have realized that their physical and ideological closeness was open to criticism, because, in 1974, the TIA moved out of the TRA’s building and set up shop a block down the street. In 1975, the TIA moved all the way to Irving. Brune and various directors of the TRA were removed from the letterhead of the TIA stationery and so was the little picture of a steamboat that had been the TIA’s logo. The TIA also stopped publishing the Trinity Valley Progress, a slick quarterly magazine that was filled with advertisements from utilities and other businesses in the river basin. In April of 1974 the TIA launched a monthly newsletter called Update. It invariably contains a photo of a happy fisherman displaying a large catch from the Trinity, a call for “intelligent use March 26, 1976 9 ,4.1.11140.01Ptir.i .4dr.k….