The Dallas County inland port which consists of 6,000 acres in southern Dallas, and is supposed to develop into the largest inland port on the continent has hit several roadblocks that are impeding its progress.
Richard Allen, a shipping magnate from California came to Dallas six year ago and purchased the property with the intent of developing it into the largest inland shipping hub in the country. Containers would be shipped in by train from Houston and the Pacific Coast ports and then warehoused at the development for nationwide distribution. The project was to provide the economic engine that south Dallas desperately needs by creating thousands of jobs and reaping thousands of dollars in tax revenue. This was the plan until the bottom fell out the economy and development came to a standstill. If that wasn’t bad enough, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and Mayor Tom Leppert got into the act.
It appears that Price and Leppert are deliberately stalling and sabotaging the project because they are in cahoots with Ross Perot Jr., who owns the Alliance airport in Ft. Worth. Perot has publicly indicated the inland port is a “direct threat” to the family’s shipping center at Alliance. Commissioner Price has called Mr. Allen a “carpetbagger.”
How does a person who comes in with a grand vision of developing a project that will provide jobs, tax dollars, and economic vitality to regionally stunted area of south Dallas get tagged as carpetbagger?
Apparently not everyone agrees with Commissioner Price. The University of North Texas has gone so far as developing a “logistics curriculum” that is geared specifically for management positions in the industries directly connected to the inland port.
Price and Allan personally dislike each other, and both men have been playing cat and mouse with each other by cancelling meetings and speaking engagements. In the meantime it’s the constituents who once again suffer the consequences. One of the responsibilities of the County Commissioners is to help provide businesses with the tools they need to move in and create jobs. South Dallas has long been a stagnant location for business development and when the opportunity arises to build the area up and create jobs, you have a County Commissioner foiling the plans. Instead of developing an atmosphere of cooperation, you have two people butting heads because they have a personality conflict. Welcome to politics as usual in Dallas County.