Council approves budget and lower tax rate

During its regular Sep. 15, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Council met to recognize former member Mike Thomas and IT Day, consider lowering tax rate, adopting 20-21 budget, new master fee schedule, rezoning Silver Crossing, working with Mesquite and Markout, expanding public works building, legal staff.(watch official video)

  • Presentation to former Council Member Mike Thomas.
  • Presentation of a Proclamation declaring Sep. 16 as National IT Professionals Day.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • the City acceptance for the Public Works Sidewalk Improvements Project.
          Documents show this is for Downing and Center street, an amount of 75k.
    • the City acceptance and a change order for the Redbud Drive Reconstruction Project.
          Documents indicate this was $46k.
    • a final plat for the Parc at Windmill Farms Addition, Lot 1, Block A, located north of U.S. Highway 80 and west of Windmill Farms Boulevard in the City of Forney, Texas, ETJ.
    • a preliminary plat for the Justice Center, Lot 1, Block 1, located at the northeast corner of F.M. 548 and Justice Center Drive.
    • a Resolution approving the 2020 Annual Update to the Service and Assessment Plan and Assessment Rolls for The Villages of Fox Hollow Public Improvement District No. 1 (Capital PID) including the collection of the 2020 annual installments.
    • a Resolution awarding a contract to H&H Electrical Contractors, Inc for the Maintenance Improvements at Pump Station No. 2, and all related issues.
          Documents show this is to service a pump for $43k.
    • an RFP for a new City Wide telephone system.
          Documents show the city plans to fund this with CARES act grant.
    • Rejection of all bids received on the City Parks Storage project.
          Documents state "we reject all bids and table the project at this time."

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • an Ordinance to rezone 53.94 acres from Light Industrial district to a mixed use Planned Development district with multi-family, townhome, office and retail uses. The property is located east of North F.M. 548, south of Don T. Cates Drive and is identified by the Kaufman County Appraisal District as property id's 7769 and 7770.
          Mr. Morgan said a version of this came in July, with more Multi-Family (MF) and fewer townhomes (TH), denied by P&Z and council.  Applicant went back to P&Z, removed 100 MF, added 74 townhomes.  Located N. of AMC theater, S. of Steve Silver.  The PD would have a base of MU.  Proposing 420 MF, 114 TH, office + retail.  Approved uses are generally compliant with zoning.  Proposed phasing of construction - will begin with 130 townhomes, then 40k sq ft of retail/office before could start MF.  Includes extension of Ridgecrest.  A TIA has not been done yet - that was a major concern for P&Z, who denied 5-1. 
          Mr. Carson verified there was no development agreement.
          Mr. John Kendall, representing applicant, said been before P&Z and council twice now.  Originally had 720 MF, 0 TH, gone down 300 MF, included 114 to 130 TH.  P&Z only had one point, that there was no TIA, so had no conversation with them.  Many cities are not accepting TIA now, as they would be skewed.  They did have one of their own traffic engineers view the area, who counted 150 18 wheelers.  They are offering easement to Steve Silver to drastically reduce traffic problems.  Have worked with staff and Mr. Carson, who said they need to have 40k office & retail, which they bargained on but stuck with 40k.  About 7.5 mil in infrastucture would be provided by developer.  The seller will not give them more time, 3 buyers are waiting to put in LI tilt-wall buildings, which will add more 18 wheelers in the area.  Their firm does industrial, but this is a chance to to have retail there.  He pointed out no citizens have objected at any hearings.  He spoke w/ city attorney, requests, if application approved, stating it would be valid on Oct. 7.
          There was no public input.
          Mayor Penn said she knows someone at Steve Silver, they said about 50 trucks per day, that's why want TIA to have correct information.  Ms. Powers asked about not doing TIA due to COVID, Mr. Morgan was not aware of what other cities are doing.  Mr. Kendall said they are required to do TIA first, before development.  Mayor Penn said have a lot of apartments already.
          Mr. Traylor moved to deny w/ prejudice.  The denial was approved 6-1.
    • Approved an amendment to the City of Forney Thoroughfare Plan and Map.
          Mr. Morgan said two major areas of changes - roads going through flood plains and PDs.  On East side changes for roads going to Terrell ETJ and roads going through industrial areas.  P&Z approved.
          There was no public input.
    • Approved an ordinance levying special assessments against the assessable property within the Fox Hollow Public Improvement District No. 1 (Maintenance PID) and approving the final update to the Service and Assessment Plan, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code. The PID contains approximately 813.605 acres of land generally located southeast of FM 548 between FM 1641 and FM 741 (Fox Hollow).
          Mr. Thatcher said earlier approved resolution for improvements, this is for maintenance PID.  Annual assessments are made, which has been 12 cents.  These are not taxes, but Kaufman tax collector collects these fees.  The board is being transitioned to property owners.
          Mr. Jamie Hernandez asked if this was levied against all homes in Fox Hollow - Mr. Thatcher said yes, all properties in the maintenance PID, which includes all residences.  Mr. Hernandez said when they bought the home, broker didn't tell them it was in a MUD, later found out was a PID on top of that.  Mr. Thatcher said it's not a MUD, but there are 2 overlapping PIDs, capital PID since 2008, levied against new construction only.  The capital PID ends when it's paid off.  Mr. Hernandez said one is $300, the other is $9k.

  • Approved an Ordinance adopting the amended budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.
        Ms. Woodham said this adjusts current budget to reflect actual spending and revenue.
  • Approved ratifying the tax rate as provided in the budget.
  • Approved an ordinance adopting the annual budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21.
        Ms. Woodham said this was a difficult budget year, kept it more conservative than previous years, provides all needs of city and a rate decrease.
  • Approved an ordinance levying ad valorem taxes for Fiscal Year 2020-21 and take any action necessary.
        Ms. Woodham said the proposed budget based on .53871, lower than last year, have lowered it by 21 cents over 8 years.
        Mr. Hernandez said he's 60, wife is 70, lived here 11 years, looking at retirement.  School taxes don't decrease with age, he would like to stop paying school taxes at 65.
        Mayor Penn said they have nothing to do w/ school taxes, he should address the school board.  Same with county taxes.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances by amending the Master Fee Schedule to reflect changes to certain fees and miscellaneous permits.
        Ms. Woodham said this is final ordinance for budget process; there are new charges for credit card fees of 3%.
  • Approved update on Land Use Assumptions and CIP for Water and Sewer Impact Fees and Schedule a Public Hearing to discuss and review the update on Oct. 20.
        Mr. Zook introduced Mr. Dormier, who updated the CIP committee .  He said impact fees since 1990, studies updated every 5 years, always a 10-year plan.  In past 5 years city completed half of water projects, and 6 of 8 sewer projects.  Committee recommended using 5% growth rate.  This is to provide information and to schedule a public hearing.
  • Approved allowing staff to seek bids for the new additions and improvements to existing City facilities and all related issues.
        Mr. Zook said march 17 contract was approved, staff & WRA had had good collaboration.
        Mr. Brian Wyatt with WRA said reviewed needs, want to change entrance, connect both building to a single entrance, a 450 sq ft addition would be needed.  This will provide a training room, open up more staff offices that are secure and socially distanced.  They will create a 3600 sq ft storage building.  There will be additional public parking in the front.
        Mr. Johnson said isn't keen on gravel for the storage building, he prefers asphalt.  Mr. Zook said trying to get as much as can for budget, could look at harder surface in future.  Ms. Powers asked about joining the buildings - staff will be able to traverse the entire building.  Mr. Johnson appreciates them using Competitive Sealed Proposals instead of traditional bids
  • Delayed action on a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to finalize, execute and administer a Memorandum of Understanding between Forney and the City of Mesquite defining the expectations and responsibilities of Forney and Mesquite related to Mesquite's acquisition of the Markout Water Supply Corporation water system, customers of the system, and division of the water system.
        Mr. Thatcher said this is first step after many discussions, when Markout petitioned Mesquite to take over system.  Several items must be reviewed, but tonight is only the MOU.  He would like to brief council in executive session before action taken.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • City Manager's report - departments did a great job in these difficult times working on the budget.  He thanked Neil and group for doing a great job.  Mayor Penn gave kudos to Chief Lunt for foiling crimes in an expedient manner.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Traylor thanked IT team, parks and rec; Mr. Myers thanked staff, likes innovative items coming from parks board; Mr. Moon thanked staff for the budget; Mr. Cooper thanked staff; Mr. Johnson kudos to staff, Mr. Thomas summed it up earlier saying best staff ever had, says a lot about city manager, thanks public for coming; Mayor Penn excited about lower tax rate, thanks Mr. Hernandez for being involved, thinks unified council is more peaceful.  Remember still have a pandemic during halloween.
  • Held a 2-hr 22-minute executive session re:
    • PUC Docket No. 46662; SOAH Docket No. 473-17-4964.WS Petition of the Cities of Garland, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson Appealing the Decision by North Texas Municipal Water District Affecting Wholesale Water Rates; Proposed Contract Amendment and Settlement Agreement.
    • PUC Docket No. 47814; SOAH Docket No. 46-18-1344.WS Petition of High Point Water Supply Corporation, Talty Special Utility District and Markout Water Supply Corporation Appealing the Decision by the City of Forney Affecting Wholesale Water Rates.
    • Deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee (Tex. Gov't Code 551.074): City Manager , City Attorney , City Secretary , Municipal Judges; Professional Services Agreement for 2020-2022 Term
    • Project King Kong
    • Project Flash

  • Approved authorizing "mayor to execute an amendment to the agreement for professional services and employment as the city attorney."
  • Approved contract for professional judicial services for presiding municipal judge Jessica Spain and associate judge Lingerfelter for Oct. 2020 to Sep 2022.
  • Approved a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to finalize, execute and administer a Memorandum of Understanding between Forney and the City of Mesquite defining the expectations and responsibilities of Forney and Mesquite related to Mesquite's acquisition of the Markout Water Supply Corporation water system, customers of the system, and division of the water system.

  • Adjourned at 2213
Tuesday, 2020, September 15