Council starts on bond election; to resume virtual meetings.

During its regular Dec. 01, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Council met to consider amendments for budget, KCFWSD1A (Windmill Farms) wastewater treatment, Fox Hollow bylaws, Markout/Mesquite water service, expanding ETJ, forming a bond committee and returning to virtual meetings.
(watch official video)

  • Approved a Resolution suspending the January 23, 2021 effective date of CoServ Gas, Ltd.'s requested increase to permit the City time to study the request and to establish reasonable rates; approving cooperation with other similarly situated cities; hiring legal and consulting services to negotiate with the company and direct any necessary appeals; authorizing intervention in Docket OS-20-00005136 at the Railroad Commission; requiring reimbursement of cities' rate case expenses.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending the budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.
        Mr. Carson said staff evaluated this for what they pay 3rd party for inspections and plan reviews.  Did same with engineering, found both were cheaper to do in-house.  This is for landscaping, which is more difficult - more vendors, more departments.  Ms. Wilson said 492k for mowing, 123k for first quarter, rest of year would save 41k.  85k.  for 2022, would save about 96k.  Mr. Traylor asked about capital expenses - Mr. Cardwell said would need two 96-inch tractors and couple mowers.  Mr. Carson said have existing equipment that will be used; Mr. Cardwell said most of it is existing.  Mr. Carson said this will free up work other departments are doing, this crew would be available for work Public Works does now.  Mayor Penn asked how many people - Mr. Cardwell said 7, administrator, leader, crew.  Mayor Penn verified this will be cheaper - yes.  Mayor Penn asked if that included buying equipment - Ms. Wilson said a little more, but operating expenses would be lower.  Mr. Johnson said he's very pleased, better to do this in-house.  Have had issues with contractors maintaining medians.  Mr. Myers asked about scope - Mr. Cardwell said about 300 acres, Gateway, streets, medians.  Does not include community park - already have staff to maintain that, they will remain in parks department.
  • Approved a Resolution approving a First Amendment to Agreement Regarding Wastewater Treatment Service between the City of Forney and the Kaufman County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1-A
        Mr. Thatcher said this was entered into 2019, Windmill Farms (WMF) is several FWSDs, some of which are in Dallas ETJ.  WMF is acquiring easements and installing infrastructure, have requested adding service area.  Rest of contract would remain the same, 30% markup, plus payment of $225k.  Mayor Penn asked about going into Dallas ETJ - Mr. Thatcher said as long as no other provider in the area, it's allowed.  Mr. Johnson said is a win-win for city and WMF: will remove a package plant which are not built to same standards as treatment plants.  Mr. Myers asked if the $225k will go into utility fund - it will go into general.  Dallas has to approve the development planned there, payment is tied to that approval.
  • Approved a Resolution approving the amended bylaws of the Fox Hollow Public Improvement District No. 1, adding a definition for fiscal year of the District and clarifying the time for nominations and election of Board Members for the Board of Directors of the District.
        Mr. Thatcher said the board doesn't yet exist, city has oversight over it.  Developers no longer have interest in managing, is 75% developed, will be turned over to citizens - 4 residential owners + 1 commercial.  There will be an election for members; existing bylaws have a conflict on election timing.  The board recommends 5-year Capital plan and annual budget.  The city reviews the budget and approves levying tax on the PID, should align with city's fiscal year.  When residents take over the maintenance PID , need to be sure they are aware of their duties.  Mr. Johnson said now have a PID administrator, would the board become responsible for selecting that position?  No, city administers the tax, still be city obligation.  Mr. Myers asked about total number of houses; unknown, possibly 900+.
  • Approved a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to finalize and execute a Transportation Agreement between Forney and the City of Mesquite for the transfer of water from Forney facilities to serve the Markout W.S.C. service area.
        Mr. Thatcher said Mesquite intends to acquire Markout, council approved an MOU.  Process is still before PUC.  This agreement allows Mesquite to acquire water from Forney, but they will pay NTMWD directly.  This provides a fee for the access to water.  Markout not being a wholesale customer means city will lose some income, Mesquite will make additional payments for a couple of years.  Rate is $1 / thousand gallons.  Mr. Carson said Mesquite has been very cooperative.  Ms. Powers asked about time - Mr. Thatcher said could be a year or longer, depends on development.
  • Approved an Ordinance approving a petition to include property located northeast of the City of Forney, fully within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the City of Forney, pursuant to Section 42.022(b) of the Texas Local Government Code.
        Mr. Thatcher said this relates to prior sewer agreement, WMF agreed to petition land to be included in ETJ.  City received the petition, must break up some parcels due to conflicts with other ETJ boundaries.
  • Discuss formation of a bond committee.
        Mayor Penn said it's been 14 years since the last bond, there are things the public wants.  Mr. Thatcher said reviewed what happened in 2006, recommend same process that created that 12 member committee, which included 2 council members.  If council desires, he can draft a resolution for approval.  Mr. Myers cautioned everyone to proceed with caution in these uncertain times, but it's a good idea to move forward and get citizen input.  Mayor Penn said earliest could be voted on in next Nov., but need to be proactive.  Ms. Powers agreed need to be cautious, but move forward.  Mr. Traylor said citizens have been asking for new things, should be valuable input.  Mr. Cooper said should just form committee and get public input.  Mr. Johnson was on the 2006 committee, they were also cautious - he wants to know if citizens are willing to pay.  Mr. Thatcher said this will go beyond what staff can do, committee will have to do that work, council will be involved by having members.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • City Manager's report - Mr. Carson said this is first day of dek hockey registrations, Parks dept. will manage the game and facilities, as they've done for volleyball.  First 250 registrants will receive equipment worth more than the $75 fee, thanks to donations by JAC.  Mr. Rouvaldt said the teams are broken into age groups.  He has talked w/ team in Allen to provide training, but due to COVID they can't.  Now talking w/ a dek team in Dallas to help with coaching camps.  Mayor Penn asked if was just for age 5-9?  Yes, only have 1 rink.  Mr. Carson said this will be an 8 week session, will have adult teams after that.  Mr. Rouvaldt said could go all year, this is something unique in the area.  Mr. Traylor asked about advertising - will do a video, work with FISD to distribute flyers to elementary schools.  Mr. Traylor suggested also contacting associations.  Mr. Rouvaldt said will have camps in Jan.  Mr. Myers asked will have sponsored ads on the video; that could happen.  Mr. Cooper asked if this is through the city or leagues - the city.  Mr. Cooper mentioned soccer players not getting money back during shutdown.
        Mr. Carson had Zach talk about the tree lighting - they will provide a video package with the tree lighting and other items around town.  Mr. Carson said not having anyone attend the lighting.  Mayor Penn said this is spot-on by being proactive and socially responsible.  Mr. Carson recommended moving all meetings to virtual until further notice.  Forney has a small staff for the population.  Mr. Johnson asked if would be the same as earlier virtual meetings - yes.  Mr. Johnson said it's blowing up, things will get worse, it's serious.  P&Z this week can't change, but next week all meetings will change.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Johnson thanked staff.  Mr. Myers thanked staff, Mr. Thatcher & Mr. Carson for work on Markout.  Mr. Traylor wants to recognize the park staff who works on Sunday mornings who is phenomenal.  Mayor Penn: excited about bringing maintenance in-house.
  • NO executive session!
  • Adjourned at 1941.
Tuesday, 2020, December 1