Council considers Bellagio PID and FEDC changes

During its special 9 AM June 27, 2023 meeting, the Forney City Council met to consider Bellagio PID #1, and structure of the Forney Economic Development Corp. (watch official video)

  • Skipped a discussion on housing issues facing the city.
  • Held Public Hearings -
      Approved an Ordinance accepting and approving a final Bellagio Public Improvement District No. 1 Service and Assessment Plan, including the Phase #1 assessment roll; making a finding of special benefit to property within Phase #1 of the Bellagio Public Improvement District No. 1; levying special assessments against such property and establishing a lien on such property; providing for the method of assessment and the payment of the assessments levied against Phase #1 assessed property, in accordance with Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code, as amended.
          Ass't City Manager Mr. Zook introduced Mr Jordan Sawyer who said the item before them is the same as presented at last council meeting.
          There was no public input

  • Approved an Ordinance of the City of Forney, Texas, approving and authorizing the issuance and sale of the City of Forney, Texas, Special Assessment Revenue Bonds, Series 2023 (Bellagio Public Improvement District No. 1 Phase #1 Project); approving and authorizing related agreements; and providing an effective date.
        Mr. Zook introduced Mr Bulaich, who passed out a document to council.  they priced the PID bonds yesterday.  what is different from prev presentation.  6.5%, .25% higher than expected, partly due to this being the developers first PID as the sole developer, and existing lawsuits involving the developer.  Net proceeds line of 8 mln is acceptable.  previously stated developer has to put in infrastructure for the entire development, which will run 22.8 mln.  So far, have spent 9.9 mln.  Developer will have to deposit 4.9 mln in trust at bond closing, to be used for improvements in ph 1.  2.25 mln will be held until have 20 CO's, to encourage developer.  Full buildout 132 mln, at average home value 391k.  Assessment tax rate equivalent is 0.6508, about 1.4 cents higher than expected - about $55 increase per home.
        Total tax load: 2.825, well within market, when compared to fresh-water supply districts. 
        City will levy an additional amount of 0.5%, to cover buyers who wish to prepay.  This levy usually stops at some future date, usually at 12 years, but that is not shown in the model.
        PID administrator levy is 35k, grows 2% / year while in effect.
        Total is 857k / year for these 337 lots.
        They and developer are pleased with this transaction, he recommends approval, looking forward to a successful project.  Homes should be vertical in fall.
  • Approved a Resolution approving and authorizing the Mayor to execute the Agreement for the Construction and Funding of Authorized Improvements and Reimbursement of Advances and resolving other related matters.
        Mr. Zook introduced Jordan Sawyer, who said the developer has built major infrastructure, but only levied assessments and sold bonds to fund Phase One.  This will only be paid from assessments, "not from city dollars."
  • Approved an Ordinance regarding the structure of the Forney Economic Development Corporation; amending Chapter 1, Article 1.08.033 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Forney, Texas; and providing an effective date.
        City Manager Daniels said this is to possibly modify the EDC ordinance, stating " There are a couple of recommendations here to make changes in the reporting structure as well as looking at the way that the board actually operates.  And I am sure you'll have pretty strong discussions about this before moving forward but there there are things that probably should be looked at very closely and staff is here to answer any questions you might have."
        Mr. Joe Dan McBeth, FEDC president, read a statement: "I'd like to inform the Council of my resignation from the Economic Development Corp. Corporation, effective immediately. While I've greatly enjoyed my time on the board and many friends I've made on the way, it's time to move on; the demands of my business have increased exponentially and family health issues are putting additional demands on my time, not my own health issues by the way.
        Economic Development Corporation has accomplished many great things during my time on the board, and even bigger and better projects are in the works. Being able to watch our vision for Forney move to fruition has been tremendously rewarding. And I have learned so very much worked alongside many great people both past and present, and wish them all the best. Serving in this capacity has been a privilege and an honor. I'm grateful for having the opportunity. Thank you."
        Mayor Roberson thanked Mr. McBeth for his work, and the EDC, and all who serve on various boards.
        Ms. Schlensker asked "I was hoping my fellow council members who sat on council 16 months ago when this decision was made to move the EDC underneath City Council versus the city manager could give a little backstory on what the council's intent was in the reasoning. It's just I'm just curious"
        Mayor Roberson said "I was on council at the time and I will say, at the time looking at the information that we had available to us it made sense, and now I think it's time to reevaluate to see if current conditions still support that decision. So that's all I can give you right now."
        Mr. Chambers thanked Mr. McBeth for all the businesses the EDC has brought in.
        Mr. Helm asked what the most common arrangement is - for EDC to report to council or City Manager? Mr. Traylor said "I don't think there's any general codification of the way EDC is structured. Every city operates independently. The EDC is an independent taxing authority and as required by law to have an independent board. However, the reporting structure does vary."
        Ms. Salgado stated "based on recent meetings that we've had with the EDC and talking to our city manager I think I'd like to see with the number and the scope of projects coming to Forney I think I'd like to see like a closer relationship with the EDC and have them reporting more directly to Mr. Daniels so that we feel like we're all a little bit more in the loop about what's coming because it seems ... like this overwhelming tidal wave of businesses and development coming. So I think it would be great if we could maybe work a little bit more closely. And that would probably be accomplished if we could have Mr. Daniels more closely tied into what's happening on a day to day basis."
        Ms. Schlensker said "Joe Dan, thank you. I know you've been at the very beginning of this. And when you started, we were a town of what, probably six, 7 thousand people, and you had the foresight to see what was on the horizon. And I know that many people don't realize how many hours you spent in the evenings working talking to people. So without you, you've guided this council and this EDC board through several city managers and we're blessed to have Mr. Daniels here. So thank you for staying with it not giving up and I do look forward to us also working together and I have full faith with Mr. Daniels and staff that we will continue to grow this and continue to take us to the next level.  But again, thank you, sir."
        Mr. Traylor: "Make a motion to amend chapter, article, chapter one article 1.08.033 of the code of ordinances as presented. The document shall be submitted to the record for approval."  What that amendment is was not readily available to the public. Update: the city has stated hard copies of the amendment were available at the meeting.
  • Adjourned at 0929

(updated July 7 for city statement about availability)

Tuesday, 2023, June 27