FEDC awards several incentives

During its regular Oct. 11, 2018 meeting, the Forney Economic Development Corp. met and in summary:

  • Financial report: Mr. Burrus said conclusion 102% collected sales tax, 85% expenses, part was personnel - Mr. Ketteman said may be a few remaining invoices to be paid, nothing large - the miscellaneous income leaves about 2mil in fund balance.
  • Executive Director's report: office activity - Kaufman city hall ribbon cutting, it's a real nice new building. He & Mr. McGregor visited TSTC in Red Oak. Budgeted AT&T Fiber study should start soon, to see what capacity exists, if could support data centers. Hosted Real estate round-table, talked about projects.
  • Approved Redevelopment Grant request from Mr. & Mrs. Zmolik Mr. Ketteman said Zmolik purchased house on edge of commercial area, they supported rezoning at P&Z, Mr. Zmolik wants to take advantage of grant. Mr. Zmolik said he likes to buy the old frame houses; this one had a lot of work to do, they lifted the foundation & put in piers. He's going to rent it out. He detailed much of the work yet to be done, likely to cost another $60k. He has a renter lined up, likely to have 3 employees. The maximum grant is $25k.
  • Approved the Forney Downtown Business Association's request for an extension of HOT funds for 3 months.
        Mr. McGregor said the FDBA has expended some funds for a mural. The artist had delays, the wall has been prep'd and should be started in Nov. The FDBA has refunded the HOT funds and reapplied. Final approval will be up to city council.
  • Approved a Facade Grant extension for 210 S. Bois. d'Arc of 3 months.
        Ms. Ballard said it's taking longer to restructure the buildings, they will retain the buildings. They will put in a general store and soda shop, and a craft coffee shop usable for conferencing, small events.
  • Discussed an application for incentives for Deen Kubota.
        Mr. Ketteman said they've been through other board for approvals, would like some help with costs. Jeff Deen said been here for 17 yrs, quietly changed from Daniel to Deen implement. Originally farm equipment, moved into utility and off-road vehicles, now construction equipment. New facility will have 10 service bays. AG equipment was tax exempt. Not any nearby construction equipment dealer. Now doing some rental, which will pay taxes. Have 10 employees, will probably add 6 (when new building done). The remodel has so many impact fees and inspections; costs are close to $100k, including $40k road impact fee, for a road that is basically abandoned. They sold off Polaris (to Ride Now). Kubota has a very broad line, might add other brands in future. They will pour about 4 acres of concrete. Demo'ing the old building; wanted to keep it, but they want everything new. Two-story building will hide a back lot with a stone wall around it. They don't have city services like sewer, but will tie on when the project gets underway.
  • Took no action on downtown crosswalk enhancements. Mr. Ketteman said City Mgr. Carson asked them to look at this, crosswalks aren't marked on the street, as Bois d'Arc was on TxDOT system. They don't have to cut out the street, this adheres to the street, after they score it. Ms. Lewis asked why EDC involved - because Mr. Carson asked them to, as a capstone to downtown improvement. Total cost about $50k. Mr. Alexander asked if have to replace in 10 yrs, who would pay then? Hard to say, but they will be on city streets.
        Ms. Lewis said she wasn't here when redevelopment started, asked for history - Mr. Ketteman said he inherited some of it also, previous EDC board issued bond debt of $2 million. He reviewed the language which was very specific for downtown use. City added about $400k. Mr. McGregor said city is providing funds for crosswalk alert system. Ms. Browning asked how many jobs these would bring? The crosswalks that EDC paid for are less than a year old. Pres. McBeth asked about fund balance - about $1.8 mil. Mr. Tayamen asked if city wanted EDC to 100% fund this? yes. Ms. Browning asked about extra fees they had to pay after the the fact, for the box culvert. She's a no on this, it just makes downtown pretty, it should bring jobs; Mr. Deen will provide 10 jobs, this request is almost half that. Ms. Lewis echoed Mr. Alexanders concerns about future maintenance. Board favored just striping the crosswalks.
  • Held a 96-minute executive session.
  • Re: an application for incentives for Deen Kubota: Approved declaring Deen Implement a project. Then approved fund up to $50,649: $38,649 for sewer impact fees + $1500 / employee up to 8 employees. Mr. Ketteman said will work with city attorney on paperwork, sewer work will be paid by Deen then reimbursed by city.
        Re: incentive application for Bamboo Corner - Michelle said name changed to Thai dot Club (maybe?), Thai & Vietnamese food. She moved here from Ft Worth, is part owner of Tokyo Harbor, growth needs more restaurants. Will be about four months construction, about 6 full time, 10 part-time employees. Pres. McBeth asked if she will be involved in daily operations - yes, w/ partner & husband. Her husband has worked at Thai restaurant before. Ms. Browning asked if on target to open in Feb. - yes. Pres. McBeth said they can't be startup money, but would like to help out if can. Discussed $7500 no-interest loan, forgivable if hire 5 employees by March 1. That was approved.
  • Adjourned at 2106.
Thursday, 2018, October 11