Council approves action on Victorian Village

During its regular Dec. 17, 2019 meeting, the Forney City Council met to hear blistering criticism, consider McDonald's 2 and Chipotle, another distribution warehouse, day-care, funds to reclaim Victorian Village, Spellman Amphitheater concerts and additional water sales.   (watch official video)

  • Public Comment
  • Chris Lawless from Trinity Bank introduced himself, as their item is on consent agenda he wanted to speak now: small community bank based in Ennis, excited to be here.
  • John Daniels said he's been fighting this corrupt city for 6 months, as well as open racism; Dec. 10 he met with DA in Kaufman County to launch an investigation into how tax-payer money is spent.   He commented on open racism, city has abused and neglected their community for years, not enforcing codes.   The Mayor and City Manager refuse to meet with black folks.
      He's forming a group Citizens of Forney to oppose every one in election.   They look like good Christian white folks, but they are not.   He stated they Mayor was Italian, who have more in common with black folks than anybody, no one knows what City Manager is but he's three shades darker than himself - if all 3 of them went to a Klu-Klux-Klan meeting, they all three would be lynched.
      He said a previous group, of good Christian while folks, had already filed complaints about corruption and racism, followed by a stream of black folks filed the same complaint.   Only two of the council are fair.   The roads are run down, storm drains are death-traps, houses have been abandoned for 28 years, junk man brings rats and snakes to community and city won't shut him down because don't have the money.
        Mayor Penn called the 3 minute time limit.
        Mr. Thatcher said regarding the meeting with DA in Kaufman county, they contacted him and there is no basis for an investigation.  
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • the quarterly investment report ending 9/30/19.
    • a final plat for New Horizons Addition, located east of the F.M. 1641 and F.M. 548 intersection.
    • a site plan for Chipotle, located southeast of the intersection of East U.S. Highway 80 and F.M. 548.
    • the DDX7 Addition preliminary plat, consisting of 50.541 acres located south of U.S. Highway 80 and east of S. Gateway Boulevard.
    • the DDX7 Addition final plat, consisting of 50.541 acres located south of U.S. Highway 80 and east of S. Gateway Boulevard.
    • a preliminary plat for the Trinity Capital Bank Addition, located northeast of the intersection of F.M. 741 and Interstate Highway 20.
    • Accept Public Improvements - Gateway Parks 3 & 6.
    • a Resolution to Renew the Wrecker/Towing Service Agreement Between the City of Forney and Buster's Automotive for 2020.

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Approved an Ordinance amending the City of Forney Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance by amending the procedures for land development applications.
          Mr. Morgan said HB 3161 went into effect Sep. 1, marking many changes regarding delays in processing applications.   This sets very strict time limits.   Forney procedures already complied, this provides written instructions.
          There was no public input.
          Mr. Carson said some cities will be affected, but staff already complies.   Mr. Thatcher said some procedural requirements are added.   Mr. Myers clarified it's 30 days to P&Z then 30 days to council.
    • Approved an Ordinance amending the City of Forney Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance by amending the exterior construction material requirements.
          Mr. Morgan said HB 2439 restricts restrictions that prohibit or limit building materials, such as the Forney 90% masonry requirement.   Any material accepted by national model code may be used.   which would now include stucco, EIFS.   Mayor Penn expressed dislike for this.   Many cities testified against this bill in Austin.   Mr. Thomas asked about PDs - Mr. Morgan said not PD, but development agreements would.   Mr. Thatcher said no ordinance may limit the aesthetics of a building.   Mr. Thomas asked about HOAs - Mr. Thatcher said those could set standards with deed restrictions.
          There was no public input.
          Mr. Johnson said TML was on their forefront to fight against it in two years, some legislators are beginning to see this could open up a can of worms.   Mr. Thomas urged everyone to contact state rep and senator.
    • Approved an Ordinance rezoning 50.541 acres from Agricultural District to Planned Development District with a base zoning of Light Industrial District. The property is located south of U.S. Highway 80 and east of S. Gateway Boulevard.
          Mr. Morgan said it's east of Goodyear, distribution center is use, 186,832 sq ft, connects to Gateway Blvd.   Staff received no response to public notices.
          There was no public input.

  • Vision 2025 -- Goals and Initiatives: Mr. Myers said they have a vision for city and parks, now a need for library.   He's been working on a plan, will have to do a bond.   He wants to create a board for putting a library where Booker T is; a library will cost about 1 million per year to operate.   Mayor Penn suggested a workshop, during the retreat.
  • Approved the DDX7 Addition site plan, consisting of 50.541 acres located south of U.S. Highway 80 and east of S. Gateway Boulevard.
        Mr. Morgan said this is related to zoning just approved.   building, parking, staging.   Canopy extends on each side for loading.   materials comply with new state law.
  • Approved a revised site plan for Brainiac's Learning Academy, located at 109 E. U.S. Highway 80.
        Mr. Morgan said this is Plantation Plaza, approved 2007.   Use is allowed, applicant requests to not have circular drop-off, and to add a playground area at end of building.   Mr. Moon asked about circular drive, if it was a safety issue; Mr. Morgan said it prevents people having to backup.   Mr. Thomas asked if the playground would be fenced; yes.   Mr. Myers asked why was in ordinance; Mr. Morgan said likely something old, may need to review in ordinance.   There was discussion about the safety issue.   Mr. Tyson Banks, owner, spoke stating the parking leads from access road to McGraw.   Mayor Penn asked why he went with that design; because that's the way the building is designed, there is plenty of parking.
  • Approved a Resolution awarding a contract amendment for new Public Safety Software to Tyler Technologies and authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract for services.
        Mr. Cardwell talked about history of the services, and the response team is here.   The software is 10 years old, isn't unified, the team listed goals for new software.   Tyler Tech provided software for other departments in the city.   This project would be 600k.   PD Chief Lunt said 3 key items; mobile use, seamless information sharing, preplanned responses (for critical events).   Mr. Myers asked if citations could be electronic; yes, currently all done in writing then processed later.   Mayor Penn said that would prevent the problem of tickets being lost.   Mr. Thomas asked if municipal court system was upgraded last year; Mr. Cardwell said they obtained Brazos ticket writers, but couldn't integrate with current software.   Those will integrate at no cost with this contract.
        Chief Townsend said Pyle and Holcomb attended the meetings, he believe this is the way to go.   Have increased # runs in last 10 years, it's important that dispatch have gps location on units.
        Mayor Penn asked if this was in the budget; Mr. Carson said yes, Mr. Cardwell said Ms. Woodham said the CIP fund balance has 1 million, so this would leave 400k in the fund.   Mr. Thomas said they don't have to spend all the money allocated.   Mr. Cardwell said they pressed Tyler on pricing, obtained a site license for all mobile units, regardless of growth.   Ms. Powers said happy that keeping citizens and first responders safe.   A Tyler rep said they provided Forney very preferable pricing, this would usually be a 1 mill project.   He said 911 calls will locate you to 10 ft, instead of the current 1/2 mile.   Mayor Penn said have had other contracts that didn't work out.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending the 2019-20 Fiscal Year budget to transfer $120,000.00 from the EDC Fund Balance to the EDC Project Expense line item.
        Mr. Ketteman stated the board approved this to secure deed of trust related to Victorian Village.   Staff worked with Mr. Thatcher to take over property, .   Mr. Thatcher said this is an amount not-to-exceed, they are still working on acquiring the property.   Mayor Penn didn't like having to spend the money, but things happen.
  • Approved a Resolution approving a Facility Entertainment Management Agreement regarding management of events at the Spellman Amphitheater between the City of Forney and JAC Management Group Forney, LLC.
        Mr. Thatcher said this will be mostly concerts, a five-year agreement for min 5 concerts.   Some revenue sharing, $1 / ticket sold, they might be able to use electronic ticketing for other events.   This does not include other events.   This venue is currently underutilized.   Mr. Moon asked what kind of talent has been provided for other cities; Mr. Carson said they have connections to bring caliber of talent desired.   The money allocated was for staff, realized don't have connections to book talent, so this is for same amount.   Mr. Thomas said this money is not enough for the company to provide talent, they will depend on groups.   This was the only group that responded.   Mr. Thatcher said when sent out the RFQ to manage city-owned facilities, JAC was the only respondent.
  • Approved a Resolution approving an Amendment to the Amended and Restated Wholesale Water Contract with Kaufman County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1-A.
        Mr. Thatcher said this is with Windmill Farms, two other properties - one is decertified from High Point, the other is in process.   This would allow Windmill Farms to sell water to them.   The rate with Windmill Farms is 61 cents, other wholesalers are 63%.   This agreement would require the 63% rate to the new tracts.   Mr. Thomas asked if they were asking for more capacity; Mr. Thatcher said no, but building extra capacity now, will have to discuss plans;
        Mayor Penn asked what the city would get; Mr. Thatcher said the new tracts would be metered separately, and the city would get paid the 63%.   So moving them from High Point to Windmill Farms yields no change to the city revenue.
  • City Manager's report - closed Dec. 24 & 25; trash collection on 26; NYE ball drop construction will start this week, starts at 6:30 with food trucks and beverages.   Mr. Myers asked if street survey was only online; Mr. Carson said nothing went out in water bills.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Johnson wants everyone to be at ball drop; Mr. Myers said will be at ball drop rain or snow or ice; Mr. Thomas thanked staff for working during holidays; what's happening soon is best in his 35 years, this council has more foresight than most; Mayor Penn thanked staff and council for all the hours they spend, Ms. Powers has been on council 14 years.
  • Held a 26-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.
    • 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.
    • Victorian Village

  • Took no action. Adjourned at 2015
Tuesday, 2019, December 17