Council ready to swap for a new RR crossing

During a special executive-session Mar. 22, 2022 meeting, the Forney City Council met to approve offering a trade of 2 RR crossings for a new one at Project Umbrella.

  • Held a 90-minute executive session.
  • Mayor Lewis called for a motion to direct the City Manager to write a letter in support of Project Umbrella proposing the closing of Elm and Center street RailRoad crossings.  The motion failed with 3 (Lewis, Salgado, Traylor) for and 3 (Chambers, Schlensker, Powers) against.
         There was discussion about having another special meeting.
         Mr. Traylor made a motion to have city manager write a letter to close two RR crossings.  He then asked other members what would make them more comfortable.  Ms. Powers suggested returning to executive session.
         Ms. Schlensker discussed her reluctance to close crossings downtown.  CR212 crossing was also discussed.  Ms. Schlensker suggested closing Center and CR212.  She was concerned about the impact to downtown.  Ms. Salgado asked if that impact was worse than the loss of this project.  Ms. Schlensker said she's looking at the big picture.  Mayor Lewis said have discussed improving Bois d'Arc with a turn lane.  Mr. Traylor said these two crossing have much lower traffic - 1,000 each vs 10,000 on Bois d'Arc.  He urged council to consider what's best in 15-25 years.  He agreed this is difficult, believes will find a way in future to build a bridge or go under RR.
          There was discussion with the developer as to their choice of this property and this city.  They stated this is a destination business for many people.  Mr. Traylor said this "is a massive opportunity for the city." Developer said they are not just a business, but become a part of the community.  Will provide over 500 jobs.  HEB provides more benefit than just commerce, and it's a draw for home builders.
          Mr. Traylor restated his motion to authorize city manager to write a letter in support of closing two downtown RR crossings for Project Umbrella.
          This motion passed 5-1 (nay: Chambers)
  • Adjourned at 1750
Tuesday, 2022, March 22