Council approves Gateway changes, tax rate

During its regular Sep. 18, 2018 meeting, the Forney City Council met and in summary: (official video)

  • Presentation by the Forney Education Foundation. Kate Bell-Keierleber gave a brief history of the foundation and played a video. Since 2008, FEF has awarded over $400k in teacher grants. In 2017-18 they awarded 97 dual credit students over $30k in scholarships. They found just 20% of seniors were taking advantage of scholarships. They have instituted a dual credit advantage program, which could save a family $8500. Students that take dual-credit programs in high school are 67% more likely to finish their degree.
        They are seeking volunteers and donations. Ms. Penn asked if all funds were donations - yes 80% publicly funded + grants. Their website launched just last week. The Clay shoot is billed as golf with guns. Also have a casino night. Mayor Wilson said he spoke w/ George Brown who is retiring this year, and this foundation has been a huge asset. Mayor Wilson said he was one of the original 5 founders.
  • CWD Rep's Nicole and Paul showed a presentation about their services.
        Summary: their complaint rate is about 1/2 industry average. There was much discussion about brush pickup, and maybe needing a dedicated brush truck.
        Nicole presented a chart showing 0.49 service inquiries / 1,000 opportunities; industry average is 1 / 1,000. For Bulk and Brush, every resident may put out 4 cubic yard every week. For overages, they will provide an estimate for pickup. Paul said it's true someone did have a $6k quote, for 500 cubic yards of brush, the resident is not required to use them. That would take a full day of use with a claw truck.
        Mr. Myers asked if they have the rate on their website - no, but staff does know the rate. Mr. Morgan said people do call city, they refer them to CWD. Mr. Myers said the person who got the 6k quote approached them, weren't sure it was really 500 cubic yards. Mr. McGee asked how many cubic yards a brush truck would hold - 90? Mr. McGee suggested the next contract provide dedicated brush truck; Paul said they had made a proposal before.
        They have a paint reuse program. Mr. Johnson mentioned he spent 30 years as solid waste manager in Richardson - he asked if manager dealt with other cities - on Wednesday, they also do Windmill Farms. He takes umbrage on the 500 cubic yards - he saw it, there was no way, it was a poor estimate. He suggested residents cut it smaller and stack it. He asked if brush went to landfill, or it was reused or mulched - when collected w/ bulk, no. If used a dedicated brush truck they could. Mr. Johnson also suggested having a dedicated brush truck.
        Mayor Wilson suggested a workshop, or some mail-out information. Mr. Johnson said it's confusing when recycle truck picks up trash and vice versa. Nicole stated the new trucks will all be gray. Mr. Myers said concerns on social media about pickup taking a week, trash cans being tossed to the curb. Paul said they should call with any problem, Forney is one of their largest contracts. Ms. Penn asked how to get the extreme recycle event back. She asked about the recycled paint - CWD can't distribute it to citizens, they have to deliver to a single location.
  • Public Comment - Pat Griffin runs Community Value Thrift Center, a ministry, said one of his biggest problems here is CWD. They were claiming they couldn't get thru the gate, after he gave them the code, they damaged a patio. He detailed some payment and pickup problems he's had. He said "they have cheated me out of money", "the stench of injustice CWD has done to me is appalling", ending with "the children I'm not able to feed because they have cheated me is sad" and stating he drove here from Garland so they would know what CWD has done.
  • Approved as one consent item:

    • a change order for the Broad Street Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project CIP #149.
    • a preliminary plat for Meadow Ridge Farm Addition, Lot 1, Block A, located west of Reeder Lane and north of Whaley Drive.
    • a final plat for Meadow Ridge Farm Addition, Lot 1, Block A, located west of Reeder Lane and north of Whaley Drive.
    • enter into a contract with Pavecon Public Works, L.P. for the construction services for the Sanitary Sewer and Street Improvements for Austin and Houston Streets Project and authorize the City Manager to execute the necessary contracts and all related issues.
    • the acceptance of Public Improvements for the Gateway Pines Phase 1 – Buildings LA and LB.

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Approved an Ordinance granting a request for a waiver of the 300-foot spacing requirement between a place of business selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and a public school, for two Forney Arts Council special events located within the Central Business District.
          Summary: this is for two more Arts Council wine walks, which will close Main St. for the events.

    • Approved an Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1042 to add development standards for Diamond Creek Estates Phase 3. w/ stipulation of completion of amenity cent in 12 months.
          Summary: amendments to reduce lot sizes, increase home sizes, provide park land.

    • Approved 5-1 (Mayor Wilson nay) an Ordinance amending the development standards and permitted uses of Ordinance No. 13-04.
          Summary: allows higher spot density, maintains overall density,reduces number of MF units and limits time frame.
          Mr. Morgan said this was to clarify development, which currently caps at 22 units / acre. This proposes 24 / acre, but maintaining overall 15 / acre, and reducing number of Multi-Family (MF) units, as well as limiting time for construction. Mr. Johnson asked about current number of units - 960, including everything that has been approved. He asked if this would allow going away from garden-style apartments - Mr. Morgan said yes, that is one of the reasons for the request. Staff has had many discussions w/ developer. Mr. Johnson said some developments have retail on bottom, residential 2nd floor up, but this will be all residential. Mayor Wilson asked about acres - 660, just the N. side. Mayor Wilson asked if MF would take 330 acres - Mr. Morgan said yes, but that isn't changing. Mayor Wilson expressed concern be using all the retail space.
          Mr. Blackburn said as discussed many times, would like to have retail, but Amazon is still biggest gorilla. The days of 80 acre big-box development are over. Working w/ indoor sports center. Land for the new park should help development, Reeder and 80 could be a new opportunity, possible grocery, hotel. Mayor Wilson said the community wants retail, and it's thriving in the metroplex, but if 3/4 of development is changing to residential... Mr. Blackburn said it only delays it - 113 acres for retail, he probably won't live long enough to see it all developed. Won't be 5 big boxes. There might be a single large distribution center coming. It seems the city is implying they are refusing to move this along, and that's not true. Mayor Wilson said the 2008 agreement had major retail.

      Ms. Penn said right now allowed 5k but changing to 3250, how going to get retail if reducing.

      Mr. Blackburn clarified can still do 5k residential, just reducing MF, said if develops, could have 5k when done.
          Ms. Penn asked if Mayor Wilson wants to stay w/ 5k. Mayor Wilson said he thinks 2k is too much. Mayor Wilson called for public input - there was none. Ms. Penn asked for staff thoughts - Mr. Morgan said it's a council decision, he can answer factual questions. They are allowed to do 5k residential. Mr. Myers said also important that it has a time frame. Ms. Penn asked why they are reducing; Mr. Blackburn said because city requested it.

  • Recessed until 2019
  • Approved a site plan for Victorian Village on Main Street, located northeast of the intersection of E. Main Street and Chestnut Street.
        Mr. Morgan said this is part retail, a project council has seen before. Alternative materials are requested for hardy board instead of masonry, which is why it's an action item. P&Z did recommend approval. DM asked why hardy board isn't masonry - Mr. Morgan said that is standard industry. It does require more maintenance. Mayor Wilson asked if P&Z had issues - no, they like the development.
  • Approved entering into a contract with RKM Utility Services, Inc. for the construction services for the Redbud Roadway Reconstruction Project and authorizing the City Manager to execute the necessary contracts and all related issues.
        Ms. McQuiston said this roadway improvement - 4 qualified bidders, RKM for 3.6 mil and 563 days . Staff recommends 2nd lowest bidder. Ms. Penn asked why - lowest bidder was used on Trinity st, there were time delays, numerous disputes, workmanship issues. Mayor Wilson asked if was any way to expedite the work - they tried to find a way. Engineering rep. said there was some pavement that takes less time, but contractor availability made it a longer project time. Mayor Wilson spoke about incentivizing contracts to finish early. Ms. Penn said this project should have been done a long time ago. Mr. Carson asked if there were liquidated damages for not being done on time - yes. Ms. Woodham said this is funded from general and utility - there will be a surplus in the general CIP, utility will have about $183k shortfall, will have to come from fund balance.
        Mr. Johnson said there's a misconception state law requires lowest bidder- it actually requires best lowest responsible bid that meets specifications. Trinity was a fiasco, which is sad because McMahan used to be good.
  • Vision 25 -- Goals / Initiatives - Mr. Carson said council members requested this be on the agenda on a recurring basis, so could discuss if had any issues. Mr. Myers said this was for items discussed in the retreat, he requests work towards thoroughfare plan. Mr. McGee asked if would be clearer if said 2025, or 2030 as some projects take a long time.. Mr. Curry said 3 plans are being worked on. Mr. McGee said this would give residents a plan the city is working on. Mr. Johnson said this ties in with need for infrastructure - need a master plan for roads, sewer and water lines.
  • Approved granting a franchise to Si Energy, L.P. to furnish and supply natural gas within the city limits of Forney.
        Mr. Thatcher said this was a request received by the city - the terms in the agreement are similar to agreement w/ Atmos and Coserve. Mr. Lively and Mr. Pope from SiEngergy gave a lengthy slide show. Mr. Johnson said most people think Atmos is only provider, asked if they compete w/ Atmos. Not really, they only work in new communities, often they tap Atmos lines; Atmos pipelines and distribution oare two separate entities. Their first customer is (subdivision) developer. Mr. Myers asked about excess flow valve - they are required to send notice to customers who do not have one. Mr. Myers asked about failures - if they fail, the gas will shut off.
  • Approved an Ordinance adopting the amended budget for fiscal year 2017-2018.
    Ms. Woodham said these amendments were presented in the ....
  • Approved ratifying tax rate in proposed budget, then approved an ordinance adopting the annual budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.

  • Approved an ordinance levying ad valorem taxes for Fiscal Year 2018-19

  • Approved an Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances by amending the Master Fee Schedule to reflect changes to certain fees and miscellaneous permits.

  • Approved a site plan for the Overland Grove amenity center, located in Phase 1 of the Overland Grove residential subdivision.
        Mr. Morgan said staff recommends approval; amenity center is required in phase one, it has many features, 2800 sq ft conditioned. Does request alternative materials. Building official reviewed the materials and considers it durable, it is being used for appearance, not for cost reasons. Mr. Murphy spoke, said construction required before 30th permit, they plan to build in Nov? They need the city's help to have water in Oct. Mr. McGee asked if that was possible - Mr. Morgan said he will check w/ Mr. Dormier.
  • Held a 40-minute executive session re:

    • Municipal Court Judges

  • Took no action.
  • Adjourned at 2210
Tuesday, 2018, September 18