FEDC considers more grants

During its regular Mar. 14, 2019 meeting, the Forney Economic Development Corp. met and in summary: extended grant deadline for 206/208 S. Bois d'Arc, approved a grant for something downtown, took no action for a request at 700 W. Broad (at "Liberty Hill").

  • Financial report: Mr. Burrus said at 41% fiscal year, tax revenue is 46%; expenses are under control; Mr. Ketteman said just standard expenses expected, grants will affect budget if no one applies for them. No one has applied for demolition grants. Will discuss funds transfers in executive session.
  • Executive Director's report: Mr. Ketteman said have a lot of Dallas people come out here, take many realtors on windshield tours. W. Broad sewer bids will be opened next week. Detention pond still being worked on, frequent rain is slowing it down. Downtown lighting being installed on downtown buildings. Mar 22 Goodyear groundbreaking, Raising Cains ribbon cutting at 9. Mr. McGregor said will probably be using a shuttle and PD. Kaufman County day in Austin soon.
  • Approved a 6-month redevelopment grant extension for 208 & 210 S. Bois d'Arc.
        Mr. McGregor said this is for Ms. Ballard near Crumbzz, merging two buildings back into one. Staff recommends 3 month extension. Ms. Ballard said at 206 some painting has been done, hope to open Apr. 4; 208 later. Found out late had to get asbestos survey done. Mr. Burrus asked if any risk delaying by over 3 months? Ms. Ballard: possibly, due to plumbing issues. Mr. Burrus suggested extending by 6 months. Ms. Ballard said 3 months on 206, 6 on 208 should be fine. Mr. Ketteman said 6 months both would be easier to track.
  • Held a 122-minute executive session.
  • Informally instructed staff and city attorney to proceed with negotiations on several items as discussed in executive session.
  • Approved a $25k downtown redevelopment grant to Chris Bridges and to consider a loan dependent on further information. No additional information was provided.
  • Mr. Tyson Banks spoke about needing to improve the parking lot to open a day care. Their son has to go to day care in Mesquite, as all facilities in Forney are full. They want to improve the property at 700 W. Broad. The parking lot has some gravel on it. Ms. Ms. Browning said estimates provided are for asphalt, but might be required to be concrete. Mr. Banks said they would like a variance to allow asphalt. Mr. Ketteman said it will have to be concrete, there is no variance allowed. The new ordinance P&Z approved only applies to public parking spaces, and still has to go before council.
        The property owner is concerned as the parking lot has never been concrete. There is also a requirement for a fire lane, part of the requirement for concrete. Mr. Banks said they would like to meet code, but would like some help. Mr. Ketteman said the owner is concerned about putting in a lot without knowing what connectivity issues will be. The sewer project will run along the property; there could be negotiations about leaving some portion not concrete temporarily. Mr. Banks said property owners' concerns are about the cost, if can get assistance will smooth things over. It will help the community to be a viable business, also help people coming into Forney to see a viable business. Mr. Alexander asked if was any way to allow asphalt - Mr. Ketteman said no, must all be concrete. Ms. Browning asked about the recent funds they applied to Kile Properties for asphalt - it's because lot was already asphalt.
        Mr. Ketteman said even though used to be a day care, the use changed, which triggers requirements to be met. Ms. Browning said will need to get estimates for concrete; Mr. Ketteman said property owner needs to review that. Mr. Banks said they will make the place look much nicer. Mr. Ketteman said redevelopment grants will do up to 25k as reimbursement; on this one they are asking the landowner, it's more difficult for board to approve. Mr. Banks asked how to move forward from here; Mr. Ketteman said the owner will be speaking w/ her real-estate attorney and community development, if she will help with it can come back to the board.
  • Mr. McGregor said it's time for budget negotiations. Mr. Ketteman said website needs upgrading, need new maps, be some big dollars for those. City Manager has told everyone to look hard at budgets.
  • Adjourned at 2113
Thursday, 2019, March 14