Council holds second tax & budget hearings

During its regular Sep. 04, 2018 meeting, the Forney City Council met (official video) and in summary:

  • Convened at 1733, then immediately recessed to have a reception for newly appointed City Manager, Tony Carson.
  • Resumed meeting at 1833.
  • Mayor Wilson Proclaimed Sep. 17-23 as Constitution Week, asking "our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties."Watch Video
        Four members of the King's Fort chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution joined the Mayor; Ms. Alison Novak said they are holding an essay and art contest for FISD fifth graders.
  • Approved as a consent item:
    • Resolution approving a negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee (ACSC) and Atmos Energy Corp., Mid-Tex Division regarding the 2018 Rate Review Filings.

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • the proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. This budget will raise more total property taxes than last year's budget by $1,023,068 or 12.10%, and of that $540,705 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year.
          Ms. Woodham said they are required to hold one hearing, decided to hold two. Budget has changed slightly since last hearing. 5 Fire Fighters and 6 Police Officers are at top of pay scale, they added $1,000 one-time payment instead of 1% cola. Capital purchases unchanged. Bulk of Roadway Impact fund will be used to extend Trailhouse by Kroger. 5 positions will be funded by utility fund - a new sewer crew, and public works admin assistant.
          NTMWD is increasing water 5%, sewer 31%, city passing along 5% & 20%.. They propose extending sewer to Gateway. using 5.6 million
          Mr. Moon asked if there was a plan upon reaching the top of pay scale - Ms. Woodham said this is stop-gap measure, will review next year and consider a true COLA. Mr. Moon asked about TIF funds - Ms. Woodham said that's what should dome in for 2018, should continue to go up. Mr. Johnson is concerned about the comp plan, after spending so much to have it done. If you don't maintain plan annually, it will cost a lot to catch up. City of Richardson failed to maintain the plan. He asked if have to go full 5% increase for CWD - Ms. Woodham said it's up to 5%, they haven't asked for full 5%. Mr. Thatcher said he hasn't reviewed the contract recently, but generally it is a contractual obligation, they do have to provide proof for request. Mr. Johnson hates giving them the full 5%, given issues with service.
          Ms. Penn asked to clarify the tax rate - Ms. Woodham said it is .6211, the same as last year.
          Danny Mize spoke, asking if any bids taken for trash service - Mr. Thatcher said they are competitively bid, then a contract is set. He believes the contract was renewed in 2014 for 5 years. Mr. Mize asked if were considering switching - Mr. Thatcher said this item was to provide funds. Mr. McGee asked what threshold was to require competitive bids - $50k.
          Mayor Wilson asked about the 5.6 mil for sewer project; Ms. Woodham said engineer estimates 6.2mil for project, this plus leftover funds from Irish Ridge project. These are the only things the fund money may be spent on.
    • Second public hearing on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 2.49%.
          Ms. Woodham said because higher than effective rate, must hold 2 hearings.
          Ms. Penn appreciates efforts made to not raising tax rate.
          There was no public input

  • Approved of additional signer for American National Bank account.
        Ms. Woodham said traditionally city manager is also signer. Mr. Myers asked if this would replace assistant CM or would he stay on- Ms. Woodham said up to council. Mr. Moon said assistant CM should stay on. Ms. Woodham said that is convenient.
  • Approved the use of the Community Betterment Fund for the Lady Liberty Statute and Flag Pole relocation project and authorize staff to seek the necessary bids for the project.
        Ms. McQuiston introduce Zahra, who said last meeting they were asked to add actual stone to project, he showed samples of stone, brick, and textured stone
        Council agrees (B) is the favorite. Mr. McGee thanked Ray Myers for his help. They will try to beat Dec. 7 timeline, and still have to get approval from TxDOT. Ms. McQuiston said a little cost increase for the custom stone. Mayor Wilson express desire to meet original install date. Ms. Penn said could have special meeting to approve items.
  • Board and commission appointments - City Secretary Ms. Brooks said there is a vacancy on P&Z . Ms. Penn moved to appoint Cecil Chambers, it was approved.
        Mr. Myers moves to "pull" Mr. Akers from the Parks Board and appoint Clint McNear; motion was approved. Ms. Penn asked if a member can be on two boards? No, Mr. Chambers will have to resign from Board of Adjustments.

  • City Manager's report -
        New City Manager Mr. Carson gave a construction update, thanked council and staff, and citizens, for welcoming them to town, and mentioned he has discovered while driving in Dallas that using blinkers are optional.

  • Held a 50-minute executive session re:

    • Growth Management Plan
    • City Attorney
    • Gateway Sewer Project

  • Took no action after executive session.
  • Adjourned at 2013
Tuesday, 2018, September 4