Council considers golf-cart usage

During its regular Oct. 06, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Council met to consider body-worn cameras, official newspaper and towing service, golf-cart usage, a Girl Scout project. (watch official video)

  • Presentation of a Proclamation declaring Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4 - 10.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • a Resolution naming the Forney Messenger as the official newspaper for the City.
    • a Resolution approving the City's investment policy and broker's list.
    • a Resolution authorizing the purchase for Body Worn cameras and related equipment.
          Mr. Johnson asked about funding this through the CARES act - is it fully funded? yes, 100% by CARES.
          Documents indicate this will replace existing cameras with wifi versions, those 40 cameras plus accessories + server will cost about $127k.
    • a Resolution approving the Kaufman County Assessments and Collections Contract between the City of Forney and Kaufman County for the collection of assessments levied by the Fox Hollow Public Improvement District No. 1 (Maintenance PID).
    • a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with Perfect Finish Landscaping for landscape maintenance services in the Fox Hollow PID.
    • a Resolution to authorize the City Manager to approve renewal option with SHI Solutions for the annual Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.
          Documents indicate this is a budgeted item at $77k.
    • a Resolution approving a Professional Services Agreement with Birkhoff, Hendricks & Carter, LLP to provide professional services to complete the 2013 section of America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 requirement for developing a Risk and Resilient Plan and Emergency Response Plan and all related issues.
          Documents state this is not to exceed $75k.
    • the City acceptance for the Public Works Manhole Rehabilitation Services.
          Documents state this was for eight manhole rehabilitations, and has been completed.  Work has a ten-year warranty.
    • acceptance of public improvements for the Chipotle's Mexican Grill project.
    • authorizing City staff to seek proposals for Wrecker/Towing services for 2021 for the City of Forney.
    • a Resolution authorizing and directing the execution of the First Amendment to North Texas Municipal Water District Regional Water Supply Facilities Amendatory Contract and any related Side Settlement Agreements.

  • Discussion regarding the municipal regulation of the use of golf carts on city streets and all related issues.
        City Attorney Mr. John Thatcher said there were questions about this during workshop - city has no ordinances regulating use.  If do nothing, people may use golf carts on public roads in very limited circumstances: master-planned community, or near a golf course.  Can't be used on roads with speed limits higher than 35 mph.  Cart must be registered and have safety equipment, driver must have a license.  Mr. Myers asked if can classify any area as a master planned community (MPC) - Mr. Thatcher didn't think so, but could allow cart usage in certain areas.  Mr. Myers had planned to define MPC as a subdivision w/ amenity center, could council still allow carts in such areas? Mr. Thatcher effectively said yes, or could remain with state law.  He advised against trying to declare areas as MPC, just define which areas would allow it. 
        Mr. Myers asked about crossing a road w/ higher speed limit; that would be allowed, as long as don't travel along the higher speed limit road.  Mr. Moon said should be careful about excluding areas.  Mayor Penn said if do nothing, already have laws in place - Mr. Thatcher said only applies near golf courses or in master planned community.  There is no authority to use a golf cart on public roads.  Mayor Penn asked if, currently, any use of a golf cart on a street is illegal - yes.  She said her only issue is safety. 
        Mayor Penn asked Chief Lunt for input - he said need to educate the public.  If have more regulations would help with publicity and enforcement.  It would not be safe to cross major streets except at a signal light; state law requires a licensed driver to operate a cart on public road.  Mr. Traylor said would not want to exclude any neighborhood. 
        Mayor Penn asked what about ATVs vs golf cart? Mr. Thatcher said legal is focused on golf carts, ATVs are separate as are off-road vehicles.  Mr. Myers said some ATVs will do 70 mph, not a good idea.  Giving people more options would be good.  Mayor Penn asked about driving cart on a sidewalk - Mr. Thatcher said consideration is allowing them on roadways.  There are many places where sidewalks are not sufficient for cart.  Mr. Carson asked if could allow on roads at or under 35 mph, would council be interested.  Yes.  Mr. Thatcher will work on an ordinance for that.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending Chapter 3 Business Regulations, Article 3.1600 Flood Damage Prevention Regulations.
        Mr. Zook said this was to provide more compliance, they had a development that triggered a review.  Mr. Johnson said this is an excellent idea, definitely needed.
  • Appointment to the Parks and Recreation Board.
        Ms. Brooks said vacancy due to appointing Mr. Jones to P&Z.  Courtney Price was appointed.
  • Public Comment
    • Madelyn Gillespie from Girl Scout troop 2887 presented her silver award project to assist people in need to provide for donating non-perishable items and necessities.  She wants to create a blessing box for the city, possibly taking donations for the box and paint.  Non-perishable, toiletries, baby wipes and other items would be desired.  She wants to complete this by end of school year.
    • Kendall Milton talked about the downtown speakers - a year later, she still thinks they are too loud.  The intent was to be background music - there is no place inside the museum where the music can't be heard, even in the janitors closet.  The music interferes with their audio exhibits.  She has contacted the city 8 times, and always been told 'no settings have changed', but if it's always too loud...  Some songs are played 4 times a day.  It's not cool.  Please lower the volume outside the museum, it's too much, she doesn't want to listen to it any more.

  • City Manager's report - Re: consent #3: have 1.4 mil from CARES, must spend money and complete project by Dec. 31.  Normally would bring requests for authorization to bid - now they will be bypassing that part, still bringing items before council for approval to spend the funds.  Re: music - all other businesses have had positive comments about the music.  He has been in the museum, so is aware of the volume.  A speaker is outside his office, won't be able to please everyone.  Mr. Myers asked if could turn down one speaker? Yes, and they have.  Mr. Cooper asked if could disconnect it - yes, but would disrupt the coverage.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Johnson congratulated combat challenge FD team, finished 3rd at national.  It speaks of the quality of FD employees.  Mayor Penn said she encouraged Madelyn Gillespie to come speak, takes a lot of courage for 8th grader to publicly speak.
  • Held a 78-minute executive session re:
    • Consult with legal counsel regarding pending or contemplated litigation or a settlement offer and/or matters in which the duty of the attorney to the governmental body under Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas clearly conflicts with Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code (Tex. Gov't Code Section 551.071):
    • Hazardous Pay Grant COVID 19
    • Deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee (Tex. Gov't Code 551.074):
    • City Secretary
    • Project Liberty

  • Took no action, Adjourned at 2045.
Tuesday, 2020, October 6