Council presented scaled-back budget with options for better times.

During its regular Aug. 04, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Council met to view a conservative 2020-21 Budget, discuss solicitor's rules, manhole covers.(watch official video)

  • Approved as a consent item:
    • a Resolution awarding a contract to Lewis Concrete Restoration Corporation for the Manhole Rehabilitation Project, and all related issues.
          Mr. Johnson said there was a large disparity in the bid amounts, did they review the low-bid contractor? Mr. Zook said they contacted all 3 references, all were happy with the contractor's work, their aggressive schedule helped with the price.
          Documents show the total as $62.1k, completion in 21 days.

  • Held Public Hearing -
    • Approved a replat for the Clements Park Addition, located northwest of the intersection of F.M. 740 and Clements Drive in the City of Forney extra-territorial jurisdiction.
          Mr. Morgan said this is vacant, 5 lots on 9.9 acres, platted in 1961.  This was denied by P&Z due to not showing aligned roads of FM 460 and 740.  Applicant has revised the plat showing the alignment, but is not a dedication, reservation, donation of land.
          There was no public input.

  • Approved public hearing date for the FY 2020-2021 proposed budget for August 18, 2020.
        Ms. Woodham said public code requires having one public hearing.  Mr. Thomas asked if would have certified tax data by then - yes.
  • Approved public hearing dates for the FY 2020-2021 proposed tax rate on August 18, 2020 and September 1, 2020.
        Ms. Woodham said local code requires 2 hearings if go above the "no-new-value" rate, which they are proposing.  Mr. Thomas asked if this was the 3.5% rate - Ms. Woodham said it was previously the effective rate, may go above that by 3.5%.  They are proposing 56 cents, might go lower than that.  Mayor Penn said that was a reduced rate - yes.
  • Presentation of the proposed FY 2020-2021 Budget.
        Ms. Woodham said this was a challenging budget, don't know how city will be impacted next year, kept it very conservative.  Increases due to increased tax valuations.  Expenses mostly personnel.  Had excess funds due to commercial development, will use that for capital improvements and purchases, nothing obligated now.  Sales revenue up by 17%, some from the ESD.  Most departments held steady, no raises, but have set aside money for midyear bonus, if going well.  Maintenance has increased, moved costs into one department.  HR has a significant increase due to employees. 
        General fund reserve- propose not adding funds, auditors say it's sufficient.  HOT fund: revenue has dropped, probably will go negative, will use general funds for special events.  Capital purchase funds has 600k transfer, will be used if available, and 51k for Pinson Farm payments.  Roadway impact fund has collected from Gateway, plan an impact fee study. 
        Building security fund comes from every ticket collected.  Technology fund also from tickets, as is juvenile case manager fund.  Special events funds will all be from general revenue.  Utility fund - NTMWD not raising rates, but minimum usage went up.  There is a 46% increase in sewer fees, city will pass along 10% to customers.  Mayor Penn asked if city will eat 36% on sewer - Ms. Woodham said no, due to development agreements with Devonshire and Vintage Meadows which will subsidize some.  3% Credit card fees are up due to increased usage, will be passed along to customer.  Utility fund increased revenue due to increased sales.  Utility reserve fund will not be added to.  Water impact fund: no big impact expected.  Interceptor fund - where the $16 fee goes, will hold steady.  Debt service fund is based on property tax.  Utility debt service had transfers to cover bond payments.  Capital Improvement fund - Overland Grove park fees per lot, general fund has no set projects.  TIRZ been making $500k payments to Hunts and $500k to city.  Utility capital improvement fund had a good year, will transfer to other funds.  EDC has committed 2.5 million.  and another 2.5 million next year.
        Tax office still working on tax rate, could go down 2 cents, they will adjust budget accordingly to be presented at the public hearing
        Mr. Johnson spoke about employee compensation - they will review mid-year, if revenues allow.  What about healthcare costs - Ms. Woodham said have 14% built into budget, but last year actually went down, due to new benefit management company.  Overland Park - about $8.5k per lot, when is that collected? Mr. Morgan said when they pull a permit.
        Mayor Penn said appreciate what staff has done given current circumstances, glad haven't laid anyone off.  Mr. Thomas said permits and inspections are up 151%, that is huge.
  • action on the City's solicitation ordinances -
        City Attorney John Thatcher presented changes made since last meeting; want to know who is walking through our neighborhoods, regulations can't be too heavy which would incentivize people to risk not getting a permit.
        Mr. Cooper said 6 months is too long, maybe do 1 or 2 months.  Mayor Penn asked if 6 months is normal; Mr. Thatcher said just because other cities do something doesn't make it legal, but they do 30 days to 1 year, $35 - $100.  Mr. Thomas asked if the Terrell fee was really $1800 - Mr. Thatcher said it's for specific interests, put an asterisk on it.  Mayor Penn asked where 6 months came from - was the prior ordinance.
        Mr. Myers asked how often people come to get a permit - Mr. Morgan said couple per month, usually in spring.  Mr. Moon said ok w/ 2-3 months.  Ms. Powers asked if length would cause legal issues - Mr. Thatcher said it matters how intrusive regulations are, what is mostly litigated are the hours, currently 9-8.  Mr. Myers said some are based on dark and light.  Mr. Thatcher said those will pass legal muster.  Fees are set by council.  Mr. Thomas asked what the fines were - Mr. Thatcher said general misdemeanor, max of 2k, generally 100-150.  Mr. Thomas asked Chief Lunt about number of calls - not many, have taken enforcement action.  Mr. Thatcher said if someone violating regulations, may pull there permit, can prohibit getting renewed.  Mr. Thomas asked if the one Chief Lunt contacted had a permit - no. 
        Mr. Thomas said could make a video about solicitors to add for social media, might work better than permits.  Mr. Myers asked if could list on website what permits have been issued? Mayor Penn said some are licensed by state, would not be on list.  Mr. Thomas said can't prohibit Girl Scouts - Mr. Thatcher said that's covered in ordinance.  Mr. Morgan said no problem putting the list on website.  Mr. Myers suggested 10 am - 30 min before dark, and permit length of 3 months.  Mr. Thatcher suggested leaving morning at 9 am.  Current fee is $80. 
  • Board and Commission appointments: Animal Adoption Center/Shelter Advisory Committee; Board of Adjustment; Building Standards Commission Board; Economic Development Corporation; Historic Overlay District Architectural Review Board; Park and Recreation Board; and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
        Ms. Brooks said didn't fill building standards or ARB at previous meeting.  For building standards: Approved reappointing current members (Carrasco, Hernandez, Newsome, Pyper) + Roberto Castenada for alternate #4.  ARB: Approved Andy Parker moving to permanent position, then appointed Norman Habib to alternate and reappointing current members (Conaway, Cunningham).
  • Public Comment - none.
  • City Manager's report - Mr. Carson said a pipe burst at splash pad, might be running tomorrow.  Mr. Johnson asked if there is some issue with the pad - Mr. Carson said Kyle thinks it could be the dumpster impacting the pipes, might move it.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Johnson thanked staff for budget w/ so many unknowns, blessed to have outstanding staff, welcome chief Riggs, Kyle in public works; Mr. Moon thanks staff; Ms. Powers thanks staff and welcomes ; Mr. Myers thanked staff for the e-library video; Mr. Thomas said e-library is cool, thanks for the budget; Mayor Penn welcomed new staff, keep Alexander family in thoughts.
  • Held a 60-minute executive session re:

    • PUC Docket No. 46662; SOAH Docket No. 473-17-4964.WS Petition of the Cities of Garland, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson Appealing the Decision by North Texas Municipal Water District Affecting Wholesale Water Rates.
    • PUC Docket No. 47814; SOAH Docket No. 46-18-1344.WS Petition of High Point Water Supply Corporation, Talty Special Utility District and Markout Water Supply Corporation Appealing the Decision by the City of Forney Affecting Wholesale Water Rates.
    • Facility Entertainment Management Agreement for Spellman Amphitheater
    • Municipal Court Judge

  • Appointed Ms. Lingerfelter to associate municipal county judge for unexpired term until September 30.
  • Authorized staff to execute amendment to facility entertainment management agreement for Spellman Amphitheater.  No details were provided on the amendment.
  • Adjourned at 20:25.
Tuesday, 2020, August 4