Forney EDC Director Kim Buttram and Executive Assistant Kayla Bryson accepted the Certificate of Achievment for Economic Excellence Award on behalf of the Forney EDC. This was the fourth year in a row that Forney has been given this award from the Texas Economic Development Council, and as Mayor Darren Rozell pointed out, “Not every city gets this award, and they certainly don't get them four years in a row.” He spoke about the importance of economic development in Forney and praised Buttram, Bryson, and the EDC Board for their impressive work. Kim Buttram said, “We have a strategic plan and a downtown development plan. Being pro-active is part of this award.”
Mayor Rozell also had the pleasure of presenting the Star Employee Award to newly appointed Public Works Director Chris Metz. Metz pulled a fellow employee to safety on FM 548, preventing the man from being struck and seriously injured or killed by oncoming traffic. Since then, Metz has put additional measures in place to further advance worker safety on these dangerous job sites. Metz was given a certificate, a trophy, one free paid leave day, and a bonus check, for being chosen as the Star Employee this month. He graciously accepted the award and shied away from talk of him being a hero. He may not like the word, but putting your own life in danger in order to save someone else, does make Mr. Metz a hero.
City Manager Brian Brooks was approved by the city council to be Forney's sole investment officer. As the investment officer, Brooks will be authorized to make deposits and withdrawals, as well as transferring and managing city funds, doing so while exercising good judgement and care.
A proposed tax abatement zone was approved for 3.341 acres at 755 near 757 East US 80. The land is to be used for a medical facility with a 24-hour emergency room. This facility will be given a 50 percent tax abatement by the City of Forney for five years. Kaufman County is also contributing an additional $55,000.00 a year to the facility.
The council approved a contract with the county to rebuild County Road 212, a road that receives many traffic complaints. The county intends to fix Helms Trail as well as County Road 212. Also, the FM 741 pass-through project will contain no concrete in the center dividers so that a bubbler system and drought tolerant plants can be installed later in the year. The bulk of the work to be done to finish FM 741 will be completed in the summer, once the school year ends. In other construction news, Highway 80 construction is going well and should be completed in six weeks. At FM 548/1641, the left turn radius will be fixed due to it currently being far too sharp of a turn to make safely.
The Gateway Bridge groundbreaking ceremony will take place on May 10, 2012, at 10 a.m. Assistant City Manager Gina Nash wants the public to know that TxDot is in charge of traffic control on that project and that we will see “the makings of a bridge structure there very soon.”
City Manager Brian Brooks stated that after the April 3 tornado that struck Forney, FEMA did not declare Forney a disaster area by their definition, so the city will not be eligible for reimbursements of costs. The city spent approximately $50,000.00 for debris disposal. Brooks said that Forney has a contingency fund for purposes such as this disaster and they are still in good shape. Homes and businesses in Forney suffered over 9 million dollars in damages from the EF-3 tornado.