FEDC considers another grant, plus future revisions

During its regular Apr. 11, 2019 meeting, the Forney Economic Development Corp. met and in summary: took no action on parking lot grant request, discussed grant application revisions and next year's budget.

  • Executive Director's report: Mr. Ketteman said the Goodyear groundbreaking was almost as big as Raising Cane's, Kaufman County day at capitol, met w/ governor, Lt. Governor, Rep. Bell & Sen. Hall. Zmolik finished renovations on McGraw. Lydia Spaun from Rep. Gooden's office went to Chamber luncheon w/ them. New businesses - Sass and Sunshine, on Bois d'Arc next to Crumbzz kids and mens clothing. Precision Sports Therapy moved here from Waco. He showed pictures of the pond damage near Walmart that was caused by the beaver dam, and the results after restoration work. Work was done under budget. DeRidder allowed contractor to use their pond during work.
  • Financial report: 1/2 through year, revenues at 54%.
  • Held a 56-minute executive session re:
  • Mr. Ketteman introduced Ms. (Joyce) Carr who owns the day care building, Pres. Mr. McBeth said they have decided to not fund the parking lot. Ms. Carr said adult day care was mostly government funded, that dried up, with highway construction, people thought they were closed. Child care is high demand, she wants Tyson to open up there. The road is 30 years old, can support a fire-truck, used like a city street. She has paid 250k + in taxes. Mr. McBeth said they considered experience and financing of the applicant. Mr. Ketteman said this board has no control over road and parking lots, just to promote new and existing businesses. Current rules require concrete; if legal non-conforming property transfers to identical use, can continue to operate. But if property sits unused, or technically abandoned, then is subject to current rules. Any new development requires concrete parking lot. Ms. Carr said they don't meet requirements to be abandoned. Mr. Tayamen said it's just a term, asked if it was an ongoing business - Ms Carr said they operate by appointment. Mr. McBeth said they don't have control over those terms. Mr. Ketteman said community development decides that, he doesn't know what their criteria is, time-wise. Ms. Carr's son asked if every property for lease is abandoned; no, and most now for lease meet all city codes. There was a discussion about determining the property to be abandoned, Mr. Ketteman suggested she contact Mr. Morgan. Mr. McBeth said they have hesitancy on funding startup companies; Mr. Ketteman said also involves code requirements. Mr. Burrus suggested she contact Mr. Morgan about the problems caused by road construction. Mr. Ketteman said his understanding from Mr. Morgan was there was a gap in operation.
        The conversation continued for another 13 minutes regarding the sewer construction, drainage, business operation, requiring concrete. No action was taken on the item.

  • Approved updates to the incentive applications: they suggest updating the facade grants to be downtown facade and interior, allowing up to 10k on each. Ms. Lewis asked why the 20% value; Mr. Burrus said the exterior helps all business, interior only helps the one business. He would favor increasing that percentage - 25% was the favorite. Mr. McGregor mentioned these are different than redevelopment grants, where are changing a building use. Next added language requiring to be in HOZ. Re: promisory notes - never had a request, so removed that. They discussed HOZ vs. downtown area.
        Redevelopment grant is newer, needs fewer changes - added fire supression / safety.
        For the grant application: will require it 2 weeks before meeting, and a tax ID. Added statement they don't provide venture capital, asked what total investment capital applicant has, have they received any government incentives, documentation for loans. Mr. Ketteman said census is coming, will provide good data. They also require information about lease or purchase terms for buildings. Mr. McBeth said do need documention if getting funds that are not loans (such as from family). Mr. Ketteman said will check w/ attorney about what can be revealed in public documents.
        Approved revisions with requiring documents for family funding and the increases to 10k and 25%.
  • Spent about 45 minutes discussing draft budget for FY 2019-2020.

  • Adjourned at 2120.
Thursday, 2019, April 11