FEDC holds annual HOT training, works on budget

During its regular May 09, 2019 meeting, the Forney Economic Development Corp. met and: did HOT fund training, approved future website upgrade and budget, approved development incentive.

  • Financial report: about 60% through year, revenue about 3% ahead of projections, expenses are well contained.
  • Executive Director's report: Mr. Ketteman said he is on FISD facility committee; he & Stewart were guest speakers in Garland about EDCs working with downtown; Ms. Ringwald from UP-RR is visiting, Smurfit-Kappa uses a rail spur; held a utilities round-table; downtown entry signs not up because too much rain to pour concrete pads.
  • Held annual workshop for applicants of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund grants.
        Mr. Ketteman explained these funds are 13% on hotel guests, 7% local. 1 of every 10 jobs in Texas depend on travelers. He explained what funds may be used for, no more than 50% of any single event may be funded. Mr. McGregor went through the application process up to council approval and disbursement. There is an appeal/extension process for event delays.
  • Approved EDSuite bid of $30k for website upgrade RFP.
        Mr. McGregor said board requested an RFP process for this: website support will expire this year, sent proposals to 4 firms who all responded. He categorized the responses for the board in 3 levels. Staff recommends continuing with EDSuite for the upgrade. Mr. Ketteman said he was impressed w/ top two replies, but he's concerned about a retainer vs. hourly cost. Mr. Burrus said also depends on if retainer is unlimited, he tends to go with retainer. This item will not occur until next year's budget in Oct.
  • Approved proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 - Mr. Ketteman said this is second version of budget. Mr. Carson spoke about a tool used in his prior city, which helps grade a property for a specific use. Pres. McBeth asked if this would reduce need for studies - Mr. Ketteman said no, would still need those. This is a way to provide third-party (unbiased) scoring. Ms. Lewis asked if it was one-time fee or subscription; Mr. Carson wasn't sure, it was one-time fee previously. Mr. McGregor said professional services was 20k, already added 3k for website, need to go up another 3k for website. Mr. Ketteman said many items that increased occur every other year. Have increased marketing budget, more people showing up for tours.
        Pres. McBeth suggested increasing salary for Stewart and Mary. Mr. Ketteman said this will still have to go through the process for possible approval in Sept. Mr. Burrus asked how this year compares to previous year for fund balance - Mr. Ketteman believes up on expenses, about 8%. Mr. McGregor said revenue likely to be $2.2 mil, expenses close to $1 mil, so $1 mil for fund balance. Mr. Alexander asked about demolition grant- none has been spent yet. Medical incentives were never used, so renamed to small business incentives.
  • Held a 50-minute executive session re:
  • Approved 105 S. McGraw incentive grant for 1/2 costs not to exceed $25k (for parking lot, concrete).
  • 105 Main St.: Pres. McBeth said they have given a redevelopment grant to incoming tenant. Mr. Saragusa said request was for HVAC, grease traps. Pres. McBeth said they have a limit how much can do for each building. They have max'd out the facade grant. Mr. Ketteman said committed to Mr. Bridges for redevelopment grant, they could transfer that funding to another tenant or Mr. Saragusa. Mr. McGregor said the downtown redevelopment grant Mr. Bridges received allows for a variety of interior work, including HVAC and grease traps.
  • Mr. McGregor stated have 26 meetings with retailers setup for ICSC meeting.
        Ms. Lewis asked for a report of current incentives, staff will provide that.
  • Adjourned at 2024.
Thursday, 2019, May 9