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City of Forney Monthly Report

November 2017

The monthly department-by-department is an electronic newsletter produced by the City of Forney to provide residents, business owners, and other stakeholders with convenient access to information about our City. Delivered straight to email inboxes on a monthly basis, the department-specific reports cover a variety of issues including news items, project updates, event information, employee celebrations and much more. 

Admin
Event Photo

Forney Ranked as One
of the Best Places for Young Families

The City of Forney has been named one of the “Best Places for Young Families”, according to a study conducted by NerdWallet using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The study analyzed all cities in the State of Texas with populations greater than 10,000 and ranked them based on five factors including, home affordability, educational quality, family-friendliness, growth and prosperity. The study also ranked the City of Forney ahead of several other municipalities in our area including, Rockwall, Little Elm, Southlake, Plano and Rowlett among others.
 
Nerdwallet is a website that focuses on providing high-quality resources to help consumers make the best financial decisions for their families. Residents can view the entire interactive report that includes scores from all 239 cities at https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/best-places-for-young-families-texas/#top10.

Open Gov

Forney Launches OpenGov Platform

In an effort to continue the commitment to be a “City Without Limits” and to enhance transparency in financial reporting, the City of Forney is excited to announce a partnership with OpenGov, an interactive tool that will allow residents to explore budget and other financial data online in various graphical formats. Through OpenGov, residents will also have access to the City’s financial books in ways that present virtually all information about City government spending and revenue, along with views of individual check and credit card payments to the public.
 
“Understanding the City budget and other financial information shouldn’t be challenge for those residents who seek the information,” said Assistant Finance Director Charity Wilson. “We are excited this easy-to-use tool will bring all of our financial information to life and looking to expand its capabilities in the near future, to contain more than just financial information.”
 
The City of Forney joins more than 1,600 cities, county and state governments, special districts and schools on the OpenGov network. The Cities of McKinney, Denton, and Burnet all use OpenGov to improve its budget process and increase government effectiveness and accountability. The City also plans expanding the use of OpenGov in the near future to other reports and departments that residents may be interested in such as Community Development and Public Works.
 
The pages will go live on the City of Forney website on November 3 and can be found on the main page of the website and at www.cityofforney.org/opengov. For more information about OpenGov, please visit www.opengov.com

Gardening

Free Gardening
Classes are Back for 2018

The City of Forney is excited to announce that it will again host at least two FREE gardening classes come 2018. The City will host “FoodScaping”, a class dedicated to help residents design their landscape to not only be practical but also edible. “FoodScaping” will be held on January 25 at 6 p.m. The City will also host the popular “Grow Your Own Vegetables” on February 22. This class is annually one of the most attended classes the City offers. “Grow Your Own Vegetables” will be a class dedicated to gardens and help either seasoned gardeners or those just starting out. The class will also provide in-depth information on all vegetables and how to get the most from your plants. Both classes will be taught by master gardeners and licensed horticulturist. The City is also experiencing a possibility of hosting build-your-own-rain barrel class in late spring 2018. To sign up, please visit http://wateruniversity.tamu.edu/courses/.

CAFR Award

Finance Department
Acknowledged with CAFR Award

In October, Mayor Rick Wilson recognized the Finance Department for recently be awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. We’d like to recognize our Finance Department for the work they do and the awards they continue to receive. Great work!

Home Tour Poster

Forney Historic Preservation
League to Offer Candle Light Tours

What better way to spend a holiday evening that on a candlelight tour of the historic homes in Downtown Forney. The Forney Historic Preservation League will host the candlelight tour on December 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. The tour will consist of historic homes along Center St. and others close to the Downtown area. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information about the tour or how to purchase tickets, please visit www.spellmanmuseum.com or call 972.552.2400.

Monthly Sales Tax Report

In comparison to October 2016, the sales tax payment for the last month increased by 5.35%. While the City did budget a conservative 7% increase, we have experienced an increase of 5.35% overall from the prior year.  

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Community Development

Planning Department Attends State Conference in Frisco

This week, Community Development staff were able to attend the American Planning Association (APA) Conference in Frisco, Texas. The annual state planning conference brings together planners and planning officials across the state who are all passionate about building great communities. For more than 44 years, the Texas Chapter of the APA has provided continued training for planning commissioners and other planning professionals. This year’s conference featured former City of Chicago and Washington D.C. Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein.

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October 2017
Community Development Permit Report

Monthly Permits
Home Starts
Commercial Starts
Forney EDC
Small Business Donation

FEDC Provides Funding for Small Business Development Center

Did you know that the City of Forney is one of the top communities for small business inquiries, training and start-ups for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in the five-county Trinity Valley Community College region? This is the second year the Forney Economic Development Cooperation has partnered with the SBDC.  Every Thursday at the Mustang Creek Business Park North, the SBDC provides free and confidential counseling to current and prospective small businesses. They assist small businesses with social media and marketing initiatives, small business finance, business plan coaching, market research and other programs. On Monday, FEDC staff presented a check of $10,000 to SBDC Director, Mike Ellsberry and SBDC Business Advisor, Jennifer Johnston to help the SBDC continue their great work with small businesses in our area. For more information about the SBDC in Kaufman County, please visit https://www.tvcc.edu/sbdc/?d=153

TEDC Award

TEDC Honors City with Community Economic Development Award

The City of Forney Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was recently nominated by the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) for its Community Economic Development Award (CEDA). The CEDA program recognized exceptional contributions of TEDC member cities toward the economic vitality of their communities and the state of Texas through creativity, leadership and partnership in the achievement of business retention. Our EDC staff continues to find new and unique ways to both attract new businesses to the City, while continuing to offer a number of services to those businesses already located in Forney. Great job guys!

EDC Hosts Bi-Annual FAM Tour of the City

On Thursday October 26, the Forney Economic Development Corporation staff held a Familiarization or more commonly known as “FAM” Tour for more than 30 professionals in the commercial/industrial real estate, development and related industries. Tours such as the FAM tour, allow EDC staff to showcase some of the property that is available throughout the City, along with information on the City’s local economy. We hope that this tour provides a number of business prospects in the near future! 

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Forney Fire Department

Combat Challenge Team Competes in World Finals

In late October, the Forney Fire Combat Challenge Team competed in the Scott Firefighter World Finals held in Louisville, Kentucky. More than 300 competitors representing 50 departments and 12 countries competed in the event. The Forney Combat team consisted of Russell Bannister, Brian Leathers, David Lawson, Josh Mosley and Randall Morris. The team competed against the best in the world and finished with one of the top 16 fastest relay times. In the individual classification, Russel Bannister posted a new personal record and holds the designation of being ranked #21 in the World. Congratulation to the team for their dedication and making the City of Forney and Fire Department proud! 

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Smith Elementary

Fire Department
Wraps up Fire Prevention Month

As Fire Prevention weekends, a number of the firefighters are still making their rounds through the F.I.S.D. Elementary Schools spreading vital information regarding fire prevention. Smith Elementary recently hosted some of the firefighters and they were a great bunch of kids. The guys shared a number of fire safety tips and answered some great questions from the students about our daily activities and what it takes to become a firefighter. At the end of the presentation, the students were able to get an up-close look at the fire truck and all of the tools on board.  

Parks and Rec
CiP

'Christmas in the Park' to be held December 2

It’s the Holiday Season and the City of Forney has an events calendar that it full of family-fun activities that will surely make this a season to remember. The City is excited to announce that what was “Christmas on Main” will now be known as “Christmas in the Park”, as we have decided to move the entire event to Community Park, 241 S. FM 548, due to safety concerns. “Christmas on Main” experienced rapid growth over the years, while good presented a number of challenges for public safety. While this will present some changes in the event set-up, we are thrilled about the idea of hosting “Christmas in the Park” in conjunction with “Forney on Ice” which is new for 2017. “Forney on Ice” is a 66 x 44 “Candy Land” themed ice rink that will open on November 24. No, this isn’t a synthetic ice rink; this is a 100% ice! The covered ice rink will open daily to public! As in previous years, the City will also be hosting a Tree Lighting Ceremony in Downtown on December 1 at 7 p.m. The following day on December 2, will host “Christmas in the Park”. The event will include holiday vendors, food trucks, family photo opportunities, games, crafts, family/business tree decorating contest, concert performances, Holiday Parade of lights and of course SANTA! Christmas in the Park is presented by the City of Forney and the Forney Messenger. “Christmas in the Park” will also have extended hours this year! More information coming soon, but mark your calendars! 

Veterans Day

Annual Veterans Day Celebration to be Held November 11

In partnership with the Forney ISD Air Force JROTC, the City of Forney welcomes everyone to attend the 2017 Veterans Day Ceremony to be held at the Spellman Amphitheater, 241 S. FM 548, at 3 p.m. The ceremony will offer performances of the National Anthem and TAPS by FISD students, along with a patriotic melody. There will be two guest speakers this year, Terry Casen (Vice President of Honor Flight FW) and Capt. Jacqueline M. Twomey (US Coast Guard). Veterans who attend will be honored with a special “Thank You” gift. In case of inclement weather, the program will be relocated to the First Baptist Church in Forney. We encourage all residents to attend and show their support for our local residents. 

Park Pavilion

Park Pavilion Available
to Rent for Holiday Parties

Everyone enjoys the Community Park, but did you know that residents can rent the Park Pavilions online? The Forney Parks and Recreation Department accepts reservations for the pavilions for any day in the following time slots: 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m., 5 to 8 p.m. The pavilion serves as a great spot for birthday parties, holiday parties or family functions. For more information about renting the pavilion, please visit www.cityofforney.org/parksandrec.

10th Annual Turkey Trax to be Held November 12

Sharing the Love Foundation is excited to announce that it will be hosting the 10th annual Turkey Trax Auto show at Community Park on November 12. This event was originally created as a way of bringing the community together and honoring our local veterans. This year the event will also feature a family-friendly ‘Veterans 5K Fun Run’, to be held before the car show festivities. A portion of the proceeds raised will benefit local veteran’s organizations. For more information about the event, please visit www.sharingthelove.org

Turkey Trax 2017
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Coffee with the Cops

FPD to Host "Coffee with a Cop" November 10

This Friday, the Forney Police Department will host their second “Coffee with the Cops” at Mama’s Daughters’ Diner, 111 E. Main St., from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. We invite everyone to join the Forney Police Department and have a cup of coffee. This is a great opportunity to meet several of the officers or ask questions in a more comfortable environment. We look forward to seeing you!This Friday, the Forney Police Department will host their second “Coffee with the Cops” at Mama’s Daughters’ Diner, 111 E. Main St., from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. We invite everyone to join the Forney Police Department and have a cup of coffee. This is a great opportunity to meet several of the officers or ask questions in a more comfortable environment. We look forward to seeing you!

Officers Enjoy Halloween with Residents

One of the officers favorite nights of the year is Halloween. Our officers love to interact with trick-or-treaters and taking photos with a number of “police officers”. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hi, we appreciate it! We’re glad that everyone had a safe Halloween and are already looking forward to next year. 

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Public Works Spreading the Holiday Spirit

It takes a lot of work from a number of departments to get the City ready for the holiday season and sometimes it may seem too soon. However, Christmas in the Park is December 2 and the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Downtown is on December 1, so the holiday season is upon us! Public Works employees have been hard at working getting the City prepared for the holiday season, this includes all of the light pole wreaths and Council Chambers. Public Works and Finance will also be helping the Special Events Department in the transformation of Community Park to a Winter Wonderland! Great job guys!  

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Public Works Department
Participates in Innovation Workshop

On October 19, the Forney Public Works Department participated in an “Innovation Workshop”. The workshop aimed to empower our front-line employees to all them to self-identify not only operational issues, but solutions to those issues. The workshop was held in partnership with the City of Austin. We’re extremely proud of our Public Works staff and what they have accomplished. Workshops like this, will only increase the level of service provided to residents from staff. 

Innovation Workshop Photo
Enhacements

Bois D' Arc St. Opened to Traffic

On October 31, construction crews opened both Bois D' Arc and Main St. to through traffic, as both had been previously closed since the beginning of July. The opening also signals the upcoming completion of the Downtown Enhancement Project. The project has been a nuisance for those who live and work near Downtown Forney, but the enhancements will have a lasting impact. The project is almost 6 months ahead of schedule! 

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