CITY COUNCIL MEETING March 21, 2017
Continuing a pattern of taking steps toward major road improvements, the Talty City Council approved an agreement with BGE, the City's engineering firm, to provide management services during the first phase of construction and heard an update on progress. The council awarded Pavecon Public Works the $2.6 million contract last month.
Preliminary work has been ongoing and more visible progress began this week on Layden's Ridge Drive. In addition to Pavecon personnel, Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative crews have been replacing several power poles with poles extending further into the ground to provide greater stability in drainage areas. Final right of way issues on Layden's Ridge should be settled soon. Crews will later shift attention to Cleaver Lane and Michael Talty Avenue.
"Two years ago my plan was to not seek a third term if we could not make major progress on roads," stated Mayor Larry Farthing. "The fact we overcame some delaying obstacles makes getting to this point all the more satisfying. I'm thankful and look forward to accomplishing as much during the upcoming term."
With only the incumbents filing for office, an ordinance cancelling the May election was approved. Along with Mayor Farthing, council members Bobby Crowley and Courtney McGrath were declared elected for another two year term.
In conjunction with the road improvements, the City has been upgrading lighting on area roadways. Funds from the road project accounts have been utilized to pay for installing LED lighting alongside those roadways. To provide safer, consistent LED lighting throughout Talty, the council approved using $6047 from budgeted operating funds to have LED lighting placed along FM 1641 between FM 148 and I-20.
The council, meeting with a bare quorum of three, discussed and took preliminary action on a variance request to reduce the front setback line for a proposed home at 10149 Layden's Ridge. City staff explained before a vote to deny the variance that any action taken by three council members might not binding since such matters require an enhanced majority and quorum. This was confirmed later, so the matter will be reconsidered in April.
Though not an action item the developer of additional phases of Layden's Farm, Sami Ebrahim, again addressed city officials about the current status of a protest of engineering fees he believes to be excessive. Ebrahim stated he plans to pay the fees under protest and asked the City to reach an agreement with him assigning future reimbursements to his company. According to city officials, attorneys will soon have a draft agreement available.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEBRUARY 21, 2017
The final plat approval on two new phases of Layden Farms represented the major item acted upon during Talty's regular monthly council meeting. The phases consist of 35 lots and will bring homes to the area surrounding the site on which Forney ISD plans to build an elementary campus.
The council expressed concerns about the reimbursement of engineering fees and the completion of items on a construction punch list. Sami Ebrahim, the project developer, has discussed the engineering fees with Scott Hutchins, the city engineer, and believes they are excessive. In response, Hutchins explained the higher than expected total is due to correcting grading issues and the construction period being much longer than expected.
The council directed staff to follow city ordinances and not issue building permits until the punch list and engineering fee issues are resolved.
The Talty Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council held public hearings and reviewed a zoning variance request to reduce the front building line for a residence at 10149 Layden's Ridge Drive. Owners from three neighboring homes presented questions and concerns. The lot's unusual configuration makes meeting the 75-foot front set back requirement more difficult. Both groups tabled action pending the builder staking out the proposed home in a manner which would show the side of the home being roughly in line with the neighboring residence and the other side, which would be a two car garage, being closer to the front property line.
An update on the road improvement project included announcing a March 2 preconstruction meeting with the contractor and city representatives. Having been awarded the $2.6 million construction contract, Pavecon Public Works will soon be improving Layden's Ridge Drive, Michael Talty Avenue and Cleaver Lane.
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING February 13, 2017
At a special council meeting Monday night, the Talty City Council took action awarding a contract for major road renovations to Pavecon Public Works. The bid for major drainage and surface improvements along Layden's Ridge Drive, Michael Talty Avenue and Cleaver Lane is $2,607,201.
"I'm very happy to see the process led to our attracting such a reputable contractor," stated Mayor Larry Farthing. " We will follow up soon with projects to have similar work done on our other city maintained roadways."
Rather than simply overlaying the roadways, the project includes extensive work to prepare an appropriate base, provide a new surface which meets a specified TxDOT standard and more effective drainage to keep water away from the road surface. There will be some reclamation of existing materials. By draining water faster in channels further away from the road pavement, maintenance will be reduced and the life of the roadway greatly extended.
Plans discussed at the meeting anticipated work crews moving in early next month; soon after Pavecon participates in pre-construction meetings and obtains a notice to proceed. The contract specifies a construction period of 240 days.
Though plans will keep the inconvenience to a minimum, at times vehicles will be required to use CR 213A when crews need to close both lanes of Layden's Ridge Drive. Effected residents will be informed of lane and road closures through homeowners associations.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING January 17, 2017
The Talty City Council's first ordinance of 2017 authorized the issuance of a $3.25 million tax note to fund an expanded road improvement project. Bids for the project will be opened February 2. With the submission and acceptance of a reasonable bid, construction would begin late February.
"Getting our road improvements underway has been a major goal," explained Mayor Larry Farthing. "We appreciate the patience of our citizens and efforts of our team. We're happy to provide the much needed relief from road and drainage problems. And getting past the implementation stage will allow us to begin shifting focus to other important issues."
The project covers reconstruction of Layden's Ridge Drive, Michael Talty Avenue and Cleaver Lane and significant drainage improvements designed to better protect residential properties from rising water during heavy rains. Engineering and design work on Bunny Run, George Trail and Douglas Circle will continue in anticipation of those being included in a final phase.
A smaller project covering just Layden's Ridge Drive did not receive an acceptable bid last year, which led to the decision to expand the project since engineering work on Michael Talty Avenue and Cleaver Lane neared completion and due to the probability a larger project would attract more interest from contractors.
Several financial institutions made offers on the tax note. The awarded offer came from Hancock Whitney Bank of Baton Rouge LA and includes an interest rate of 2.02 percent on the seven year note with a five-year no call provision.
The council also approved ordinances adopting building codes and calling for a municipal election. City inspections will now be done according to the 2015 International Building Code package and the 2014 National Electric Code. The May 6 election ballot will include those seeking to serve as mayor or in one of two available council positions. Those currently serving include Mayor Farthing, Courtney McGrath and Bobby Crowley.
Discussion items included an update on the audit process and items anticipated for inclusion on the February agenda. The field work on the Fiscal 2016 audit has not been completed, so the final audit may not be available by the next regular meeting. However, a variance request for reducing the front building line at 10149 Layden's Ridge Drive in Shamrock Ridge Phase 7 has been submitted. Staff reported a commercial property owner has discussed a potential variance for the February meeting, but not yet turned in the formal request.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING November 15, 2016
During a recent Talty City Council meeting engineers presented a more aggressive road project schedule calling for the construction phase of major improvements to commence on February 20. The drafting of this updated schedule came in response to council members stating a desire to meet outside their regular schedule to act on preliminary matters in order make an earlier start possible.
The development of finalized construction plans will be coordinated with the issuance of a tax note for approximately $3.25 million. Action will be taken on both at a council meeting on December 6. The plan calls for Talty to receive the additional funds a few days prior to the February 20 construction date.
The first phase of construction will include Layden's Ridge Drive, Michael Talty Avenue and Cleaver Lane. Layden's Ridge Drive had been scheduled for reconstruction last summer, but the project did not attract an acceptable bid. Since the second phase of tax note had already been planned, elected officials chose to expand the project and combine the funds from the second tax note with the $1.12 million from the previous one.
Ongoing topographic and survey work will continue Douglas Circle, George Trail and Bunny Run. With the submittal of a bid within budget, work could begin on these roads in May.
Police Chief Michael Hoskins addressed the council about his department's pursuit policy in response to concerns expressed following three pursuits in recent months. Hoskins explained the current policy directs officers to use discretion and end a pursuit when it presented significant risk to persons or property. He also stated it covered limiting Talty's participation in pursuits initiated elsewhere and entering the city limits. Hoskins also proposed methods to expand coverage by Talty law enforcement personnel.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING August 16, 2016
A proposed project to reconstruct Layden’s Ridge Drive has been delayed due to Talty receiving a single, unacceptable bid. Though a temporary setback, the delay in the first phase presents the opportunity to combine phases into a single, expanded project renovating most or all streets. Doing so may have the added benefit of attracting more bids from contractors meeting the stated requirements.
In an update to the Talty City Council, Carl Krogness of Brown & Gay Engineers stated that in addition to not submitting all the required documents, the bid from Reid Construction of Tyler came in significantly above the project’s cost estimate. Krogness also mentioned such situations have become more common since most reputable contractors have been extremely busy. The council formally declined the bid before taking action authorizing staff, engineers and financial advisors to move forward with preparations for an expanded project.
“Although we have regrets about delaying road renovations,” stated Mayor Larry Farthing, “We can still have all our roads improved by the end of 2018. The dedicated funds will continue to draw interest even as we arrange the additional financing needed to meet our goal.”
The council took action on two items related to emergency services. The first granted approval for the City to participate in a consolidated 9-1-1 communications system with the Kaufman County and other area municipalities contingent on acceptable finalization of a section on annual charges.
After more discussion, the council adopted a resolution calling for the revenues from local 9-1-1 fees on area phone bills to come back to a regional 9-1-1 agency rather than the state. Over $150 million has been held by the state or used for purposes other than the intended use of improving emergency communications. Once such a resolution has been approved by all required governing bodies the funds must be forwarded directly to the regional agency and used to assist emergency communications.
A lengthy discussion resulted in a plan for allowing Talty Industrial Park to construct the first of three buildings along FM 1641. In 2013 city officials and the owner, Bob Greiner, agreed to stipulations calling for these frontage buildings to meet standards designed for non-industrial purposes, thus providing the community with space for retail or service businesses. Initially, the building will be used by an indoor soccer team. However, an agreed upon plan will allow for easy conversions to meet the needs of future business tenants. A sidewalk and most of the required parking spaces for eventual customers and employees of one or two businesses will be installed within months of the building’s construction.
To end the meeting the council called for September’s regular meeting to include a public meeting on the City’s tax rate, action on the Fiscal 2017 budget and a presentation on municipal annexation for general law cities.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING July 19, 2016
Questions about the construction schedule and potential road closures due to the upcoming Layden’s Ridge Drive improvement project highlighted a Talty public forum prior to July’s regular city council meeting.
Representatives from Brown & Gay Engineers stated portions of road will be closed during the project in an effort to shorten the period of inconvenience and reduce costs. Segments of the road not requiring extensive ditch work will not have to be closed. In addition to postings on the city website, the management company for Shamrock Ridge’s home owners association has agreed to e-mail residents details of upcoming closures.
“We have finally reached the point where our efforts will provide a major benefit to citizens,” stated Mayor Larry Farthing. “And we will continue work on a similar project to improve more roads in 2017.”
Bids for the project will be accepted through August 11. The proposed construction schedule begins in late September with completion in mid-February.
The owner of the Talty Industrial Park, Bob Greiner, came to the council requesting to add another building. This would be the first building on a lot bordering FM 1641. Agreed upon plans from 2013 require buildings on such lots to be occupied by retail or professional service tenants. Such a plan meets goals to both provide screening for the existing metal buildings and diversify Talty’s business community. However, Greiner verbally presented a plan which would initially allow another type of tenant in a building along FM 1641. The structure would be constructed in a manner which would include or allow for the easy installation of restrooms, windows, doorways and brick necessary to accommodate up to four retail or professional service tenants facing FM 1641. The council agreed to consider the possibility, but requested detailed plans which would ensure the project would meet the structural, parking and other needs of future tenants.
The council received an update on discussions with county officials on Kaufman County’s consolidated emergency communications center. In 2015 the county submitted a plan proposing to charge Talty over $40,000 annually for dispatch services. The city’s budgeted revenues for 2015 total $812,000.
“These dispatch services have always been handled in an efficient and cost effective manner by county employees,” stated Mayor Farthing. “Talty property owners already pay their fair share through the county’s property tax. Requiring cities to pay again by mandating a charge representing such a significant portion of city revenues seems unfair. We appreciate the county reconsidering and look forward to more discussions.”
CITY COUNCIL MEETING June 21, 2016
City engineers updated elected officials on the Layden’s Ridge road project at Talty’s recent city council meeting. With right-of-way acquisition well underway, current plans are to bid the construction in August and have crews complete the work by February.
Representatives from Brown & Gay Engineers explained that at times portions of Layden’s Ridge may be closed, thus requiring residents of Shamrock Ridge Phases 6, 7 and 8 to use alternate routes. Although more inconvenient, doing so will significantly shorten the construction period.
Work will also be undertaken to upgrade the quality and amount of lighting along Layden’s Ridge. Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative submitted three proposals. Each included details on supplying varying numbers of LED lights along the road through both replacement and adding to the number of lights. After review and discussion, the council chose the proposal calling for the most overall lighting at a cost of $5596.
“Safety is our primary concern” stated Mayor Larry Farthing. “The additional benefit will be uniform, quality lighting which uses only 30 percent of electricity consumed by the lights being replaced.”
Talty plans to similarly evaluate and upgrade the lighting on other city maintained roads as part of future road projects.
A proposed operations agreement for the 9-1-1 communications system between Talty, Kaufman County and other area municipalities failed to gain approval. The council tabled the draft agreement after extended discussion. The county has replaced an old system at the law enforcement center with a new facility at the renovated armory building in Kaufman. Council members will be seeking to meet with county officials about the organizational structure of the board overseeing the consolidated system and the proposed annual charge to member cities.
“We recognize the need for continued dispatch services provided by the county,” stated Mayor Farthing. “But all property owners within Kaufman County already pay for the coverage through the property tax it assesses.”
Had the figure for this year not been discounted $30,000, the proposed $44,633 charge to the City in Fiscal 2016 would have represented 5.5% of its total revenues. Although Talty continues to grow and now collects an ad valorem tax, the burden of allocating approximately $50,000 annually in the near future for the communications center will remain a significant burden, especially since 80% of the property tax revenues must be used for debt service.
A replat of Talty Industrial Park received approval from planning and zoning commissioners before also being approved by the council. The replat realigns the lot lines into one acre lots in order to work with the areas aerobic system design.
The council approved interlocal agreements with Kaufman County and the City of Frisco and re-elected Frank Garrison as mayor pro tem.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING May 17, 2016
Action items at the recent Talty city council meeting adopted the sales and use tax approved by voters and saw four council members sworn in to serve or complete terms of office.
Brad Adams, Frank Garrison and Al Werning ran as unopposed incumbents and elected to another two year term. Bobby Crowley, who had been appointed due to a resignation, was also unopposed and will serve the remaining year of that seats term.
An ordinance serving to canvass the vote and adopt the half-percent sales and use tax will be sent to the state comptroller’s office. The new rate for the city will be two percent, which is the amount collected by most municipalities. The new rate would go into effect at the beginning of the quarter following the states favorable review.
“The proposed rate would matche what our citizens contribute when spending in other area cities,” explained Mayor Larry Farthing. “And since most Talty’s sales tax comes from Sonic and Exxon the bulk of our allotment will come from people passing through town.”
The budget for the major street improvements to Layden’s Ridge/CR 213 included hiring a right-of-way agent. A discussion item updated the council on the engineer having completed survey work and recommending getting a right-of-way agent involved. Additionally, staff informed the council that $1.075 million funding for the project had been wired by Zions Bank to bank account created for the road project.
The council also received copies of Talty’s most recent comprehensive plan. During the coming months the council plans to work on an updated version.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING April 19, 2016
An ordinance authorizing the issuance of tax notes totaling $1.115 million to be used for renovating Layden’s Ridge Drive received the unanimous support of Talty’s city council.
“The approval of the tax notes caps a year of work enabling the City to initiate the first such project,” stated Mayor Larry Farthing. “We are very happy to be in a position to expand the range of services offered to our citizens.”
During the discussion prior to the council’s vote, Jim Sabonis of First Southwest presented a final overview of the issuance and a summary of the proposals from financial institutions offering to purchase the tax notes. Based on the recommendation of First Southwest and city staff, the council accepted the proposal from Zions Bank offering an interest rate of 1.81% and a provision allowing the notes to be callable. This will allow the City to refinance any time.
The schedule presented by Sabonis calls for the closing and delivery of the tax notes to occur on May 17. According to Mayor Farthing, much of the preliminary engineering work on the project has been ongoing and funded through the current budget since Talty’s first property tax revenues came in this fiscal year. Construction on Layden’s Ridge Drive will begin this summer. The remaining city maintained roads will be similarly improved over the next two years.
In other action, the council approved adding Gary Jones as a reserve police officer.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING March 15, 2016
While choosing to cancel the general election for council positions and declaring persons who filed for the four position elected, the council chose to continue with a special election allowing voters to decide on an additional one half of one percent sales tax.
Most municipalities have long had in place their two cent local sales and use tax. Many have portions dedicated to economic development, street maintenance or other special purposes. Talty once had a portion dedicated to street maintenance, but it expired in 2011. Recent state legislation allows cities to adopt a similar tax without a special dedication. If the proposition passes, Talty would receive an additional $20,000 revenue.
Talty also took another significant step toward initiating a $4.42 million city streets capital improvement program by approving a plan of financing and directing its staff and consultants to implement the first phase of tax notes. The projected $1.12 million for Phase 1 would cover the cost of major renovations to Layden’s Ridge Drive.
Andre Ayala, a financial advisor with First Southwest, outlined the plan and explained that due to its demographics and lack of debt history it will be necessary for Talty to use the tax note method and dedicate 20 cents of its annual property tax levy, currently 25 cents, to paying the debt. The debt will be structured so payments remain constant with the implementation of other phases over the next two years. Ayala added that in 2022 the notes should be transitioned into general obligation refunding bonds set to mature no later than 2036.
Current plans call for renovating Michael Talty Avenue and Cleaver Lane in 2017 at a cost of $1.56 million. The final $1.72 million phase upgrades Bunny Run, Douglas Circle and George Trail.
According to Mayor Larry Farthing, finalizing the plan of financing allows for long awaited street improvements while providing information necessary for the city to proceed with other service upgrades in a fiscally responsible manner.
Bryan Thomas of Yeldell, Wilson, Wood & Reeve, P. C. presented the audit of Fiscal 2015. Thomas reported a clean audit and stated the process went smoothly.
Council members completing two year terms who filed for reelection include Frank Garrison, Brad Davis and Al Werning. Bobby Crowley, recently appointed to the council following a resignation, filed for the remaining year of that term.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING February 16, 2016
Engineering and financial details on Talty’s $4.3 million road improvement program continue to be the key topics at the city’s council meetings. A workshop held just prior to February’s regular meeting provided city engineers and financial advisors time to interact with elected officials on the scope of work and elaborate on their recommendations.
According to representatives from Brown & Gay and First Southwest, Talty’s engineering and financial advisors, respectively; the best option remains a three year plan. From an engineering standpoint, this timeframe will allow adequate time for Talty to complete necessary drainage studies and acquire additional right-of-ways. Furthermore, financial regulations on cities without funding sources outside general operations also make the three year plan more workable.
Especially along Layden’s Ridge Drive and Michael Talty Avenue, right-of-way issues will need to be resolved along stretches not bordered by subdivisions. Gaining additional right-of-way for additional road base and room for proper drainage, thus ensuring long term surface stability, will take some time and may require rearranging the order of construction. Since there are fewer such parcels along Layden’s Ridge Drive, the city still anticipates reconstructing it this year.
During the regular meeting the council took action to approve a performance agreement with Brown & Gay for advance work on the project. The firm will also provide inspection services during the construction phases. At next month’s meeting, Andre Ayala of First Southwest will be presenting for action a proposal to market approximately $1 million in tax notes for the purpose of financing the reconstruction of Layden’s Ridge Lane. The funds would become available to the city in May with the early phases of construction beginning in early summer.
The council approved an ordinance calling for elections on May 7 for four council positions and getting the sales tax rate to the two percent allowed by the state. In addition to three two-year council terms, the remaining year of a term vacated by a resignation will be on the ballot. Bobby Crowley received the oath of office during the meeting to serve out the first half of that term.
Previously, cities designated the purpose of any sales tax over one percent, however, recent legislation eliminated the requirement. Talty currently collects a half-percent sales tax for property tax relief. Talty once collected a street maintenance sales tax, which required renewal every five years. Many cities designate portions of their additional one percent for economic development corporations or municipal utility districts which require the creation of additional boards and have project restrictions. Although such options still exist, the Talty council chose to call the election for the undesignated half-percent so the approximately $20,000 generated annually could be budgeted to best meet current needs. The council also noted a high percentage of those making purchases at Talty’s largest sales tax collecting businesses, Sonic and Exxon, live outside the city.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING January 19, 2016
Upcoming road projects dominated a Talty city council meeting consisting mostly of discussion items.
Meetings and preparation have led to plans for a three phase street improvement program beginning this summer with Layden’s Ridge Drive. A second phase in 2017 would include Michael Talty Road and Cleaver Lane. The final phase would improve Bunny Run, Douglass Circle and George Trail. City engineers have recommended using TxDOT asphalt standards designed for municipal streets. They have set the estimated cost for the project at $4.27 million.
“We have stressed all along that we want streets built to last,” stated Mayor Larry Farthing. “Consequently, a large portion of the cost comes from improving the base and taking care of drainage issues.”
Engineers have also provided a suggested maintenance schedule and projected those costs for 20 years. Such maintenance would include periodic filling of cracks and seal coating every seven years. With proper maintenance, the road should last 30 years.
Council members will hear update presentations from engineers and financial advisors at their February meeting.
The major action item during the meeting had Robert Crowley appointed to a council vacancy. Discussion on the upcoming May election confirmed the need for the ballot to list the remaining year of Crowley’s term along with three full council terms. Since Talty let the street maintenance sales tax expire several years ago, the council also reviewed possibilities for a ballot item which would bring the City closer to the two percent allowed for local use. An ordinance calling for an election will be on the February agenda.
The council also discussed the follow-up measures resulting from an ordinance restricting peddlers and solicitors. The City has had NO SOLICITING window decals printed for residents. Distribution of the decals along with a letter of explanation has begun. The ordinance exempts groups fundraising for scouting or local school programs from the requirement to obtain a permit.
The respective staffs from Forney and Talty have been working on an extraterritorial jurisdiction agreement to mutually agree on using Helms Trail as the primary dividing line between the municipalities overlapping ETJs. This resulting line will become the boundary for future annexations. The council reviewed the proposed map and subsequent work will have surveyors determine metes and bounds where necessary.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- December 15, 2015
In a continued effort to expand police coverage, Talty added two reserve officers at its December city council meeting. This brings the force to a total of eight officers.
“We continue to focus on recruiting experienced officers, “stated Mike Hoskins, Talty’s police chief. “This allows us to have them start quickly and become good candidates for future paid positions.”
Providing 24-hour police coverage became a feasible goal, along with street improvements, with new property tax revenues. The current budget provides sixteen more hours weekly for Talty’s paid officers.
The major discussion item remains a vacant council seat. No qualified person has brought information necessary for consideration. The council has the option to leave the seat open since candidates will need to run for the term’s remaining year in May. Filing for all available seats begins in February.
Another action item had the council updating eligible signers on bank accounts. New business planned for the January meeting includes updates on the road project and current drainage issues.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- November 17, 2015
The appointment of a financial services firm and legal counsel for issues leading to the financing of major street improvements dominated Talty’s November city council meeting.
First Southwest, who presented its qualifications at the previous meeting, earned the council’s approval to handle the process leading to the issuance of certificates of obligation. The firm’s Dallas office, represented at the meeting by Andre Ayala, will begin work to guide Talty’s plan to obtain funding for substantially improving its streets and alleviate drainage problems.
First Southwest’s services will include conducting surveys and analysis on Talty’s debt capacity, determining the method of sale, establishing a debt service schedule and delivery if the debt instruments.
Leroy Grawunder of McCall, Parkhurst and Horton will represent the City as bond counsel, a specialized attorney which represents public entities in matters dealing with the issuance of debt. Grawunder will provide a legal opinion on the debt issuance, prepare and review documents, assist in seeking approval from appropriate government agencies and review any other legal issues.
“Both our financial advisor and bond counsel have worked extensively in this region,” stated Mayor Larry Farthing. “They come highly recommended and we look forward to having them assist as we continue to move forward on street and drainage improvements.”
In other business, the council discussed appointing someone to fill the vacancy on the board and other potential items for the next agenda.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- October 20, 2015
Preparation for major road improvements again dominated a Talty city council meeting. The council has been considering the options of a pay-as-you-go format or using long term financing to facilitate doing all the improvements more quickly.
Andre Ayala, of First Southwest, presented the firm’s qualifications and an overview of the possible scenarios for structuring debt exceeding $3 million over ten or fifteen years. To be conservative, Ayala based the projections on Talty’s current values and tax rate. He acknowledged minimal growth could be worked into the final plan due to ongoing construction and other factors. Ayala also recommended renewing the street maintenance sales tax since that revenue could also offset the cost.
“We promised roads would be a priority,” stated Mayor Larry Farthing. “And doing something now will allow us to do all the work soon, take advantage of low interest rates and know what our debt service number will be for the next decade.”
Following the recommendation of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the council also voted to adopt the 2015 International Codes. The action will not affect existing permits.
Consistent with previous action to hire Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson to collect delinquent property taxes, the council approved a resolution allowing the firm to begin the process after April 1 and to add a 20% charge to cover their services.
The council discussed the need to replace Gary Springer, who recently resigned his council seat due to his recent move. Potential candidates will be considered at later meetings. The remaining year on the unexpired term will be added to the May election ballot.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- September 15, 2015
The September meeting of the Talty City Council featured several action items related to preparing for Fiscal 2016. Ordinances calling for $812,850 in activity and a $0.25 ad valorem tax rate received approval.
Road improvements gained the largest share of the additional $354,000 to be obtained from the initial collection of Talty’s property tax levy. The council approved $207,700 for ongoing design work and construction. Another $20,800, will allow for an additional sixteen hours a week from the Talty Police Department’s paid officers. Additional police protection will come from increasing the number of police reserves from three to six. A total of $86,000 has been allocated for purchasing property for municipal facilities within the city limits and paying the City’s projected share of the new county emergency communications center.
Mayor Larry Farthing stated the major new budget items remained consistent with what citizens had been promised when the council initially approved the property tax in April. Mayor Farthing also noted that despite the additional police coverage, the revenue projections did not show an increase in fine revenue over this year’s anticipated total since it is expected officers will spend more time patrolling and interacting with citizens.
To prepare for the collection of delinquent property taxes, the council considered a contract with Linebarger, Goggan & Blair. Jeffrey Brown represented the firm and explained their scope of services prior to the council’s unanimous approval. The firm represents all but one of the taxing entities in Kaufman County.
The other action items approved the rehiring of Murrey & Co. P.C. to prepare monthly financial reports and Adams Mobile Air to become a tenant in Talty Business Park.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- August 18, 2015
Plats for two more phases of the Layden Farms subdivision received approval during recent meetings in Talty. The plats contain a total of 35 lots which will surround the site of a future Forney ISD elementary campus on Layden Ridge/County Road 213.
Members of the city council and planning and zoning commission discussed issues related to road width and right of ways since an ordinance requiring different standards had been approved since the construction of Layden Farms’ existing homes. Both boards eventually decided to allow the new phases to match the standards applied to first phase for the sake of neighborhood consistency.
The approved plats include 35 lots. Whispering and Briargrove Lanes from Phase One will extend into the Phases Two and Three. The street which will be alongside the future campus will be significantly wider to accommodate traffic and enhance safety.
At their meeting, the city council had an extended discussion on potential sites for a city hall. Several locations have been subject to inquiries and review from city officials. Responses on other inquiries are expected.
Although county crews provided much needed maintenance on city roads, the council continued planning for major improvements. City engineers have presented two versions of design plans along with projected cost estimates exceeding $3 million. Options on financing will be ongoing as design work progresses.
Other council action items set an August 27 workshop date and approved the Kaufman County Appraisal District’s $149,067,102 assessment of Talty’s taxable property.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- July 21, 2015
Projected road work, regulating solicitations, budget preparations and providing municipal offices within the city limits continued as major topics at Talty’s recent city council meeting.
Talty and Kaufman County executed an agreement in May for Precinct 1 to use hot mix asphalt and oil sand to repair potholes along Layden Ridge/CR 213, Bunny Run, Douglas Circle, George Trail, Michael Talty/CR 215 and Cleaver Lane. Weather initially delayed the work, but a Precinct 1 crew began work Monday.
The City of Talty’s engineers are also preparing plans for more extensive repairs, improvements and resurfacing. The council discussed these plans, taking into account increased traffic from the expanding Layden Farms subdivision and a future Forney ISD elementary campus. An early draft of the Fiscal 2016 budget was presented with over $300,000 of newly implemented property tax revenues allocated for road improvements. The budget also included funds for 16 hours per week of additional police coverage.
An ordinance regulating solicitors and handbill distribution received unanimous approval. The ordinance addresses a need discovered after incidents where persons interfered with traffic to distribute flyers and to regulate similar conduct.
Locating potential sites for a municipal offices within the City was assigned to city staff. A site adjoining Trinity Family Church and Winners Circle has been a focus over the last year, but the council requested that other locations to be researched and considered.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- June 16, 2015
Following the oaths of office of three elected officials, the Talty City Council took action to continue mosquito spraying throughout the summer, discussed upcoming road projects and authorized design work on a logo.
Those taking the oaths for two year terms included newly elected council members Courtney McGrath and Gary Springer along with Mayor Larry Farthing. The newly seated council voted to renew the contract of Municipal Judge Cathy Penn and elected Frank Garrison to serve as mayor pro tem.
The City provided one mosquito spraying earlier this month and worked with the homeowners associations of Shamrock Ridge and Winners Circle to extend the treatments to unincorporated areas of their subdivisions. The council authorized up to seven more spraying throughout the summer. Mayor Farthing encouraged citizens to monitor the Talty website for details on the date and times for upcoming sprayings.
Specifics covered during discussion on road work involved weather once again delaying work authorized by an agreement with Kaufman County, an update on planning for anticipated construction funded by property tax revenue and financing the more extensive improvements.
Mayor Farthing presented a draft design for a Talty logo. The council authorized Empire Design and Development to do next phase of the graphic design work and provide variations of digital files.
A Talty Special Utility District consent agreement enabling affected citizens to participate in the elections of the SUD’s board also received unanimous approval.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING- May 19, 2015
Continuing an emphasis on future roadwork, Talty’s elected officials discussed a proposal from Brown & Gay Engineers representing the first step towards major work on the city’s most traveled streets. This initial task, at a cost capped at $10,000; includes data collection, a study of existing right of ways, the development of typical sections for each corridor and opinions on construction costs.
The council also approved the renewal of an interlocal agreement with Kaufman County Precinct 1 for road maintenance. Last month the council accepted a proposal from Kaufman County to provide shorter term solutions to current road problems and learned that commissioner’s court also approved the plan. County crews will begin as weather conditions become suitable.
Following the approval of new tenants for commercial buildings on Amelia Way, there was an extended conversion with Bob Greiner, the property owner, on construction standards and requirements for proposed buildings fronting FM 1641. Greiner stated more glass and less masonry would suit the types of businesses considering the sites. Mayor Larry Farthing stated the City would work with him and suggested getting with city staff to develop recommendations to be presented at a future council meeting.
Other action items dealt with approving a contract with the Kaufman County Tax Assessor/Collector for the collection of ad valorem property taxes and updating the signatories on city accounts.
Consideration of a consent for inclusion agreement with the Talty Special Utililty District, currently operating as Talty Water Supply Corporation, was tabled until more information on the need for and benefits of approval have been determined.
City Council Meeting- April 21, 2015
Facing a mandated charge from Kaufman County for a 911 emergency communications system and chronic road problems, the Talty city council voted to implement a property tax for the first time since its 1999 incorporation. Additionally, the levy will allow a progression to 24-7 policing and a city facility within Talty.
Prior to the regular council meeting, Mayor Larry Farthing led a public forum detailing the reasoning for the $0.25 per $100 valuation levy, providing details on its impact and allowing citizens to comment or ask questions. Approximately 100 people attended.
The proposed rate will lead to an additional $750 levy on a homeowner with property appraised at $300,000. At the current total taxable valuation of $129.34 million, Talty property owners will be charged $323,300.
Mayor Farthing stated the immediate priority will be major road improvements and the expected $55,000 annual charge for the communications system. With the completion of road projects, more funds will become available to allow for expanded police protection and other city services. He added that although the City could not start receiving funds until late this year and taxes would not be due until January 31, planning and financing of roadwork could begin immediately.
During the extended time for public comments and questions, the other major concerns dealt with the process of implementing the tax, other potential sources of revenue and the location of the proposed city facility.
Mayor Farthing explained that although other forms of taxation, such as designated sales taxes, require an election; municipalities cannot submit the setting of ad valorem property taxes to voters. Many entities do hold elections for approving the issuance of bonds leading to property tax funded debt projects. Farthing stated the public forum, a mailing of notification cards to property owners and the publication of additional notices were done as an effort to provide notice, information and encourage citizen input.
In response to questions regarding grant funding and other revenue sources, it was explained that the collection of a property tax is a requirement for applying for many grants. Mayor Farthing stated that Talty would now pursue such grants. Citizens also expressed support for calling elections on the sale of alcoholic beverages and designated sales taxes which could facilitate a stable or lower tax rate.
Most citizens indicated strong support for the progression to 24-7 police coverage. Some gave specific examples of incidents involving delayed response to emergencies due to Talty not having an officer available. Chief Michael Hoskins and Lt. Bill Carmack attended the meeting and were available to discuss issues with citizens.
When asked about a potential location for a city facility, Mayor Farthing stated a site under consideration was next to the Trinity Family Church. Advantages of the site include its central location at Talty’s major intersection of FM 1641 and I-20 and mutual expanded parking with the church. He added putting funds into a city owned building would build equity rather than being expended on rent.
Several residents of Winners Circle expressed opposition to a city facility at the site due to its proximity to residences and concern over it not blending in with neighboring houses. Others suggested assigning a low priority to the facility, letting city offices to remain at the location on Helms Trail or establishing a virtual city hall. Citizens were asked to provide information on available office space within the city limits.
Shortly after the public forum, Mayor Farthing called the regular council meeting to order. Following some discussion the council voted 3-2 to implement the $0.25 ad valorem tax and direct staff to prepare a Fiscal 2016 budget accordingly, with council members Mildred Brice and Kevin Williams voting against.
The council also voted unanimously to approve a $19,032 road repair estimate from the Kaufman County. Roads included in the estimate are CR 213, Michael Talty Avenue, Cleaver Lane, George Trail, Douglas Circle and Bunny Run. Work will commence as time and weather allows following approval by the commissioners’ court. The court is scheduled to act on the estimate Monday.