Taking a giant step towards providing a new park for the residents of Forney, on Tuesday night the City Council was excited to unanimously approve the purchase of the Pinson Farm from longtime resident Leon P. Harp.
The 16 acre farm has been owned by the Pinson family since 1888 and is located at 900 Pinson Road adjacent to Forney's Best Western hotel.
According to Leon Harp it was the last wish of his wife, Sarah Pinson Harp, that upon her death the property be sold to the city in order to provide a park for the citizens of Forney.
Presenting the item to the City Council for approval City Attorney Jon Thatcher said, “This is a matter that has come before the council previously in discussions with the owner of this piece of property, Mr. Leon Harp. The property on Pinson Road is called the Pinson Farm and it has some historical value. Mr. Harp approached the city and requested the city look at possibly purchasing the property so that it can be preserved as a public space and so that it can retain its historical nature.”
Briefly addressing the Council Leon Harp stated, “This all came about with the death of my wife Sarah in August when I came into ownership of the farm. It’s been in the Pinson name since 1888 so it is a historic farm. It was awarded an award by Rick Perry when he was Commissioner of Agriculture.”
A slightly emotional Leon Harp said “This farm has been in the same family for over a hundred years and Sarah was the last of the Pinson’s to live on the farm. Sarah’s wish was to let the city make a city park out of the land. So it’s her last wish that I am trying to carry out for her. I think it would be a good asset for the city. Sixteen acres is enough land to put up some nice things for the citizens of Forney, so I think it will be good for everybody concerned.”
The property was purchased for $480,000, and Mr. Harp generously agreed to finance into monthly increments of $4,259.00 which will be paid to him over the next nine years. The purchasing contract specifically states “the property shall be used by the City as a family oriented city park designed to preserve the rich history of the real property and farmstead located therein.”
The contract requires the park be named “The Pinson Farm Heritage Park” and requires the park to include picnic areas, playground equipment, biking and walking trails, sports and recreational fields and tennis courts.
After each council member took the opportunity to thank Mr. Harp, Mayor Rick Wilson stated “I think it will be a great thing to preserve some of our history and culture for our community.”