For the past few months the taxpayers of Forney have heard Mayor Rick Wilson express grave concern over the reimbursement requests
submitted by Meadow Ridge Farm L.P., which is owned and managed by Petro Hunt Land Holdings Inc.
The TIF (Tax Increment Finance) Agreement that the Forney City Council entered into with Hunt's (“the developer”) for the residential and commercial development of the Gateway Bridge project has now expired.
The developer has submitted two very large black binders full of reimbursement requests which to date total approximately $35 million, and many of the invoices submitted may be for unqualified expenses.
The reimbursement invoices submitted by the Hunts are for infrastructure improvement cost for the Gateway Bridge project.
The TIF Agreement, as initially approved by the Forney City Council, extends up to $150 million dollars in infrastructure credit to Hunt developers. and additionally provides the developer with $50 million dollars in infrastructure reimbursement credit from the taxpayers of Kaufman County.
The TIF/TRIZ Board of Directors is comprised of seven members. Five appointments are made by the Forney City Council, and two appointments are made by the Kaufman County Commissioners Court.
The TIF/TRIZ Board of Directors is currently comprised of the following members:
Former city council member, Brian Haughey
Former city council member, David Holler
County Commissioner Skeet Phillips
County Commissioner Jakie Allen
It should be noted that the TIF Agreement was signed with the Hunt's in 2008. TIF/TRIZ Board Member David Holler was a member of the Forney City Council in from 2006 to 2012 and therefore voted on the approval of the TIF Agreement between the City of Forney and Meadow Ridge Farm, L.P.
However, after former City Manager James Fisher reviewed of the TIF reimbursement requests submitted by Hunt developers he advised the council to request bids, and then hire a professional audit firm that specializes in TIF financing agreement to review the reimbursement requests.
On September 21, 2017 the City of Forney officially advertised that they are seeking bids to hire an qualified audit firm to conduct an audit on the TIF agreement expenditures from 2008 to present in direct relation to the infrastructure expenditures for the Gateway development project.