On Tuesday night the Forney City Council selected a tentative design for the upgrade and re-installation of the Lady Liberty Statue that has for many years graced the east bound Highway 80 entrance to Forney.
The Lady Liberty Statue and the three flag poles which surround her have been in storage for several months while the Texas Department of Transportation reconfigured the Highway 80 exit and service road that ran very near the decades old replica of the Statue of Liberty.
This is the second time Capital Improvement Projects Director Candy McQuiston has brought forth design plans for a stone base for the statue, however this time the council agreed on a design that they feel will attract the travelers’ eye as they enter the Forney city limits.
Director McQuiston handed out several large pictures of the different monument style options, while Zahra Design Group President Ed Zahra detailed the materials to be used on each of the four design options.
According to Zahra the design cost for each of the options is “relatively the same” at approximately $377,446 with landscaping included, or $209,330.00 without landscaping which could be added at a later date.
There is currently $100,000 earmarked within the Central Improvements Project General Fund for this project. And according to Director McQuistion “an application has also been submitted to TxDOT requesting consideration for funding of the softscape for this project through the Green Ribbon Program” however TxDOT has not yet awarded any funding.
Director McQuistion also asked the council to consider using the Luminant Community Benefit Fund for this project. In 2016, Luminant Energy provided the City with $400,000 to be used at council discretion for community betterment projects.
The Council reviewed the designs presented, provided their preferences regarding design options, granite and stone materials to be used and then requested the finalized plans be presented again after it is determined if Green Ribbon Program funding will be available.
Written by: Denise Bell