On Tuesday night Forney residents packed city hall to confront the City Council and extensively explain why they’re opposed to Petro-Hunt developers building a 1.2 million square foot distribution center at the corner of CR 212 (Helms Trail) and US Highway 80.
Hunt developers publicly revealed for the first time that “Project Fireball” is code name for a project that is intended to relocate the Goodyear Tire company from its current lease space in Terrell, Texas to Forney.
Proposed to be built mere feet from the railroad tracks on Helms Trail and Highway 80, for months Hunt developers kept “Project Fireball” top secret by enforcement of a confidentiality agreement with the City of Forney, and until Tuesday night the land developer absolutely refused to release any details about the buildings intended occupant.
With a fireball of controversy already surrounding this latest Hunt project, it was quickly apparent that Council Member’s Shaun Myers and Mary Penn were acutely aware of the hundreds of citizen comments and criticisms published of various social media sites about this project.
Lining up their legal defense and their long list of excuses for why commercial retailers will not come to Forney (Internet shopping and Amazon, no daytime lunch crowd etc…) Council Member’s Mary Penn, Shaun Myers and Robbie Powers listened politely before trying to convince the public that this project will be good for Forney’s future.
Taxpayer after taxpayer stepped to the podium to express their concern over their property values, crime, traffic and the future development of Forney however their concerns and objections fell on deaf ears because these council members had already made up their minds to support the Hunt's latest project.
After listening to the citizens for approximately forty-five minutes with Petro-Hunt VP's Alan Bain and John Blackburn sitting in the front row observing the crowds displeasure, Council Member's Mary Penn, Robbie Powers and Shaun Myers each spent considerable time explaining to these citizens how much they care about Forney.
At one point, Council Member Myers literally stopped himself from crying as he explained how hard he works every day to try and convince retailers to come to Forney.
And Council Member Penn spent at least ten minutes comparing her once impassioned objection to the implementation of Forney ISD uniforms to a new Forney resident who invested in a Gateway Parks home just a few months ago.
It was very apparent that Council Member’s Shaun Myers, Mary Penn, Robbie Powers, Kevin Moon, Cory McGee and David Johnson had already made up their minds to support the Hunts. For whatever reason, these council members seem to truly believe that the City of Forney’s only hope for development is through their continued blind allegiance to this developer.
And again Mayor Rick Wilson was alone in agreeing with the citizens. Mayor Wilson was not in favor of changing the zoning on this property from Agricultural to Light Industrial to suit the development of this project and he cast the lone vote against its approval.
Council Member Kevin Moon made motion to approve the zoning change and his motion was immediately seconded by Council Member Shaun Myers and further approved by Council Member's Mary Penn, Robbie Powers, Cory McGee and David Johnson.
Listen closely to the citizen tapes that will be published from this meeting, or listen to the entire tape of this meeting at www.thecityofforney.org and then ask yourself and your neighbors if these are the elected officials you want mapping out Forney’s future.
Written by: Denise Bell