Fort Worth’s City Council members will make several key decisions in their first meeting after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Council will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
Fort Worth City Council will vote on:
- The city’s impact fee schedule, which will determine what share of road construction developers will pay for.
- Charting a course to extend the city’s curfew for minors.
- Approving the council’s work session and meeting schedule.
- A conflict-of-interest disclosure on behalf of council member Michael Crain; his wife, Joanna Crain, received a job offer from Child Care Associates, which receives federal funds through the city.
- Approving a $30 million contract with Hunt/Byrne/Smith for Phase 1 of the Fort Worth Convention Center Renovation and Expansion Project.
The city recently changed its rules for commenting at public meetings. Residents may sign up to speak through the posted agenda. Any public comment on a consent agenda item will be heard before the consent agenda is voted on. Speakers will have a maximum of three minutes to comment on every item they signed up for.
Any public comment on the non-consent agenda will be heard before the agenda item is voted on. People commenting will have a maximum of three minutes to comment on every item they signed up for.
What is the difference between the consent and non-consent agenda:
The consent agenda includes agenda items that council votes on all at one time. The non-consent agenda includes items that council votes on individually, item by item.
Impact fees allow the city to share the cost of road construction with developers. For decades, the city has required developers to pay less than half of the cost of roads. Residents foot the rest of the bill though bond programs and tax-payer funded road construction.
Under the new ordinance, developers would pay 65% of the maximum allowable fee for residential development and 40% for non-residential development. The ordinance would also include a small business discount of up to 25% for certain defined small business types.
The proposed collection date would, if approved, be effective June 1.
You may read more about impact fees here:
- Explainer: Fort Worth will need $3.15 billion to pay for new development. Here’s how the city could get that
- Should developers pay more fees to build roads? Fort Worth to decide on increase by January
Fort Worth City Council will also vote on holding discussions around extending the city’s curfew for minors for three more years. Council will vote on holding public hearings on the subject Nov. 29, 2022, and Dec. 13, 2022.
Currently, minors under the age of 17 are not allowed in public places from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight-6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
After the Dec. 13 hearing, council will vote on extending the curfew.
The council will also approve their own schedule for meetings and work sessions in 2023. The council will hold 17 work sessions, 11 evening City Council meetings and nine morning council meetings in 2023.
The council will hold 17 public comment meetings throughout the year. The city added public comment meetings to its regular schedule of meetings in Nov. 2021.
You may read more about participation in public meetings here:
- City considers free parking for residents speaking at council meetings
- How to participate in Fort Worth’s governing process
- Residents will see changes to Fort Worth City Council agenda posting
Council will also ask the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to grant an exception to the agencies’ conflict of interest regulations.
Joanna Crain, wife of Michael Crain, who represents parts of west Fort Worth, was recently offered a position as chief of staff with Child Care Associates. The organization receives federal money through a Community Development Block Grant. That grant was approved through Fort Worth’s City Council.
Federal regulations generally prohibit “an officer of the city” from receiving any benefits from a Community Development Block Grant funded activity, but allow exceptions if certain conditions are met, according to a resolution from the city.
Crain “could have a financial interest in at least one existing contract and would potentially have a financial interest in future contracts for federal grant funds,” the resolution states.
If an exception is granted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Crain will abstain from participating in discussions of any agenda item or taking action involving Child Care Associates and Community Development Block Grants.
The resolution serves as the public disclosure of the conflict, the resolution states.
You may read more about conflict of interest disclosures here:
- Only 10 city of Fort Worth employees, elected leaders submitted conflict disclosure forms during past 7 years
Renovation and Expansion project.
The first phase will include initial tasks including site work, utilities, demolition, relocation of building functions and elements. The total project will cost a total of $52 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The American Rescue Plan Act allocated federal funds to local governments with the goal of speeding up recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will, in part, relocate the kitchens and demolish the annex on the east side of the exhibit halls.
You may read more about the convention center expansion here:
- COVID relief money to revive Fort Worth convention center expansion
- Flush with federal funds, Fort Worth spends $146 million in 6 months
- ‘We’re burning money,’ tourism chief says of need for hotel, convention expansion
Also included on the agenda are over 70 items on the consent agenda. The items include a proposed contract and adoption of the city’s public art plan.
The consent agenda also includes a contract with Code Studio Inc. to author an amendment to the city’s subdivision ordinance. The ordinance will be revised to make it easier for developers to build infill properties, or properties built on vacant or undeveloped land within an existing community, and that is enclosed by other types of development.
The contract cannot exceed $250,000. You can read more about the ordinance here:
Is there something on this agenda you would like a more in depth story on? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for fortworthreport.org. She can be reached at email@example.com. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.