|Attached is a letter from Precinct #3 Commissioner Noack in regard to a proposed amendment of a 2014 Interlocal Agreement for traffic improvements between The Woodlands Township and Montgomery County. This request was originally placed on the agenda for consideration and potential recommendation by the Township’s Ad Hoc Committee on January 13, 2016, meeting. However, based on committee timing, this item was not reviewed by the Committee. After the meeting, Committee Chairman Bass requested that this matter be forwarded for Board consideration since a similar request had been discussed during the 2016 budget process and the Interlocal Agreement had been previously approved by the Board in 2014.
In 2014, The Township entered into an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with Montgomery County which specified that up to $1,425,000 would be provided to Montgomery County Precinct 3 by The Township to support intersection and signalization improvements in portions of the Township. As part of the 2014 ILA, Montgomery County committed to spend $1,257,000 for other related intersection and signal improvements. As part of this 2014 collaboration initiative, but separate from the ILA, WRUD #1 committed to spend $16,227,400 on roadway and intersection improvements, including a new signal at Lake Front Circle. The ILA was approved by the County in February of 2014 and had a term of two years. Of this total $1,425,000 Township commitment, $975,000 was set aside to test and install a pilot program for adaptive signal and other signal enhancements. After considerable research, Commissioner Noack’s office determined that the proposed adaptive signal technology anticipated in the pilot program would not provide the most effective solution and abandoned the implementation of the pilot project. In January, 2016, the Commissioner’s Office submitted a “revised” plan to The Township for improved signal technology and requested authorization to use $848,000 of the previously allocated funds for new vehicle radar detection equipment (see attached letter).
Per the original 2014 agreement, there is a used balance of $975,000 in the ILA for signal technology. In addition to the $975,000 remaining in the 2014 ILA from the signal pilot project, there are also amounts allocated for two grade separation projects at Grogan’s Mill and Lake Woodlands ($100,000) and Grogan’s Mill and Research ($100,000). The project at Grogan’s Mill and Lake Woodlands is projected to move forward in 2016 and the grade separation project at Grogan’s Mill and Research has been deferred for the foreseeable future.
During the 2016 budget process, a request was received from Commissioner Noack and Commissioner Riley to reallocate $975,000 of the 2014 ILA allocation to fund two signal projects ($330,000) and provide funding for signal infrastructure detection hardware ($645,000). During the Board’s budget work sessions following up to final budget approval, the Board considered and gave preliminary approval to the reallocation of these 2014 ILA funds. However, when the final 2016 Budget was considered by the Board in August, 2015, the proposed reallocation of the 2014 ILA funding was deleted and the Board left the funding allocated for this agreement in the Township’s Transportation Fund.
The January 5, 2016, letter from Commissioner Noack is forwarded for your review. If the Board approves the request as submitted by Commissioner Noack, I would recommend that the Board authorize the President / General Manager to execute an amendment to the ILA which would allow for $848,000 of the 2014 ILA amount to be reallocated for new vehicle radar detection equipment in The Township and $100,00 to be used for participation in the Grogan’s Mill / Lake Woodlands grade separation project with all other remaining appropriated funds per the 20014 ILA agreement to be terminated and returned to the unappropriated balance in the Transportation Fund. The amended ILA, would be extended for two years.
If the request from Commissioner Noack is not approved by the Board, I would recommend that the 2014 ILA be amended to provide that any remaining project appropriations in this agreement be terminated at the two year expiration date of this agreement except for the $100,000 for the grade separation project at Grogan’s Mill and Lake Woodlands. This proposed ILA amendment would extend the term of the $100,000 funding for the grade separation project at Grogan’s Mill and Lake Woodlands until February, 2018. The unused appropriation resulting from the termination of the 2014 ILA would remain as an unappropriated balance in the Township’s Transportation fund.