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THE WOODLANDS TOWNSHIP

Board of Directors Meeting

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

June 22, 2016

MINUTES

THE STATE OF TEXAS   §

COUNTIES OF HARRIS & MONTGOMERY   §


             The Board of Directors of The Woodlands Township met in regular session, open to the public, on June 22, 2016, posted to begin at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was held in the Board Chambers at the office of The Woodlands Township, 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard, The Woodlands, Texas, within the boundaries of The Woodlands Township.

             
STANDARD ITEMS
             
   1. Invocation / Pledge of Allegiance;

Reverend Roche Coleman, Pastor of Impact Church of The Woodlands, delivered the invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and Texas State flag was led by boyscout members from Troop #1180.
             
   2. Call meeting to order;

Chairman Robb called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m. and declared that notice of this meeting was posted 72 hours in advance within the boundaries of The Woodlands Township at the office building located at 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard, The Woodlands, Texas. The roll was then called of the duly elected members of the Board with all members present excepting Director Jeff Long. As there was a quorum of directors present, the Board proceeded to conduct business.
Present: Chairman Ed Robb; Vice Chairman Mike Bass; Secretary Gordy Bunch; Treasurer Laura Fillault; Director John McMullan; Director Ann Snyder
Absent: Director Jeff Long
Staff Present: Don Norrell, Monique Sharp, John Powers, Alan Benson, Karen Dempsey, Nick Wolda, Miles McKinney, Bret Strong, Robin Cross
             
   3. Receive, consider and act upon adoption of the meeting agenda;
             
  Motion by: Vice Chairman Mike Bass moved to adopt the agenda with the following change:
  • Move Regular Agenda Item #9, regarding a presentation by the San Jacinto River Authority, before Public Comment.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 

Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   4. Recognize public officials;

The following public officials were in attendance:
  • Kent Maggert- Director, MUD #36
  • Walt Lisiewski- Director, MUD #1
             
   5. Public comment;

The following individuals addressed the Board:
  • Dr. Daniel Hannon- 171 S. Brooksedge Circle; commented on flooding of Christ Church United Methodist and drainage issues;
  • George A. Michie- 7 Deer Lake Ct.; commented on Deer Lake Court street flooding;
  • Kent Maggert- 1837 Lake Terrace Ct.; commented on flooding;
  • Gary Schaefer- 103 Maple Path Pl.; commented on flooding/drainage problems;
  • Ed Judd- 14 Brakendale; commented on Creekside YMCA;
  • Phil Marquez- 31 Feather Brand Ct.; commented on special events;
  • Randall Cade- 8897 Van Allen; provided an update on Bike Month in May;
  • Willie Fowlkes- 263 Tortoise Creek; commented on special events;
  • Kelli Gershan- 18 Pintuck Pl.; commented on Creekside YMCA;
  • Cindy Morrow- commented on Creekside YMCA;
  • Frank Kern- 50 Red Sable Dr.; commented on Grogan's Point drainage problems
             
   6. Receive, consider and act upon reports from Village Association (VA) representatives;

The following VA representatives provided a report:
  • Creekside Park VA- President, Nancy Becker reported that residents of Creekside Park were cut off from the rest of The Woodlands during the historic rainfall/flooding event that occurred just prior to Memorial Day week-end; representatives from MDS, MUD #386 and The Woodlands Development Company attended meeting to discuss and listen to residents in order to gather data to determine what happened (residents reported that storm sewers stopped functioning causing water to backup); requested an update on the purchase of Creekside YMCA; pool party was a success;
  • Alden Bridge VA- President, Steve Leakey reported that new area representatives were welcomed at last meeting; received a law enforcement report; Township Board Chair, Ed Robb will be the guest speaker at the October meeting; recognized Maryann Braid for her efforts with The Woodlands Green event--volunteers raised $1,320;
  • Cochran's Crossing VA- President, Stuart Schroeder reported that two scholarships were awarded to high school students; June pool party was rained out; will participate in the 4th of July Parade; reported on houses that flooded during the historic rain event; suggested that the Township's legislative representatives include the creation of a Montgomery County Flood Control District on the agenda at the state's next legislative session;
  • Panther Creek VA- President, Everett Ison reported that the Annual Picnic held on Flag Day was a fantastic event; recognized Beth Nanninga for providing flags in honor of John Nanninga; expressed thanks to the Township's Parks and Recreation department for getting the park in great shape for the Annual Picnic; received a good presentation on floods;
  • Grogan's Mill VA- Jane Georges reported that the village supports the formation of a multi agency task force to address drainage in The Woodlands; several residents reported flooding problems; informed the Board that longtime Board member, Dana Denton, is retiring--requested that the Township Board recognize Ms. Denton for her many years of service on the Board
             
  Motion by: Secretary Gordy Bunch moved to receive and file the reports.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 


Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan ABSENT
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
CONSENT AGENDA
             
   7. Receive, consider and act upon the Consent Agenda;
(This agenda consists of non-controversial or "housekeeping" items required by law. One motion with modifications, if applicable, approves for action, all items contained within the Consent Agenda. Items may be moved from the Consent Agenda to the Regular Agenda by any Board Member making such request prior to a motion and vote.)
             
  Motion by: Vice Chairman Mike Bass moved to approve the Consent Agenda with the following change:
  • Move Regular Agenda Item #14 (Resident Survey) to the Consent Agenda
  Second by: Secretary Gordy Bunch 




Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   a. Receive, consider and act upon a resolution regarding the Annual Report on Financial Information and Operating Data for the disclosure filing pertaining to Sales Tax and Hotel Occupancy Tax Bonds, Series 2010; Sales Tax and Hotel Occupancy Tax Refunding Bonds, Series 2010; and Unlimited Tax Bonds, Series 2010, 2011 and 2012;
             
REGULAR AGENDA
             
   8. Receive, consider and act upon an emergency preparedness briefing;

Fire Chief Alan Benson provided an update on Emergency Preparedness for the 2016 Hurricane Season.

Board discussion followed the presentation.
             
  Motion by: Secretary Gordy Bunch moved to file the report.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 



Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   9. Receive, consider and act upon a briefing regarding the San Jacinto River Authority Flood Protection Planning Study;

Note:
  This item was received before Public Comment.

Chairman Robb provided opening comments regarding the recent flooding events in The Woodlands community and then called on Jace Houston, General Manager of the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) to make a presentation.  Mr. Houston used a PowerPoint presentation and provided some interesting data points related to recent rainfall events in 2015 and 2016.  Information was also provided on how different water sheds in the San Jacinto River Basin (Lake Creek, Cypress Creek, Spring Creek and the West Fork) work and where confluence points are located.

Mr. Houston then provided information on the Flood Protection Planning Study.  Mr. Houston informed the Board that SJRA applied for a Flood Protection Grant about 4-6 months ago through the Texas Water Development Board.  Mr. Houston commented that SJRA partnered with the City of Conroe and Montgomery County because a regional application from partners scores higher in the grant process. 

Mr. Houston then explained that there are two distinct programs one can apply for:  (1)  Flood Protection Planning and (2)  Flood Early Warning Systems.  SJRA applied for the Flood Protection Planning grant that would:
  • Update topography
  • Update rainfall-runoff models
  • Update stream flow models
  • Improve floodplain information
  • Identify potential mitigation strategies
The Board was informed that Montgomery County does not have a Flood Control District as does Harris County.  There is a Flood Early Warning System that is used primarily for the operation of Lake Conroe Dam that SJRA has a legal responsibility to operate.  Mr. Houston informed the Board that Phase II of the study is to expand SJRA's alert system.  Phase I of the project would increase the height and technology of SJRA's radio tower.

Board discussion followed the presentation.  The Board expressed:
  • Commitment to its constituents to be proactive in seeking the highest level of involvement possible with the various phases of the Flood Planning Study in spite of the Township's lack of jurisdictional authority; will engage with all appropriate parties to make this happen
  • Would like staff and SJRA to discuss a very short term solution regarding getting gauges, an Early Warning System and means of communicating information to constituents

 This item was for information sharing only.  No action was needed.
             
   10. Receive, consider and act upon a discussion of storm impacts from recent weather events and the potential development of a task force to address drainage with those agencies responsible for managing community-wide drainage;

The Board supported the creation of a task force to collaborate with other agencies to discuss drainage concerns and how to improve the drainage systems in the community.  A request was made that the Board include private operators of drainage facilities in The Woodlands on the task force as well.  It was also noted that the Board/Township need to have a better working relationship with the Woodlands Joint Powers Agency Board of Trustees and San Jacinto River Authority and meet regularly to talk about problems and come up with a permanent solution that can be put in place.
             
  Motion by: Vice Chairman Mike Bass moved to approve, in principal, the development of a task force to address drainage with those agencies responsible for managing community-wide drainage and allow the Chairman of the Board and President/General Manager to perfect the document and attempt to implement it.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 


Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   11. Receive, consider and act upon changes to Special Events Policies and Procedures including, but not limited to, noise, hours and locations for special events occurring within the Township;

Chris Nunes, Parks and Recreation Director for The Woodlands Township, presented background information on this item.  Mr. Nunes noted that his presentation is an outgrowth of the 2016 budget when a number of CVB events were transferred to the Township.  At that time, the Board directed staff to come back with an Operational Plan.  

Staff evaluated the existing special events produced by the Township and CVB, the market place for events, demographics of the community and current issues impacting event production such as sound, traffic and overall impact.  From this study, a Special Event Analysis and Operational Plan was developed and was presented to the Board in a separate attachment. 

Mr. Nunes then provided the following findings:
  • Primary market for the Township events is largely residents of The Woodlands; secondary market is visitors from the surrounding areas
  • Because the community is large, events will occur at the same time
  • Live music is offered at three different locations making it difficult to understand differences in programs
  • Fireworks displays attract large crowds, but may lose impact if they become routine
  • Memorial Day and Labor Day events do not seem to attract visitors to book overnight stays at hotels
  • Events that attract large and sustained attendance, but are not simultaneous (Halloween Carnival and Trick or Treat Trail) should continue
  • Events that are large and simultaneous (iWOW and Lighting of the Doves) should eliminate one of the events
Based on the above findings, the following recommendations were presented:
  • Reduce Memorial Day and Labor Day events to one day
  • Eliminate the Live at Night Concert Series
  • Provide 37+ concerts per year with live music at:  Hughes Landing (Rock the Row), Northshore Park (Concert in the Park), and Waterway Square (Waterway Nights)
  • Remove fireworks from concert series; reallocate funding from removal of fireworks to enhance the fireworks at the Red, Hot, & Blue Festival
  • Eliminate iWOW event as a separate special event
  • Reschedule CB&I Triathlon and/or Memorial Hermann 10 for Texas
  • Institute special event permit fees for events that do not use Township facilities
  • Establish a park use fee for special events at The Fountains at Waterway Square that are sponsored by hotels within the Township and in conjunction with the hotel hosting a convention (min. 200 room nights)
  • No events will be permitted to close a public road or lane for more than four (4) hours; must provide alternate routes of ingress/egress from neighborhoods
  • Restrict continuous amplified sound to no more than three (3) hours at all parks except Town Green Park and The Fountains at Waterway Square
  • Prohibit amplified sound at Town Green Park past 7 p.m. when concerts at the Pavilion are scheduled more than 90 days in advance
  • Amend 019-09 (Park Rules) and the Special Event Policies and Procedures
Board discussion followed.  Comments received from Board members included:
  • Provide clear and uniform guidelines; don't restrict current events to such a degree that some events elect to go somewhere else
  • Well established events should be grandfathered into established rules and dates
  • Consider a longer buffer between back to back events (4-6 weeks)
  • Don't want events to impact the same neighborhoods; provide alternate routes into and out of neighborhoods
  • Reduce use of fireworks at events
  • Better communication needed as to when roads will be closed during race events (place leaflets at grocery stores)
  • Separate athletic events from all other events
  • Use of amplified sound is still a problem at music events
Note:  A number of motions were made during Board discussion, but ultimately all of them were withdrawn.  A final clarifying motion was then made.
             
  Motion by: Secretary Gordy Bunch moved to approve the Special Event Analysis and Operational Plan as presented and schedule a Public Hearing for July 27, 2016 to amend Township Orders 019-09 and 020-09 and the Special Event Policies and Procedures; grandfather in existing major race events; change buffer zone between events from two weeks to four weeks. 

A friendly amendment was then made by Vice Chairman Bass and seconded by Director McMullan that the above be subject to the Township approving all road closures as part of  the permit process.  The friendly amendment was accepted by Secretary Bunch and Director Snyder.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 


Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   12. Receive, consider and act upon a Host Venue Sponsorship Agreement for The Woodlands Marathon;

John Powers was called on to provide background information on this item.  Mr. Powers informed the Board that the proposed term of the new agreement with The Woodlands Marathon Management, LLC (TWMM) is for ten (10) years through March 2026.  Also included in the proposal from TWMM is the usage of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion multipurpose building (ice rink).  

Board discussion followed.  Board comments focused primarily on the length of the term, escape terms and use of the multipurpose building.
             
  Motion by: Vice Chairman Mike Bass moved to authorize the Township President/General Manager to negotiate with The Woodlands Marathon Management, LLC on the terms and conditions of the agreement to be approved as to form by The Woodlands Township Attorney and returned to the Board for final approval in July 2016.  Motion included a stipulation that negotiations regarding the use of the new Cynthia Woods Mitchell multipurpose building for an exposition would occur separately from the Host Venue Sponsorship Agreement.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 


Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan NO
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   13. Receive, consider and act upon the financial report;

A formal verbal report was not presented.  Chairman Robb referred Board members to the written report found in their Board packet. 

During Board discussion, a comment was made that due to the drop in sales tax numbers, the Board will need to be very cognizant of this fact when budget sessions begin in August.  It was noted that there will be a lot of needs that the Board may not be able to fund.
             
  Motion by: Vice Chairman Mike Bass moved to accept the financial report for the five months ended May 31, 2016.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 




Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   14. Receive, consider and act upon a revised survey instrument and request for proposal for the Resident Survey (C-2016-0127);

Note:
  This item was approved under the Consent Agenda.
             
CLOSED MEETING (if applicable)
             
   15. Recess at 9:05 p.m. to Executive Session to discuss matters relating to real property pursuant to §551.072, Texas Government Code; deliberation of economic development negotiations pursuant to §551.087, Texas Government Code; discuss personnel matters pursuant to §551.074, Texas Government Code; and to consult with The Woodlands Township's attorney pursuant to §551.071, Texas Government Code;
             
   16. Reconvene in public session at 9:49 p.m.;

Chairman Robb informed the Board that it would not be necessary to take action on matters discussed in Executive Session.
             
DISCUSS FUTURE AGENDA /ANNOUNCEMENTS
             
   17. Consideration of items to be placed on the agenda for next month's meeting;

There were no items received for consideration at next month's meeting.
             
   18. Board announcements; and

There were no Board announcements.
             
   19. Adjournment.
             
  Motion by: Director Ann Snyder moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m.
  Second by: Director John McMullan 

Passed: Chairman Ed Robb YES
Vice Chairman Mike Bass YES
Secretary Gordy Bunch YES
Treasurer Laura Fillault YES
Director John McMullan YES
Director Jeff Long ABSENT
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
_____________________________________
Gordy Bunch
Secretary, Board of Directors

    

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