Print Minutes Return
THE WOODLANDS TOWNSHIP

Board of Directors Meeting

BUDGET WORKSHOP #1 AND SPECIAL MEETING

August 16, 2021

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 August 16, 2021, posted to begin at 8:30 a.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;

Director Jason J. Nelson provided the invocation. Chairman Gordy Bunch then led the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Texas State flag.
             
   2. Call meeting to order;

Chairman Gordy Bunch called the meeting to order at 8:31 a.m. and declared that notice of this meeting was posted 72 hours in advance inside the boundaries of The Woodlands Township at the office building located at 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard, The Woodlands, Texas, and posted online at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov. The roll was then called of the duly elected members with one member being absent at the time the roll was called.
Present: Chairman Gordy Bunch; Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser; Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs; Treasurer John Anthony Brown; Director Bob Milner; Director Jason J. Nelson; Director Ann Snyder
Staff Present: Jeff Jones, Monique Sharp, John Powers, Karen Dempsey, Robin Cross, Todd Stephens, Nick Wolda, Palmer Buck
             
   3. Receive, consider and act upon adoption of the meeting agenda;
             
  Motion by: Director Ann Snyder moved to adopt the meeting agenda as presented.
  Second by: Director Jason J. Nelson 



Passed: Chairman Gordy Bunch YES
Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser ABSENT
Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs YES
Treasurer John Anthony Brown YES
Director Bob Milner YES
Director Jason J. Nelson YES
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   4. Recognize public officials;

There were no public officials in attendance.
             
   5. Public comment;

There were no individuals who provided public comment.
             
REGULAR AGENDA
             
   6. Receive, consider and act upon the 2021/2022 Anticipated Debt Service Collection Rate and the 2021 Excess Debt Service Tax Collections Report, as certified by the Montgomery County Tax Assessor/Collector;

Note:
  Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser arrived at 8:35 a.m., as the presentation for this agenda item was beginning.

Monique Sharp, Assistant General Manager of Finance and Administration, shared that Montgomery County Tax Assessor Tammy McRae has certified an Anticipated Debt Service Collection Rate of 100% for the Township, and Excess Debt Service Tax Collections of $0.00.
             
  Motion by: Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs moved to accept the report regarding a 2021/2022 Anticipated Debt Service Collection Rate of 100% and 2021 Excess Debt Service Tax Collection tax rate of $0.00, as certified by the Montgomery County Tax Assessor.
  Second by: Treasurer John Anthony Brown 


Passed: Chairman Gordy Bunch YES
Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser YES
Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs YES
Treasurer John Anthony Brown YES
Director Bob Milner YES
Director Jason J. Nelson YES
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   7. Receive, consider and accept a report regarding the 2021 no-new-revenue tax rate and voter-approval tax rate; 

Monique Sharp, Assistant General Manager of Finance and Administration, shared that, based on the certified tax rolls from the Montgomery County Tax Assessor, the taxable values for the 2021 tax year were $21.7 billion, which was an increase of about $731 million, of which about $233 million was attributable to new properties. She then reported that the no-new-revenue tax rate is $0.2181 per $100 of value, the debt service tax rate is $0.0146, and the voter approval tax rate is $0.2325.
             
  Motion by: Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser moved to receive and accept the 2021 tax rate worksheets prepared by the Montgomery County Tax Assessor’s Office.
  Second by: Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs 






Passed: Chairman Gordy Bunch YES
Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser YES
Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs YES
Treasurer John Anthony Brown YES
Director Bob Milner YES
Director Jason J. Nelson YES
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
   8. Receive, consider and act upon the 2022 Preliminary Budget for The Woodlands Township;

Note:
This agenda item was combined with Agenda Item No. 9.  No action was taken on this agenda item.
             
   9. Receive and consider Budget Initiatives related to the 2022 Preliminary Budget and Five-Year Plan;

Note: This agenda item was combined with Agenda Item No. 8. No action was taken on this agenda item.

Assistant General Manager of Finance Monique Sharp provided an overview of the Township's current financial assessment, showing a position of financial strength and effective management of long-term debt. She shared highlights of recent credit agency comments regarding the Township as it relates to the Township's strong fiscal management, credit strengths, and benefits of sustaining a conservative budget and careful expense management.

Ms. Sharp provided an overview of all of the elements of the 2022 Preliminary "Base" Budget for The Woodlands Township, including an overview of the Township's revenue sources, operating expenditures, including the transportation fund, EDZ expenditures, The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau, capital projects, contracted law enforcement expenses, Fire Department expenses, Parks and Recreation expenses, as well as the Township's debt profile, CARES Act and ARPA funding, reserves and fund balances, and the five-year plan. 

Ms. Sharp then shared that the Year-End 2022 Capital Replacement Reserve balance is projected to be $38,954,378, and the Operating Reserve is projected at $30,115,320. She advised that the Capital Contingency Reserve balance is currently $2,194,567, and reported balances for other reserves that are dedicated to specific purposes total $48,996,761. She went on to say that the 2021 Undesignated Fund Balance of $3,328,204 and the 2021 Capital Contingency Reserve can be used as funding sources for budget initiatives, or other projects that the Board has considered in the past but have not been finalized. She shared that $1.4 million would cover the proposed budget initiatives that have been reviewed and recommended by the Budget Task Force, and $1.9 million could be used to fund capital projects previously discussed.

Board discussion followed.

Director Ann Snyder asked for staff to provide information regarding the budget impact of providing all Township staff with a 3% wage increase, including the .75% bonus pool, along with providing a revised compensation study.

Ms. Sharp provided an overview of the Budget Initiatives related to the 2022 Preliminary Budget and Five-Year Plan.  

The initiatives discussed during this Board Budget Workshop included:
  • Montgomery County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) - Additional Patrol Vehicles: This initiative contemplated adding five replacement patrol vehicles in addition to the standard 15 replacement vehicles included in the base budget. The Board did not approve this initiative.
  • MCSO - SkyWatch Surveillance Tower: This initiative contemplated purchasing a mobile surveillance tower with a 2-person compartment that raises two stories over the trailer. The Board did not approve this initiative.
  • MCSO - License Plate Readers:  This initiative contemplated purchasing 12 license plate readers  to be attached to a county vehicle. The Board approved the purchase of 15 license plates readers with the caveat that the license plate readers be attached to the 15 replacement vehicles included in the base budget.
  • MCSO - Fitness Memberships: This initiative contemplated purchasing fitness memberships for MCSO personnel assigned to The Woodlands Township Patrol Division. The Board did not approve this initiative.
  • Sports Tourism Needs Assessment:  This initiative contemplated conducting a study of current parks and recreation facilities to identify the need for new or renovated facilities. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Digital Wayfinding Signage Program: This initiative contemplated a digital wayfinding signage program to compliment the current physical pathway signage. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Pickleball Courts: This initiative contemplated adding dedicated pickleball courts to one of three different locations. The Board approved this initiative to be added at Falconwing Park.
  • Mall Ring Road Swan Boats: This initiative contemplated adding six swan boats to the Mall Ring Road Basin. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Shade Structure at Wilde Creek Playground: This initiative contemplated adding shade structures over some or all of the play equipment at Wilde Creek Park in Creekside Park. The Board did not approve this initiative at this time, but asked that this item be brought back to the Board at a later date, following a complete study.
  • Generators for PARDES I and Recreation Centers: This initiative contemplated adding generators to the PARDES I building and the two recreation centers. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Recycling Center Service Modifications:  This initiative contemplated making modifications to the current Recycling Center services. The Board did not approve this initiative at this time, but asked that this item be brought back to the Board at a later date.
  • Creekside Park Recycle Center: This initiative contemplated adding a recycle center in the Village of Creekside Park. The Board did not approve this initiative.
  • Streetscape Maintenance Services: This initiative contemplated a review of the streetscape maintenance options based on bid responses. The Board did not approve this initiative at this time. This initiative was heard under Agenda Item 12, later in the meeting.
  • Update Township Website: This initiative contemplated an update of the Township website. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Audio Visual Equipment for Room 150/152: This initiative contemplated upgrading the audio/visual equipment for Room 150/152 to improve its functionality. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs requested budget initiatives: Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs submitted a list of requested budget initiatives.  The Board determined that the requested items were projects that the Board has already been working to accomplish.
  • Spring Creek Greenway Trails: This initiative contemplated the use of existing reserves to fund the Township's portion of the Spring Creek Greenway trail. The Board approved this initiative.
  • Cochran's Crossing Village Association (CCVA): JC Harville, President of CCVA, submitted a list of requested budget initiatives. The Board determined that the requested items concerned issues involving various Montgomery County rights-of-way.  The Board requested that staff assess the requested items and take care of the issues or forward to Montgomery County to resolve.
  • Sterling Ridge Village Association (SRVA) - Parking Pavers at Player Bend Park: This initiative contemplated adding parking pavers on Terramont Drive at Player Bend Park. The Board approved this initiative.
  • SRVA - Sterling Ridge Monument Sign Emblems: This initiative contemplated adding the Sterling Ridge medallion to the old Sterling Ridge neighborhood entrance sign. The Board did not approve this initiative.
  • SRVA: Decomposed Granite Pathway Loop at May Valley Park: This initiative contemplated adding a decomposed granite pathway loop at May Valley Park. The Board did not approve this initiative at this time, but asked that this item be brought back to the Board at a later date, following a needs assessment.
  • Creekside Park Village Association: Nancy Becker, President of Creekside Park Village Association, submitted a list of requested budget initiatives. Staff did not have sufficient time to assess and development information regarding these requests. The Board determined that it appeared that a majority of the requests were general maintenance issues that could be handled through the streetscape maintenance agreement. 

After discussion regarding the requested budget initiatives, Ms. Sharp advised that she would finalize the 2022 budget to include the approved budget initiatives, as well as the requested 3% salary increase for all Township staff.  Board discussion followed.
             
   10. Receive, consider and act upon the proposed 2021 debt service tax rate and maintenance and operations tax rate;

Note: This agenda item was deferred to the August 17 Board Budget Workshop. No action was taken.
             
   11. Receive, consider and act upon the date and time for a public hearing on the proposed 2021 property tax rate, if necessary;

Note: This agenda item was deferred to the August 17 Board Budget Workshop. No action was taken.
             
   12. Receive, consider and act upon an award of bid for streetscape maintenance services (C-2021-0122);

Dr. Chris Nunes, Director of Parks and Recreation, shared that the contract for streetscape maintenance services with Brightview is set to expire on December 31, 2021. He provided the scope of services covered under the agreement. Dr. Nunes then provided information on the recent Request for Qualifications process, the bid process, and details regarding the bids received. Dr. Nunes then shared information regarding contracted services versus providing in-house services. Dr. Nunes suggested a hybrid model of contracted services combined with some in-house services, providing an estimated annual savings of $462,129, as recommended by the Budget Task Force. Board discussion followed.
             
  Motion by: Director Bob Milner moved to award the streetscape bids Project 1 (Community and Neighborhood Entries), Project 2 (ROW Maintenance), Project 4 (Street Sweeping), Project 5 (Tree Removal) and Project 6 (Interstate 45 Underpass Maintenance) to Brightview at a base cost of $3,051,824; award Project 7 (Town Center) to Berkeley at a base cost of $471,992; reallocate dollars from contracted service to staff and maintenance expense line items to provide supervision, a trash ROW crew, and a landscape maintenance crew; and allocate $303,900 from capital reserves to support required equipment.
  Second by: Director Ann Snyder 




Passed: Chairman Gordy Bunch YES
Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser YES
Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs YES
Treasurer John Anthony Brown YES
Director Bob Milner YES
Director Jason J. Nelson YES
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
             
CLOSED MEETING (if applicable)
             
   13. Recess 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; discuss IT network or critical infrastructure security pursuant to §551.089, Texas Government Code; and to consult with The Woodlands Township’s attorney pursuant to §551.071, Texas Government Code;

Chairman Bunch shared that it would not be necessary to recess to executive session.
             
   14. Reconvene in public session;

It was not necessary to reconvene in public session.
             
   15. Receive, consider and act upon the adoption of an Order to Amend Order No. 018-21 (calling the Directors Election; authorizing contracts for services to conduct the election; and determination of procedure for giving notice of and conducting same) to include a special election on November 2, 2021 for the incorporation of The Woodlands Township district into the City of The Woodlands, as a Type-A general-law city, adopting the maximum initial city property tax rate for the City of The Woodlands, and authorizing the transfer of The Woodlands Township district’s rights, powers, privileges, duties, purposes, functions, responsibilities, the authority to issue bonds,  and the authority to impose taxes from The Woodlands Township district to the City of The Woodlands (with Supplemental Agenda for Adoption of Order Calling Elections);

Note: No action was taken on this agenda item as this item was acted upon at the Board of Directors Special Meeting held on Friday, August 13, 2021.
             
DISCUSS FUTURE AGENDA /ANNOUNCEMENTS
             
   16. Consideration of items to be placed on the agenda for next month's meeting;

There were no items requested to be placed on next month's agenda.
             
   17. Board announcements; and

There were no Board announcements.
             
   18. Adjournment.
             
  Motion by: Treasurer John Anthony Brown moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:45 a.m.
  Second by: Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs 

Passed: Chairman Gordy Bunch YES
Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser YES
Secretary Shelley Sekula-Gibbs YES
Treasurer John Anthony Brown YES
Director Bob Milner YES
Director Jason J. Nelson YES
Director Ann Snyder YES
 
_____________________________________
Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
Secretary, Board of Directors

    

Level double AA conformance,
                W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

AgendaQuick ©2005 - 2021 Destiny Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.