Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 09/16/2021  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon an update regarding monument sign replacements (as requested by Vice Chairman Rieser);
FISCAL IMPACT:
$365,000 has been allocated for monument signs for the neighborhood of Grogan’s Forest and "The Woodlands" entrance sign at the intersection of Research Forest and Egypt Lane. Funding has not been allocated to replace the monument sign at the Timberloch/I-45 Feeder intersection, which was recently destroyed by a vehicle accident. The Township is seeking reimbursement for the damage. To date, $18,000 has been spent on the design, survey and easement work related to the Grogan’s Forest Sign.
BACKGROUND:
There are approximately 550 town-wide, village, area, and neighborhood entrance monument signs throughout the community. The signs were installed by The Woodlands Development Company/ Howard Hughes Corp. during the development of the area to provide identity, character, and beauty.  Most of these signs are in the Montgomery County road rights-of-way.  As the signs are considered non-standard elements by Montgomery County, the county does not provide maintenance or replacement of the signs, or for any associated landscaping, irrigation and lighting. The Township assumes responsibility for these items with Montgomery County's implicit consent.
 
Currently, there are three (3) monument signs in various stages of repair, replacement, or development.  All three (3) signs are in the Montgomery County right-of-way.  Over the course of the past six months, an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) between the Township and Montgomery County has been drafted. This ILA would formalize the practice of Township improvements, repairs, and maintenance of all non-standard elements in the road rights-of-way that the Township maintains. Previously, improvements were made without formal agreement. The Township Board of Directors requested an agreement be developed with Montgomery County in conjunction with the approval of funding for landscape restoration and installations due to road right-of-way intersection improvements at four intersections made by the County.  The Township Attorney and the Montgomery County Attorney's Office drafted an ILA.  All Township improvements (landscaping, monuments, signs, and stencils) have been on hold pending the approval of the ILA. The Township was recently informed by the Assistant County Attorney, Civil Division, that the County "will not be able to move forward with the agreement at this time.  Precinct 3 requested that any new agreements with the Township be postponed until after the November election."  The Township does not have the authority to make these improvements without Montgomery County's approval. The Woodlands Township has an agreement with Harris County for the installation and maintenance of non-standard elements in the road rights-of-way in the Village of Creekside Park.

Grogan’s Forest Neighborhood Entry Sign -  The Grogan’s Forest neighborhood entry sign, located at the northeast corner of Grogan’s Mill and Research Forest, was first installed in 2010, at the request of area residents. The area includes the entrance sign blade made of cast cement that includes the words “Grogan’s Forest”, a rock structure that supports the sign blade, and a landscape bed with irrigation. Since 2015, this sign has had to be replaced three (3) times due to it being repeatedly damaged by motor vehicles or other factors. The Board approved moving the sign to a different location to possibly reduce the likelihood of being damaged again, as well as funding for a new sign. Bids for this sign were reviewed and approved the Board at the February 24, 2021, meeting.
 
Research Forest/Egypt Town-wide Entrance Sign - In 2012, Research Forest Drive was extended by the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District in order to create a link from Branch Crossing to Old Egypt Lane. In 2017, this road was expanded to include two lanes in each direction. No entrance monument to The Woodlands was included in the original construction.  Director Brown requested that a monument sign for this area be researched. Information regarding a new sign was presented to the Board during 2021 budget discussions and funding was approved for this project. Staff has worked on this matter and developed an option to reduce costs based on the development of a smaller design with enhanced landscaping (Attachment A). This concept would also include a bid for an entrance monument sign at the intersection of Ken Lakes Drive and Terramont as a add alternate. The sign would be similar to the entrance monument sign in May Valley at the intersection of Greenmoor and May Valley Circle and in the Montgomery County road right-of-way.
 
Timberloch/Interstate 45 Feeder Town Center Entrance Sign - On August 14, the monument sign at the intersection of Timberloch and Interstate 45 was damaged by a vehicle accident (Attachment B). This sign is in the Montgomery County right-of-way and needs to be completely replaced. From initial discussions with sign makers, it is estimated to cost $25,000 to replace the sign. The Township will be seeking reimbursement of costs from the vehicle owner's insurance carrier. 
RECOMMENDATION:
Receive and accept the report.
Attachments
Attachment A- Honea Egypt and Reserach Forest Monument Sign Options - June 2021
Attachment B- Timberloch Sign Damage Photographs


    

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