Updated at 11:45 a.m.:
The Woodlands Township board has voted to end its relationship with the lead firm conducting an ongoing study on incorporation.
Following several months of meetings and reports, the township board of directors voted unanimously Dec. 5 to issue a no-fault termination of contract with Matrix Consulting, the lead firm for a year-long study on what would be needed in order for the township to incorporate into a city.
The firm was hired at the beginning of 2018 to lead the study; the township also hired The Novak Group as an third party firm to conduct an independent financial analysis. To date, the firm has presented on law enforcement, roadways, financial effects and planning and zoning, among others.
Following the termination of the contract, effective Dec. 5, The Novak Group will now be the lead firm on the remainder of the study, according to township officials.
“We thank Alan Pennington and his project team at the Matrix Consulting Group and their partners at HR Green for guiding us to this critical juncture,” Township Chairman Gordy Bunch said in a statement. “Going forward, we look forward to working with the Novak Consulting Group to lead us through these important next steps in fine-tuning the financial model and facilitating a robust public outreach program.”
The Woodlands Township released a statement Dec. 6 announcing Novak will take the lead on the next phase of the study, which will include a final financial model, determination of a maximum initial tax rate that would be required if the township were to call an incorporation election, and a public outreach program to provide information to educate and to survey the community.
“The basis of this is we all saw the financial models last week the most legible and usable model presented came from The Novak Group,” Bunch said during the Dec. 5 meeting. “I just find that our residents are going to find that planing tool much easier to engage with and we’ll use them to finish out from here.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional from the township’s Dec. 6 news release.