The Woodlands Township extends Novak contract for incorporation study, gains county cooperation

Julia Novak, president of The Novak Consulting Group, presents a revised timeline for the incorporation study April 24.

Julia Novak, president of The Novak Consulting Group, presents a revised timeline for the incorporation study April 24.

The Novak Consulting Group’s revised timeline for The Woodlands Township’s incorporation planning study includes determining The Woodlands' maximum tax rate as an incorporated city in December as well as holding public meetings in March and September 2020 if the board calls for an incorporation election in November 2020.

The Woodlands Township board of directors extended Novak’s contract with the township on April 24 until the prospective election date. The total cost of the contract was determined at the meeting to be $354,896, which includes money remaining in Novak’s original contract.

The extended contract will include completion of the incorporation study as well as updating a 2011 law enforcement study and several related tasks.

“I think there’s a benefit in being as complete as we can be,” Vice Chairman John McMullan said of the decision to include additional law enforcement analysis in the contract.

In a related matter, Montgomery County Commissioners Court on April 23 approved three transition service agreements addressing the future of law enforcement, public works and interlocal agreements currently held between the county and the township.

“I believe it’s a huge step forward because we have some certainty in some areas that were uncertain for some time, and we’re able to move forward with our planning study now, having a roadmap on how services will transition,” township board Chairman Gordy Bunch said in a phone interview.

The existing interlocal government agreements were amended to accommodate possible changes in government. For example, both the county and township would fund law enforcement for portions of the future city in Montgomery County the first year after incorporation. The new city would pick up a third of law enforcement expenses in the second year, another third in the third year, and it would assume all costs in the fourth year after incorporation, Bunch said at the April 24 meeting.

“It was exactly what we asked for,” he said.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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