The Woodlands Township board approved paying $25,000 in back funding to the Grogan’s Mill and College Park village associations on May 22 following the resolution of several financial issues in 2023. Township funding to the village associations goes toward community events and scholarships in those villages.

What residents should know

Aaron Hoffstadter, president of the Grogan’s Mill Village Association, sent a letter to the township on April 18 requesting the back payment of $12,500 from the 2022 annual service agreement, which outlines township funding to the villages.

According to township documents, the GMVA did not file necessary tax documents on time with the IRS, which caused the GMVA and CPVA to temporarily lose their tax-exempt status.

Hoffstadter said the delay was due to a shift in leadership and the loss of financial data from the previous treasurer.

“We lost several years of transaction/accounting data,” Hoffstadter said. “At the time, this data loss impacted the GMVA's ability to provide an accurate account of the prior years' use of funds, which is required as a part of the filing for the current year's service agreement.”

The CPVA faced a similar issue due to an inability to file necessary documents to maintain a tax-exempt status and receive annual funding from the township.

Board member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs was against the payment of back funding to the GMVA and CPVA due to setting a “bad precedent” for future village associations.

Chief Administrative Officer Karen Dempsey said this was not the first time a village association had missed the service agreement deadlines and lost funding from the township, but it was the first time back funding was requested from previous years.

“We have had other village associations that have not had all their documentation, all their information in time for the deadline. This is the first circumstance where we've had someone to come back and try to argue to get those funds,” Dempsey said.

Quotes of note

“While the $12,500 is a pittance to the overall budget of The Woodlands Township, it is the entire annual budget for CPVA. The allocated, unspent amount by [The Woodlands Township] landed in the huge positive variance for 2023, so we are not asking for any additional funding, only those dollars which were originally allocated to the residents of CPVA,” said Ted Stanley, president of the College Park Village Association, in a letter.

“While the requested amount would have a minimal impact on the annual budget for The Woodlands Township, it has a fairly significant impact on the GMVA's total operating funds and our ability to provide the contracted services and other contributions to our community,” Hoffstadter said.

“We have not been approached by any other group other than these two village associations. If others miss [the deadline] in the future, I cannot almost guarantee you that they will come with their hands out and say, ‘Look, this and this and this that caused us to miss it,’” Sekula-Gibbs said.

The action taken

The board approved the one-time back payment of $12,500 to the GMVA and CPVA, totaling $25,000, in a 5-1 vote.