Township discusses public feedback in incorporation study

Image description
Township discusses public feedback in incorporation study
Planning for the incorporation of The Woodlands Township is officially underway as the township had the first of many planning sessions with Matrix Consulting Group during its March 22 board meeting.

The board will begin meeting twice a month to provide updates and to discuss individual aspects of the study, such as public safety and various revenue options.

The township has until 2057 to incorporate before risking annexation by Houston or Conroe, according to a 2007 Regional Participation Agreement that allows The Woodlands to collect a portion of sales tax and choose a future form of self-governance. However, last June, the Texas Legislature passed two bills setting procedures and guideline to become a city.

In January, the township selected Matrix Consulting Group, a company that provides high-quality detailed analysis for local and state governments, in conjunction with HR Green, an engineering and technical consulting firm, to begin studying what would be needed for the township to incorporate and what kind of effects it would have on residents.

One important aspect of the process will be public feedback, said Alan Pennington, vice president of Matrix Consulting Group. The group will organize community meetings and surveys to gauge responses from residents.

“From our discussions, our suggested approach is in late April or early May do an additional public meeting to sort of kick off the incorporation study with the public to give them the opportunity to share any additional information they’d like to share,” Pennington said.

Pennington said the group plans to work with the township to promote the meeting and surveys so residents can participate. He said the group is also working to develop an informational website for residents.

In addition to general public meetings, township Chairman Gordy Bunch said the board would also like to hold meetings with The Woodlands village associations as well.

“Each village needs to have some direct input because they have different issues,” Bunch said.  “You’re going to get different feedback from folks in Creekside Park and College Park than you’re going to get from Sterling Ridge and Grogan’s Mill. I think if we have a definitive, separate joint village association feedback session then you’re going to get a lot information that’s more relevant to each of the villages.”

Bunch said while planning for incorporation is underway, it could be more than two years before the township could become a full-fledged city, should the public approve it.

“What the general public needs to understand is we’re just in the planning process right now, which we hope to get finished by this time next year,” Bunch said. “The earliest it would ever be on a ballot is November of 2019.  If it passes, we have a six-month window to hold the next election, which would be to set the new city council structure.”
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

The 1,535 new cases is the second largest number of new cases to be reported in a single day in the county, behind only the 1,994 cases reported June 22. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,535 new cases, six deaths confirmed July 7

See the latest data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Harris County.

Steve Bezner, senior pastor of Houston Northwest Church on Hwy. 249, is one of four pastors who are urging pastors across the region to work together in seeking unity. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
4 Houston-area pastors take steps urging racial unity across region

"We wanted to unite as many pastors as possible around some basic common denominators that we felt like could make a real impact in our city and move some things forward in the area of racial injustice in our city," said Jason Shepperd, the lead pastor of Church Project in The Woodlands.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

Grand Oaks Elementary School will open in August and will accommodate 900 students. (Courtesy LAN)
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Tomball ISD elementary school, agricultural science project center to open in August

Two projects from Tomball ISD's bond referendum in 2017 are slated to wrap up in August with additional facilities complete by summer 2021.

Montgomery County health officials are urging residents to wear face masks and practice social distancing. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County reports slight decrease in active coronavirus cases July 7

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County increased by 104 from 2,550 on July 6 to 2,654 on July 7.

Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center was rated the No. 1 hospital in Houston by the Massachusetts-based Lown Institute. (Ben Thompson/ Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann Health System hospitals rank in top 10 in the nation

Six of the top 10 hospitals in the Houston area are part of the Memorial Hermann Health System.

Shows are scheduled every Thursday through July and early August. (Courtesy The Woodlands Township)
Rock the Row announces summer show series

Free concerts are still scheduled at Hughes Landing for Rock the Row.

(Courtesy Blessings Assisted Living Home)
Blessings Assisted Living Home set to open soon

A new senior living facility is taking residents in The Woodlands.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently backed a movement calling for the reopening of winery and distillery tasting rooms and brewery and brewpub taprooms. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Museum scales back reopening, bar owners react to second shutdown and more: Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest news from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

In-person appointments for driver license renewal and replacement are now being offered at driver license offices across the state. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas driver license offices reopen for in-person renewal, replacement services

The second phase of reopening announced July 7 expanded services offered at driver license offices.

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

The guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas.