The Woodlands Township Board honors Kevin Brady, approves reforestation
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Woodlands Township Board of Directors met on Thursday, January 19, 2023, and presented the Honorable Kevin Brady with a proclamation for his 26 years representing the Eighth Congressional District of Texas.
“Tonight, we are celebrating Congressman Brady’s 26 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, but his love for this community goes back further than 26 years,” said Township Chairman Dr. Ann K. Snyder. “Few communities have had the great fortune The Woodlands has enjoyed of having a hometown congressman, a true servant leader who lived, worked, played and prayed with all of us, his constituents,” she said.
Congressman Brady had many notable accomplishments during his House career including becoming only the third Texan in history to become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the only constitutionally required committee and considered to be the most powerful. His legislative accomplishments include passage of several international trade agreements, enhancing retirement savings for families and authoring the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the first comprehensive reform of the United States tax code in over 30 years. Prior to serving in Congress, Kevin Brady served six years in the Texas House of Representatives and served as the chief executive of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce for 18 years. Named a Hometown Hero, Hero-of-the-Taxpayers, Small Business Champion and Super-Friend of the Seniors, Brady continues to serve The Woodlands community with the support of his wife Cathy and their two sons.
Regarding forest management of The Woodlands, the Board discussed a bid for a 2023 – 2025 Tree Removal service agreement. The bid was approved, with a budget of $520,000 allocated in the 2023 Park Operations Budget for Tree Removal. Bids for this service were originally approved in October 2022, however due to supply chain issues, the bid was retracted, and the original contract has expired. Tree removal Service provides routine, priority and emergency removal of hazard trees that pose a potential risk to the public or Township facilities. The number of trees removed on Township property fluctuates from year to year due to several factors, including drought, storms, insects, and disease. Additional services related to tree removal are included in the bid packet: debris clean-up, limb removal, tree fertilization, and emergency equipment.
In addition, The Board also approved a bid for Reforestation Stock and Install, with $384,500 allocated in the 2023 Park Operations budget for forest management/tree planting. The total amount of the recommended award of bids is $303,029.16, which is $81,470.84 under budget. The remaining funding for this account is used for watering, maintenance plantings, seedlings and other reforestation projects, as identified. The identified cost includes installing 2,000 trees. New bids for this project were awarded to Texan Tree Depot for (Project A1 and Project B1 Tree Stock) and Arbor True for (Project A2 and Project B2 Tree Install).
In other action, the Board reviewed power outage issues. Marcus Willliams, a Service Consultant and representative from CenterPoint was in attendance to provide an update regarding power outages in parts of The Woodlands. CenterPoint Energy provides electricity to customers in the Village of Creekside Park and a portion of the Village of Sterling Ridge. During November 2022, there were several outages in the Creekside Park portion of their service area. Residents raised concerns to CenterPoint, staff, and the Board of Directors regarding the frequency of outages.
The CenterPoint service area within The Woodlands Township (Creekside Park and Sterling Ridge) has approximately 61 miles of secondary transmission lines spread across four circuits: three in Creekside Park and one in Sterling Ridge. Reasons for the outages include, but were not limited to, above-ground lines touching; trees coming into contact with the lines; and transformer issues. CenterPoint has agreed to address these issues by routine tree trimming/pruning and identifying other potential issues that contribute to these outages through inspections.
The Board also discussed the preliminary project plans at The Woodland Mall by Brookfield Properties in accordance with the existing Economic Development Agreement by and between The Woodlands Township, The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone, and The Woodlands Mall Associates, LLC.
As background, on November 18, 2022, The Woodlands Township entered into agreement for expansion at The Woodlands Mall. The redevelopment project will create new dining, retail space, hospitality venues and a multi-level parking facility, all located on the south side of The Woodlands Mall area. The Woodlands Mall has indicated the development will be accomplished in a two-phase approach. Phase I includes a minimum of 45,000 square feet of new retail space, a new hotel, and a parking garage with at least 1,200 spaces. Phase II includes a minimum of 35,000 square feet of new retail space and a second hotel. More information can be found in Brookfield Properties Presentation
The Board created an Ad Hoc Economic Development Committee to address specific issues, when appropriate, as determined by the Board. The committee’s initial tasks involve establishing a strategic plan for Township economic development initiatives. Ad Hoc Committees make recommendations to be discussed and acted on by the full Township Board of Directors. The Ad Hoc Committee is established for specific tasks or objectives. Once the tasks are performed or the objectives reached, the committee is dissolved. In the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee, a deadline may be set for the time in which they must complete the work, request an extension or end.
The Task Order #2 for Halff Associates, Inc., for Alden Bridge Sports Renovation – Phase 1 Engineering was approved. The Board of Directors reviewed the information from the 2022 Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment and allocated $542,357 for Alden Bridge Sport Park renovations in 2023and this is a multi-year project. The project plan includes renovations to Alden Bridge Sports Park such as: LED lighting, restrooms, two all-weather turf fields, tennis and pickleball courts, community garden, and a dog park. The Phase I proposal from Halff Associates totals $206,880. The remaining funding will be used for a future Phase II proposal and supplement construction costs currently scheduled for 2024 ($4.3 million) and 2025 ($5.9 million) budgets.
The Woodlands Township is a master planned community with a world-class parks and recreation system. The success of this system has been attributed to the department’s thorough understanding of the community’s recreational needs through Parks and Recreation Needs Assessments. While the recommendations in these studies have guided park improvements over the last decade, the community’s demographics have continued to evolve.
Members of the public addressed the Board of Directors at the beginning of the meeting.
The Woodlands Township Board Meetings may be attended in person, watched live online, or viewed later via recording at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/meetingvideos. The agenda and attachments may be viewed at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/991/Agendas-Minutes-and-More.
PHOTO: The Woodlands Township honored former U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady upon his retirement from the United States House of Representatives and his many years of service to The Woodlands community. Pictured above, left to right, Township Directors Kyle Watson, Linda Nelson, Mrs. Cathy Brady, the Honorable Kevin Brady, Township Chairman Dr. Ann K. Snyder and Directors Brad Bailey, Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs and Richard Franks.