Greetings fellow neighbors and residents of FB MUD #131. Your MUD #131 Board of Directors have been working very hard for you over this past year! Accordingly, I wish to share briefly with you some of the highlights, changes we have implemented, and what you can expect from us in the future.
- Welcome our new Board members: Since January of 2019, we have seated two new residents to our current board: Director JoAnn Randall, and Director Tim Dotson. JoAnn and Tim currently serve as Assistant Secretaries on our Board. Our heartfelt thanks to two previous board members, Gregory Eknoyan, and Rusty Campbell who served until April 2019, and July 2019, respectively. Gregory and Rusty served the district well! Tim and JoAnn have a sincere interest and concern for the district and they both bring community experience with great ideas! We are happy to have them onboard and we are look forward to their continual contributions. PROGRESS!
- Exciting Park Plans: As of August 29, 2019, we signed our contract agreement with Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD). We have been meeting with our parks project manager, Jacob Clark, Senior Landscape Architect of LJA to outline and plan the details of the MUD Park projects. Additions, changes, and renovations will be made to our primary park facilities on Southern Colony Avenue, as well as to the pocket park on Obsidian. New recreational trail facilities, including a bird watching station, will be installed on the rim of the detention pond. If you hadn’t done so, to get a general idea of what additions we will be adding to our park, go by and check out the sign near the entrance to the park on Southern Colony Avenue. More information to come!
- Although the agreement expires on July 15, 2022, we have embarked on a robust construction schedule and will have wonderful recreation opportunities much sooner. Our plan includes recreation for ALL including: children, teens, adults, and disabled persons. Please take a look at our project sign at the park which illustrates the exciting plans. Our new park will expand to more than 20 acres!
- Following is a summary schedule for the buildout of our park facilities:
- Currently we are reviewing project designs and layout
- MUD Park Groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled for February 2020
- Construction is forecast for February – June 2020
- Ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of the park is tentatively scheduled for August 1, 2020 – if not sooner! We’re aiming for July 4th! Stay tuned to hear details of our PROGRESS!
- Welcome our new General Managers: PROGRESS! On July 23 of this year, the MUD Board voted to approve the hiring of two part-time general managers for a period of 6 months. The purpose of the general manager role is to ensure that the work of the district is successfully carried out between normally scheduled MUD meeting dates. Currently, we only meet 6 times per year.
- Both general managers meet with each other, with the consultants of the district, and elected officials on a regular basis to ensure that our district operates effectively and efficiently as possible. We are dedicated at ensuring the ongoing needs of the residents of MUD 131 are addressed, addressing cost effectiveness of the MUD, and that a quality controls process is incorporated in EVERY aspect of our District – especially when it comes to the quality and cost of water, and payment plans.
- Policies and procurement procedures for selecting contractors and subcontractors are also being reviewed and established to encourage MWDBE (Minority Women Disadvantaged Business Enterprises) and set goals, where applicable, for participation in park construction bids, etc.
- Start-up dates for both General Managers (GMs) began on August 5, 2019 and will run until February 28, 2020 at an average of 20 hours per week – unless the Board decides to extend or modify the hours and length of service. The remaining non-general manager board members can also elect to end these positions at any time. The general manager positions report to the MUD Board.
- In addition to my role as president, I now serve as General Manager of Operations & Administration.
- Director Risha Miller serves as General Manager of Finance and Facilities.
- Per the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), a general manager can also serve as a MUD Board member, so our status as Board members does not change. We are, however, not allowed to vote on those issues that directly affect us as GMs i.e., the decision made to select us as general managers, our compensation, or our length of employment.
- COMING SOON: BOARD MEMBERSHIP AT SPLID!!! Due to our canvassing and negotiation, one of our residents will become a SPLID Board member at the end of October 2019! All of our (your) hard work has paid off! Thank you again for your commitment to have a meaningful voice in the future direction of SPID. How did we do it?
- Petition: We successfully reached our goal of 100+ neighbors who signed the petition to ensure representation and a vote on the Sienna Levee Improvement District (SPLID) when future budget decisions are made regarding expenditures. To ensure that we are able to maintain the upkeep of our future MUD park facilities once the project is complete, we needed to make sure that we would have a representative on the board who could speak to our needs. CONGRATULATIONS!
- Making our voices heard: I have been attending SPLID Board meetings for more than 2 years. In addition, I have continued a communication campaign to explain our need for SPLID representation with Fort Bend County Commissioner Vincent Morales and Commissioner Grady Prestage and their respective staff members. These discussions resulted in those staff attending of several SPLID Board meetings to gather information and support to our cause.
- The new plan: The SPLID Board is planning to increase their body from 3 members to 5 members. One certain appointee is far better than zero as we now stand! Thanks to a new law that went into effect on September 1, an election is not necessary at this time to secure representation on the SPLID board. Both commissioners informed me that we will definitely select one appointee from our subdivision to serve on the board.
- Timeline: I will be working with both Commissioners to try to have the newly named board member from Southern Colony seated on the levee board no later than the end of October 2019. So far, I have obtained commitment from two neighbors to serve on that board. The Fort Bend County Commissioners will ultimately select the representative.
- It would have been a longer process to get representation on the board if an election were to be held. We would have had to 1) vote to hold an election, and depending on the outcome 2) vote for a candidate. This could have taken up to two years for the process to be complete. Now the road to a Southern Colony’s SPLID board member seems imminent! Your hard work in making sure your voice was heard is appreciated. PROGRESS!
- INCREASED COMMUNITY SECURITY: We have received bids and have been in recent discussions with a vendor who can bring safety cameras to our district and community. Plans for the purchase and rollout of this initiative are currently underway. Stay tuned. PROGRESS!
WE CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS TO HEAR YOUR VOICE:
Please check your calendar and plan to attend the next MUD 131 meeting
Tuesday, September 24
Park Pavilion on Southern Colony Avenue
We always welcome your comments, concerns, and suggestions!! Hope to see you in the District and at the next meeting!
Jennifer K. Jacobs