NWHCMUD19 announces a new garbage pick up service beginning Monday, April 3rd. You are already familiar with this company as they currently provide recycling services in our community every Friday. See the Helpful Info Link tab for more detailed information about this service.
2017 In-District Regular Board Meetings: Four additional MUD19 Board meetings have been scheduled in the district for February, May, July, and November. Next meeting is February 13 at 2 pm in the MUD19 Clubhouse, located at the corner of Drybrook and Augusta Pines Drive.
TWO SPECIAL PARK MEETINGS IN THE DISTRICT: The NWHCMUD19 Board of Directors invites all homeowners to attend one of two upcoming meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to share the culmination of park plans that were put into motion when voters of the district authorized the issuance of tax bonds for recreational facilities. These meetings will bring you up to date on the planning process that has taken place since then. Our landscape architect will provide a park design presentation and give you an opportunity for input on certain aspects of this project. Choose a meeting: December 14, 2016 or January 11, 2017. Both meetings will be held @ 6:30 p.m. at the MUD19 Clubhouse located at 25922 Drybrook. We hope to see you there.
2017 In-District Regular Board Meetings: Meetings are generally held at the MUD attorney’s office to allow consultants and legal team to have access to needed records and resources that allow for contracts and other necessary business to be taken care of efficiently. The Directors have agreed to move these meetings to the MUD19 Clubhouse within our district on a quarterly basis to allow homeowners an opportunity to observe, ask questions, and share their thoughts on matters pertaining to MUD business. Watch your water bill for specific dates and times in February, May, July and November 2017.
Two Special District Meetings coming up December 14, 2016 and January 11, 2017 @ 6:30 pm at the MUD19 Clubhouse located at 25922 Drybrook. The purpose of these meetings will be to introduce the Park & Recreation Plan & Conceptual Design and allow homeowners to ask questions and give input.
This is an open letter to residents of MUD 19 to clarify recent comments and misinformation being shared via the Internet regarding high water bills, water quality, and management practices in MUD19. Due to the fact that many different water districts are represented in these Internet conversations, I would caution you to check for accuracy of information before reaching conclusions since rates and practices differ greatly among these districts. I will do my best to express the facts of our water district (MUD19), but I cannot speak for any surrounding water districts.
Past board members have dutifully served this district since 1979 and guided the district back from difficult times in the 80’s. My elected term on the board began about three years ago. An election this past Spring brought other new members to the board – elected by the residents of this district. All five directors reside within the district. This publicly elected board manages and controls all of the affairs of the MUD subject to the laws and guidelines of the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
I would like to submit the following facts regarding:
Water, Sewer, RWA & Tax Rates
- Water/sewer charges are billed on a sliding scale which increases with higher usage. During these last three years, there has not been a water or sewer rate increase by MUD 19. In fact, the last residential rate increase for water or sewer in this district was in 2010.
- The only increase has been in the RWA fee, which is the Regional Water Authority fee that the MUD district invoices (again based on your usage). MUD 19 has NO CONTROL over this fee. We only invoice it and then remit those funds to the RWA for our district. Information on this fee and the RWA can be found on the internet via the MUD 19 web site (www.nwhcmud19.org).
- In addition, MUD 19 does not add any surcharge to the RWA fee as some other water districts do (5-10%) – it is simply a pass-thru charge that we have no input on or control of.
- There is an additional written discussion of water/sewer/RWA and garbage charges on our MUD 19 Web site. I encourage you to read it.
- Also, during this same time the board has been able to reduce the MUD 19 tax rate each year and will do so again this year! The rate when I joined the board was $1.12 and it should be reduced next month to $ 0.82 for a three years decrease of 26.8%.
- Our current water rates are lower than many of our surrounding districts and we have sought to reduce the overall tax burden while supplying good water, sewer and garbage service to the district.
High Water Bills
- Many residents have been surprised by high water bills; while this is not what anyone wants to see, the large majorities are driven simply by increased water consumption. Last month, our water consumption, as a district, doubled from the previous month’s usage. Your water consumption for the past year is noted on your monthly invoice.
- While there can be oversights with a meter reading and a meter can fail, both of these occurrences are rare. Our failure rate within MUD 19 for meters is less than 0.001% – meaning we see less than one per month on average.
- If you feel you have a bad meter, we will be happy to test it at your request,; and if needed, will bring an outside company in to certify it. If the outside agency certifies the meter to within 98% accuracy, then we will ask you to pay the cost of that outside testing agency so your neighbors are not forced to share that cost for you. If the meter is off, we will replace it with a certified meter and adjust your water bill and charges.
- We will do everything we can to help any MUD19 residents who believe their water bill is incorrect. We will check everything we can on our side, including the meter, to insure accuracy; and, will be polite and transparent during the process. The board of MUD 19 does not condone rude treatment to our residents and all complaints of such will be fully investigated and dealt with.
- If your water bill is larger than you believe it should be, then the first thing to do is to check your own water meter against your bill to insure there is not an error in reading a meter (which has happened in the past when numbers have been transposed in error; though again, this is a rarely occurring event). If you have questions regarding your bill, please contact Hays Utility @ 281-353-9756 for customer service, as they are the operating company within our district that will look into this issue. If you encounter any problems during this process, please contact the board (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- MUD 19 has two deep water wells drilled within the district to supply the highest quality water we can access and to insure sufficient supplies for all our residents.
- The water in MUD 19 is tested continuously and reported to the board monthly and an annual report is sent to ALL residents every year.
- The board reviews water quality every month in order to insure that we meet all the State and Federal water requirements. The districts water quality has met these standards.
- The water in MUD 19 is considered “hard water” with higher calcium levels than softer water. I am sorry if the taste is not appealing for many residents but the water quality is within State and Federal Specifications.
- We had a low water pressure event for a few days this past summer due to an unexpected equipment failure. This event caused a shutdown of one well for a few days (less than 7 days). We did not send an advisory out to the district because we felt there was sufficient water in our tanks to insure continued full service and the repair was to be finished within three days. It took a little longer than expected and water usage was larger than anticipated during this period which resulted in some low pressure times; particularly when so many lawns were being watered early in the mornings.
Public Board Meetings
- In accordance with the Open Record Act, Chapter 552, Texas Government Code, the District holds open, public meetings each month. Our meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at 11:30, at the office of the district’s attorney, Young & Brooks, located at 10000 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77024. You are welcome to attend.
- We also try to have meetings in the district on a quarterly basis and encourage our residents to attend. Our next regular board meeting in the district will be November 14 @ 6:30 pm at the MUD19 Clubhouse located at 25922 Drybrook.
- The four regular meetings scheduled within the district in 2017 are planned for February, May, July and November. Specific dates and times will be announced in your water bills.
- Occasionally special meetings may also be announced for other purposes, so make sure to check your water bill and the MUD 19 web site for updated information.
- We will always try to communicate via your water bill and the MUD 19 web site (www.nwhcmud19.org).
- MUD board members are governed by strict rules about meetings and must follow these rules at all times. Meetings of the board must be announced to the public with a published agenda each month. Please join us for any future meetings.
Miscellaneous rumors and misinformation being shared on the Internet
- The RWA fee portion of your water bill is charged to provide surface water for future use in this area and to prevent the depletion of ground water wells. It encompasses a large construction project to bring surface water to areas in south Texas. A more complete explanation can be found on the RWA web site (nhcrwa.org/).
- At this time there is no set schedule for MUD 19 to convert to surface water usage. It is expected that the district’s wells will be used for water for MUD 19 residents for the next several years at least.
- The RWA fee is not $ 4.50 or $ 5.50 per 1000 gallons but $2.40 per 1000 gallons for well water and it increased to this level in April 2016. Check the RWA web site for complete information on this fee schedule. The district expects that the RWA fee will continue to increase in the coming years — possibly annually.
- MUD 19 does not currently use the new SMART type water meters that can send a water reading daily to residents and the district and be programmed for informing residents of their water usage. This new type of meter does not require a monthly meter reading in the field. They are not 100% perfect but they would allow for more monitoring by residents and the district. Their one-time cost is about $315 each, installed with a $ 1.00/month charge for maintaining the SMART system. The entire district would need to be changed over to this system if it is desired by our district residents. It currently costs the district $ 0.35 per home to read the meters each month and $ 1.00 for each commercial reading per month.
- MUD 19 is not servicing any apartments behind the new Wal-Mart and they are not being added to our district.
- The district is not designed to be a for-profit entity. The board and the companies used by the district do not get any advantage if water bills are higher. The companies used by the district are bid and paid according to Texas law.
I hope this information proves helpful. If not, I would encourage you to contact Hays Utility or the MUD19 Board directly (email@example.com) and give us an opportunity to answer your questions rather than relying on incorrect information from speculative or uninformed sources.
President, NWHCMUD 19 Board of Directors
Congratulations to new directors, Michelle Marek and Rusty Ritz. Thank you Randy Templeton and Stephen Blake for your 25+ years of service to this district.
The MUD19 Water District will hold a contested election for Board of Directors on May 7. You must be a registered voter in this district to cast your vote. Early voting will be conducted from 7 am to 3 pm on April 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, and May 2 and 3, 2016. Election Day will be held from 7 am to 7 pm on May 7. Early voting and election day voting will be held at the MUD19 Clubhouse located at 25922 Drybrook. Additional information on each candidate and voting details will be posted on the website by April 15 (nwhcmud19.org).
Directors are elected to serve four-year staggered terms and two of those terms are expiring this year. Four candidates are seeking to fill these positions – the incumbents, Randy Templeton and Stephen Blake, and non-incumbents, Michelle Marek and Rusty Ritz. The following bios have been provided by each candidate:
Stephen Blake: I have lived in North West Harris County Municipal Utility #19 District since 1984 and have served in excess of 25 years in various capacities on its board of directors. During my early years of serving on the board I was forced to initiate litigation against the developer of our district based on violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This violation would have had a catastrophic financial impact on all residents of Coventry who, soon after, joined the lawsuit. The DTPA violation by the developer also forced MUD #19 into bankruptcy. One of the greatest outcomes of successfully litigating this case was a settlement between the district and developer which provided a pathway out of bankruptcy for MUD #19.
My professional career, thus far, covers 40 years of developing, implementing and administering of contracts/agreements involving major construction and energy resource extraction. The scope of work of these contracts were up to and include those of a multi-billion dollar in value. In addition to the development of contracts/agreements for these industries, I earned a certification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as a Licensed Irrigator. The knowledge base to hold this license is closely aligned with Texas Municipal Utility District standards. This certification was based on successfully passing an 8 hour examination administered by the State of Texas.
My philosophical approach to my personal, professional and political life is based on integrity underpinned by high moral and legal principles. If you live by these principles, you can never be compromised. Because of these values, I was once characterized by the MUD attorney as “the conscience of the district”.
I am married and have 3 sons. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and have 2 years of post graduate studies at South Texas College of Law.
Michelle Marek: My name is Michelle Marek, a resident of Augusta Creek Estates, and I am asking for your vote to elect me as a Director for NW Harris County MUD 19. I have been a resident of Augusta Pines for 6 years with my husband, Charlie Cox and son, Dylan who graduated from Klein Oak HS. Having grown up in the Northampton subdivision and after living for a time in Houston, I was fortunate to be able to return to this area that I love.
I graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree and continued my education at the University of Texas School of Dentistry where I studied Dental Hygiene. I am currently a Texas Residential Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in The Woodlands and serve on the Agent Leadership Council. I hold memberships in a number of professional organizations including the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Global Property Specialist, Houston Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.
As a business woman, I am acutely aware of the importance of informed decision making, especially as it relates to managing district funds and the use of its resources. Our community is constantly expanding, and it is important to us all that we keep the Augusta Pines area a desirable place in which to live, while at the same time striving to reduce our taxes. In order to serve our community effectively, the MUD board requires strong leadership and fiscal acumen. I would welcome and appreciate your support in the upcoming election, and should I be elected to this post, I will serve our community with the utmost integrity and honesty.
Please come out and exercise your right to vote at the MUD 19 Community Club House located at 25922 Drybrook. Early voting will begins April 25 – April 30, May 2-3, from 7 am – 3 pm and Election Date is May 7, 2016.
Rusty Ritz: I am Rusty Ritz and am on the ballot for the NWHC MUD 19 Board of Directors election being held May 7th.
I have been a resident of our area for over 15 years and have lived in Augusta Pines since the fall of 2010. I am married to Maggie, and we have two boys, Cooper and Carson, both of whom attend Klein ISD schools. Over many years, I have gladly served on Boards of Directors in a number of volunteer organizations including Metzler PTO, Klein Oak Sports Booster Clubs, American Association of Drilling Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers and others.
I served as a Director for the Harris County MUD #1 (adjacent to MUD #19) until I resigned due to the fact I no longer owned property in that District. The MUD #1 Board recently oversaw a number of significant activities including well reconditioning and commissioning of a new water plant during my tenure there. That service gave me great insight into a MUD’s prudent operation. I am a Petroleum Engineer by degree (Texas A&M, ‘88) and have worked in the upstream energy business for over 25 years as a drilling and completion engineer managing multi-million dollar well operations, and I currently serve as Vice President for HTK Consultants, Inc. I have dealt with many similar issues as MUDs from well construction to groundwater protection. This thorough understanding of the technicalities and management of these operations will be a benefit to serving on our MUD Board.
MUD Board leadership should be concerned with the highest quality provision of services to our district members and very prudent financial stewardship. Ultimately, good financial management will allow us the opportunity to provide continuing excellent service and strive to lower each of our tax burdens. Our district is in an expansive mode with the continued development we are seeing, and the time for conscientious, qualified and prudent leadership is critical. I would greatly appreciate your support and pledge the highest level of effort and integrity on your behalf.
Randy Templeton: I have lived in Northwest Harris County MUD #19 since 1985, and have served on its board of directors for 29 years. In the late 80’s, our district suffered a serious setback due to the original developer’s mismanagement. The district had to initiate litigation against that developer based on a violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. MUD19 had to file for federal bankruptcy protection and search for a new developer, as well as raise money to pay bonds and expenses. It was important to move forward swiftly, yet few were willing to serve during that time. I accepted a board position and spent many hours working with our attorney and other directors to determine a pathway out of bankruptcy for MUD19. One of the benefits that came out of that litigation was the land that is now known as Augusta Pines and the golf course. Over the years I have learned much about the business of water, sewage and drainage, including how new bonds are floated to finance new water wells and sewage plants. I have a good working relationship with our attorney and consultants and understand how our financial situation has evolved over the years. I have always been very committed to this whole district, and have served as president of the board since 1997. It would be a shame to replace directors who are experienced in the workings of the water and sewage business, with others residents that have no experience.
My professional career includes serving the Spring/Woodlands area as an independent insurance agent since 1986. I currently own Templeton Insurance Agency in Spring. I hold designations as a Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA), Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF), as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Part of my duties on the MUD #19 board over the years has included reviewing the district’s insurance policies, and reviewing the annual budget. I served on the Texas Professional Insurance Agents Association board of directors for 20 year, and was the state president of that professional association in 1997-8. I also served that association on its national board for ten years. Before my insurance career, I worked as a CPA in a large accounting firm in Houston, primarily performing audit work. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the Univ. of Missouri with a major in Accounting. I also hold an MBA from the Univ. of Missouri.
I am married (for the past 30 years). My wife, Kay and I have two grown daughters and two grandchildren. I am also a licensed private pilot.
I am a fiscal conservative, and my goal is to continue to manage our tax dollars in a prudent manner so that we can all enjoy lower property taxes in the near future. Please re-elect me so that I may continue the work that I started long ago for MUD #19.
October 17, 2015: Electronic Waste Pickup and Document Shredding October 17 10-2pm at the MUD19 Clubhouse 25922 Drybrook Rd