Governance Planning

Agency: American Planning Association
State: Federal
Type of Government: State & Local
Posted Date: Sep 18, 2017
Due Date: Nov 10, 2017
Bid Source: Please Login to View Page
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Governance Planning The Woodlands Township

The Woodlands, TX

The Woodlands Township is a special purpose district. It is a political subdivision of the State of Texas located in unincorporated areas of Montgomery and Harris Counties. The Township is authorized to collect sales tax, room tax and property tax, and provides a wide range of municipal types of services. These municipal types of services are considered value-added services since they are enhancements to basic service levels provided by the other governmental organizations, such as the county governments.

In 2007, through legislation, a referendum and Regional Participation Agreements (RPAs) with the Cities of Houston and Conroe, The Woodlands gained the ability to determine its future governance structure including the option of incorporation as a municipality at a future date. In accordance with legislation and the RPAs, incorporation can occur at any time prior to 2057 and will require an election by Woodlands voters. The community may also consider alternatives to incorporation.

In the 2017 State Legislative Session, the pathway to incorporation for The Woodlands was clarified through the passage of SB1014 and SB1015.

When the Woodlands incorporates, the responsibility for providing some services previously provided to the Township by the county governments are expected to shift from the County governments to the new city government. The new city would assume the responsibility for providing these services and can do so by providing the services directly as a city operation or entering into an agreement with the Counties where the Counties continue to provide the services with the costs paid by the new city. Some of the service costs and responsibilities expected to shift at time of incorporation are:

  • Law Enforcement ? would potentially change from a contract service to a municipal department / the Township may consider continuing to contract with the County for this service
  • Responsibility for construction / reconstruction costs of city designated roadways within the "new" city boundaries
  • Assume roadway maintenance responsibility / public works functions / the Township may consider contracting with the County for this service
  • Assume traffic management responsibility / the new city may consider contracting with the County for this service
  • Municipal court operation / the new city may consider contracting a qualified jurisdiction for this service
  • Facility costs for police, courts and maintenance / the Township has an option which would allow the new city to acquire the law enforcement center on Lake Front Circle from the County

In additional to the additional service costs that may result from a shift of responsibility from the County to the new "city" of the Woodlands, the city may also absorb the operations of other governmental functions such as water, sanitary sewer and drainage which are currently provided through the Woodlands Municipal Utility Districts.

Other city costs may involve new operations such as

  • Planning / zoning / building inspection services
  • City Secretary/City Clerk
  • Public Works / Engineering
  • Other

The new city may be able to collect additional revenues, such as franchise fees, court fees and permit fees, to offset some or all of these costs.

The Woodlands Township is issuing this Request for Qualifications and Proposals (RFQ&P) for assistance in exploring the incorporation planning alternatives. A successful RFP&Q submittal must include a comprehensive action plan showing the sequence of the process to be undertaken by the consultant team, the professional personnel to be assigned and the time line to successfully complete all action items included in the Scope of Services. The reports and analysis in this action plan should include a financial analysis, a review of law enforcement services, a street condition analysis / pavement index, a legal analysis, a community analysis with public forums and a process to solicit resident feedback and finally, the development of an Action Plan / Communications / Public Information Process for Board consideration.

This incorporation planning process, once initiated, should seek to have all of the studies and analysis completed within a nine to twelve-month period of time.

The intent of the Request for Qualifications and Proposals is to solicit firms and university departments that can provide this broad range of services for the Township with a project manager to coordinate and manage all component parts of this incorporation planning review from project start to finish. The selected firm must assure a close coordination between the consultant, staff and Township Board. Throughout the course of the project, the selected consultant will be expected to meet and confer with the Township Board on a monthly basis to update, review and affirm the process and next steps.

  • The consultant will work with the Township Board to develop an understanding of the types of services that may be provided by a new city and also to consider the pros and cons of potential new revenues sources that may be implemented by the new city. The consultant will seek feedback from the Board on service levels for the new city and also seek feedback on comparable communities when performing the comparative analysis of benchmarked cities.
  • A critical part of the financial analysis will be a determination of future roadway replacement costs, major maintenance costs and annual operating and maintenance costs for the road and signal system. The consultant should propose a qualified firm for the analysis of pavement conditions and will discuss the findings of the report with the Board prior to inclusion of the projected future capital costs and operating costs in the financial analysis.
  • The consultant will work with the Township Board and county officials to determine the best options for assuming and providing county services that will become the responsibility of the new city government when incorporation occurs. This analysis will consider all aspects of contracting with the county agencies versus the creation of city departments for law enforcement, municipal court services, roadway maintenance, signal maintenance.
  • The consultant should work with the Township Board and the MUD's to determine the best options for assuming the water, sewer and drainage functions of the MUD's as city services or allowing the MUD's to continue to operate as independent entities.
  • The consultant will work with the Township's contracted municipal legal counsel to review all proposals for services and revenues for the new city to determine that legal authority exists for the proposed service or the proposed revenue source.
  • The consultant will work with Township legal counsel to determine the best options for the continuation of government standards while considering implementation of zoning.
  • The consultant will provide qualified professionals to conduct public forums to provide information to residents and to seek resident feedback that can be shared with the Township Board of Directors.
  • As part of the public forum process, the consultant shall provide an online tax rate calculator to allow property owners to determine the fiscal impact of moving from the current form of government to an incorporated municipality.
  • Should the Board determine to place consideration of incorporation before the voters at a general election, the final phase in the process will be the validation through a tax rate study of the maximum property tax rate to be placed on the ballot for voter consideration.

The Township Board should be provided with a comprehensive report regarding incorporation. This study should summarize resident feedback regarding the pros and cons of incorporation. Based on this feedback, the Board will determine whether or not to place this matter on the ballot.

General Information

a. Please submit your Proposal to The Woodlands Township by 5 p.m. on November 10, 2017, to 2801 Technology Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77381. Attn: Karen Dempsey. kdempsey@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov . p. 281-210-3808.

b. Proposals should be mailed or hand delivered; proposals submitted via email will be accepted; however, The Woodlands Township will not be responsible for any delays in transmission or filtering programs that may cause electronic submissions to not be received. It is the responsibility of the responder to ensure that the proposal is received by the date and the time specified. All costs incurred in the preparation of a proposal responding to this RFQ&P will be the responsibility of the responder and will not be reimbursed by The Woodlands Township.

c. Provide a summary of eligibility in the fields of governance planning, financial impact planning, street condition analysis and public input and education. Provide an overall timeframe of availability to perform consulting services for the Township, including an overall schedule for the project detailing timelines for each task and time estimated to complete the project. Provide a complete list of sub-contractors who will used on this study with a listing of their professional expertise and responsibilities per this submittal.

d. The Woodlands Township contracted municipal counsel will provide a legal review in conjunction with the financial analysis to evaluate all costs and revenues included in the financial model. This review will assure that the projected costs and revenues are realistic given the provisions of a general law city, the provisions of the RPA legislation and the Township's enabling legislation. This legal review will not be a part of the consultant's proposal but will be funded separately by the Township.

e. Profile of the Proposer: Include your office location and number of personnel in your firm who conduct the consulting services outlined in this proposal. Describe the range of activities performed by your firm, including the organizational structure of your firm, years of existence, number and location of offices, total number of employees and total number of employees dedicated to governance consulting.

Mandatory Pre-submission Conference

The Township will conduct a Pre-submission conference on Monday, October 9, 2017 at 10 a.m. (CDT), at the Township Town Hall, Conference Room 150/152 at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands, TX. 77381. The Pre-submission conference is mandatory and may be attended in person or via conference call. Parties interested in attending or participating in the pre-submission conference must notify the Township no later than October 2, 2017.

Any questions in advance of the pre-submission conference must be submitted in writing and will be answered during the pre-submission conference. Answers to questions will also be posted on the Township website as part of the Bid Posting. Questions asked after the pre-submission conference will only be posted on the Township website as part of the Bid Posting.

Summary of Key Dates:

Date Time Event
October 2, 2017 5 p.m. (CDT) Deadline to notify Township of interest.
October 9, 2017 10 a.m. (CDT) Mandatory Pre-Submission Conference / Conference Call
October 20, 2017 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Last Day to Submit Questions
October 27, 2017 5:00 p.m. (CDT) The Woodlands Township Response to Requests for Clarification
November 10, 2017 5:00 p.m. (CST) Deadline for Submitting Proposal Package

For additional information, visit: http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11738?bidId=384


Request Type
Deadline
Request Type
RFP
Deadline
Friday, November 10, 2017
Contact Information Website
http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/bids.aspx?bidID=384
Contact Email
kdempsey@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov
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