The Woodlands, Texas - Putting their stamp of approval on a voter-approved form of governance, board directors of The Woodlands Township unanimously approved the transition agreement that will combine neighborhood associations and services and put them under the township's direction Wednesday.

The changeover will result in homeowners paying a 2-cent sales tax and a new ad valorem tax, based on the assessed value of real estate or personal property, to the township as opposed to property assessment fees to separate homeowners associations. ""It's an incredibly historic day for The Woodlands,"" said Nelda Blair, board chairman, after the motion passed unanimously.

In November, voters approved The Woodlands Township, which is governed by seven at-large members, as the entity to provide municipal-type services. The Woodlands Community Association and The Woodlands Association, which govern residents in the older and newer villages, respectively, will be phased out after 2010. The agreement will bring The Woodlands Community Association Inc., The Woodlands Association Inc., The Woodlands Commercial Owners Association Inc., The Woodlands Community Service Corporation, The Woodlands Recreation Centers Inc. and The Woodlands Fire Department Inc. under the direction of The Woodlands Township, which will become the main governing body of The Woodlands in 2010.

Mike Page, the township board's legal counsel, said that while the transition resembles a corporate merger, it is more flexible and fundamentally different in purpose.

""It is not an agreement for profit and is instead an agreement to achieve a common service objective,"" Page said. Page also said the transition will be more flexible than corporate mergers in that the other associations will be able to give input on township board decisions.

Injection well opposition: The township board voted to join The Woodlands Community Association, Montgomery County and the city of Conroe in opposition of a proposed waste injection site in East Montgomery County.

County Attorney David Walker spoke to board members about the site. Walker is opposed to the proposition, saying that the ground it would be installed in is unstable from years of oil drilling.

Walker said Hubert Collier, a hydro-geologist, has advised him that the unstable ground could lead to waste leaking into the Gulf Coast aquifer system, tainting the county's drinking water.

""If injected waste migrates into the aquifer, there will be no fixing that,"" Walker said. ""It makes no difference if the injection site is in East County or not, if it gets into the aquifer The Woodlands would probably feel the effects of that before Conroe.""

Logo contest: The township board created a contest to develop the logo of the newly renamed organization. Open to the residents of The Woodlands, the winning logo will be used as the township's official logo in all of its correspondence, signage, marketing, advertising and public relations. The winner will be awarded a grand prize of $500 and an evening of entertainment in The Woodlands. The first 25 entries submitted also will receive two free tickets to the Tinseltown movie theatre. Entries will be accepted through April 30.

For rules, go to E-mail

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