It's official: The Woodlands Township is the new governing body in the master-planned community of The Woodlands.

The public entity's board of directors, whose mandate was solely economic development in the 1,000 acres encompassed in Town Center before a Nov. 6 vote confirmed it as the governing authority for all 28,000 acres, canvassed votes during a Friday board meeting. The group also established The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone to collect a 2-cent sales tax throughout The Woodlands and officially changed the district's name from the Town Center Improvement District to the township, a moniker the group approved in July.

The district plans to launch a logo-making contest open to all residents as it rolls out a new marketing campaign for the new name and changes. ""We are becoming something totally different,"" said township Chairwoman Nelda Luce Blair. ""We want to bring the entire community into the making of this logo."" Board members approved a $19.4 million budget in the township's first year, with much of the operating expenses going toward public safety enhancements and operational costs.

The board also will use the estimated $6.1 million it plans to collect through the addition of a 2-cent sales tax throughout the residential areas of The Woodlands to supplement the community associations' budgets for fire service.

The funds allow The Woodlands Association, which governs the newer villages of the community until the transition is complete in 2010, to reduce the assessment rate 15 percent to 38.5 cents per $100 valuation. The Woodlands Community Association also dramatically dropped its assessment rate to 14 cents per $100 valuation last week. ""That was the plan all along,"" said Anthony Fasone, a TWA director from Sterling Ridge. ""I'm glad to see that it is happening because we can reduce assessments.""

In addition, the board decided to renew a service contract with The Friendship Center for no more than $47,000 that will require the center to bill the township on a monthly basis for the number of trips it generates to The Woodlands' busiest shopping hubs.

Board members indicated the funding wouldn't likely continue through the years, but said they are figuratively ""punting the football"" in 2008 to give them more time to decide what to do with the transportation contract in the future. ""I personally can't see in the long term that this will stay in place,"" township director Ed Robb said.

" Posted by Tamborrel Bulox Team on
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