Town Council Proposes Consolidation of Local Governments in Trophy Club

Posted by April Reiling on May 20, 2013
Tags: Community, Town News, Government Consolidation, Government

The following statement was delivered by Mayor Connie White on May 20, 2013 in response to a proposed Retail Water and Wastewater Services Agreement for the Public Improvement District (PID) that was submitted to the Town of Trophy Club by the Trophy Club Municipal Utility District No. 1 (TC MUD 1) earlier this year.

The Trophy Club Town Council unanimously supports a draft Strategic Partnership Agreement, a plan that proposes to provide retail utility services to the PID and, overtime, consolidate the TC MUD 1 government with the Town of Trophy Club government and provide for appropriate negotiations with Westlake in regards to Solana.

As a Town Council, we are elected by the residents of Trophy Club and charged with providing for the best interests of the entire community. In March, TC MUD 1 presented the Town with a Retail Water and Wastewater Services Agreement for the PID that required that the Town and TC MUD 1 enter into a 24-year contract. For various reasons, the agreement presented by the TC MUD 1 is not acceptable and we have moved forward with developing a counter-proposal. Today we publicly present a proposal to the TC MUD 1 Board, the citizens of Trophy Club and the Town of Westlake – a draft proposal that we feel would strengthen the local governance for the citizens of Trophy Club.

Over the next three years, the Strategic Partnership Agreement proposes to:

  • Allow the TC MUD 1 to provide retail water and wastewater services to PID customers, and
  • Implement a plan to combine current TC MUD 1 infrastructure, facilities, services, functions and employees into the town organization, and
  • Develop a strategy for the TC MUD 1 to relinquish services provided to Westlake, and
  • Negotiate with Westlake regarding a payout for facilities and infrastructure located within Westlake town limits, and
  • Determine any remaining debt obligations and make accommodations for revenue loss.

As Mayor, I have a particularly unique perspective because I served on the TC MUD 1 Board of Directors for 26 years, until I was elected Mayor in 2009. I know how important the TC MUD 1 has been throughout the development of Trophy Club, but the growth of the PID has created a division in our town. In order to establish equality among the citizenry, the local government structure needs to change, and the proposed Strategic Partnership Agreement helps move Trophy Club in the right direction.

Many remember the town and TC MUD 1 government’s feud in 2009 when legal action was taken by, and against both governments. The hostile relationship, financial waste and negative backlash hurt both governments, but most of all, it hurt the residents of Trophy Club. In our current proposal and subsequent actions, I assure you that the Town Council will maintain a respectful and open dialogue with both the TC MUD 1 and Town of Westlake.

The proposal allows for a cohesive municipal organization in Trophy Club, which aligns with the long-term vision for the Town. We no longer need two government entities when one can do the job. This is the logical continuation of a process that began when a number of individual MUDs were consolidated into the present TC MUD 1 district.

Typically, a MUD would be absorbed when a municipality incorporates; however, TC MUD 1 services two towns: Trophy Club and the portion of Westlake known as Solana. The unique situation requires that all three elected bodies agree to any change in the current structure. This proposal is the first step in facilitating a dialogue.

In addition to assuming ownership of TC MUD1 facilities, both Trophy Club and Westlake would assume and negotiate any remaining debt obligations and make accommodations for revenue loss. Allowing Westlake to assume ownership of TC MUD 1 facilities in Solana paves the way for relinquishing control while minimizing the negative financial impact to Trophy Club residents. As anticipated when the PID was created, the Town Council believes that the revenue now coming from the PID and commercial development within Trophy Club will replace existing Solana revenues.

The proposal recommends that in order to minimize outstanding debt, all future capital expenditures shall be funded by Trophy Club. For example, if a wastewater expansion is required to accommodate further residential and commercial growth in Trophy Club, then the TC MUD 1 would agree to withhold issuing debt and allow the town to fund the expansion in anticipation of consolidation.  This would allow for all Trophy Club citizens to pay their fair share of necessary capital improvements equally.

The TC MUD1 board has provided quality utility services for both communities; but we have always discussed merging when the time is right. That time is now. As a Town Council we want to reiterate that we are grateful for the MUD and the dedicated service they have provided to the Trophy Club area for many years; but, we now ask that the TC MUD 1 Board of Directors consider approving the Strategic Partnership Agreement and do what we believe is best for the residents and entire community of Trophy Club.

The proposal will be delivered to the TC MUD 1 Board and Town of Westlake this week for review.