Community Improvement District Board adopts Service and Action Plan

The Board of Directors of the Aldine Community Improvement District met in its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20 at the Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. Community Center, 4001 Aldine Mail Route.

Following the determination of a quorum, the board took up several routine matters including a resolution to establish the district’s fiscal year end (August 31), ratification of the executive committee’s decision to purchase insurance for the District from the Texas Municipal League, and the appointment of a representative from the District to the North Corridor Coalition (Chairman Clyde Bailey).

The board then received a presentation by Executive Director David Hawes of a Proposed District Service and Action Plan.

The plan, which was developed on the foundation of HCCDA’s Aldine Community Development Plan that was released in 1999 includes a list of objectives and programs under consideration in eight areas.

Work began on the first of these, Water/Sewer Infrastructure, when the District made application to the Texas Water Development Board for a planning grant for water supply and wastewater treatment facilities within the District. TWD approved the grant on August 21st.

The other seven areas include Transportation and Mobility, Security and Public Safety, Environmental and Urban Design, Neighborhood Clean-Up, Economic Development and Public Relations, Leadership Training and Project Staffing and Administration.
A recommendation was made by Mr. Hawes that Chairman Bailey appoint three individuals to head committees for the transportation, security, and environmental areas before the next regular meeting.

The Neighborhood Clean-Up committee was previously established and has already met to begin planning for a number of programs and activities.

One of the objectives of the Clean-up committee is the removal of dangerous buildings. A report that appeared in the Chronicle’s This Week section on August 8 , credited the Improvement District with the removal of three abandoned houses, two on Kowis and one on Allwood.

While the District does hope to facilitate such efforts in the future, it did not, in any way, contribute to the demolition of these houses.
Demolition of abandoned structures is a lengthy legal process that involves, among other things, notification of the owners, heirs, assigns or any person with financial interest in the property. And it takes money.

Harris County’s budget for clean-up is limited and must be evenly shared by all areas. The demolition of these three structures was paid for by a HUD grant obtained by the Harris County Community Development Agency.

The Clean-Up Committee will meet at 7:30 tonight, Tuesday August 27 at the Aldine Community Center, 4001 Aldine Mail Route. The public is invited to attend and take part in the planning.

In other business, the board considered a proposal to add the office of Parliamentarian to the District’s slate of officers. A resolution was made and seconded and was approved with one dissenting vote.

A proposal to build elevated walkways over Aldine Mail Route between Hambrick Middle School and the Aldine 9th Grade Center was referred to the committee being formed to address Transportation and Mobility issues.

In addition, a proposal that the District sponsor a Community Christmas Tree was referred to a committee to be chaired by Director Mauldin.
In discussion regarding the ability of directors to respond to inquiries during the public comment portion of ACID board meetings, Director Mauldin reported that a precise reading of the Texas Open Meetings Act, subsequent opinions issued by the office of the State Attorney General, and verbal clarification by a representative of his office, do indeed prevent any substantive response by the directors.

Director Mauldin suggested that the District Board sponsor regular town hall meetings to provide an open forum where residents can voice their concerns, offer suggestions and receive information about the operation of the District and its projects.

Following a request by Director Murillo that guidelines be established and adopted concerning the election of officers and their terms of office, Tim Austin, attorney for the District, said that he would put together suggested policies and procedures in response to Murillo’s request along with a simplified version of Robert’s Rules of Order for the Board to consider at the next meeting.

Mr. Hawes reported that District revenues for the month of August were $105,196 bringing the seven-month total to $529,011. Disbursements have been made in the amount of $$75,093 including $59,739 to Hawes Hill & Assoc. for management services, $12,379 to Vincent & Elkins for legal services and $2,725 to the Texas Municipal League for the just-acquired general liability insurance.

Finally, Susan Hill and Derrick Heyward of Harris County Social Services presented a preliminary report on space that has been made available for use by the community next to the Sheriff’s Storefront on Aldine Mail Route. The space is part of the old movie theatre, one of the 3 screens with seating for approximately 250. The center owners are willing to lease the space for $1 year, but the renovation and overhead costs would have to be covered by the community. A suggestion was made that the contractor who “built out” the other two-thirds of the theatre for the WIC facility, be contacted and asked to make an estimate of the cost to renovate the space.

The next regular meeting of the Aldine Community Improvement District Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Aldine Y.O.U.T. H. Community Center, 4001 Aldine Mail Route. The public is urged to attend.

Questions about the district, its management, or programs should be addressed to David Hawes or Susan Hill at Hawes Hill & Associates LL, 713-541-9906.