Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services Update
Posted: 1 year ago
October 24, 2018
Your home is located within the boundaries of Willow Creek Farms Municipal Utility District (the “District”). It has come to the Board of Directors’ (the “Board”) attention that there may be misinformation and confusion related to the provision of fire protection and emergency medical services (collectively, “Fire and EMS Services”) in the District’s boundaries. In an effort to keep residents accurately informed, the Board would like to update you regarding the Fire and EMS Services being provided within the District, as well as the District’s role in the provision of those services.
The majority of the District is currently located within the boundaries of Waller Harris Emergency Services District No. 200 (“ESD 200”) and has been since ESD 200 was created. In exchange for District residents paying the ESD 200’s tax rate (currently $0.0995 per $100.00 valuation), ESD 200 is legally charged with providing Fire and EMS Services to District residents. Currently, the District does not have the legal authority to contract for Fire and EMS Services. While the District’s primary functions relate to the provision of water, sewer, and drainage facilities, as both Board members and your neighbors, the Board recognizes that it is in a unique position to solve deficiencies in the current provision of Fire and EMS Services. In its ongoing commitment to provide quality representation to the District’s residents, the Board has been evaluating options to secure the legal authorization to obtain Fire and EMS Services with staff and equipment in closer proximity to the District’s boundaries in order to secure quicker response times. However, there are a number of steps that the District must take legally before the transition of Fire and EMS Services to a different provider may occur.
The good news is that the District has already begun the process of working cooperatively with the City of Katy (the “City”) to formulate a long-term, reliable fire plan (the “Fire Plan”) detailing the facilities, equipment, and manpower needed to provide Fire and EMS Services to the District. Once the Fire Plan and related form of fire protection services agreement (the “Fire Protection Services Agreement”) are finalized and approved by both City Council and the District’s Board, the Fire Plan must be submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (the “TCEQ”) for approval. Once TCEQ approves the Fire Plan, the District is required to call a Fire Plan Election (the “Fire Plan Election”) to obtain approval from the voters in the District. The Board is actively working with the City to finalize the Fire Plan. However, due to the lengthy time period associated with TCEQ review and approval, the District’s Board was legally unable to call a November, 2018, Fire Plan Election for voter consideration. Once TCEQ approves the Fire Plan, the District’s Board intends to call a Fire Plan Election on the next eligible election date.
If a majority of the voters in the Fire Plan Election approve the measure, the District will then be legally authorized to enter into the Fire Protection Services Agreement with the City securing Fire and EMS Services for the District on a long-term basis. At that time, the District will coordinate with the City to secure the removal of the property located within the boundaries of the District from ESD 200.
As you can see, the path to changing the provider of Fire and EMS Services is lengthy and complex. However, the Board remains committed to formulating a long-term solution to provide our neighborhood with reliable and effective Fire and EMS Services.
The District will provide additional Fire Plan updates as more details become available. Thank you for your continued support!
Board of Directors,
Willow Creek Farms Municipal Utility District