WELCOME TO HCMUD #127
Our water is a finite resource and is getting more expensive and complex to protect and utilize. At this site you can learn more about the water you use and about your municipal utility district. You can find out how the district operates, the services it provides, and what you can do as a resident to help contain costs and make the best use of our resources.
What is a MUD?
In many areas of Texas, the management of water resources is handled through water districts, entities created under the Texas Water Code. Water districts have the authority to tax, borrow, and issue bonds. District activities are overseen by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is charged with protecting our state’s human and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. The Commission’s goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.
In much of the unincorporated area of Harris County, water is managed by Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs). MUDs are political subdivisions of the state authorized by TCEQ to provide water, sewage, drainage and other services within the MUD boundaries.
To fully understand both the financial and environmental costs of managing our water service, residents are encouraged to ask questions, educate themselves by utilizing the links and resources presented here, and actively participate in the processes which affect water management.
TCEQ maintains an informative web site at http://www.tceq.texas.gov. The site is a bit overwhelming at first, but here’s a good starting place for learning how Texas Water Districts work: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/waterdistricts/.
In addition, an online publication called Texas Water Districts: A General Guide, may also be helpful. Find it under the section titled “Financial Forms, Guides and Reporting Requirements” at: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/waterdistricts/rules-forms.html.
About MUD 127
Harris County MUD #127 was created April 1, 1975. The boundaries of the district are roughly as follows:
- On the east, Barker-Cypress Road
- On the west, Greenhouse Road
- On the south, Gummert / Old Greenhouse Road
- On the north, a line just to the south of and parallel to West Little York
There are approximately 1750 homes and three commercial properties served by your Municipal Utility District. The homes are spread across five subdivisions:
- Brenwood Park
- Brenwood II/Trails
- Brenwood Village
- Brenwood Manor
- Brenwood Circle
Primary responsibilities of the district are the management of the water supply that comes into your home and the waste water that comes out, plus solid waste disposal services. However, MUD 127 also engages security patrols for the district and is empowered by state law to pursue certain additional activities for the betterment of the community such as the establishment and maintenance of parks and green spaces.
MUD 127 is part of a larger governing body called the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA). Information on the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (whose charges show up on our water bills as “Regional Water Authority”) can be found at: www.whcrwa.com
The operations and business of MUD 127 are managed through a Board of Directors. This includes the selection of service providers, financial management, and establishment of policies. Learn more about MUD 127 Directors here.
Under the Public Information Act (formerly known as the Open Records Act), members of the public may also make written requests for information to the Board of Directors. Requests of this type should be directed to the attorney for the district, Chris Richardson (firstname.lastname@example.org). More on the Public Information Act at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/open/og_faqs.shtml.
Six Things You Need to Know About Your MUD
- Municipal Utility Districts are political subdivisions authorized by state law to provide water, sewage, solid waste, and other services within designated boundaries. In our region, MUDs serve as a financing mechanism for growth and development outside of the City of Houston. As such, they are the most highly regulated local governmental entity in the State of Texas, and are supervised by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, EPA, City, County, and State law.
- Harris County MUD No. 127 was created in 1975 to finance the development of the Brenwood Park subdivision and future subdivisions within the boundaries of the district (delineated in the aerial map shown above). As of July 2018, the District serves 1809 connections, with additional connections planned for 2019 and 2020.
- In order to attain a greater economy of scale, MUD 127 has an agreement with neighboring MUD 239 whereby two water wells, two water plants and one wastewater treatment plant are co-owned, and operating and maintenance costs are shared.
- The cost of plants and infrastructure needed to deliver drinking water, wastewater and other services reach into the multimillions and are financed through the sale of bonds. Note that all MUD financing processes are regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission and Internal Revenue Service.
- There are two sources of revenue for the District: (1) water and sewer revenue from your monthly billing, and (2) property taxes, due annually. Monthly revenue is used to pay the District’s operating expenses. Property tax revenue is split between debt service and maintenance. Of the District’s 2018 tax rate of $0.66 per $100 of assessed valuation, $0.40 goes toward debt service and $0.26 for maintenance. Maintenance tax revenue is combined with monthly water and sewer revenue to pay operating expenses of the district and maintain the water and sewer systems.
- Debt service tax revenue is used to make payments on the District’s outstanding bonds. From 1984 through 2015, the district has issued four series of bonds [1984, 2004, 2009 and 2015] in the total amount of $18,295,000. $10,390,800 is outstanding as of August 2019 and will be paid off in 2031. MUD 127 voters have authorized the District to issue up to an additional $27,000,000 in bonds if/when there is a compelling need for other improvements.