MUD 501’s SHRED EVENT IN TOWNE LAKE: A Community Triumph

On April 27, 2024, MUD 501 hosted a community shred event in Towne Lake that has been hailed as a resounding success, solidifying its role as a key player in local environmental efforts and community service. The event successfully processed approximately 10,000 pounds of paper and a significant quantity of electronic waste, providing a valuable service in promoting recycling and sustainability within the community.

This initiative was met with widespread appreciation from Towne Lake residents who actively participated in the recycling efforts. The success of the event is not just measured by the amount of recycled material, but also by the community spirit it fostered. Residents left the event feeling a stronger sense of community and shared responsibility towards protecting the environment.

Director Jared Day played a pivotal role in organizing the event and coordinating the efforts of student volunteers from Cy-Ranch High School. These students, members of the National Honor Society, showed remarkable dedication by participating in the shred event just hours after attending their senior prom the night before. Their participation was instrumental in the smooth execution of the event.

Special recognition is also due to the Towne Lake Foundation, which provided crucial funding for the event, and the Towne Lake Community Association (HOA), which offered an ideal location for this community initiative. Their support not only made the event possible but also highlighted the collaborative spirit thriving within the community.

Encouraged by the success of this year’s event, plans are already in motion to host another shred event in April 2025. The community’s enthusiasm and ongoing commitment to sustainability suggest that next year’s event will likely see even greater participation and success.

The annual shred event in Towne Lake is more than just a day of recycling; it is a testament to the community’s resolve to contribute positively to the environment while strengthening community ties. As MUD 501 and Towne Lake residents look forward to next year’s event, they carry with them the pride and satisfaction of a job well done, setting a commendable precedent for community-driven environmental initiatives.

2023 AWBD Fall Seminar

Harris County MUD 501 Board President, Wayne Tyson, and Board Secretary, DeBra Edwards, attended the 2023 AWBD Fall Seminar on October 30, 2023.

They enjoyed the opportunity to hear legislators discuss the 88th Regular Legislative Session and the recent legislative developments. AWBD’s educational videos were also very informative. To learn more about property taxes and stormwater drains, please view the videos below.

Towne Lake Fall Festival

The Towne Lake Fall Festival held on October 28, 2023 was a huge success!

The residents enjoyed food, games, a pumpkin patch and all the candy you could imagine! The West Harris County Regional Water Authority’s Mobile Teaching Lab was a wonderful addition to the day’s festivities. Residents learned about stormwater pollution, F.O.G. – fats, oils and grease, Patty Potty – No Wipes in the Pipes, and Scoop the Poop. The lab focused on the conversion to surface water, where water comes from and water conservation. Residents were able to take several items home with them including coloring books, sunglasses and of course candy!

Special thanks to Inframark, MUD 501’s Community Education chair, DeBra Edwards, and Bruno, a community canine, for making the day such a success!

AWBD Spring Dinner

Director Edwards, chair of the Association of Water Board Director’s Ambassador Program, answered questions at the AWBD’s Spring Dinner on April 13, 2023.

Director DeBra Edwards joined Amanda Benzman of INFRAMARK, Katie Carner of ABHR and Becky Ullman of the Caldwell Companies at the Girls, Inc. annual luncheon on April 13, 2023.

Heritage Car Show

DeBra Edwards, John Casey and Wayne Tyson participated in the Heritage Car Show on Saturday, February 25, 2023. They enjoyed meeting MUD 501 residents and spreading the word about the EyeOnWater app!

Membership & Outreach – AWBD’s Ambassadors Program

DeBra was terrified. This was her first AWBD Conference. After walking into the exhibit hall, feeling overwhelmed and out of place, DeBra went back to her hotel room. Her husband did not understand. DeBra is an outgoing, confident person. What could be so scary?

Four years later, DeBra Edwards walked up to the lectern, welcomed a room full of new AWBD members to a special breakfast, and introduced herself as AWBD’s first Ambassador.

AWBD prides itself on being a welcoming organization for all its members. Most AWBD members have been going to conference for years. Many of us had directors, consultants, and friends that showed us the ropes. When Debra suggested to AWBD’s Membership Committee that the organization offer new members some ways to feel more welcome, Mem-bership Committee Chair Rick Ellis listened up.

After DeBra joined, AWBD started a new members breakfast and introduced a “pink ribbon” for new members, to make sure that AWBD’s new members felt welcome. While the breakfast and ribbon were a good start, Debra and Rick felt like they could and should do more. DeBra suggested pairing new directors with experienced mentors.

Rick is Vice President at the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, so making members feel welcome is part of his job description. Rick had just help established AWBD’s Membership and Outreach Committee, chaired by Wendy Duncan, President of Willow Fork Drainage District and a communications consultant, who also works to make people feel welcome. DeBra, Rick, and Wendy worked with AWBD staff to develop an AWBD Ambassadors program—a titled borrowed from the Katy Chamber—to make sure that everyone who attends AWBD Conference walks in knowing someone who will help show them the ropes—not just at AWBD, but in their roles at . And not just any someone, but someone who knows and cares about AWBD and districts.

Led by Wendy and DeBra, AWBD has a great first class of Ambassadors:

  • Ms. Sabrina Alaquinez, Fort Bend Co MUD 218
  • Mr. Brandyn Cottingham, Fort Bend Co MUD 24
  • Ms. Wendy Duncan, Touchstone District Services
  • Ms. DeBra Edwards, Harris Co MUD 501
  • Mr. Craig Kalkomey, LJA Engineering, Inc.
  • Ms. Brenda Landin, TNG Utility Corporation
  • Ms. Jennifer Smith-Hicks, Accurate Meter & Supply
  • Mr. Harry Thompson, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP

If you would like to join the ranks of AWBD’s Ambassador Program, or a new member seeking an Ambassador, please email Irma Valdez. We are accepting applications.

Towne Lake Teamwork At Its Best

What do Caldwell Companies, the Heritage Homeowner’s Association and Harris County MUD 501 all have in common?  They are presently working together to bring about one of Towne Lake’s newest residential development projects which will be located along the south shoreline of Towne Lake, adjacent to the Heritage, Towne Lake’s prestigious over 55 active adult community. This development will eventually result in ninety-two new homes being added to the Heritage.  But there’s an interesting back story on how this all came about.

So, what makes this project unique from others within Towne Lake?  First of all this particular tract of land was originally owned by Lone Star College, but after several years of discussion and negotiations Caldwell Companies purchased it in 2019. Acquiring this valuable piece of property on the lake was a win for Caldwell Companies.

But what about the other entities involved in this project?  Under Lone Star’s ownership MUD 501 received no tax revenue for the property. Once Caldwell Companies fully develops the property, MUD 501 (which will build, own and maintain the water, sewer and drainage facilities) will receive a new stream of tax revenue that should help to reduce the tax rate for all MUD 501 tax payers over the long term.  A win for MUD 501 and its taxpayers.

After the property was acquired, Caldwell Companies began a discussion with the Heritage community to annex this property into its boundaries. Caldwell Companies felt residential land use harmonious with the Heritage was the best use of the land. This was not a simple exercise as any type of annexation requires approval from a vote of Heritage residents. There were many questions presented by Heritage residents to both Caldwell Companies representatives and the Heritage HOA board, and after several community wide meetings the residential vote passed decisively and the annexation was approved.  These new homes will be good for the Heritage for several reasons, including the addition of a new set of neighbors and additional HOA fees that can be used by the Heritage for improvements or HOA fee reductions. A win for Heritage residents.

The land plan for the property has been submitted for approval from Harris County and the City of Houston, streets have been named and infrastructure construction activities should begin soon with new home construction following in the first quarter of 2021.  This is a win-win-win for all of the entities involved, and a great example of how focused leadership and teamwork can help continue making Towne Lake the premier residential community in Cypress, Texas.

Career Day

MUD 501 Director, DeBra Edwards, participated in Career Day at Watkins Middle School on February 4, 2020.