Harris County MUD 153 residents, it is time to prepare for colder temperatures! There is a Freeze Watch in effect for Sunday night through Tuesday morning, February 14th – February 16, 2021. Temperatures are expected to drop to freezing levels overnight.
How can District residents prepare? Practice the “Four P’s” as the cold fronts set in:
- Dress in warm clothing, wear coats and gloves when outdoors.
- Protect children and the elderly. Never leave them in a cold place or vehicle.
- Temperatures are predicted to be in the teens Monday night and Tuesday morning.
- Bring your pets indoors.
- Provide a warm, safe place for them to eat and sleep.
- Prevent frozen pipes and damage to your home by opening the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate and warm the pipes.
- Insulate outdoor faucets and exposed pipes and be sure to disconnect and drain hoses from outdoor spigots.
- Protect plants from freezing by covering them with plant-cover fabric, or a light blanket with plastic sheeting on top of it.
- Hydrate plants early so they can absorb and stay healthy through the cold.
Additionally, there are a few vehicle-safety tips to observe during winter weather:
- Keep your gas tank full.
- Have tire pressure checked.
- Have a phone charger, first aid kit, blankets, and jumper cables in your car.
- Check local road conditions at www.houstontranstar.org. State highway information available at www.drivetexas.org.
Lastly, Fire Departments have provided some safety tips surrounding space heaters and other supplemental heating sources during the colder days:
- Never leave a space heater unattended or a child unattended with a space heater.
- Keep all combustible materials (including yourself!) at least three (3) feet away from the heater.
- Never overload outlets or breakers.
- Do not use extension cords for the heater.
- Always turn it off if leaving the room and/or going to sleep.
In order to provide information to our neighborhood, the following snapshot for the month of January 2020 will be discussed here.
During the month, the board allocated approximately $25,000.00 for mowing and related items on neighborhood ditches. This is an ongoing expense the board has undertaken to improve the quality of maintenance typically done by Harris County. The grounds are now safer and cleaner and not prone to damage from flooding.
The board allocated approximately $11,500.00 for the month related to Constable patrolling for Walden on Lake Houston and the area within the MUD borders. This money enhances the readiness of forces and additional patrols to prevent crime in the neighborhood.
The board has committed approximately $8,000.00 as a donation for part of the sidewalk recently installed at Atascocita Middle School. This provides safer trails for the children to avoid vehicular traffic as much as possible. In past years, MUD 153 has donated to AMS for their current soccer fields and tennis courts and more.
The board allocated $35,000.00 to Maplebrook Elementary to redo and improve the walking/running track on the campus. With donations to any school, MUD 153 requires neighborhood access during non-school hours. In past years, MUD 153 has donated to the school’s science pond/garden area, the playground equipment, a sidewalk and track.
MUD 153 manages a yearly budget of about $2.4 million and primarily provides water, sewer, and trash/recycling service to our neighborhood, including the responsibility of maintaining plants, tanks, generators, wells, distribution lines, and services by third parties to keep all functioning properly. This necessarily includes rehabilitation and replacement of aging facilities as well.
The board continues to be responsive to the neighborhood above and beyond what is required. The current board is always available to hear any resident concerns or ideas. Recently, an item concerning the age 65 and over tax exemption was brought to the board’s attention and after careful consideration, the board doubled the exemption from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00.
The board recently replaced all water meters with modern smart meters, that include the capability for individual homeowners to monitor on-line, information related to water usage among other things. This project required approximately $1.2 million to finance.