In an effort to help you determine what is best for your life and property as a member of our community, here are MYTHS and FACTS to help you make a decision.
Don’t let myths affect your ability to make an informed decision.
·A notion based more on tradition or convenience than on fact ·Legend; Folklore; Tradition ·Unreality ·Fiction; Story
·Verifiable ·In realty; in truth; actually ·Something known with certainty ·Something that has been objectively verified ·Something having real, demonstrable existence
Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………………………………………….……Page 1 A guide to help you find information thatdirectly affects you. Formation of the Pecan Grove Voluntary Fire Department (PGVFD)…………………….………..Page 2 From the beginning . . . PGVFD Services…………………………………………………………….……….Page 2 29 years of dedicated service to you Pecan Grove Municipal District’s (PGMUD) involvement with the PGVFD…………………………..…………………………..Page 3 Our Community Leaders as Community Partners The PGVFD Board of Directors……………………………………………………Page 4 The current board-election process and how it evolved. PGVFD Audit to the PGMUD………………………………………….…....…Pages 4, 5 Community Partners work together. The Fire Plan……………………………………………………………….....Pages 5, 6, 7 Decide for yourself if one is needed. The “ISO” & Consultant Mike Pietsch’s Rating Study………….…...………Pages 8, 9 Fire department ratings and how they directly affect you. PGVFD Fire Station #2 (Waterside Division)………………………………….….Page 9 Does having more equipment & personnel for safety and protection matter to you? Financial Stability and Viability of the PGVFD………………………………....Page 10 Do you want a Community Partner that is financially sound? CONCLUSION……………………… The decision is yours…………………………...Page 11 CONTACTS………………For making a difference in your community………………..Pages 11, 12 We hope you find this information informative and compelling, as well as a call to action. Prepared for and presented to you by your Concerned Pecan Grove Neighbors October 2011 Formation of the Pecan Grove Voluntary Fire Department From the beginning . . .
PGVFD was formed by the Pecan Grove Municipal Utility District (PGMUD).
In 1982, The Pecan Grove Voluntary Fire Department (PGVFD) was formed by a small group of residents who felt the area deserved its own dedicated fire department.
PGVFD Services 29 years of dedicated service to you
PGVFD leaves the community unprotected. The Richmond Fire Department will deliver the same or better service.
PGVFD provides dedicated first-priority service to the Pecan Grove area and Waterside Estates. PGVFD provides Emergency Medical Services from Basic Life Support to Advanced Life Support.
In a major incident, PGVFD would not have enough firefighters.
PGVFD handled a month’s worth of incidents in five days during Hurricane Ike and never missed a call.
PGVFD does not have enough fire trucks to cover Pecan Grove.
2 Rescue/Engine/Tanker Trucks
1 Reserve Tanker Truck
1 Rescue/Booster Fire Truck
PGVFD is limited by the location of the fire station on Pitts Road and has not provided adequate service.
PGVFD’s 29 years of service from its Pitts Road location has provided protection for all service areas without a single written complaint but rather many expressions of appreciation from those served.
First-response areas in Waterside and the Pecan Grove POA and the Grove HOA areas north of the intersection of Plantation Drive and Old South Drive will be served by Fire Station #2.
PGMUD or the Richmond Fire Department can offer the same services as PGVFD.
PGVFD’s Emergency Notification system by e-mail alerts all service-area residents of emergency situations within the neighborhood.
PGMUD’s Involvement with the PGVFD Our Community Leaders as Community Partners
·The PGMUD has authority over the PGVFD.
·The PGVFD should include PGMUD in all its decisions.
·PGVFD is a complete and separate legal entity from the PGMUD.
·The PGMUD has never had and continues to have no authority or control over the PGVFD.
The PGMUD has the authority and/or responsibility
to provide a Fire Plan.
The PGMUD has no experience in the area of fire protection and/or emergency medical services or fire-service contract administration.
The PGVFD continually thwarts the efforts of the PGMUD over the best interests of the District’s residents.
The PGVFD cooperates fully with the PGMUD whenever and wherever possible as part of PGVFD’s commitment to be a good community partner.
The PGMUD should have been involved in the process of choosing a new fire chief.
In January 2008, the PGVFD Board of Directors that included representatives of the homeowners’ associations hired the current Fire Chief, Paul LeDoux.
The PGMUD has no direct involvement with the election process.
Chief LeDoux has been irresponsible, uncooperative and/or unresponsive
to the requests from the PGMUD.
Shortly after being hired, Chief LeDoux met with the PGMUD.
The PGMUD Board of Directors then advised Chief LeDoux to straighten up the PGVFD and get it compliant in every aspect.
Chief LeDoux recognized the need for re-alignment of the fire department to become compliant and did it.
The PGVFD Board of Directors The current board-election process and how it evolved.
Representatives of the homeowners’ associations were thrown
off the PGVFD Board.
As early as 2007 through January 2009, the PGVFD Board consisted of representatives from the homeowners’ associations who had been appointed to serve on the PGVFD Board. As laws changed, so did the need for restructuring of the PGVFD board-election process.
Under the direction of legal counsel, the PGVFD Board (with appointed representatives from each homeowners’ association) voted to bring the board-election process into compliance with the laws of the State of Texas and the IRS Code that require all Board Members be nominated and elected.
Because some of the Board Members (such as representatives from the homeowners’ associations) had been appointed, they could no longer serve on the Board unless nominated and elected.
Representatives of the homeowners’ associations are not allowed to serve on the PGVFD Board.
Anyone from the PGVFD service area may be nominated to serve on the PGVFD Board.
PGVFD Audit to the PGMUD Community Partners work together.
PGVFD must provide audits to the PGMUD.
PGVFD is not required to provide audits to the PGMUD but has done so in the interest of being a good community partner.
PGMUD was not provided with a 2006 audit as requested to the PGVFD.
In early 2007 - PGVFD Fire Chief Larry Perry provided the 2006audit to the PGMUD as requested.
Joe Taylor (current President of the PGMUD Board of Directors) approved the procedure used and later approved that audit.
In late 2007 - PGMUD requested a more detailed audit.
(This section continued on Page 5.) (Continued from Page 4)) PGVFD Audit to the PGMUD Community Partners work together.
The PGVFD purposely delayed the audit.
The 2007 audit was scheduled to be completed in June 2008.A draft financial statement was one day away from being delivered when allegations of a cover-up were leveled against the PGVD.
During this audit, requests for investigation of wrong doing on the part of the PGVFD were received by the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office.The audit was delayed until those investigations were completed.
At the conclusion of the investigations, NO cover-up, collusion, or delay on the part of the PGVFD was found.PGVFD and third-party auditor were cleared of all allegations. PGMUD was advised of the results of the investigations by the District Attorney’s Office.
After a four-month delay due to the investigations, the third-party auditor delivered the 2007 Financial Statement (which had required the auditor to review all records from 1982 through 2007 at a cost of $50,000 to the PGVFD).
The PGMUD knew the reason for the delay in completing the audit.
A copy of the 2007 Audited Financial Statement was provided to the PGMUD.
The Fire Plan Decide for yourself if one is needed.
Representatives of the homeowners’ associations have complete authority and responsibility to protect the property owners.
Elected “leaders” speak for members of their homeowners’ associations.
It is not necessary to ask members of the community for their input.
The homeowners’ associations are entitled to act on behalf of their respective community areas for chartered issues only.
Whereas, fire protection services fall outside the homeowner-associations’ responsibilities.
The issue of a Fire Plan should have been put forth to the community for direction.
(This section continued on Page 6.) (Continued from Page 5) The Fire Plan Decide for yourself if one is needed.
The PGVFD gave no input
for the 10/19/11 meeting
because of indifference.
Richard Stolleis, Chairman of the Fire Plan Committee at the time,scheduled a meeting of the Committee for October 19, 2011, to review Consultant Pietsch’s Report and Fire Plan Recommendations.
The PGVFD representative had a previous commitment and time constraint that could not be changed.
When asked to reschedule the meeting for one week, Mr. Stolleis, among others, refused to reschedule the meeting to allow a PGVFD representative to attend.
At the 10/19/11 meeting,
there was a consensus
among the members
of the Fire Plan Committee
to be presented
to the PGMUD Board.
Without a PGVFD representative at the 10/19/11 Fire Plan Committee Meeting, Chairman Stolleis reviewed Consultant Pietsch’s Rating Study and decided there was a consensus on recommendations to be presented to the PGMUD Board without a single vote of the other members of the Fire Plan Committee.
“Consensus” was not recorded until concern was expressed at the 10/25/11 PGMUD Meeting.
Joe Taylor (President of the PGMUD Board) then asked members of the Fire Plan MUD Committee who were present if there was a consensus among the Committee; those present agreed to a consensus. (Three members of the seven-member Committee were not present.) At the 10/25/11 PGMUD Meeting, Kevin Krahn (PGMUD Board of Director) acknowledged the necessity for input from the PGVFD on the Fire Plan and stated another meeting would be scheduled to ensure PGVFD’s participation.
The PGMUD was required to act when requested by representatives of the PGP POA, The HOA CIA, and the Pecan Lakes HOA to do a Fire Plan.
A Fire Plan is essential for the safety and protection ofresidents within the PGMUD.
PGVFD does not provide
all thenecessary services
to serve and protect citizens
within its service area.
A Fire Plan authorized by a rule in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) allows utility districts to propose and develop a fire-protection plan. Only voters can approve a Fire Plan.
The PGMUD bypassed due diligence of public meetings to gauge support of the proposed Fire Plan.
Citizens of the PGMUD have not only fire protection but also emergency medical services and non-emergency assistance through the PGVFD.
PGVFD’s services are not limited in regard to fire protection.
(This Section continued on Page 7.) (Continued from Page 6.)
The Fire Plan Decide for yourself if one is needed.
of the Fire Plan Committee presented to the PGMUD Board on 10/25/11 are considered
in the best interests
of the residents of the PGMUDistrict.
No details were given in the 10/25/11 PGMUD Meeting as to why the proposed Fire Plan is in the best interests of the residents of the PGMUDistrict; only suppositions were mentioned.
Kevin Krahn was requested by a member of the audience to provide specific reasons and detail as to why the proposed recommendations of combining the two fire departments would be the best for the citizens of the PGMUDistrict.
Mr. Krahn said those facts would be provided. Joe Taylor reiterated those facts would be provided as requested.
Mr. Pietsch’s recommendation is
to consolidatethe services
of the PGVFD and
the Richmond Fire Department into one department
for the best interest
of service area residents.
The Pietsch 9/28/11 report suggests that the most beneficial fire defense infrastructure for Pecan Grove would include a deployment of fire defense units from PGVFD and the Richmond Fire Department to obtain a better insurance rating only so far as structural firefighting services are concerned. PGVFD already has an Automatic Aid agreement with the City of Richmond Fire Department for responding to structural fires and eliminates the above concern forstructural firefighting ability.
PGVFD is a non-profit501(c)3 entity while the City of Richmond is a legal-taxing authority.
Attempting to consolidate the two fire departments will be the demise of the PGVFD and that is the intent of the PGMUD Board of Directors. This action will leave the Pecan Grove residents with no input of how they are protected.
Voting for the Fire Plan is a vote for better fire protection.
As recommended in the Fire Plan Committee’s memo of 10/19/11 to the PGMUD Board, a vote for the Fire Plan would be a vote for the City of Richmond and its fire department..
had no conflict
PGMUD Board appointed him
to the Fire Plan Committee.
After several Pecan Grove residents complained about PGMUD Director and Fire Plan Committee Chairman Richard Stolleis’s conflict of interest because of his direct ties to the City of Richmond,
Mr. Stolleis stepped down from the Fire Plan Committee and recused himself from any votes or discussions relating to the City of Richmond issues.
“ISO” Insurance Services Office, Inc.
Public Protection Classification (PPC) Points within this classification determine the ISO rating. Quoting Consultant Mike Pietsch’s 9/28/11 Rating Study to the PGMUD: An ISO “help(s) establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential…properties….”(Emphasis added.). Fire department ratings and how they directly affect you.
An ISO Report
(or recommendation for an ISO grading) indicates which department could best serve
the PGMUDistrict residents
for fire and emergency services.
An official ISO report is based on a fire department’s ability to fight structure fires ONLY.
An ISO report does not take into account other services a department provides, such as Emergency Medical Calls, detection through removal of Hazardous Materials (HAZMat), or response to grass fires.
From January through September 2011: Calls to PGVFD were 2.64% for STRUCTURE FIRES compared to 55.95% for EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
Other calls to PGVFD within that same time period were: ·10.02%Other Fire Calls ·8.50%HAZMat Calls ·12.28%Service Calls ·2.45%Good Intent Calls ·8.12%False Alarm Calls
An ISO report does not take into account the quality of the service.
Mr. Pietsch’s 9/28/11 report is an “ISO Report” and will change the PGMUD ISO rating to a 4,
causing everyone’s insurance to go up immediately unless the PGMUD changes fire departments.
This report should be used as
the sole basis for making
an immediate change.
An ISO re-survey has not been requested for the PGVFD service area since 2006.
Consultant Pietsch’s 9/28/11 Rating Study does not change PGVFD’s current ISO Rating of 3. Changing the rating can only be done by an ISO representative doing a Public Protection Classification Survey at the request of the PGVFD or at the end of 10 years.
Consultant Pietsch’s 9/28/11 Rating Study is NOT an ISO Report (please see page 15 of his report that can be found on-line at www.pecangrovemud.com) but rather a rating study for “Evaluating Fire Defense Infrastructure (Optimizing ISO Public Protection Classification)” in preparation for requesting an ISO re-survey.
(This Section continued on Page 9.) (Continued from Page 8.) “ISO” Fire department ratings and how they directly affect you.
new fire station and new fire truck
do not improve the PGVFD servicesor make a difference in the
“ISO rating” from Mr. Pietsch
for PGMUD residents.
Consultant Pietsch’s 9/28/11 Rating Study did NOT consider the new Fire Station #2 and new fire truck.
Construction and location of Fire Station #2 and the new fire truck were recommendations in the 2006 ISO Official PPC Survey.
PGVFD asked Consultant Pietsch for a “what if” answer for adding the new fire station and new fire truck.According to Consultant Pietsch, that scenario would give PGVFD an unofficial ISO rating of 3 . Adding in possible additional points for the improved 911 system upgrades and a margin of error for the type ofconservative rating study Mr. Pietsch does, an ISO rating for PGVFD of 2 is expected.
An ISO rating is used
by all insurance companies
to determine a homeowner’s insurance rate and directly affects the cost of your fire insurance.
An ISO rating MAY or MAY NOT be used by your insurance company to determine your premium. Check with yourinsurance company. There are many factors that determine how much you pay for insurance.
PGVFD Fire Station #2 (Waterside Division) Does having more equipment & personnel for safety and protection matter to you?
do not know why
Fire Station #2
is being built.
In 2005, Consultant Pietsch was hired by PGVFD and recommended adding a second station in the vicinity of Farmer Road and Oyster Creek to lower response times to the HOA and POA sections of Pecan Grove in addition to Waterside Estates.
Fire Station #2
was built to serve
The PGVFD Service Area for Fire Station #2 includes first-response areas in Waterside Estates and in the Pecan Grove POA and The Grove HOA areas north of the intersection of Plantation Drive and Old South Drive. Fire Station #2 will respond to all structure fire calls.
The community may be responsible for the debt incurred by PGVFD to build Fire Station #2.
In the Fire Plan Committee’s “Review of Pietsch Report and Fire Plan Recommendations” to the PGMUD Board on 10/19/11, it states:
“It is unknown how the VFD plans to pay for the expense (of Fire Station #2) and concern was expressed that the community should not be responsible for that debt.”
The community is NOT responsible for PGVFD’s debt.
**NOTE:The Community is responsible for the PGMUD debt. Financial Stability and Viability of the PGVFD Do you want a Community Partner that is financially sound?
A Fire Plan is necessary
to guarantee funds
for the operation of and improvements of the PGVFD.
Continual improvements of the PGVFD have been donewithout the need for ·A mandatory Fire Service fee ·An increase in the Voluntary Donation rate of $7.00 per household ·A District Fire Plan ·Money being paid to the City of Richmond.
needs a Fire Plan
to guarantee revenue
for its operations.
PGVFD’s primary source of funding is from voluntary tax-deductible donations.PGVFD directly mails requests for donations to Pecan Grove residents.
The Waterside HOA collects donations through Fort Bend MUD #118 water bill.
Funding is received by PGVFD from
Fund-raising events throughout the year (such as the Golf Tournament and Five Miles My Way);
Reimbursements from Ft. Bend County; and
Through PGVFD’s very aggressive grant system,PGVFD identifies multiple sources and writes grants to those sources.In the past 24 months, the PGVFD has received over $300,000 in grants.
No property-tax funds are received by PGVFD.
PGVFD is “sneaky” and withholds important information.
PGVFD is transparent in its operations.
PGVFD is audited yearly.
Anyone can get a copy of PGVFD’s ·Financial Statements, ·By-Laws, ·Articles of Incorporation, ·Guidelines, and ·Any other documents that are not covered by the privacy laws of the State of Texas or the United States.
PGFVD has regularly scheduled meetings that are open to District residents.
CONCLUSION Is it’s not broke, why the attempt to “fix” it? The decision is yours. If you agree that the very best protection for you, your property, and your life is to continue as first priority with the services of the Pecan Grove Volunteer Fire Department, let your voice be heard. We can stop this nonsense! Let the PGMUD and the Fire Plan Committee know how you feel.
Pecan Grove Municipal Utility District (PGMUD) 2035 FM359, Suite 13 Richmond, TX77406 www.pecangrovemud.com Board of Directors Joe Taylor President Richard StolleisVice President Buddy KluppelSecretary John MinchewAssistant Secretary/Asst VP Kevin KrahnAssistant Secretary/Asst VP PGMUD Attorney Lynne B. Humphries Partner Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2600 Houston, TX77027 Office:713/860-6406 Fax:713/860-6606 [email protected]
“ISO Report” can be found on PGMUD’s website.
Fire Plan Committee
Kevin Krahn, PGMUD Director & Committee Chairman Marc Bateman, The Grove CIA Joe Dombrowski, The Grove HOA Angela George, Pecan Lakes HOA Fred Ross – Pecan Grove Plantation POA William Jacks, PGVFD Board President Chief Mike Youngblood, City of Richmond NOTE: * Richard Stolleis, PGMUD Board of Directors, resigned from and recused himself from the Committee. *Conley Shepherd, Pecan Lakes HOA, was not only removed from the Committee and replaced by Angela George but was also removed from his position in the Pecan Lakes HOA. * John Minchew, PGMUD Board of Directors, resigned from the Committee and was replaced by Kevin Krhan. “Review of Pietsch Report and FirePlan Recommendations” dated 10/19/11 to the PGMUD Directors that was presented at the 10/25/11 PGMUD Meeting may be requested from the Fire Plan Committee.
(Contact information continued on Page 12.) (Contact Information continued from Page 11.) If you would like to let the leaders of your homeowner’s association know how you feel, here is their contact information.
Pecan Grove Plantation Property Owners’ Association (PGP POA) 1421 FM 359, Suite K Richmond, TX77406 Office:281/344-9496 Fax:281/239-7000 E-mail:[email protected] Web Site:www.pecangrove.o
Board of Trustees & Officers Jim AshmorePresident Frank JarrettVice President Rachael BuckfieldSecretary Fred RossTreasurer Cheryl MinchewBoard Member Katherine MyersBoard Member John ClarkBoard Member