I agree with everything N45BA has stated. Fix the streets, especially Sam Houston street, that is the worst street to drive on in the city. Funny how the new school areas, had streets redone quick. As for downtown [ The Ghost Town] what a good idea , to try to open buisnesses . My question is ........ how are families that are stuggling to make ends meet , afford to eat or go to whatever other places that are gonna be downtown? More than likely these suppose buisnesses are gonna cater to the rich people in town. Let the millionares fund the project!!! Here's something else to consider , what about the gun shots you hear in that area?
I have an easy fix.
Everyone in favor of the Main Street Program....you pay for it!
N45I agree with you about mowing city owned or controlled areas. It needs to be done, period. But is that really a reason to torpedo a project not funded by sales tax or property tax?
I was using not overly optimistic scenarios to illustrate the value of business investment in downtown--or anywhere else in town for that matter. I just wanted to point out it has value to our community. I agree, new restaurants and bars will not add great middle class jobs, but getting businesses to locate in downtown will make our city better. I don't think anyone would dispute that.
Personally, I think we have a lot to be proud of in Victoria. Are we perfect, heck no. Are we that bad, heck no. Point is, instead of railing on local politicians, lets support things that can make Victoria a better place.
I travel all over the state and I can tell you we have a pretty good reputation. We just don't seem to give ourselves the same credit. Showing a little pride in our hometown ain't a bad thing!
Is the Main Street Program great? I don't know, too early to tell. Is it detrimental to the city, not in my opinion. Anything that promotes business is good. Like I said in the first post, I think its a no lose proposition for the city.
Does anybody have a better idea?August 2, 2010 at 6:40 p.m.
Yeppers. Have those big businesses downtown pay for it. Get it!
"We already put $750,000 into the Convention and Visitors Bureau," ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Who did?
Anyone know or care?
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but IF the city is approved for a Main Street Program then it will be funded by private money and hotel tax money. If I read correctly, the hotel tax can't be used for general funds. Why not use it to support development in downtown?
I think the citizens are in a no loose situation. Suppose 5 new businesses open up and the sales of those 5 new businesses generate $3.75million in sales. I think our sales tax to the city would be about $56,000. Assume that these business move into vacant buildings. Ad valorum taxes to the city would increase to. Probably by enough to more than cover the City's commitment to the program---but remember, the hotel tax is funding it! Now assume each business hired 4 new people. At minimum wage that would be around $300,000 in wage income that could be spend in town, which would increase sales tax, etc.
Could somebody explain to me how this could be bad? Looks like we are not spending our property or sales tax dollars to support and for it to work, private funds has to match. And, as a result, Victoria gets new sales tax income and property tax income.
The only way Victoria could loose would be to not support the Main Street Program.
Does anybody have a better idea?
Robby if you want this so much , why don't you fork over the money for it? Really this sounds like another of Obama's great deals. SPEND SPEND SPEND, and what do we as tax payers get from this i ask you? Nothing but higher Taxes, which are on the way. It is like the great tourism gimmick our city government blew $100,000 or more to tell everyone to bring their boots, what a JOKE. Spend wisely city government or I am sure we will have a whole NEW city government very soon. We as voters can make that a sure thing.
I haven't studied cities with downtown revitalizations in progress during a recession as Jeff Williams notes. So I cannot comment under that mindset.
However, all things being equal (not saying they are, I know we are in a recession), many cities do climb out of recessions through grassroots efforts by the local citizenship. It has worked in the past with other cities by its citizens spending less money outside the community and more money inside the community. I am not saying only spend local, I am saying a small percentage of change can result in pretty substantial gains. Please consider spending locally when appropriate.
Does this mean the Downtown can get their weeds mowed?
Unlike my neighborhood?
And when can my neighborhood be mowed.....? You know, more that once a year!
Council, can you remember all the money you saved with once a week solid waste pick up?
You remember, from twice to once. And all the money it saved.
Can that be used for mowing?
What other ways can you hurt your tax payers?
Increased traffic fines, increased judiciary fees, increased fees.
Thanks from us poor citizens....
"If not now, when? If not us, who?" said Robby Burdge, a Victoria business owner who spearheaded efforts to apply for the program. "Nothing gets done if it's no one's job.
Any chance the local business that spearheads this and applied for this will pay for this rather than me?
Of which I do not need and can not afford a refurbished downtown?
And please explain how this will help me.
Pitbulls, you took the words right out of my mouth. Where is the money for all these pet projects coming from when the city can't find money to fund any type of raises for its employees (with the possible exception of the two at the top). If the public only knew how many (read few) PD officers are on the streets sometimes, especially if one or more on a shift are out ill and/or vacation. The city will allow NO overtime, so another officer can't be called in. But by all means let's make Victoria a Main Street city.
Here's an idea Mr. and Ms. City Council members: why don't you actually take care of what needs to be taken care of instead of continually adding to your list of pet projects? You know, Victoria needs to follow the lead of one of the, I believe, state representative races in the South. Someone who spent no money, had no ads, no debates, no anything, won the election with 62% of the vote. I'm not dumb enough to believe 100% of the eligible voters actually voted, but 62% of those who DID vote wanted an entirely new voice. I say we do that. Show those on the City Council we are sick and tired of the same old business as usual attitude. You don't need to be wealthy to sit on the council; there is no requirement for it. I am hopeful that next election will have the citizens galvanized to make a positive change. Get more of the REAL people on the council; those who know what the real world is like and are not in each other's hip pocket.
I know, I got totally off the subject - I apologize. Just makes me angry.
Like I've mentioned before on other posts, downtown needs to be geared towards a night life district. You complain about parking and such, well that is during the day. At night its less congested. Bring in some live venues for music, shows, etc. Another restaurant or coffee shop, etc.
I remember back years ago when the club Ozone was around. It was interesting to note that the second floor area was vacant and the basement area was vacant. There could have been three businesses in the same general location. A little retail shop on one level, a club for bands, musicians, etc on another and a coffee house on another floor.
Gee people, it doesn't take much imagination to do this.
Hell I would if I had the money.
But Jeff, concrete and steel prices have never been lower. Build, build, build!!
I want to clarify one point.
It has not been decided "officially" but the probability of using hotel tax funds for this is high. These funds cannot be used for streets or other infrastructure as they have a limited scope.
Regarding the continued spending my concern is that the hotel tax fund was over subscribed for this budget year meaning more was approved for spending then what was estimated to be received. To take additional dollars out of this same fund next year will cause some other expenditure to be reduced or eliminated. The major expenditures are for the Convention and Visitoris Bureau (which will get funding) so the only places to cut will be the other art organizations or the community center operations. If the community center operations cannot be covered by hotel funds they will move into general fund which directly impacts our tax burden. If the existing arts organizations allotment is reduced those organizations will have a more difficult time in providing the programs that supposidly the CVB funding is promoting to get people to come to Victoria. It does not make sense to me to "invest" $750K to promote the city and then take away funding from the very organizations that are being promoted.
I do not dispute the fact that this program has been successful in some cities but it has also failed in others. The ones where it was successful took place during a time the economy was growing/booming not during a time when the worst economic situation seen in our country in 60 years was in place. If the private sector wants to support this financially that is great. To continue to committ public funds when they are already overcommitted is not sound management, in opinion.
Wow you have no idea how much it pains me to agree with Hagen, although he is right. I do agree the city should continue to support the infrastructure, but continued spending down town isn't it. The side walks and underground utilities I do agree with. Now this Main Street program is a bottomless pit. The city will never re-coop what they put in to it. We need to ride out this economic roller coaster, and realize that things may not get any better and this is our new norm. In stead we should be pushing this money towards the departments with in the city which matter, Streets, Police, Fire. Wasn't long ago I remember watching a City Council meeting where the police department was having to rob Peter to pay Paul for some new police cruisers. SERIOUSLY!!!
Hundreds of home towns across the nation have
developed beautifully and successfully their
original "old downtowns"
Boerne is a good example, Goliad is up/coming!
Thousands of tourists/travellers make these areas
their stopping points as a pleasant,quaint respite in
in the ever frantic pace of the world.
To see downtown Victoria develop into would be a blessing
to our community!
I go downtown at least twice a week to have coffee,
walk my doggies, and take my grandchildren to the DeLeon Plaza
In days past, a certain bank destroyed many of our downtown
novelties, two movie theaters, and the old Denver Hotel.
Hopefully this disgraceful destruction can be halted by the
wonderful folks now acting in our community's behalf!!