City Corner: Sam Houston construction closes Halsey Street entrance

By O.C. Garza

Does the Sam Houston Construction Project include the closing of Halsey Street at Sam Houston Drive?

Yes. There are several reasons why Halsey Street will be closed at Sam Houston Drive.

First, where Halsey Street intersects with Sam Houston Drive is very close to the intersection of Leary Lane and Sam Houston Drive, which has a traffic signal. This creates conflicts in traffic flow between the controlled traffic coming off Leary Lane and the uncontrolled traffic coming off Halsey Street.

Second, the sharp angle of the Halsey Street and Sam Houston Drive intersection poses problems for drivers turning off of Sam Houston and onto Halsey, and for drivers turning off Halsey onto Sam Houston. The sharper the angle of an intersection, the higher the danger for drivers and pedestrians using that intersection.

To close the intersection of Halsey and Sam Houston, a cul-de-sac will be installed on Halsey Street similar to the one installed at Cypress Street and Airline Drive a few years ago. After the cul-de-sac is in place, appropriate signage will be installed on road signs in the area.

Are there summer reading programs available for children at the Library?

Yes. The Library staff is finalizing details on what is always one of the Library's most popular programs, the Summer Reading Program (SRP). This year's theme is "Dig Up a Good Book" and registration begins June 1.

The Summer Reading Program is a free program encouraging children to read during the summer and is open to infants through fifth grade. Children will receive reading logs to keep track of their reading time and will receive a library buck for every one hour of reading or listening, to redeem for prizes.

Programs include crafts, storytelling, puppet shows, music and games. For more information, call the Library at 361-485-3302 or visit them online at www.victoriapubliclibrary.org.

It appears Victoria is in for a dry summer and I want to conserve water whenever possible. Is most of the water used in Victoria from inside the home or outside?

We applaud your efforts at conserving water and urge citizens to save water throughout the year.

To answer your question, more water is used in the home than outside. Water use in the home accounts for approximately 65 percent of the water used in Victoria. About 35 percent of water is used outside the home for watering lawns, washing cars and boats, and other outside uses. Of water use in the home, almost 40 percent is from flushing the toilet, 35 percent for bathing, 14 percent for washing clothes and 11 percent for kitchen use.

Here are some common sense water saving techniques for in-home use that not only save water, but can save you money on your water bill:

When remodeling or replacing old toilets, install a low-volume toilet that uses 1.6 gallons or less per flush.

Install a low-flow shower head that restricts flow at 80 psi to no more than 2.75 gallons per minute.

In older toilet tanks, use a toilet bowl displacement device, such as a one-gallon jug filled with water, to reduce the amount of water used with each flush.

Do not use a toilet flush to dispose of tissues, cigarette butts or other trash.

Wait until there are full loads before running the dishwasher or washing machine.

For a printed brochure with more water saving techniques, contact the City Communications Office at 361-485-3110. To view this brochure online, browse the City website at www.victoriatx.org and click on "Water Saving Tips."

I do regular business with the city. Does the Finance Department have an electronic payment program for monthly vendors?

Yes. By the end of 2011, our Finance Department hopes to pay 75 percent of vendors' invoices through direct deposit electronic payments. Direct deposit payments are very easy to set up. Simply email our Finance Department at financemail@victoriatx.org or call them at 361-485-3080.

Send your questions and comments for any city department or activity to City of Victoria, Public Information Office, P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902, or pio@victoriatx.org.