Advocate Editorial Board opinion: City was right to listen to, act on concerns
On Tuesday, the Victoria City Council gave its first vote of approval to annex more than 730 acres of land outside of Victoria, the majority of which is along U.S. Highway 77 north of town.
When the plan was first announced, it received several protests from residents of the area who did not approve of the involuntary annexation. Some residents went before the City Council to express their objections. Some residents complained about having just paid thousands of dollars for new wells or septic systems that would now go unused because of the requirement for annexed properties to be added to the city's water and sewer systems within three years.
Thankfully, the city of Victoria has listened to these objections and worked out a compromise. According to a Feb. 21 statement, the city has expanded the time required to hook up to water and sewer systems from three to 15 years. That will allow residents who have made a significant investment in their water or septic systems to take advantage of that investment while also allowing the city to expand and prepare infrastructure for any future growth in the area. The compromise also includes conditions that would require residents and business owners to join the city systems sooner if they experience problems with their personal systems or if a significant expansion is made on the property.
This decision was a wise move on the part of the city. This compromise has answered the concerns and complaints of residents and has changed some of the annexation's opponents into supporters. This is an excellent example of government listening to its constituents and working to find a solution that will benefit everyone involved.
In addition to the extended time requirement, the city also plans to offer fire service and trash and brush collection at $19.50 a month. The access to the city's fire services will help improve the cost of insurance for residents, and the access to the city's trash and brush collection services will make disposing of garbage much more convenient.
This was a positive move for the city of Victoria, and we are proud to know our hometown government is willing to listen to the concerns of its constituents and find a solution to potential problems. We encourage city leaders to keep this in mind as more decisions have to be made. Government should never forget that its first responsibility is to the people it serves, and we applaud the city of Victoria for doing just that.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.