Council candidates discuss expansion of Airline Road
April 12, 2010 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated April 12, 2010 at 11:13 p.m.
Streets in need of repair and possible expansion of Airline Road were hot topics Monday as candidates for Victoria city council squared off in a political forum.
"North Street is a disaster, Juan Linn is a pothole haven," said Emett Alvarez, candidate for Super District 5, during the League of Women Voters' 24th annual candidates forum.
"The key is that we haven't spent that," said Joe Truman, incumbent of Super District 5, said of the multi-million dollar plan to extend Airline.
The work would be in conjunction with the expansion of the University of Houston at Victoria as a four-year school.
Truman added that the city has not fully signed on to the project, but if approved, the funds would be found.
"We are your partner in this," said Truman of the benefits of the expansion of the university and extension of Airline Road.
The city council agreed to commit up to $8 million to extend Airline Road east of Victoria to property where a new, larger campus could be built.
Tom Halepaska, incumbent for Super District 6, noted the council voted in an emergency session to move up the extension in priority, but not set into motion.
"It was only moved up a notch on the list," said Halepaska.
However, Jeff Williams, Super District 6 challenger, expressed concern on the rapid response in committing funding to a project in an emergency notice meeting.
Williams said he was concerned the council had pushed back construction on Red River Street to make room for the Airline Road project.
"That does not give us any consistency," Williams said.
Although city council candidates offered opposing views on the extension of Airline Road, they agreed streets and drainage were some parts of the city's infrastructure that were in need of repair.
Williams also said sidewalks are needed at two schools for safety reasons.