Crossroads population growing; Victoria jumps 2.9% in 2 years

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

March 14, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2013 at 10:15 p.m.

Crossroads developers say Victoria is well suited for a growth spurt.

And figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that is exactly what Victoria County has experienced during the past two years.

But no one seems to know how long the region's prosperity will last.

"Well, that is kind of the $64,000 question now, isn't it?" said Jared Mayfield, director of Development Services for the City of Victoria.

Mayfield attributed the 2.9 percent increase in Victoria County's population to what he described as obvious economic gains.

Victoria led its neighboring eight counties with the biggest percentage of population growth. Goliad was second with a 2-percent growth while Refugio and Matagorda counties experienced a small percentage loss.

He predicted patrons will soon have more retail options. The only drawbacks would be more traffic congestion and a tighter housing market - two things Mayfield guessed residents already experience to some degree.

Victoria's Public Works Director Lynn Short said the city prepared for this upward trend by way of its capital improvement plan, which outlines infrastructure projects to tackle as far as five years down the road.

Short specifically pointed to a second industrial park, located off Lone Tree Road that will boast 10 shovel-ready lots. He said the bid is expected to be awarded during an April 2 council meeting.

The City Council also will shape future development priorities, such as the re-paving of roads and reworking of plumbing, for its 2014-18 capital improvement plan during a March 25 special workshop, Short said.

Joe Brannan, the executive director of Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission, said Caterpillar's hydraulic excavator plant opening in August was a defining moment for the community.

He said other quality of place factors, such as the University of Houston-Victoria's decision to switch from a two to four-year school coupled with quick access to health care, bode well for Victoria's future.

"And transportation is the same way. ... I've been in Victoria for eight and half years and the Zac Lentz Loop" has undergone a lot of construction, Brannan said.

Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corp., said he was happy about the numbers, which he said was the result, in part, of meticulous planning by the City Council and the Victoria County Commissioners Court.

"And that is what successful communities do," Fowler said.



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