Bridge Street Annex parking lot next phase of work

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

March 18, 2013 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 17, 2013 at 10:18 p.m.

In the hope of saving $150,000, Victoria County's road and bridge crew will take on repairs to the Bridge Street Annex parking lot rather than contracting out labor.

Commissioners Gary Burns and Danny Garcia presented the plan Monday during commissioners court, which calls for sharing the costs of labor and overtime from the general fund totaling $55,000, including $12,000 for six employees' overtime.

Burns said the work is expected to begin Monday on the parking lot, which is in his precinct.

"I'm big on countywide projects where we all pool together on something," Burns said. "A lot of times, we can save money."

Burns said the current state of the parking lot is poor.

"We don't want to do a temporary fix; a seal coat wouldn't last a year," Burns said. "If we do it, we'll do it right."

Burns asked for patience from county employees and people doing business at the Bridge Street Annex while the repairs to the parking lot are in progress.

He is in talks with the First Baptist Church about sharing its parking lot in exchange for patching some bad spots. Parking will also be available at Santa Rosa and Glass streets.

"It'll be a little inconvenient for our employees, but I'd rather it be them than our customers," Burns said.

The project is on a two-month schedule, but Garcia expects it to take four to six weeks.

He said taxpayers will see the biggest benefit.

"It's tax money we don't have to use to go pay a contractor to go do this work," Garcia said. "Of course, we have fixed costs, but even with that, we're still going to save a substantial amount of money."

The crew works 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. To complete the work on a shorter time frame, they will also pitch in Fridays and Saturdays.

The county road and bridge crew rotates through all four precincts, doing 3 or 4 miles of roadwork at a time.

Burns is giving up his rotation to fix the parking lot.

"This is a very substantial amount of money - when we can save like this, we should do projects like this," Burns said. "It throws us a little behind on our road and bridge construction but not too bad."



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