Advocate Editorial Board opinion: City cannot prosper without balance, plan to grow
By the Advocate Editorial Board
Sept. 17, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.
Maintaining city streets is a never-ending process. Victoria has already made progress by repaving major streets that see lots of traffic, but there are still plenty of residential areas that need to be addressed.
But repaving and maintaining streets must also be balanced with the continued development and growth of Victoria. In Monday's pro/con article, the Advocate examined the possibility of helping to pay for Victoria's growth by charging an impact fee to developers building inside the city. This fee would help pay for new roads and work to connect existing roadways to new developments.
Impact fees have the advantage of helping balance the cost of maintaining the city's current streets while also helping to pay for new growth, but the added fee could also cause some developers to either decide not to build in Victoria at all or build outside city limits, where there are no fees. The city already requires developers to install the infrastructure, including water, sewer and storm drains, for neighborhoods.
The city has already annexed the land to extend Ball Airport Road, and we are glad to see Victoria is continuing to expand. This growth is a positive development for Victoria, and we hope our readers will understand how important it is. Remaining the same is never a possibility. Our world is constantly shifting, growing and adjusting, and Victoria must be able to grow as well. Victoria will either grow and continue to prosper, or it will become stagnant and lose ground. Staying the same is not a practical option.
With that in mind, we encourage the City Council to continue to support growth and development in the city. Of course, we must always try to maintain a balance between properly caring for current assets while also encouraging expansion. Our elected officials should never forget their responsibility to serve the residents of Victoria, but they must also develop a vision for Victoria's future. This is a difficult balance to achieve, but a balance must be struck.
We encourage the City Council to examine the proposal for adding an impact fee carefully and weigh the future implications on both sides of this issue. The city must be responsible and frugal with taxpayer money, but it must also continue to build a culture that welcomes businesses to our area. It is a complicated issue to balance, but we need both aspects for Victoria to continue to prosper.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.