Victoria officials to consider five-year infrastructure plan

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 20, 2014 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2014 at 11:21 p.m.

Victoria officials will revisit their $150 million, five-year plan Tuesday on improving the city's streets and utilities.

It is up to the City Council to prioritize the projects, which fall under the Capital Improvement Plan, for the upcoming budgets.

While city staff outline their recommendations, new developments, including a $95 million, 1,175-home development announced in March, could play a factor in the final decision, said Mayor Paul Polasek.

Since 2000, the city has spent more than $300 million in major infrastructure projects to improve streets, drainage, water and sewer service and created a viable industrial park, according to information from the city.

Tuesday marks the beginning of the review process for these major projects, which will be finalized when the city's tax rate and budget is adopted in September. Budget work sessions are set for June 5 and 6. The public can share opinions and ideas at any council meeting.

Staff are recommending a $3.9 million project on the Odem Street wastewater treatment plant for this year, but neighborhood streets could see $4.7 million in funding for 2015.

To fund the projects, the city will take on some debt. Staff are recommending taking on $4.1 million in debt for 2015 and more debt in subsequent years.

The capital improvement plan is about addressing the city's worst streets and getting the biggest bang for the buck, Polasek said.

Long-term policy plans, like Victoria's "20/20 Plan," help lead staff. This infrastructure plan, which Polasek called more "long-term planning," responds to growth patterns and the rate which utility lines and streets deteriorate.

"It's very apparent by the CIP plan that we plan things out for a number of years," Polasek said. "That also entails making sure we have the proper funding. We're not reactive; these are well thought-out."

This will be the first budget and five-year planning meetings for councilmen Jeff Bauknight and Andrew Young, who joined the City Council in May 2013.

"We need a roadmap looking forward," Bauknight said. "It doesn't mean it's set in stone for the next five years, but it provides direction for city staff in what the council is thinking."



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