Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center

The Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center is located at 2805 N. Navarro St.

Victoria County commissioners awarded a $489,000 contract to Lester Contracting, Inc. to improve two county parking lots at its weekly meeting Monday.

The contract will cover upgrades to the parking lot at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., and the parking lot at 111 N. Glass St., a county building that houses the offices for the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 and U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud’s Victoria office.

The parking lot at the health center has deteriorated for years as the result of heavy traffic at the building, which houses multiple county offices in addition to the health department.

According to the plans discussed Monday, Lester Contracting will completely redo the large lot with a lime-stabilized subgrade and finish it with hot mix asphalt.

The lot has become so worn-down that it’s hard for residents to tell where some parking spaces are marked, a particular issue for those who need to use the handicapped spaces.

“The existing markings on the seal coat are so bad that people don’t really know where to park, so they kind of spread out,” Kelly Hubert, the county’s facilities manager, said. “Right now, the handicapped spots are horribly marked, they’re horribly laid out and this would be a major improvement.”

Commissioner Danny Garcia, who has spearheaded the project with CivilCorp engineers, explained they reviewed multiple proposals for upgrading the two parking lots. He said finishing with hot mix asphalt would be more expensive but would last longer than other options.

The company has committed to finishing the project within four months and will work on the health center parking lot in sections so other portions of the lot can remain in use. The exact cost of the contract is $488,502.25.

The parking lot’s makeover isn’t the only change coming. The lot will also get a new entrance, off Navarro Street, because of work being done by the Texas Department of Transportation. The state agency is building about three miles of median on Navarro from Loop 463 to Airline Road. The two existing entrances to the lot, located on Imperial Drive and East Airline Road, will close once TxDOT starts its project, Garcia said.

Last week, commissioners told the Victoria Farmers Market they could move forward with fundraising plans to build a pavilion in the parking lot for the market to use. Organizers with the market had proposed installing a pavilion on the Airline Road side of the parking lot and said the market would try to independently raise the money for the structure, but the county would own it if it were built.

Commissioners said Monday they would redo the entire lot as planned but refrain from striping the area where the farmers market might install a pavilion.

“It may take them five years to come up with the money,” Garcia said.

Also Monday, Margetta Hill, the county’s interim elections administrator, told commissioners the state was offering to send the Department of Information Resources to review the security of local elections offices. Commissioners approved an interlocal contract with the department, which will come back with recommendations to make county elections more secure, Hill said.

Commissioners met in private for about an hour after Monday’s open meeting to discuss the deputy assistant director, environmental position. Tammy Fikac, who previously held the job, resigned to take a different job. The court did not take any action after coming out of closed session.

Ciara McCarthy covers local government for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers local government for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can contact her by emailing cmccarthy@vicad.com.

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