Victoria Main Street Program

Christine Blain, 50, vice president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, sets up the information table for the Imagine the Possibilities Tour hosted by the Victoria Main Street Program.

Victoria City Council may update the city’s agreement with the Victoria Main Street Program.

The council Tuesday will discuss a new services agreement with the program, which works with the city to improve the downtown business district around Main Street.

In past years, the city has contributed annual funding for the operation of the program. Under the proposed new agreement, according to the meeting packet, the program and the city will “partner more closely” in carrying out the mission of the Texas Main Street Urban Program of the Texas Historical Commission.

The program will be responsible for maintaining its nonprofit designation, assisting in development and implementation of the objectives of the program and supporting Main Street Program activities through sponsorship and fundraising efforts, according to the packet.

The city will be responsible for day-to-day management of the program, such as operation of a Main Street office and hiring Main Street Program staff.

City Manager Jesús Garza has expressed his desire to focus on economic development in the city, saying previously that Victoria should be intentional in its efforts to become a destination for people to live and to work.

The Victoria Main Street Board unanimously approved the new agreement at a special meeting Aug. 23.

The proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year already anticipates the arrangement: It includes $99,000 from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund, which includes the usual $75,000 and adds funding for employee benefits, including funds for training and travel, and one-time expenditures associated with office equipment and furniture.

Also Tuesday, the Victoria City Council will hold the second public reading on the proposed 2020 budget and tax rate. The tax rate is proposed at 61.15 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, down from the current rate of 62.24 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The proposed budget is about $139.5 million, up from the current budget of $132.8 million.

The 2020 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Also, the proposed ordinance aimed at the homeless, which would prevent camping in historic districts and primarily residential areas within the city, will be discussed as a city manager report. Garza said the report is scheduled to allow the council an opportunity to ask staff any questions they may have.

A second vote on the ordinance was postponed at the council’s Aug. 20 meeting to allow more time for council members to research and consider it. The ordinance is scheduled to come back to the council for a vote Sept. 17.

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, or on Twitter

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