Victoria's Emergency Operations Center

Victoria's emergency operations center is located in the basement of the county tax office building.

Victoria County commissioners on Monday will discuss a grant that could help cover some of the cost for the county’s stairway enclosure project at the emergency operations center.

The center, which is located in the basement of the county’s annex building, was hit with flooding and debris during Hurricane Harvey. The outdoor stairs that provided an entrance to the facility were open to the outside elements, which made it difficult for emergency personnel to enter and leave the building.

The project will result in an enclosure over the stairs to protect the entrance from outdoor elements.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was set to pay 75% of the cost of the project, with the county covering the other 25%, said Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller recently.

However, this additional grant from the state that the court will discuss Monday would cover a majority of the county’s 25%, Zeller said, further decreasing the total owed by the county.

“That is a huge success,” he said a few days before Tropical Storm Beta came through the region, noting the need to move forward with the project is timely.

The final amount the county would owe may change because the court will likely choose to rebid the project, Zeller said. The county in March received one bid for the project from Roth Construction Inc. for about $282,000, but the project was previously estimated to cost about $172,000.

“We saw a need for this project after Hurricane Harvey, so we’re excited to get it done and glad it will hardly have an impact on taxpayer dollars,” he said.

The commissioners will go through a particularly lengthy agenda Monday because their meeting on Sept. 21 was canceled because of Tropical Storm Beta.

Among other items of business, the commissioners will formally receive a resignation letter from Caitlin Weinheimer, chief of staff to Zeller. In her letter to Zeller, Weinheimer wrote that the opportunity has presented itself for her to be more available to attend to her family’s needs.

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

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