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Posted on: November 29, 2022

WaterWise helps residents take control of their water usage

Michelle Ozuna

“Why is my water bill so high?”

The Utility Billing Office often gets calls from confused residents who’ve been caught off guard by a high water bill. Usually the problem is something simple that could happen to anyone. Maybe ...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 22, 2022

Lighting upgrades for the whole city: It’s a bright idea

A man in a hard hat in a lift bucket turns on an LED street light

PHOTO #1: AEP street light technician John Velasquez turns on a new LED street light at Pine Street Park on Nov. 17. Photo contributed by AEP.

Victoria’s southside is being lit up thanks to a partnership between the City and AEP, and the north is...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 15, 2022

Taking care of our employees so they can take care of residents

Cheryl Marthiljohni

At the City of Victoria, we understand that providing great service starts with great people.

Our 600-plus employees provide a wide range of services to the public—from collecting trash to keeping the community safe, from fixing potholes to helpi...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 1, 2022

State of the City: The formula for success

Jeff Bauknight

During my recent State of the City address, I had a chance to highlight some of the achievements of our dedicated City staff. While State of the City is an ideal time to talk about big milestones and challenges, I also wanted to bring attention to the day...

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Blogs
Posted on: October 18, 2022

Citizens Academy provides insider look at local government

Ashley Strevel

Have you ever wanted to talk to the people working behind the scenes to improve our community? Are you curious where we’re at with the duck pond, dog park and other projects? Would you like to rappel down the side of a three-story building?

If yo...

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Blogs
Posted on: October 4, 2022

Teamwork is the secret to downtown’s success

Kate Garcia

Downtown’s recent Weekend of the Arts was a great example of the good things that can happen when different groups work together for the good of downtown.

For the first time, our downtown art walk joined forces with the Victoria Fine Arts Associa...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 27, 2022

Behind the budget: The road to fixing our worst streets

A rough street with several discolored patches and potholes

PHOTO: Dairy Road is scheduled for reconstruction between Salem and Whispering Creek during the upcoming fiscal year.

Fiscal year 2023 will be another record-breaking year for street projects in Victoria as the City works to repair our most troubled street...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 20, 2022

Giving our residents The Rundown of local government

Communications Director Ashley Strevel

In local government, we often talk about the importance of civic engagement. When residents stay involved by voting and providing input, their engagement helps us meet their needs. However, just being engaged isn’t enough: Informed enga...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 13, 2022

Behind the budget: How does the City encourage development?

A woman stands at a podium with a projector screen behind her with information about Texas PACE

PHOTO: Texas Pace Authority President Charlene Heydinger shares information about the Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program with property owners and developers during a workshop Sept. 7 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. Th...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 6, 2022

Economic development builds thriving community for businesses, residents

Danielle Williams

During a recent Coffee and Concepts meeting hosted by Innovation Collective, I shared some exciting updates for our community: Boot Barn and Burlington Coat Factory are moving into Victoria Town Center, and downtown is getting some snazzy new crosswalk ar...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 30, 2022

Behind the budget: Lower tax rate, higher revenue

Construction crew laying a concrete foundation next to Home Depot. Machinery and lights are present.

PHOTO: A crew lays the foundation for Victoria Town Center on Loop 463, on Aug. 26. The shopping center is projected to generate approximately $77,000 in property tax revenue and $622,000 in combined sales tax revenue for the City and the Victoria Sales T...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 9, 2022

Victoria’s bicentennial plans are starting now

Joel Novosad

Victoria’s 200th birthday is right around the corner, and as part of our plans to celebrate Victoria, we’re preparing to honor the man and woman who started it all.

Last month, the City Council approved a contract with Laredo-based arti...

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Blogs
Posted on: July 26, 2022

Keep Victoria Beautiful taps into desire to give back

Portrait of Christy Youker

When the newly reformed Keep Victoria Beautiful hosted its first highway cleanup last year, about 80 community members came out to lend a hand. Our recent Earth Day cleanup was over 240 strong, and I have a feeling they’re only going to get bigg...

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Blogs
Posted on: July 19, 2022

No neighborhood left behind: City, community leaders discuss revitalization plans

Group photo of people standing around a foldout dining table in a building with sheet metal walls

PHOTO: City officials and community leaders from Victoria’s Queen City neighborhood met July 1 at Christ’s Kitchen to discuss strategies for equitable community development. Shown from left are Christ’s Kitchen board member Bill Redding, City of Victoria ...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 28, 2022

Drought contingency plan helps us use water within our means

Public Works Director/City Engineer Ken Gill

June is normally a rainy time of year for us, but high pressure is creating drought conditions all over the Southwest, and the forecast doesn’t call for it to let up anytime soon.

Victoria is a little luckier than most communities, not only becau...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 21, 2022

What is the City doing to fix the duck pond (and why is it taking so long)?

The duck pond gazebo island, with water drained and structural damage around the base

This post was originally published in the Victoria Advocate as a letter to the editor.

We understand residents’ frustration with the lengthy closure of the duck pond. The repair and reopening of the duck pond is a more complicated process than re...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 14, 2022

Prepare for hurricane while waters are calm

Rick McBrayer

For the Victoria City/County Office of Emergency Management, disaster preparation never stops. Throughout the year, we train our partner agencies to respond to a host of disasters, from hurricanes and floods to hazmat incidents and terrorist attacks.

We es...

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Blogs
Posted on: January 25, 2022

City Corner Column: Promoting sports tourism is a winning play

Jesús Garza portrait

More than 900 athletes got to experience Victoria’s top-notch athletic facilities firsthand during the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Winter Games earlier this month—and we hope there will be many more to follow.

It was a historic we...

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Blogs
Posted on: December 1, 2020

City Corner Column: Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation sets goals for prosperous future

Portrait of William R. Blanchard, board president of the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation

My career has taught me about the type of environment businesses need to thrive. As the CEO of DeTar Healthcare System for nearly 30 years, I knew there were only two ways DeTar’s base of potential patients could grow: if the community grew or if we offer...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 19, 2020

Let’s talk turkey: How to celebrate Thanksgiving during a pandemic

Thanksgiving turkey on a serving platter

COVID-19 precautions like staying inside and staying apart may not fit most people’s idea of a Thanksgiving celebration, but with a few modifications, you can still enjoy the holiday while keeping your loved ones safe.

Curbing the spread of COVID-19 is esp...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 16, 2020

City Corner Column: Victoria Fire Department expands public health role

Fire Chief Robert "Tracy" Fox

When young kids say they want to be firefighters when they grow up, they may not imagine themselves providing flu shots to economically disadvantaged residents to keep hospitalizations low during a global pandemic—but for the Victoria Fire Department, it’...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 10, 2020

Heat your home safely by keeping seasonal hazards in mind

Family forms wide circle around smiling cartoon space heater: I'm so happy when I have my own spa

The weather outside will be frightful before we know it—but before you light a fire in the fireplace or turn on your heating appliances, remember that fire safety is crucial even (and especially) during the colder months.

John Stary, fire inspect...

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Blogs
Posted on: November 3, 2020

City Corner Column: Victoria Regional Airport helps whole community soar

Airport director Lenny Llerena

Imagine flying into George Bush Intercontinental Airport late at night after a lengthy vacation or business trip. You’re tired and jet-lagged, and you want nothing more than to go home and rest. Would you rather spend another two hours driving home or fly...

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Blogs
Posted on: October 27, 2020

As fiscal year begins, capital improvement projects steadily move forward

The proposed duck pond design, featuring a larger water area and gazebo moved to opposite side

PHOTO: An image from a March 3 presentation to City Council shows the proposed new design for the duck pond in Riverside Park.

Fiscal year 2021 kicked off for the City of Victoria on Oct. 1, but whether you notice any changes may depend on where you look.

T...

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Blogs
Posted on: October 13, 2020

PSA shares public health information with Victoria’s Spanish speakers

Josephine Soliz sits at the council dais during the filming of a PSA.

“La familia lo es todo,” Mayor Pro Tem Josephine Soliz implores the camera from her seat on the City Council dais, “y tenemos la responsabilidad de protegernos.”

Family is everything, and we have a responsibility to protect each other.

That’s the message be...

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Blogs
Posted on: October 6, 2020

City Corner Column: Victoria Broadband Commission seeks ways to keep people connected

Assistant City Manager Darrek Ferrell

As society progresses, amenities like electricity and plumbing that were once luxuries for a privileged few become expected and necessary parts of life. In the house where I grew up, we couldn’t get cable TV because of our location relative to rail lines....

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Blogs
Posted on: October 2, 2020

City Corner Column: Music industry professionals, how can we help you?

Joel Novosad

The Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking volunteers to serve on the new Victoria Music Friendly Advisory Board, an unpaid board that will yield dividends for its members, the City and our community as we seek to harmonize our efforts to cultivate V...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 29, 2020

Census deadline is almost here; here’s why you should respond

Victoria Counts! Census 2020

The window to take part in our nation’s once-in-a-decade head count closes Oct. 5.

As the deadline nears, we realize that residents who haven’t responded yet may have a variety of reasons for not doing so. Nevertheless, we want to emphasize that everyone c...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 22, 2020

City Corner Column: Take a “Minute” to learn about the City

Ashley Strevel

People like to say, “You learn something new every day.” I hope that’s true for Victoria residents, who have plenty of ways to learn about the many services and programs the City offers. 

When choosing where to eat, V...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 15, 2020

Public Works in Action: City smooths out pothole repair process

Bryant Stamps repairs a pothole using one of the City of Victoria’s patch trucks.

PHOTO #1: Equipment operator Bryant Stamps repairs a pothole using one of the City of Victoria’s patch trucks.

PHOTO #2: Crew leader James Toth repairs a pothole using one of the City of Victoria’s patch trucks.

PHOTO #3: Crew leader Hen...

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Blogs
Posted on: September 8, 2020

City Corner Column: With 2021 budget approved, residents can look forward to bright future

Jesus Garza

Last week, the City Council approved the budget for fiscal year 2021. The completed budget represents a culmination of efforts by City leadership to find the best ways to continue addressing the community’s needs and take the next steps toward b...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 31, 2020

Complete Count Committee ramps up Census effort as deadline nears

Complete Count Committee members discuss the 2020 Census at Liberty Coffee Haus

PHOTO: From left, Celeste Menchaca, City of Victoria development coordinator; Ashley Strevel, City of Victoria director of Communications & Public Affairs; Bethany Castro, executive director of Perpetual Help Home; and Jodi Sandoval, community health ...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 24, 2020

City Corner Column: Going virtual brings challenges, new possibilities

IT Director James Foote

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations of every stripe to rethink the way they do business, and the City of Victoria is no exception. As social distancing recommendations have guided us to limit the number of people in City-owned buildings, we&...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 17, 2020

Certified Permit Technician uses love of code to assist residents

Development specialist Dora Gomez works at the front desk

PHOTO: Development specialist Dora Gomez works at the front desk at the City of Victoria Development Center. Gomez holds a Permit Technician Certification from the International Code Council.

Spending hours a day researching building codes may not be most ...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 10, 2020

City Corner Column: Victoria Public Library provides education, entertainment during pandemic

Dayna_Capone

Recently I ran into someone I know while I was assisting with checkouts on a busy day at the Victoria Public Library. As I helped her check out, she thanked me and said, “This is helping me with my mental health.”

It was a reminder of t...

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Blogs
Posted on: August 3, 2020

Census 2020: Why it matters; Reason #5: Census plays role in health care, pandemic recovery

Don't forget to wash your hands and respond to the 2020 Census!

Responding to the U.S. Census is a bit like washing your hands: It’s a simple action that won’t take too much of your time and will help to protect the health of your community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a stark lesson about th...

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Blogs
Posted on: July 27, 2020

City Corner Column: City works to bring you information wherever you are

Ashley Strevel

Whether you’re scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; checking email; listening to a podcast; turning on your TV; or picking up the newspaper, the City of Victoria’s Communications & Public Affairs will be there to provi...

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Blogs
Posted on: July 20, 2020

#WeAreParksAndRec: Recreation services manager

Woman on kayak with another woman on dock

To celebrate National Park and Recreation Month, the City of Victoria is spotlighting its Parks & Recreation employees who help make Victoria a great place to live, work and play.

PHOTO: Recreation Services Manager Jaymie Heibel, right, and recreation ...

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Blogs
Posted on: July 13, 2020

City Corner Column: What’s in store for Parks & Recreation? It’s up to you

Parks & Recreation Director Jason Alfaro

I’m excited to be back in my hometown directing Parks & Recreation. Victoria is a city with a lot of natural beauty, and we’ve got a great parks system with good bones and plenty of space for expansion and new amenities. Our recrea...

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Blogs
Posted on: July 6, 2020

#WeAreParksAndRec: Head golf professional

Head Golf Professional Rolando Hernandez wears a face mask at Riverside Golf Course

To celebrate National Park and Recreation Month, the City of Victoria is spotlighting its Parks & Recreation employees who help make Victoria a great place to live, work and play.

When Head Golf Professional Rolando Hernandez tells people his job title...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 29, 2020

City Corner Column: Building a better Victoria through new methods, ongoing projects

Public Works Director/City Engineer Ken Gill

Public Works is taking an increasingly scientific approach to road repairs, gathering information that will help us to provide a pavement management report that will lead to more cost-effective maintenance programs for our streets.  

We’...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 23, 2020

Victoria Police Department earns trust by upholding core values

Interim Police Chief J. Mark Jameson

Recent high-profile incidents of police violence have led to a breakdown of trust in law enforcement. We have seen citizens rising up across the nation to demand accountability and have been stunned to see how some protests have turned violent.

The Black L...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 22, 2020

We’re prepared for hurricane season. Are you?

Yellow binder open to page displaying City and Office of Emergency Management logos

PHOTO: Environmental Services’ emergency procedures for hurricanes and other disasters are recorded in a yellow binder. The department recently finalized contracts with AshBritt, a debris management company, and TetraTech, a monitoring service c...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 15, 2020

City Corner Column: Looking back, looking forward after 1 year in Victoria

Jesus A. Garza

It’s been a year since I came to Victoria to take on the role of city manager, and both the job and the city have been great. My wife and I love the fact that Victoria is a small enough community to feel family-oriented but big enough to have am...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 8, 2020

Fun things to do in Victoria this summer

Kayakers on the Guadalupe River

Summer is a time for relaxation, and this year we’ve definitely earned it. The kids have logged out of their virtual classes, and with some pandemic restrictions being lifted, it’s likely that you’re looking for a cure for yo...

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Blogs
Posted on: June 1, 2020

City Corner Column: Maintenance, custodial staff keep City buildings safe throughout pandemic

Roger Welder

When you come to City offices to apply for a permit or pay your water bill, you may not give much thought to the maintenance and custodial workers who keep the building running. Today, however, I’d like to commend my staff for their excellent re...

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Blogs
Posted on: May 16, 2020

City Corner Column: Helping downtown thrive through COVID-19 and beyond

Danielle_Williams

Danielle Williams, Victoria Main Street Program director and interim director of Parks and Recreation 

It seems like more and more people nowadays are visiting Victoria’s historic downtown after hours, stopping by to go for a jog or walk...

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Blogs
Posted on: May 11, 2020

Lessons learned from disasters, part 2: Hurricane Harvey, COVID-19

Emergency Operations Center during Hurricane Harvey

In the second part of my interview with Chief Fox we cover Hurricane Harvey and COVID-19, both so impactful to Victoria in such different ways.

This blog post is the second in a two-part series about Fire Chief Robert Fox’s experiences with major...

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Blogs
Posted on: May 4, 2020

City Corner Column: 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan outlines long-term goals for Victoria

Maggie Bergeron

Transportation planning is often a moving target. The City’s Development Services department uses the best data available on demographics and growth trends to plan far into the future, but these goals still must be revised and updated on a regul...

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Blogs
Posted on: April 24, 2020

Lessons learned from disasters, part 1: 1998 flood

1998 flood

Ashley Scott, digital media specialist for the City of Victoria

During a person’s career there are always moments that stand out. For most these may be big projects or promotions. For a firefighter, though, these times may include natural disaste...

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Blogs
Posted on: April 17, 2020

City Corner Column: Communication can be used for good during public health crisis

Ashley Strevel

There’s a profound word picture in the Bible that depicts how we can become refined through trials, much like gold becomes when it is put through the fire. It’s a parallel to the process of character growth, a concept I’m sur...

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Blogs
Posted on: April 9, 2020

Things you can do while you’re staying home, staying safe

Stay Home, Stay Safe

Staying at home can be frustrating if you’re not used to it, especially if it’s just one of many challenges you’re facing during the COVID-19 situation. However, following the City and County “Stay Home – ...

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Blogs
Posted on: April 6, 2020

City Corner Column: Coronavirus Liaison Team seeks out problems, solutions

Portable handwashing station

The recommendation to wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds seems straightforward enough—unless you’re out on the street and don’t have ready access to soap and water.

That’s just one of the problems taken up by ...

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Blogs
Posted on: March 29, 2020

Census 2020: Why it matters; Reason #4: Census will determine representation

Victoria Counts! Census 2020

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes our population.

During the last census 10 years ago, Texas’ population was clocked at 25,145,561, and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that our state grew more than 15% between the...

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Blogs
Posted on: March 23, 2020

Support your community during COVID-19 situation

Joel Novosad

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Governor’s Office and the White House are advising residents to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As always, the City of Victoria...

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Blogs
Posted on: March 16, 2020

Census 2020: Why it matters; Reason #3: Demographic data helps with retail recruitment

Victoria Counts! Census 2020

Do you want to see more shopping or restaurant options in Victoria? You can help by responding to the 2020 Census.

We’re all familiar with the excitement caused by the arrival of a favorite national retail chain in our city as well as the heartbr...

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Blogs
Posted on: March 9, 2020

City Corner Column: Placido Benavides Drive helps design Victoria’s future

Julie Fulgham

Take a drive along the newly opened Placido Benavides Drive from Navarro Street to Ethel Lee Tracy Park. As you do, look around at the wide-open fields and imagine the possibilities for this blank canvas – new neighborhoods, a Class A office spa...

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Blogs
Posted on: May 27, 2020

Grant funding drives big changes in Victoria Transit system

Shelter at transit stop

If you were excited to see a sleek new bus stop being installed at the Victoria College Science Center, complete with a bike rack and solar-powered lighting, then get ready to see even more upgrades at a total of 48 Victoria Transit stops across the city....

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Blogs
Posted on: February 24, 2020

City Corner Column: Are you helping us to keep Victoria beautiful?

Tiffany Koenig

If you’ve driven by Navarro and the Loop this past week, you’ve probably seen City crews chipping away at the litter in the drainage ditch near IHOP, doing their part to turn our public spaces into something we can all be proud of.

The ...

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Blogs
Posted on: February 10, 2020

City Corner Column: Plan 2035: Victoria’s road map to success

Jesus Garza

Since coming to Victoria, I’ve had countless conversations with elected officials, business leaders and community stakeholders who’ve shared their ideas about what’s important to them and our city. Most of them want the same ...

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Blogs
Posted on: February 5, 2020

Census 2020: Why it matters; Reason #2: Accurate count helps schools get resources they need

Victoria Counts! Census 2020

If school district officials receive funding to provide lunch for 50 children, one can imagine the last thing they would want is for 250 hungry students to show up when lunchtime rolls around.

Having an accurate head count in the 2020 Census impacts more t...

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Blogs
Posted on: February 5, 2020

City Corner Column: Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation: Promises made, promises kept

Gilbert Reyna

The clothes you just bought are helping to pay for road repairs, recreational facilities and a wide variety of other projects that help make Victoria a better place to live and work.

On Jan. 27, the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation will gather fo...

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Blogs
Posted on: February 5, 2020

Census 2020: Why it matters; Reason #1: The 2020 Census determines federal funding

Victoria Counts! Census 2020

The 2020 Census is right around the corner, and with it comes an opportunity for Victoria to show the federal government just how much our city has grown. Maybe you already know that the census is used to gather data for representation and other purposes,...

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Blogs