Preparedness & Recovery

City Talks Hurricane Harvey Project Costs

The costliest project in Victoria, Texas was the removal of brush and construction debris, the cost of which was estimated at more than $5.1 million.

by Victoria Advocate, Texas / February 7, 2018

(TNS) - Andrew Jacob, the assistant director of finance for the city, presented a financial report to City Council members about projects as of the end of 2017.

The costliest project was the removal of brush and construction debris, the cost of which was estimated at more than $5.1 million.

So far, the city has received $1.389 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the debris removal project, with hopes that more will be reimbursed to the city for repairs. Other projects include emergency protective measures; roads, sidewalks and traffic controls; buildings and equipment; utilities; and parks and recreational.

"Our hope today is that the majority of repairs should be completed this fiscal year (which ends in September)," Jacob said. "Worst case - December this year."

Jacob said the long-term large projects for the city include erosion near the Guadalupe River and improvements to The Texas Zoo berms.

"Determining the scope of those will take a little more time," Jacob said.

Later in the meeting, council members were given an update on how Riverside Golf Course fared in January.

Rolando Hernandez, head golf professional at Riverside Golf Course, said the net income for January was $59,386.26 after maintenance and operation expenses.

"Revenue numbers are what they are for the time being, but we'll have a better monthly grasp as we get into February," Hernandez said.

The council also voted to pass a resolution authorizing the city manager to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim. In the resolution, the city agreed to pay a lump sum payment in the total amount of $47,500. The bulk of the money, $30,000 will be paid to Kelly Ross, a former city employee who filed a lawsuit against the city. The rest of the money, $17,500, will be paid to the law firm of Marek, Griffin and Knaupp.

The agreement states that "Ross and the city have agreed to settle fully and finally, without any admission of fault of liability, all differences between them arising out of or related to Ross' employment with or separation from the city and all other disputes or claims that existed or exist between Ross and the city as of the date of this agreement."

Ross' reason for filing the lawsuit, the length of her employment with the city and the department in which she was employed were not available Tuesday evening. But the settlement mentions the city's Environmental Services Department.

In other business, representatives with Prospera Housing Community Services, a nonprofit housing provider, addressed the council members. Brad McMurray and Ray Lucas spoke about repairs to renovate Fox Run Apartments, an affordable housing complex in Victoria that sustained significant damage from Hurricane Harvey. While insurance will cover some of the repairs, the organization plans to apply for state tax credits to renovate all damages.

Prospera Housing Community Services requests the city approve a resolution of support for the nonprofit possibly for the next scheduled meeting in February.

"There's a great need for affordable housing. ... This support would allow us to possibly get some funding from the state," McMurray said.

A representative of Dad's RV Park, 203 Hopkins St., addressed the council about noise concerns with the park's neighbor, Odori Nightclub. Suzanne Cox told the council the club "has become beyond a nuisance."

"We are losing business over the behaviors that are going on over there," Cox said.

Cox said there have been several times when residents at the RV park have filed complaints that include noise and trespassing. Cox suggested officials revisit the city's noise ordinance because she thinks it is outdated.

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