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Key takeaways from Mayor Polasek's State of the City Address

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Mayor Paul Polasek announced good news for property owners during Wednesday afternoon's Annual State of the City address.

Mayor Polasek revealed to hundreds in attendance that the city will keep the property tax rates unchanged for the 2019 budget. Polasek explained higher than expected sales tax revenue led to the decision to leave the property tax rate unchanged.

"We had a strong year for sales tax. We were over-budget, so we collected a little extra that we anticipated, which is good. And, so, with property tax, we don't anticipate any changes. We'll most likely adopt the effective rate for our next year 2019 budget."

Mayor Polasek attributed the rise in sales tax revenue to construction material purchased in the months after Hurricane Harvey, which he believes will help keep property tax rates low in the coming years.

Polasek also discussed an important issue on resident's minds; the condition of residential roads in the city.

He announced ongoing plans to improve residential roads in the city by implementing a maintenance program.  Polasek acknowledged that road conditions in residential areas are poor.  He explained the new program will help the city better address road repairs and will improve driver's experiences in the future.

"Well, our maintenance program that we've put in place for residential streets is starting to get refined and do well. I think that the end result and the product is improved. We had a few hiccups early on. But the process has gotten much better. And there will be many long-term benefits to the maintenance program to save our citizen's money and have a better product, better streets to drive on."

The new program is now in effect and will help reduce the time needed to repair residential roads in the future.

Mayor polasek expressed his desires to relocate the Victoria Police Department out of the public safety building located next to city hall.  The public safety building was established in 1966, making it one of the oldest government buildings in the city. Polasek cited the age of the building as well as overcrowding issues as the main reasons for the potential move.

"It would offer them more room to conduct their business more efficiently and have a few other amenities. So, it's... they've outgrown, the police department in particular, has outgrown the position, the building downtown. But, that remains to be seen exactly when we will be able to do that."

Mayor Polasek clarified the potential move is only in the discussion phase and added he would not expect a change to happen for at least the next three years.

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