Total Pageviews

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Growth in the City


In the last two weeks ,I've been talking a lot with landlords, oilfield workers and some of my friends who have gone back into the workforce as inspectors, consultants, and liaisons between the plant and contract workers.

I was surprised of how many of my fellow coworkers went back to work. I got the sense that they were flattered because the contract company contacted them instead of them having to go out and seek them. As they described it, the contract company, doesn't have to pay benefits to its regular or part- time employees. The company saved even more money by not having to retrain those who had retired. The only complaint my friends have, is the overtime and having to work 16 straight days without a day off. My friends really don't want that over- time and extra hours because they are 65 years old..Even though I'm happy for my friends look at all those young people that could be employed.

It's my thought that age 58 is just too young  to retire and sit in a rocking chair all day long and feed the birds. I'm different; I'll take the rocking chair anytime.

One of my friends went to work as a welding inspector after a year of taking and passing special courses in that field. He showed me a check stub where he was making $100 an hour in Oklahoma. He's currently working about 30 miles north of Laredo making only $35.00 an hour. His expenses were paid for by the oil company he worked for but he was still angry because he was paying $100 a night for his roach motel and $7.00 for a six pack of Coke's at the Dollar General.

I've talked to a friend who owns a fourplex, about his rental rates because of all the talk of the rent going up in Victoria. My friend heard through the grapevine that the Chaparral over on Loop 175 is charging some outrageous prices for their rooms. He told me that he has owned his fourplex for 20 years and this is the first time he's ever had a waiting list. You went up on his rent $200 a month and is hoping that he'll recoup some of losses he's taken in previous years. I think when oil field money dries up in those towns close to Laredo, so will the towns. My friend seems to think that Caterpillar and the oil field and other associated businesses will provide him with tenants at the new rate for longtime.

My daughter's territory includes Nixon, Kennedy, Yorktown and Cuero where she tells me that the roads have been torn up by those big oil field trucks. The money to fix those roads will be paid by the taxpayers of those small towns. How long will this go on before somebody steps back and says maybe we ought to recalculate our contracts? Right now everyone is afraid to look that gift horse in the mouth.

Right now it feels like the 1970s in our city, the plant workers are talking about startups, shutdowns and future projects and the classifieds are filled with job openings. Several friends have agreed with me, that our newspaper's obituary page seems to be full every day. I thought it was just me who had noticed that, because that's the first page I read every morning.


Edith Ann said...

Well, let's see where to start, Mike.

The Victoria Police Department has seen a few officers leave to go work in the oil field.

The road you mention as well as 183 between Cuero and Gonzales and others in that areas are torn all to hell, and the roads are crowded with 18 wheelers being driven by folks who probably just got their CDL.

I just got notice from my landlord since 1999 that there is a rent increase of $75.00. I have never had more than a $25.00 rent increase, and haven't even had one every year. I've also never had my place painted on the inside or spruced up in any way!

But hey! Listen to the Victoria City Council--we're on the cusp of great things! We're booming! It's all good here in beautiful downtown Victoria!

Mike said...

I've heard plant workers making $28 an hour are going out the oil fields..That I can't see that,considering the safety environment hazards of the oil field and longer hours but some people just care about the cash right now...

Yea,look at the want ads, truck drivers are needed badly but many cannot pass their hazmat test.

Someone told me that I should take a bike ride on the weekend through downtown Victoria and I would be amazed...I probably would because it's probably been a couple of years or more since I've been downtown.

Rebecca said...

Here is what you need to do: Park in the parking garage by Wells Fargo. Walk through the over the street tunnel connecting the two structures. Put your face and hands to the glass and pretend you are flying over the street. Walk down the stairs of Wells Fargo and out the doors to the gazebo area. Walk up the sidewalk to the gazebo and walk right through it. Continue on by the statue and slap him on the ... Cross the street and walk along the buildings on Main. Go have lunch at one of the restaurants along the street...

That's what I am planning on doing this week.

Rebecca said...

Sorry, I'm just being silly. I am getting ready to go have lunch with my sister, but I am not sure where.

Mike said...

You gave me a great idea because now I can put my bicycle in the back of my pickup and leave the truck at the public library while I ride my bicycle through downtown. If only they had a bicycle rack at that Mexican restaurant downtown. That's only a thought because the tax payers would cry bloody murder because they think their taxes might go up by ½¢

I don't think there's that much downtown traffic during the week but I'm just guessing.

I know Austin and San Antonio have bicycle racks and Austin has a rent and leave system that's similar to the U-Haul system.
I think I'll do that and include lunch at the Mexican restaurant and a visit to the public library.

Mike said...

Today is my first day of my self -imposed bicycle regiment of at least 45 minutes of riding because for some reason or another, everything felt right, my back, neck and shoulders we're no longer aching and I now feel that I have control over my bicycle.

It was a beautiful morning and so I decided to take a 45 minute bike ride around the entire Tanglewood subdivision.

As expected, it was pretty much uneventful except for the old timer who wanted to talk. I saw him about 40 yards away walking on the sidewalk but he kept looking at me and started walking on the grass area toward the street, so I just knew he wanted to chat.. I stopped to accommodate him. He started with small talk saying "nice bicycle.... nice morning for a stroll" and then went on to mention that he’s never seen me before and that he walks the same route everyday about this time. I figured him for the unofficial morning neighborhood watch or someone that just wanted to talk to another human being. That's funny we never introduced ourselves but for about 10 minutes we talked about our previous jobs and then I told I had to move on because my wife was cooking breakfast.... I don't know how I came up with that whopper because my wife hasn't cooked me breakfast for 40 years...:-)

I saw a friendly sign in Maplewood driveway that read "watch out for bikers" or words similar to that. That was a nice jester. At a couple of stop signs, drivers smiled and signaled for me to go ahead. ...Airline to Linwood is where I need to avoid as much as possible because people think it's acceptable to dive 40 MPH on that stretch.

I only saw one stray dog, no stray cats, so maybe Tanglewood obeys the leash

Mike said...

Fact is stranger than fiction.

I never thought I would live long enough to see stillthewaywind lecture BigJ on the evils of

Edith Ann said...

You said, "I don't think there's that much downtown traffic during the week but I'm just guessing."

I don't know if that is what you meant, but I am downtown nearly every weekday--it is very busy! Parking is at a premium and the roads are narrower--I don't care what the City says!

Excellent choice on the Mexican Restaurant--great food.

STWWW and BigJ--that's amusing!

Rebecca--I like your itinerary. Sounds like fun!

Mike said...

Thanks EA
I'm going to scout the downtown area in my truck
before making my decision......As I remember the traffic is pretty slow, and I don't have to worry about buses.....I'm nowhere as skilled as those bicycle couriers in NY ,those guys go in and out of traffic and never miss a beat.

The gay topic is a lot more civil these days, and as you say ,down right humorous....Remember how much hate that topic used to generated? We have come a long way.

Mike said...

I finally got to watch the last two episodes of Jon Stewart ...You know all the lectures by the right winger's about the mainstream media hype over Trayvon Martin?Fox had the comments Hillary Rosen made about Mrs. Romney running wall to wall,they were outraged..Motherhood was savaged by Hillary

Not a word about Ted Nugent's or Congressman West's remarks...I am assuming you know what they were.

Rebecca said...

We went to Olive Garden.

I used to push baby strollers around Tanglewood. D=

Did you see any houses for sale? I'm always looking for a bigger backyard.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was a nice day for a bike ride. I would have settled for a evening run. But the little lady and I purchased another fixer upper and we need to get it filled with some of that oil money from Dewitt County. If the oil don't come to my land, I'll be just as happy if Halliburten brings it to me.

Nice Blog in the Vicad. I really wanted to comment. Just did not want to start up the usual fight over there.

Thursday is supposed to be equally as nice. Think of me at 7:00 pm when I fire up my reliable generator in a normally quiet old Victoria neighborhood. If my new neighbors are lucky I will be finished with the generator in 16 evenings. LOL. Then the new Oil Field Renters can pay for electricity from CPL. LOL!!! Or maybe, I'll rent'em my generator. ];-)>


Mike said...

Olive Garden was only~ 6 miles off your original destination...:-)

You know about a year ago I remember seeing 3 or 4 "for sale" signs in front of homes but yesterday,I don't remember seeing any.

Mike said...

Funny you should mention Halliburton, their profits rose 23% in the 1qtr of this year.

I just read where Eagle Ford shale is spreading the money around..Little old, Carrizo Springs, totaled more than $500,000 in their last quarter in sales tax revenues...Oh,what that money could do for Victoria!... That industry alone paid over 508 million in franchise taxes in fiscal year 2011.

Yeah, all my DeWitt county friends want a piece of that action, even the ones that live in the About three weeks ago I saw an old friend who told me that his neighbor just signed a big oil company lease but neighbors could be 10 miles away, in that county. Anyway, he's even more liberal than I am, if you can imagine that, so I started teasing him about what he used to say about the greedy corporations, the environment and global warming... He said "yes, allowing them to drill might hurt my conscience somewhere over the Atlantic on my way to Paris France.” Ha, I remember him hating Halliburton with a passion (Dick Cheney) but now he can't wait to see a red and gray pick up with the letters "Halliburton" stenciled on doors...:-)

A generator might come in handy, even though they are no hurricanes forecasted for this year but that doesn't mean we won't have multiple tornadoes..:-)

"2012 Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Forecast

The early forecast is for a below-average hurricane season and a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean, according to the experts at Colorado St

Mike said...

The Post Office on Sam Houston now has a customer service rep. (I guess that's what they are) to greet people and help them get what they need....I know the USPS has a budget problem but do they think better service will do the trick? A customer did ask the rep how long he's been at that job but I couldn't hear the answer.

I've never had a problem with their service but then again,I don't do that much business with them.

Anonymous said...

5:30 pm. Generator humming and I'm busy painting. All of a sudden a young lady walks up. Are you planning on renting this house? "Yes, maam. But I really have to fix it up a bit." The lady said she would like to pay the first month now. We talked a bit and she said she is on a waiting list for houses. The rent is anywhere from $1300 to $1600. Wow.

Mike said...

I can believe it...In the words of Jimmy McMillan " The rent is too damn high."

Mike said...

I wouldn't be a good detective or realtor for that matter...Upon further review on Westwood only,I saw 3 "for sale" and one on Linwood...The one on Linwood was a bigger house that had a "reduced price" sign but let the buyer beware because a reduced price in a seller's market is not a good sign...:-)

Edith Ann said...

That house on Linwood has been for sale forever! Legion told me once the owners live out of state, I think.

I bet it could be a deal, if you make them a resonable offer...

Anonymous said...

$48 a sq foot. 3800 square feet. The price is in line with the houses around it. Looks to me someone's brother-in-law works at the CAD. Go ahead and buy it EA. Time to "move on up, to the east side." Remember, Victoria is on the cusp of growth. Oh, you might find out the cost of fixing the foundation.

Mike said...

I see a trend,rent higher and land higher..According to the Houston Chronicle.Texas land prices are up again..The Real Estate Center @ A&M said the avg. price of a Texas acre rose to $2150 in 2011 up 3%...Come on,Dale be a true republican raise your rent..:-)

Edith Ann said...

I'm already on the east side! I live in Tanglewood!

Mike said...

Yeah EA,we are right in the middle of boom town Victoria,with the water ride park,bike trail,and brand new Sam Houston make over...:-)

Legion said...

I believe the two owners, brother and sister of the house on Linwood both live on Miori now. The brothers SUV is always parked at the sisters house anyway.

One reason is has been on the market so long is that originally they were asking about $40k over the appraised value, the reduced price is still over but a lot closer last I heard. What house in Tanglewood hasn't had foundation problems? lol

Mike said...

I know it's just me but that house stands out more than the others around and should command a higher price but that's just a personal opinion...It is on Linwood,so you have to really look both ways when backing out of the drive way because of the speeders and an old man riding a bicycle..:-)

Mike said...

Is the VA going to give us a new facelift to get used to again? It's working OK today but its been out a lot this week.

Legion said...

The house has some nice features, marble flooring in the entryway and maybe in the dining room, it's been a long time since I was in it. Also a errr bidet ??? of those toilets that sprays the water on ya, in the bathroom. A large living room/den with a conversation pit in it,where the hooka use to be lol.Detached two car garage, big kitchen. But... the neighbors behind it are the golf ball war kids! lol
The kids are older now tho, they have drivers license, so they have other things to do now. lol

Legion said...

One to many "now" s up there ^, oh well.

Edith Ann said...

Gotcha with the 'now's Legion. I often use up all my leftover 'that's in one posting...

Yes, Mike--we're spitting distance from all of that AND the CAT plant, too!!!