From new art to new sidewalks, Victor is poised for another year of positive action as the city government continues to work with local citizens to improve and modernize the historic town.
Local artist Joe Harris has painted a mural on the east side of the Bascom building on Victor Ave between Third and Forth Streets. The mural commemorates and promotes Gold Rush Days, an annual event in Victor that has been held every July for decades. The mural was done in the “ghost mural” style reminiscent of the old barn murals. The painting features a miner with a drill. It is 14 feet tall by 8 feet wide and took the artist 40 hours to complete. Façade repairs and re-plastering were done beforehand to prepare the wall. The building was built for commercial use in 1899, but is now a private residence.
Victor’s Main Street Manager, Becky Parham, has gone back to the books. She commutes to Denver every other weekend to take classes at the University of Colorado Denver. Parham is participating in the Cathy Shipley Best & Brightest intern program. Half of her salary is paid by the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and includes opportunities for education. Through the internship program Parham is now pursuing a master’s degree in political science & public administration. DOLA’s goal with the intern program is to provide human resources for small town and county management, and to develop future local government administrators and managers.
“We are lucky to have Becky interested in expanding her knowledge so she can continue to work in local government in the future,” said Victor’s City Administrator Deb Downs.
The rejuvenation of Victor continues as their Main Street program starts its third year. Phase #3 of construction will include the installation of pavement, drainage, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and street lights along Victor Ave from 4th Street west to the city limit. After the final plans are approved by the city council, bids will be taken for the project sometime in April or May. It is hoped that construction will be finished before Gold Rush Days in late July. The bill for the improvements is being paid by a federal grant of $600,000. Another $150,000 is being given by the Cripple Creek & Victor Mine. $100,000 will be spent by the City of Victor.
Control of a four block section of Victor Ave from 4th Street to the city limit has changed custody from CDOT to Victor. The road was part of CO 67, but will now be maintained by the city. The city will receive $307,000 from a CDOT grant to be used for maintenance of the road in perpetuity. The CDOT grant may also be used as matching funds to get a grant to for future road improvements on 2nd Street and Portland Ave.
Victor is also looking forward to a possible broadband expansion in the future. They are teaming up with other local governments including Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, and Teller County to hire a consultant to make a broadband plan for the county. The committee for the project will be headed by County Commissioner Norm Steen.
The local governments are also working together to prepare a letter of interest to the State of Colorado to ask to be designated as a State Enterprise Zone. If this is approved, this would provide a great economic boost for Teller County. State Enterprise Zone status gives businesses located in the designated area tax credits against their state income tax liability. Credits are earned for investment in business personal property, investment in job training, adding employees, providing health care benefits, increased R&D expenditures and rehabilitating vacant buildings for commercial use. Contributors to approved non-profit organizations also receive income tax credits when donating to economic development projects.