Census form available in many languages

Q: I did not receive a census questionnaire, how can I get one? Is the census available in languages other than English? I received my census form, but can I get help to fill out the census form? When are the census questionnaires suppose to be mailed?

A: If you did not get a census questionnaire, call the Victoria Census office at 361-489-3200 and they can help you get one. The census is available in many languages including Spanish, Chinese and Japanese and others. Call the Victoria Census Office to get a questionnaire in your language.

There are many ways to get help filling out the census. First, anyone in your home or anyone you trust can fill out the census for you. Remember there are only four questions about the household in general then a few questions about each person in the home. Most questions can be answered by checking a box. Help is also available via a phone call or visit to the Victoria Census Office at 2002 Commerce, or one of the Questionnaire Assistance Centers. Call 361-489-3200 if you have any questions about the census.

Q: Who is responsible for picking up leaves in the gutters and in the streets?

A: I get a lot of questions about leaves this time of year because our magnificent oaks are dropping their leaves. Homeowners are responsible for picking up leaves in the gutters and in the street in front of their homes. We would really like to recycle these leaves at our compost site at the landfill, so collect all the leaves in recyclable paper yard bags or use an old trash can. Do not put any yard waste in plastic bags, as they will not be picked up. We operate two street sweepers year-around. However, it takes many months for them to cover the 300 miles of streets in Victoria. Any leaves left in the storm gutter can add to flooding problems and stuck storm drains when the spring rains hit.

Q: I know I can use plastic bags to place my household garbage in the automated carts. But can I use plastic bags for yard waste like leaves, small limbs and grass clippings?

A: No. We are recycling yard waste at the new landfill brush site and because it takes years for plastic to decompose, please do not put yard waste in any plastic bags. Yard waste is manually picked up by our crews like it always has been and recycled at the new landfill brush site. So you can use old trash cans or recyclable yard bags to put yard waste in. Recyclable yard bags are available at fine stores in Victoria that have a garden department. And remember that yard waste is picked up on the same day as your automated garbage. Be sure to have both your yard waste and your household garbage on the curb by 7 a.m.

Q: What is the single most effective tool to have in the home for weather emergencies?

A:. I asked Jeb Lacey of the Victoria Emergency Management Office and John Metz with the National Weather Service that question. They both instantly replied, "a weather radio." That makes a lot of sense. Weather radios have two main functions. First, they operate on standby and issue an audible alert when the National Weather Service broadcasts local emergency information on tornadoes, damaging thunderstorms or other weather emergencies.

Second, a weather radio lets you hear exactly what the National Weather Service forecasts are for longer weather events like hurricanes, droughts or cold fronts. Weather radios are typically less than $50 and automatically tune into local weather frequencies.

Send your questions and comments for any city department or activity to City of Victoria, Public Information Office, P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902, or pio@victoriatx.org.