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Contractor, craftsman overseeing city growth
by Gary Kent
Aug 09, 2012 | 1173 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gary Kent photo
Beeville’s Development Services Director Albert Vilches looks over the plans of some of the construction projects now underway in Beeville.
Gary Kent photo Beeville’s Development Services Director Albert Vilches looks over the plans of some of the construction projects now underway in Beeville.
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BEEVILLE — “I was a contractor and craftsman for about 12 years,” Albert Vilches said Monday. “I’m a master plumber by trade.”

The Kingsville native was outlining his experience as he started his second week at Beeville’s development services director.

Vilches was hired in July to replace Lanny Holland, who resigned his position with the city earlier.

“I like it,” Vilches said of the position. He is taking the job at a time when new construction projects seem to be humming in every corner of the city, with more on the way.

Some of those projects include the Amber Stone Apartments, now under construction just south of the H-E-B Food Store, the Hampton Inn on East Houston Street, a new Stripes truck stop at the intersection of FM Road 351 and the U.S. Highway 181 Bypass, a new Dollar General Store going in on South Washington Street and new townhouses that are to be built as part of the second phase of development at Danville Village on the north end of town.

“It’s keeping me busy, and I welcome that,” the new director said. “I try to stay as busy as I can.”

Vilches should be busy for some time. He will be involved in the development of an assisted living facility and a new La Quinta Inns and Suites expected to be built on the U.S. Highway 181 Business in the north end of the city.

Vilches attended H.M. King High School and Texas A&M University-Kingsville during his younger days. At A&M, he studied engineering and industrial technology in preparation for a career in the construction industry.

His experience in general contracting and plumbing contracting in the Kingsville and Corpus Christi areas eventually led to jobs with a couple of engineering firms, working as an inspector and field surveyor.

Later, Vilches worked as a building inspector for Kingsville, Portland and Victoria. His most recent position was in Victoria.

He comes to the Beeville position with certifications in building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical (heating and air conditioning) and flood plain management.

“I’m also a registered code enforcement officer,” Vilches said.

The new director and his wife, Gina, live in Portland, where their two boys, 8-year-old Elias and 6-year-old Isaac, are active in Cub Scouts and baseball.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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