Kyle officials want to see a lot more growth on the south side of town. Attracting new development is hard, though, when every lot is on a septic tank.
The solution that has been proposed to the City Council includes building an extensive sewer line from the southern edge of old town to Yarrington Road. Branch lines could shoot out from prime real estate along both sides of Interstate 35, according to a city report from last spring.
Solutions to existing problems often make problems of their own. In this case, the city has balked at a land agent’s quoted price for acquiring the right-of-way to build the line.
“We didn’t budget a single dollar for this,” Councilman Russ Huebner said at the last meeting in October, “so I’m concerned where the money would come from.”
He seemed to be speaking for everyone. The next agenda item was the purchasing of voting machines, and the council members were already wondering from which magic hat they could pull $25,000.
The land agent’s $83,520 quote was even harder to swallow.
City Manager Lanny Lambert said the quoted figure was only for the worst case. Maybe property owners would allow a trade: you can build that sewer line over our land as long as we can use it for free.
But while Lambert was hoping that an agreement like that one would work, he raised a complication. The city’s proposed route would cut across 36 different parcels. With that many property owners involved, a trade might not be possible.
Council members agreed to wait until the city asked other land agents for quotes (a different process than soliciting bids). And Lambert pointed out that there were other options as well.
“We don’t have to run this through private property,” he said. “We could run it through state property, the interstate. And that doesn’t cost us anything. There’s a problem with that, though, that any time the state needs the line to be moved we have to move it at our expense.”
As for how much that would cost, no one offered any guesses.