Sewer projects main priority for Kyle budget

Wastewater projects and expansions are top priority for Kyle city officials, as developments coming in requiring utility services force them to plan ahead.

Kyle city leaders May 6 prioritized wastewater projects for the fiscal year 2018 budget.

“The economy lives and dies by its ability to grow and recruit business and additional growth opportunities,” said James Earp, assistant city manager.

Development has grown out of the city’s core, requiring the expansion of utility services, Earp said. Growth can’t occur without water and wastewater, he said.

A few large developments have been approved that now need the city to provide the necessary upgrades and infrastructure, Earp said.

The four top-priority projects include the Southside wastewater line, Elliot branch line, Bunton Creek line and Plum Creek/Anthem line.

Both Bunton Creek and the Southside sewer line projects are planned capital improvement projects (CIP), Earp said.

The $6.6 million Southside sewer line project will run south along I-35 from FM 150 as far south as Yarrington Road and is expected to bring in development to the south-side of Kyle.

“The Southside sewer line project is putting in place the infrastructure, the backbone, of a sewer collection system in the south part of town, which will allow those properties to develop.” James Earp, assistant city manager

The Plum Creek sewer line is to provide service to the 2,200 home Anthem development, located in Mountain City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), and will be paid for by Anthem’s developers.

Kyle is extending the Plum Creek line as Mountain City doesn’t have the ability to provide utility services.

“When a development comes in, a development has to pay their own way,” Earp said. “Any impact that a particular development is having on the system, whether that means extending a line or oversizing a line further down, they have to cover the cost for that.”

The Elliott branch line, which will be located between west Center Street and south Old Stagecoach Road, will collect sewer from the Cypress Forest and the Blanco River Ranch developments.

While Elliott branch was a planned CIP, it was needed for incoming development on the west side of Kyle, increasing its priority.

“Development will pay for part of that, but we’re going to have to pay for it up front and then get reimbursed over time,” Earp said.

The projects will provide wastewater services to planned developments, and are “right-sized” for the expected growth.

“There’s only so much growth potential,” Earp said. “The Bunton Creek interceptor, we ran the model to make that big enough to handle the undeveloped area that’s out in that section of town.”

The biggest opportunity for growth is the Southside line, Earp said.

Officials are also including a $19 million wastewater treatment plant expansion. Officials expect construction on the expansion will begin by May 2018 and be completed by December 2019.

“It doesn’t do it any good to have lines if plant can’t handle it,” Earp said.

A few developers will contribute a total $8 million for the expansion.

The remainder $11 million for the expansion will be paid through utility fund and possibly a debt issuance.

Earp said officials are trying to fund the plant expansion with cash as much as possible, and would fund the remainder cost with a debt issuance through the utility fund.

There is also discussion underway to design and build a regional wastewater treatment plant which will treat flows from the Blanco Basin.

“What we’re going to be looking at next is a Blanco Basin service line,” Earp said.

The Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency (HCPUA) will take the lead to identify and develop regional partners, including LaSalle MUD, City of San Marcos, City of Kyle, Canyon Regional, and others.

Engineering for a regional treatment plant is about 30% complete, City Manager Scott Sellers said.

Officials have looked at approved developments in the area and determined the approximate amount of sewage the city would send to the plant.

“HCPUA has been studying that because this could be a very good candidate not only for a regional plant, but for a portable reuse plant, a zero discharge plant,” Sellers said. “There’s a lot of things that they’d like to see from a water conservancy-reuse standpoint.”

The location and the funding of the plant has not been determined, Sellers said.

However, as the Waterstone development in the San Marcos ETJ needs wastewater service, the various entities will work to accelerate construction of the regional plant.

Which developments could help fund Kyle’s wastewater treatment plant expansion?

Anthem Development – $1.5 million
Crosswinds Development – $1.3 million
Walton Development – $2 million
Alsco Linen Service – $200,000
Blanco River Ranch Development – $3 million

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