With the prospect of federal funding on the table, Kyle city leaders Tuesday opted to place several road projects into the mix.
Roughly $35 million in proposed transportation initiatives, including Lehman Road, Burleson Street and a proposed relocation of the Center Street railsiding, will be included in the city’s application for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (CAMPO) 2019-2022 funding list. The Kyle City Council approved by a 7-0 vote to place the items on the application.
Scott Sellers, Kyle city manager, said CAMPO has approached Kyle and area cities for “shovel-ready” projects it could add to its list as a result of an “influx” of federal dollars. Shovel-ready projects, such as Lehman Road and Burleson Street, are those where the engineering plans are “on the shelf” and ready to start, Sellers said.
Putting the roads on the CAMPO list would delay start of the projects by approximately five months.
Sellers said applying for federal dollars includes a variety of processes and different layers of scrutiny, regulations and studies, which Kyle would have to pay for.
Additionally, all projects vying for federal funds are scored based on their importance and need by CAMPO. The process takes several rounds and can take several months.
If any roads on the application are selected for federal funding, Kyle would have to pay a 20 percent match. Perwez Moheet, Kyle Finance Director, said Kyle’s share for the projects is $3.3 million, if those projects are selected.
Adding the two road bond projects would have a financial impact on the city.
Moheet said the city could have three options on how to deal with the remaining bond amounts, if the roads are selected. Moheett recommended an option that could allow the city to reprioritize bond funds to other capital projects.
However, doing so would require the city to call a referendum as the scope of work on the bonds would have changed, Moheet said.
Daphne Tenorio, Kyle City Council member District 6, was concerned that placing the road bond projects on the application could further delay construction. She also hesitated to vote on an item without more input from residents.
Leon Barba, Kyle city engineer, said the city has the Lehman project ready to let now, while Burleson could be let in March.
It wouldn’t be until April or May when the city expects to hear how its projects on the CAMPO application are scored.
“For me, it comes back to long term planning, which says go for it,” Mayor Travis Mitchell said. “But there’s also something to be said on sticking to schedule.”