A focus on capital improvements – that’s what Kyle officials plan to center their attention on in 2018 as they attempt to meet the demand of a rapidly growing city.
As Kyle’s population estimate now surpasses the 43,000 mark, Scott Sellers, Kyle city manager, believes the city is starting to get caught up on many of its needed infrastructure projects.
“We are fairly in control of our own destiny,” Sellers said. “We know what our constraints are and how to fix them.”
One of the major 2018 construction projects is the expansion of capacity of the city’s wastewater treatment plant from 3.0 to 4.5 million gallons per day.
Sellers said the project, which has a $19 million price tag, is expected to begin in the summer. Sellers said engineering plans are “just about done,” with the city potentially able to let them for bid in the next few months.
Kyle public works is also planning a variety of sewer line projects, which comprise $13 million of the city’s budget, that could improve capacity issues in the northwest, downtown and south side of the city.
Sellers said Kyle is at a point where they can now place a sewer line “in the ground to take into account all future development” in a particular sector.
In the past, Kyle had put wastewater lines that may have been undersized, as the city was not able to deal with the rapid growth.
Sellers said, based on projections and estimates from new development, the city’s population in 2017 grew by roughly 4,000 people. Kyle’s population estimate currently stands at 43,417.
“A major part of catching up and getting ahead of this growth is knowing the growth patterns in the city,” Sellers said. “The fixed boundary of our growth potential allows us to model for build-out conditions.”
However, Kyle will remain in a holding pattern when it comes to its two remaining 2013 Road Bond projects, which are slated to be let in 2018.
Sellers said the city would await a decision from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) on whether or not the two projects could be approved for federal or state funding.
Kyle also applied with CAMPO for federal funding for a $15 million relocation of a railroad siding for federal funding as well.
Sellers said if the projects do not receive federal funding, the city plans to “move forward aggressively” as funds are allocated for both projects.
The city also anticipates completing a $170,000 stormwater model, which Sellers said could help Kyle prioritize stormwater projects in the future.
The model, which is a first of its kind for Kyle, will identify how the city’s entire drainage network interacts. Sellers said the city hopes to identify how upstream drainage contributes to downstream flooding potential and how the city mitigates the issues.
Kyle pushed for the stormwater model following a variety of flood events in the past three years.
“We have been very reactionary, which is good because we have been able to identify and mitigate flooding in sectors we’re aware of that are prone to flooding,” Sellers said.
Kickstarting work on a proposed city-wide trail system is one of several beautification projects Kyle is also attempting to tackle in 2018.
Sellers said the city-wide trail system is a proposed 10-plus mile stretch that could connect trails from Highway 21 on the east side of town to the Blanco River on the west side.
Kyle is planning to take the trail in bite sized segments that will begin on the east side later this year.
“This year, we hope to start filling in some of the missing sections and even marking some of the sections and clearing them,” Sellers said.