Economic growth was the topic for the mayors of Kyle, Lockhart and San Marcos during a panel at the Greater San Marcos Partnership’s Economic Outlook luncheon May 2.
The panel, which consisted of San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides, Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell and Lockhart Mayor Lew White, gave insight on challenges and opportunities facing each of their cities.
Thomaides said some of the biggest challenges facing San Marcos include affordable housing and managing stormwater issues.
Mitchell said challenges in Kyle include rapid growth, along with infrastructure related problems. Mitchell said the city is trying to balance infrastructure spending and taxing residents, and all of these challenges require the city to find creative solutions.
Mitchell also said jobs in Kyle are an important issue as 85 percent of residents commute out of the city to other areas.
“I hate that statistic,” Mitchell said.
Traffic woes, which comes as a result of people commuting out of the city, was also a problem Kyle faces, Mitchell said.
Mitchell wants to encourage employers to come to Kyle and offer jobs here to lessen congestion on Interstate 35 and follow his idea of making Kyle an area to “live, work, play”.
White, on the other hand, says his city faces different challenges. Lockhart has seen a slow and steady growth, unlike the areas located right on the Interstate 35 corridor. Lockhart’s challenges seem to come from problems that include limited growth and lack of retail and commercial space, although that also means Lockhart can keep its small-town charm. White also said that Lockhart has been creative in working with limited resources.
Despite the challenges, each mayor was optimistic about opportunities for his city and appreciated the strong partnerships with the Greater San Marcos Partnership and their fellow “corridor mayors.”
“The challenges in Kyle cannot be solved alone,” Mitchell said, adding that he is also excited for the growing opportunities in the city.
“I’m focused on seeing these big capital projects through because that’s what’s going to allow our city to develop in the most robust and efficient manner,” Mitchell said.
Thomaides is also excited about new growth in his city.
“You’ll often hear me say the words, the sky is the limit in San Marcos, and I really believe that. We have so much potential in our city with our location and our partnerships,” he said.
As for Lockhart, White says the city “continues to be ready for growth.” The city is trying to attract new businesses for growth and residential development for the future.
“It’s great to see so many people coming together to solve problems. That’s what it’s going to take at the end of the day for us to become the best version of what we’re trying to be. The city of San Marcos has really led the way for a number of years and the Greater San Marcos Partnership has broadened all of our horizons,” Mitchell said.