Kyle OKs $50K sidewalk repair program

After more than a year of discussions about the possibility of Kyle giving homeowners help with sidewalk repairs, city leaders earlier this month entered into a $50,000 contract with a company to continue to help with sidewalk maintenance.

On July 3, the Kyle City Council approved a contract with Tempe-based Polylevel of Central Texas in an amount to not exceed $50,000. The money was earmarked as a capital improvement in the city’s fiscal year 2017-18 budget for the Public Works department.

According to a memo from Kyle Director of Public Works Harper Wilder, Polylevel of Central Texas was “the lowest and responsible bid,” out of the two companies that submitted to the city as part of the mandatory bidding process.

The existing pilot sidewalk repair program is something of a hybrid for residents and the city to come together to help improve the quality of sidewalks in Kyle.

Last year, the Public Works department had staff gather locations of sidewalks that needed repair and put them into a que. Polylevel of Central Texas will come to Kyle several times a year to repair the damages at the top of the que, Mitchell said.

This additional $50,000 for the project will go a long way toward repairing more sidewalks. However, the underlying responsibility for who maintains the sidewalks has not changed, Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said.

“Homeowners are still responsible for sidewalks,” Mitchell said. “However, the city will take an active role in fixing what they can afford to fix.”

The program is only possible because of new technology to repair sidewalks, Mitchell said. By injecting polymer to even out uneven sections of sidewalk, the city can help residents maintain their sidewalks without the prohibitive costs associated with tearing out existing sidewalks and pouring new concrete.

If the damage is too extensive, it will be removed and replaced completely, according to city documents. The plan also includes removing interfering tree roots to prevent recurring damage to sidewalks. “I continue to get emails, text messages and pictures sent to me (of sidewalks),” Mitchell said at the July 3 meeting. “We know there’s work to be done, so we’re hoping this funding will give (Public Works) the bandwidth to move forward with all haste.”

A Polylevel of Central Texas representative at the meeting said work on Kyle sidewalks could begin as early as July 10.

“We’re not turning a blind eye to our problems,” Mitchell said. “Council is aware residents are frustrated with the quality of sidewalks in their subdivision. We’ll continue to find creative ways to bring real solutions to what is a fairly significant problem.”

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