By CJ Vetter
KYLE – Over 100 people gathered at the annual state of the city address, delivered by Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell. Sponsored by different community members and companies, the address looked back on the successes of 2021 and highlighted how the city is preparing for the future in 2022.
The address started with a new theme this year, “building momentum,” alongside a broad overview of the different events and projects recently completed or upcoming in the city of Kyle, such as Heroes Memorial Park, La Verde Park and Mary Kyle Hartson Park. It was also noted that Heroes Memorial Park will be receiving a time capsule dated to open on the hundredth anniversary of 9/11, 2101.
“If you can imagine a merry-go-round, you want to make it go as fast as possible. You give it that first heave, it just doesn’t go very fast at all. You’ve got to slowly start building momentum and building momentum, and getting it going,” Mitchell said. “Eventually, it’s flying so fast, you’re barely touching it, and it’s going, and people come around and say, ‘how did you get it going so fast?’ And it’s one gentle push at a time.”
In addition to the project updates, Mitchell also brought attention to the increased growth, starting with the sales tax of Kyle jumping from $6.4 million in 2016 to over $14 million in 2022. Another notable statistic shared was the growth in the true taxable evaluations of the city, which is what appears on the tax rolls, which jumped up from $2.3 billion in 2016 to $5.6 billion in 2022.
“As our city continues to grow, our gold standard development practices are living through every project within the city of Kyle,” Robert Rizo, Kyle Mayor Pro Tem, said. “Kyle is no longer known just for the Dairy Queen or as a suburb of Austin.”
Mitchell ran through the numerous new businesses that are opening up in the Kyle area, including a long list of restaurants coming to the city, such as Freebirds World Burrito, Zaxby’s, Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q, Kerbey Lane, Z Tejas, Willie’s Ice House, Torchy’s, Tiff’s Treats and many more. In addition to the smorgasbord of food options, the mayor also highlighted some of the newest and biggest installations and projects in Kyle such as the homestead tax exemption and the pipeline from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in partnership with Alliance Water.
Mitchell then closed out the address with an announcement of an upcoming road bond and a final focus on resilience and empathy within the community.
“The sun will rise tomorrow. The sun will rise the day after tomorrow. And what we choose to do, we can choose to be a critic. We can choose to stand back, we can choose to be timid,” Mitchell said. “Or we can choose to be a victor, to play it as if the world is against us. Or, we can choose to lean in, we can choose to show love, empathy and respect for our neighbors, and I want to implore you if you are a developer, a staff member or council like myself, to lean in to each other and show love.”