By Brittany Anderson
KYLE — Kyle will soon get some new and improved parks and recreation spaces, following a bond that was passed nearly two years ago.
The Kyle city council unanimously approved an interlocal agreement between the city and Hays County for various park facilities improvements during the regular city council meeting on July 19.
Acting city manager Jerry Hendrix said that this agreement is the culmination of a “couple year’s worth of work” between the city and county. Kyle has been negotiating with Hays County to match the city’s $10 million for the project, which was also approved by the Hays County Commissioners Court on July 19.
The improvements are part of the larger $75 million Proposition A of the November 2020 bond passed to establish parks, open spaces, conservation lands and other recreational opportunities. The proposition was put together by POSAC (Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission) and approved by 70% of voters.
Proposition A outlined three Kyle parks projects: a Sportsplex Park, Plum Creek Trail improvements and Gregg-Clarke Park improvements. The county will match $7 million for the Sportsplex, $2 million for Plum Creek Trail and $1 million for Gregg-Clarke Park.
Some of the projects proposed for the Sportsplex Park include a one-mile multi-purpose trail, covered pavilion, competition soccer field complex, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, an inclusive playground, fitness and strength equipment and recreational and practice fields, plus picnic areas, parking and outdoor public restrooms.
Some of the Plum Creek Trail improvements proposed include seven miles of multi-purpose concrete trail as part of The Vybe trail network with shaded rest stops along the trail, interactive kiosks, exercise equipment and interpretive signage, plus emergency call stations, parking access and outdoor public restrooms.
Some of the Gregg-Clarke Park improvements proposed include an interior park road, skate park, lighting, playground and Ash Pavilion improvements, repair to the sod and basketball and tennis courts, concessions, bathrooms, leveling and grading and landscaping and irrigation.
Mayor Travis Mitchell said that there was a “list of possibilities” for projects when the initial proposal was made to POSAC, but nothing has been designed yet, so not everything will make it in.
“They kind of threw the kitchen sink at this,” Mitchell said. “Now that we have the agreement in place, we can issue a request for proposal for a consultant to come in and put together a package with the council and community to determine exactly what would go where and what our priorities are,” adding that he expects some items — like a skate park and outdoor amphitheater at the Sportsplex — will not be used, as there are already planned spaces for those elsewhere in Kyle.
The unanimous vote to approve the agreement is finally putting the gears in motion to bring more outdoor recreation opportunities to Kyle.
“As I look throughout Hays County, it’s very encouraging to see that the county and cities [in the county]are looking forward to expanding our parks projects and trails, and that’s improving the quality of life of our residents,” Mayor Pro Tem Robert Rizo said. “I’m truly excited about this. … I think this is going to be a great asset to our city.”