By Amira Van Leeuwen
KYLE —Kyle City Hall was buzzing with excitement on Thursday, Aug. 25, in anticipation of city council unanimously approving the city’s new $212.6 million budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
Colorful balloons were spread across the upstairs floor of City Hall. City employees filled the room wearing shirts that said ‘Stronger Together,’ holding signs that said ‘Council Rocks,’ ‘We are Family,’ and ‘Approved!’ with three hearts scrawled with colorful markers.
At the council’s special meeting, Mayor Travis Mitchell motioned to approve the budget as amended, and council member Ashlee Bradshaw seconded it.
“These are exciting times,” Mitchell said. “I think the city is starting to grow up and trying, as best as we can, to emerge as leaders in Hays County.”
The proposed budget for FY 2022-2023, as presented by Acting City Manager Jerry Hendrix and amended by the city council, also includes 55 new full-time positions, for a total of 360.0 full-time equivalent positions.
According to budget documents, of the total $212.6 million proposed budget, the city’s General Fund budget for the FY 2022-2023 totals approximately $45.6 million for operations and maintenance and roughly $14.5 million in transfers from the fund balance, primarily to pay for major capital improvement projects instead of issuing bond debt.
Environmental Services and Trades Division Manager Chance Padier has been fighting for wage increases since the city started parities years ago. Padier believes the employee wage increase is well-deserved.
“I think a lot of the guys deserve it, especially with the talent we have and the amount that we’re actually able to train [them],” Padier said.
The budget includes increased police wages and general wages, as well as money to upgrade city parks, roads and wastewater plants.
Human esources generalist Taylor Bennett said it’s a big opportunity.
“It’s gonna put us on another leg up to be very competitive here along the I-35 corridor and just reaffirm that this is an employer of choice and Team Kyle’s where you wanna be,” Bennett said.