Votes – 5 July 2016

“Votes” is a log of the high-profile agenda items discussed and voted upon by the Kyle City Council. The format for this series is pretty straight-forward. I will summarize the items and provide the reason for why I voted the way I did.

NOTE: Feel free to ask any questions or make any comments below. I will respond in a timely manner. You are welcome to respectfully disagree. Comments that are overly negative, overly personal, or disparaging will not be allowed.

There were three items of consequence discussed and voted upon at this meeting.

Complete Agenda: Here
Council Video: Here

Item 9. $398,788 to Burgess and Niple for engineering of wastewater treatment plant expansion.

Council: 7-0
My Vote: In Favor

These funds were available from a Wastewater Utility fund set up from a settlement agreement with Aqua Texas. The design, engineering, and construction of a new wastewater treatment facility is not glamorous and will be very costly to the city. The $400k from this item gets us 30% of the way through design and planning. The final bill for a completed and installed system will cost millions.

Solving our wastewater problems without raising taxes will be the most difficult challenge of council in the next few years. As I alluded to when campaigning for office, the City of Kyle will be faced with some very difficult decisions regarding this new facility. Our current plant is approaching full capacity. As homes and businesses continue to move to Kyle, we must address this issue head-on.

Item 10. (2nd Reading) Budget Amendment # 4 adding $104,400 for three items (2 city sponsored special events and 1 consulting contract to kick start the “not-a-truck-stop” development at the Yarrington road exit).

Council: 7-0
My Vote: In Favor

This was the second reading of a budget amendment from the June 21 council meeting. I was very uncomfortable with the way the amendment was originally presented. This time, however, we were able to re-allocate some unused funds from our Hotel Tax budget and therefore reduce the total amendment from $104,400 to $36,400. Of the $36,400, $15,000 will be reimbursed from Hays County, the Greater San Marcos Partnership, and the City of San Marcos. What was originally a very large budget amendment was reduced to a relatively small one, and I am grateful for that and was happy to support the item.

Item 13. Two new 4-way stop signs in Plum Creek.

Council: 7-0
My Vote: In Favor

This was a tricky vote. During citizen’s comments several residents spoke in favor of adding two new stop signs at the intersections of Kirby/Sanders and Hartson/Mather in Plum Creek.

I was on the fence until the end. While the residents clearly supported the stop sign, evidence was presented that showed how a stop sign at these intersections could be detrimental to ingress/egress. Plum Creek was carefully designed so as to limit speed with as few stop signs as possible. And while adding stop signs will certainly reduce traffic speed at these locations, there will likely be detrimental ancillary consequences to the homes in that area.

In the end, I supported the measure because the HOA asked for it. They live there and know those intersections intimately. They believe the stop signs are necessary, and I decided to trust their judgment. Overruling the will of our residents is something I will do only when I believe strongly in my reasons for making such a decision. This was not one of those times, even though I personally think the stop signs are unnecessary.

5 thoughts on “Votes – 5 July 2016”

  1. Thanks for the updates. It’s pretty fantastic to have a “what was Travis thinking” insight into the decisions that were made… and to see a snapshot of what was discussed in an easy to digest format.

  2. I can’t disagree with your vote, but the issue is speeding in the neighborhood. As a general rule, stop signs don’t reduce neighborhood speeding (except at the specific intersection). Enforcement does reduce speeding, as do ‘speed HUMPS’ (not ‘bumps’), with minimal impact on Emergency Response times (next to none when the designs are done correctly).

    Traffic on Fairway has been clocked at 60 mph in a 25 mph zone. But the lack of regulatory speed limit signs means that people think the speed limit is 35-40 mph. They drive accordingly.

    1. I agree with you on the speeding issue. Stops signs are not the soloution. I too would prefer some sort of speed bump or hump.

  3. Can you give us some idea of what the estimated cost of that new sewer plant is going to be? Like, “more than $5 million but less than $10 million” – or something along those lines. I know its too early to have any firm costs. Thanks.

    1. Lila,

      I can’t give a number just yet, but it’s a good question. I plan to write about the plant more extensively as we go through the budget in the coming weeks. I assume that’s when we will get more details on what our options are including costs. It’s nerve-wracking to think about. Time to squeeze lemonade!

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