San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 1st, 2009
Kyle council approves highway loan, curfew

By LANCE DUNCAN
News Reporter

KYLE — After previously tabling the legislation, the Kyle City Council approved Kyle Crossing and Interstate-35 improvements and the loan necessary to fund the project in mid-August.

City Manager Tom Mattis and Hays County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton (D-Kyle) had previously indicated that there were problems with the tri-party agreement between the City of Kyle, Hays County, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), but those issues were resolved.

The project will widen the two-lane Kyle Crossing overpass over IH-35 to six lanes, also making other improvements to the IH-35 corridor within the city limits, most notably converting Kyle’s two-way frontage roads to one-way roads.

Additionally, the council approved the $11 million state infrastructure loan to get the project underway.

Kyle City Manager Tom Mattis said “the city of Kyle has made a historic commitment to upgrading highways within city limits,” adding that he couldn’t think of any other Texas city that has spent as much on such projects as Kyle.

Mattis echoed his reminder from the previous council meeting, asking citizens to remember that the city’s commitment to transportation infrastructure ids accountable for the lion’s share of the city’s property tax increases.

However, Mattis also said that the city is safely capped at $11 million in spending on the Kyle Crossing project, and that any unforseen expenses will be paid for by the county.

Kyle Mayor Mike Gonzalez pointed out that TxDOT is contributing no funding to the projects.

Gonzalez said that TxDOT would have made the improvements “in natural course” within ten to twenty years, but that Kyle needed the improvements sooner rather than later.

“We needed these improvements now, so we invested,” he said.

At the same council meeting, Kyle Chief of Police Michael Blake presented an updated curfew ordinance, which the council passed unanimously.

Blake said that this new version includes a daytime curfew between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to ensure compulsory school attendance. He added that state law no longer allows officers to take custody of truants, so ordinances like this are necessary for police to be able to manage the situation.

Blake said that there are exceptions in the new law for school and church activities, and for students who are out with their parents. The law also gives officers the opportunity to give a written warning.

The curfew will apply to all persons younger than 17 from midnight until 6 a.m. all days of the week.

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