By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
KYLE – Showing jitters about the county’s commitment to road projects, Kyle city councilmembers voted last week against a $65,000 expenditure for preliminary engineering on Dacy Lane.
The council’s reticence surprised City Manager Tom Mattis and his staff, who expected a routine passage. However, Mayor Mike Gonzalez led a council majority in opposition.
Gonzalez motioned for the city staff to produce a memorandum of understanding with Hays County outlining the latter’s financial involvement and the timing for improvements.
The county has agreed in principle to improve Dacy Lane as part of the Seton Hospital project. Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe (D-San Marcos) and Precinct 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton (D-Kyle) have been especially vocal in their support. However, the county hasn’t determined how much it will spend or when.
“If they’re not going to fund it for five or six years, we don’t know how it is going to develop,” Gonzalez said.
The county commissioners have struggled to agree on even the broadest outlines for road improvements since the present court was seated in January 2007. The Kyle council evidently is not highly confident in the commissioners following recent high dramas on the court regarding transportation issues.
Nearly a year after a $172 million road bond election failed last May, the commissioners are at work on bond election this coming November. And even that election would be out of the question if the court hadn’t salvaged a pass-through financing agreement with the state.
Mattis argued that the preliminary engineering study is a necessary first step towards improving Dacy Lane, which runs along the east side of property designated for the Seton project. The study would determine the potential footprint for a widened Dacy Lane and identify right of way issues.
The city manager said the matter of whether the city or the county should move first on the road is “a chicken and egg situation,” adding that the road already is behind schedule with the hospital scheduled to open in 2010.
“We can’t get the commitment that we want (from the county) until we get this analysis,” Mattis said. “In any scenario, the city is going to pay at least $65,000.”
However, the council was unconvinced.
“If the county is not committed to funding this, it’s not moving forward,” Gonzalez said.
Barton said he was surprised and disappointed by the council’s vote.Email | Print