The cities of Kyle and Buda are expected to decide this year whether to join a 120-mile commuter rail line project from Georgetown to San Antonio, officials from the rail district said.

Lone Star Rail District manager Joe Black said he expects to soon present to Kyle City Council the findings of an economic impact study for the proposed zone that would become the funding mechanism for a Kyle station.

The city of Kyle in May signed a preliminary agreement to have a stop in the city, likely near the Austin Community College Hays campus. But none of the financing terms were set. Black said the rail district is preparing to present the implications of creating a special rail zone in which a percentage of property and sales tax growth would be captured by the rail district.

“We just want to be armed with the numbers,” he said. “Because that is always the inevitable question: How much is this zone going to produce, and how much is going to go to the rail district? How much do we get to keep?

“We don’t want to go back to the council until we have all those answers.”

The city of Buda, meanwhile, is in the midst of its own study. While it has no preliminary agreement in place, many council members voiced interest in bringing a station to Buda.

Like Kyle, Buda would need to create a financing tool, likely a 1/4-mile zone in which property and sales tax would be collected. The city did not respond to a request for comment as of press time. LSRD officials presented plans for a potential downtown Buda station in May.

San Marcos, along with Austin, are the cities to have completed agreements with LSRD.

Speaking at an open house meeting Jan. 27 in San Marcos, LSRD board chairman Sid Covington said the environmental impact study for the rail project is in progress. When completed, LSRD will conduct an alternatives analysis phase to determine the station sites.

“We’re looking at a lot of different alternatives for where stations should be up and down the corridor,” Covington said. “Both Kyle and Buda would love to have their own stations. And so we’ll be studying the potential of those.”


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