Kyle council beefs up budget

Kyle's $45.1 million budget got a little bigger after City Council met for the fifth and final budget workshop of the year on Aug. 27. Council added $261,015 to the budget, bringing the total figure to about $45.36 million.

Additions to the general fund include $165,000 for the development of a transportation master plan and $87,045 for improvements to the city's public swimming pool. Council also made a reduction in funds for engineering and design of the roads included in the $36 million bond election in order to create a project manager position to oversee the five projects.

Most of the additions came from the city's fund balance, or the amount of money left over at the end of the year. City Finance Director Perwez Moheet said pulling from the fund balance would not affect the city's bond rating as long as the expenditures were not for recurring expenses such as staff salaries.

Mayor Lucy Johnson said the transportation master plan is the "one project we really need to do." The new transportation plan will allow the city to use transportation modeling to forecast how many vehicles will use certain roadways in the future.

"For me it's one of those things where to have the modeling would be another thing that helps us when we apply for CAMPO funds in the future," Johnson said. "The future is very, very close because we're doing the engineering [for the construction of the roads] this year."

The budget's allotment for the project manager position will come from the road bond funds, said City Manager Lanny Lambert. If the city holds to the original timeline for the project, the position will last until 2019, when Goforth Road, the final road included in the bond election, is completed.

"[Council is] going to create a budget out of the $36 million, and out of that they're going to pay the engineers, construction costs, right-of-way acquisition and they figured out they'll have enough left over for a project manager position," he said.

The roads to be improved using funds from the $36 million bond election include Bunton Creek, Lehman and Goforth roads, as well as Burleson Street and Marketplace Avenue.

Council also approved a $97,500 increase for improvements to the city's public pool. The total cost of that project comes in at about $147,500. Those improvements include replastering of the pool, improvements to the lifeguard station and restrooms, replacement of the water slide and chlorination system and more.

Council will vote on the first reading of the budget at its regular meeting Sept. 3. The final reading will take place on Sept. 4.