Kyle mayor: 2012 was a banner year
Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson began her third State of the City address by reminiscing about a recent visit with some students during Career Day at Blanco Vista Elementary School.
We spent four hours talking to hundreds of kids about what we grown-ups had been up to every week, Johnson said. When they'd eventually start to lose interest in my Mayoral duties I'd just bring up Walmart, which they adored, and then spend the next 10 minutes talking about which businesses they wanted to see in Kyle, along with how many of them had been to the new Sonic. The kids in Kyle care deeply about what is going on in this town and the businesses that locate here.
With interested kids comes interested adults, and 140 adults packed the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce's February luncheon to hear Mayor Johnson provide a summary of Kyle success's in 2012 and preview what is coming in 2013.
2012 proved to be a banner year for our community, Johnson said, then spent the next 20 minutes recounting the many accomplishments of the city.
The city of Kyle added three new facilities in 2012.
A new 20,000 square foot public library and the new Lake Kyle Park which also serves as the new home of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
The Kyle Police Department also moved into a new 8,000 square foot headquarters in the remodeled former Wells Fargo Bank building.
With the new facilities come new services and programs for Kyle's residents. The library offers 50 new computers to its 375 daily visitors.
Lake Kyle Park now offers fishing clinics and a host of other outdoor programs. The police department added six new positions; including a victim services coordinator, mental health officer and an additional traffic control officer.
Mayor Johnson recognized former council members Jaime Sanchez and Russell Huebner for their work on the council and welcomed new council members Samantha Bellows-LeMense and Ray Bryant to the council.
Kyle economic development has been an ongoing success for the city and Johnson touted that success.
Our citizen volunteers on the Economic Development and Tourism Committee come together every month to discuss the best strategies to attract and capture new commercial development, often in long, contentious meetings that last well past dinnertime, she said.
The results of all this hard work have been tremendous.
Mayor Johnson noted that in Fiscal-Year 2012 the city collected $3.5 million in sales tax, up over 12% from the previous year generated from the thirty-eight new businesses that opened in Kyle in 2012.
Growth in the business sector as resulted in a low unemployment rate of 3.8% citywide and helped Kyle's taxable assessed value climb $36.4 million dollars in 2012.
Kyle's growth has also brought on other challenges that the City is addressing. These challenges extend into area of planning, water infrastructure and transportation.
As the city continues to grow past 30,000 in population, proper planning is more important than ever, said Johnson. This past year the city council has focused on improving the quality of development on the IH-35 corridor, preserving property values for the long-term and promoting economic sustainability throughout the entire town.
Mayor Johnson outlined changes and updates in Kyle's development codes, transportation projects that have been completed as well as projects that are in pipeline. Many transportation projects hinge on a May
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bond election where Kyle voters will decide on the possible issuance of $35 million in bonds to reconstruct four roads and extend another.
Whether you are for the road bond or not, please know that the council will be spending the next three months educating the public as best as we possibly can, said Johnson. Please, please tell your neighbors and friends not to forget to vote May 11th.
Mayor Johnson ended her speech by introducing the formation of the Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council and providing a glimpse into some of the business currently slated to open in Kyle in 2013. She also specificly mentioned the construction of Kyle's Austin Community College Campus which is scheduled to open in January 2014.
We are set to have an incredible year, said Johnson. Please continue to be active and involved in our city government, and I promise, you can bet on watching Kyle exceed your expectations.
Mayor Johnson's speech is available in its entirety at CityofKyle.com