Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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July 29, 2015     Hays Free Press
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July 29, 2015
 

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Page 4A Hays Free Press * July 29, 2015 BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com Improvements along north Burleson Road could mean less flood- ing of properties during rainstorms. The $160,000 storm sewer infrastructure could help Kyle alleviate flooding issues in the area and handle up to a 25- year flood event. Joann Garcia, project manager for the Burleson Street improvement proj- ect, said a study showed the city needed to make necessary changes. "It's a good option for the city, and there shouldn't be any prob- lems," Garcia said. "It should be a major im- provement from what's out there." The study, conducted by Freese and Nichols in December, showed the city's prime ,problems, and pinpointed the flood- ing on Burleson Street, one of the more problem- atic areas in Kyle. Garcia said the system could nothandle a severe storm, a two-year storm event. Burieson stands today, water was coming across the street and peo- ple's properties, because ditches don't have the capacity to handle the heavier rains," City Engi- neer Leon Barba said. Storm water was also traveling down Burleson as fast as nine or ten feet per second, the report showed. The high rate of speed exacerbated erosion issues that could damage or weaken exist- ing infrastructure. Upgrades have been in the works since the city started planning for the widening of Burleson. The overall street improve- ment, totaling $7.1 mil- lion, is a part of the city's 2013 road bond initiative. Barba said the city's original intent was to catch storm water runoff that could result from widening of Burleson Street. The cityhoped to install berms, a rain garden or other means of catching runoffwithout building a detention pond. "Once you build imper- vious cover, it's going to affect folks downstream," Barba said. "So that was the intent. To try to catch and incorporate those methods in the right-of- way." But the fix wouldn't fix the flooding around Burleson Road. Garcia said she has received complaints from home- owners that their back- yards were flooded - as far away as homes in the Spring Branch subdivi- sion. Several solutions to mitigate the problem were presented by Freese and Nichols, with the best option costing around $2 million. Kyle opted to fix the problem at a cost of $160,000 and get the "big- gest bang for our buck," Barba said. The fix will deepen the drainage ditch in front of St. Anthony's Church and slow down the water before it continues toward the railroad tracks. An alternate option could mean widening the ditch into property owned by St. Anthony's. Barba said the city is going to approach the church about using some of its green space to shape the ditch. The end result could see infrastructure strong enough to weather a 25- year flood event. Accord- ing to Garcia, the im- provements could mean a 4 percent chance of water encroaching onto proper- ties; a decrease from the 50 percent chance with current infrastructure. "It should help proper- ties east of the roadway from getting inundated with water like they were before," Barba said. We are here for Kyle with these great rates! Kyle Roundabout Continued from pg. 1A TxDOT. TxDOT officials said that intersection warrants some kind of traffic con- trol device and wants a resolution from the city regarding options. Arabic was concerned that lack of input would allow TxDOT to imple- ment whatever traffic control device it wants. "I wanted to bring this in front of council one more time, before we don't have an opinion on it," Arabie said. Arabie advocated for a roundaboUt, saying it ing to work out." Resident Michele Christie, who grew up around roundabouts in New Jersey, hates them, adding that accessing roundabouts was "night- marish." "No matter how much you preach about it, when we're behind the wheel, and there's a guy behind you, honking because he want's to go, there's lots of traffic in (a roundabout) and you can't get in, I've lived it, I know," Christie said. Webster said he knows wguld ease traffic flow.w the issue pushes buttons, i He saidhg"hasn't'met a but statistics support the person" prior to 1hesday's idea. meeting with a negative roundabout opinion. Mirroring Arabie's sup- port were Kyle residents Mike Fulton, Dan Ryan and Mike Wilson. Fulton said, "Round- abouts are a truly a won- derful thing. Everyone can figure out a traffic circle. It's just a circle." supported the roundab0/1]{, but said the city mustget the design right. Wilson, who provid- ed statistics on safety, said saving lives is priority. "We may have drivers that have:fender=benders. They havethem anyway. i'd rather have a fend- er-bender than a fatality," he said. Not all liked the idea. One resident said he would opt for a traffic sig- nal rather than a round- about. roundabout isn't needed at this time, there isn't enough traffic," he said. "With the speed on tl t road there, it isn't go- "People are convinced that this is a bad idea. Every single piece of re- search and evidence I've seen says otherwise," Webster said. "Nothing based on evidence says it's (a light)'better than a roundabout." FINANCING A ROUNDABOUT Assistant City Manager James Earp's presentation supports the safety of a modern roundabout. Statistics show a mod- ern roundabout reduces accidents at intersections by 35 percent. He said in- tersections with a round- about saw a 76 percent drop in the severity of ac- cidents, and a 90 percent reduction in fatalities. The roundabout allows for approaching traffic to slow down, he said. It also improves the efficiency at intersections, doubling the number of vehicles passing through per hour, adding a roundabout could accommodate 18-wheelers, bicycles and pedestrian traffic. TxDOT had budgeted $350,000 for a one-lane roundabout in 2013. Im- provements to accommo- date the higher traffic flow means a two-lane round- about is needed, costing approximately $750,000. TxDOT informed the city it can't fund the full amount for a two-lane roundabout. The city must find al- ternate options to pay for the roundabout, such as working with potential commercml developers. Peter F en , Director of Operations of Plum Creek Developers, said that PCD could assist the city, but would opt for future TxDOT reimburs- ment. Through that mecha- nism, the state reimburs- es a portion of the project cost over time by paying for each vehicle driving on a new road. Other options could in- clude a commercial pub- lic improvement district (PID). Webster said the time is now to make a decision, as any inaction would be a "passive decision." With the possibility of a split vote on a resolution, Web- ster was unsure whether TxDOT would get a clear view of Kyle's intentions. "It's fish or cut bait time. We have to make a decision," he said. "I think the way we're trying to work this, the city won't be burdened with any of the cost." NATIONAL BANK *APY is Annual Percentage Yield. There is a minimum of $25,000 to ooen. Rates effective 6/24/15 and are sub- ject to change daily. A maximum of six transfers allowed per month. There is a $10 fee for withdrawals over six during the monthly cycle. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. Maintain a mimmum balance of at least $25,000 to avoid the $12 month service charge. Fees could reduce earnings. FDIC insured up to $250,000. Depositor must reside in Catdwei[, Hays, Travis, or Williamson County. 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