KYLE, Texas - The Kyle City Council unanimously voted Monday night to pass an ordinance calling for a $37 million bond election in November.
The city says that Proposition A will seek voter approval to finance the design, construction, and equipment for a new public safety center. If the proposition passes, construction could begin immediately and would be completed in approximately 14 months.
The city says council has deferred the tax rate impact until October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning residents wouldn't see a property tax increase until the facility is nearly complete.
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Proposition A calls for a 64,000-square-foot two-story facility with dedicated space to fully staff the Kyle Police Department in a single location with room to grow over the next 20 years, says the city. Additionally, the center would create dedicated space to create an Emergency Operations Center where the City could collaborate with surrounding counties and authorities during critical times such as natural disasters, community-wide security threats, or pandemics like COVID-19.
The city says the population has grown by 724 percent over the past 20 years, from 6,348 to 52,327 residents. Development of the bond package dates back to 2011 when a needs assessment for the Kyle Police Department was first conducted by Brinkley Sargent Architects. A task force was then formed in 2018 to officially begin the process of researching and designing a Public Safety Center for consideration of bond funding.
“As our community grows, our public safety needs grow too. We have been evaluating facility options and discussing our public safety challenges for nearly a decade,” said Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell during last night’s meeting. “We know this is a real need, and this bond would be an investment in our community. Our residents deserve high-quality public safety services and a purpose-built facility that will last for the next 20 years and beyond.”
Currently, the Kyle Police Department includes 54 sworn officers at an officer-to-resident ratio of 1.03 officers per thousand residents, which is lower than the standard ratio of 1.50 per thousand. The department also operates out of three separate, retrofitted buildings in downtown Kyle, with a former bank building as its headquarters.
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“We’ve adapted as best as possible to our current facilities, but the limited space creates challenges for delivering public safety services to our growing community,” said Police Chief Jeff Barnett. “A new Public Safety Center would provide dedicated space for the Police Department to increase officer training and pursue accreditation, accommodate victims or residents experiencing trauma as a result of crime, expand community-based programs and mental health services and more.”
The City will be scheduling a series of virtual open houses in September and October to share additional information about Proposition A with community members. To learn more about the proposed bond for a Public Safety Center, click here.
In conjunction with Proposition A for a new Public Safety Center, voters will consider a second bond proposition for public parks. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Early voting will take place from October 13 to 30.