City’s entities share quarterly updates

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 

Representatives from the Copperas Cove Independent School District, the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, as well as the City of Copperas Cove gathered at CCISD administration building board room on Wednesday afternoon for a chance to update each other about past and future projects. This quarter’s meeting was hosted by CCISD.
Andrea Gardner, city manager for the City of Copperas Cove, provided updates for the entities on a number of projects the city has in the works, already under way, or nearly completed.
The city will soon let out bids for phases two and three of the southwest water improvements project. Phase one has been completed for well over a year, Gardner said. 
“They originally were set to be separate phases, but because of the need for future expansion along Business 190 out west, we talked about combining them into one.” The projects consist of a 500,000-gallon ground storage tank, booster pumps, and a 300,000-gallon elevated storage tank. 
The Avenue D sidewalks and drainage project is nearly complete, with new streetlights in those areas to installed by Oncor. 
The first phase of the city’s parks improvements are nearly ready to go forward, along with cart path improvements at the golf course, which Gardner said is attracting “a tremendous amount of play” compared to past years and recent months. 
She also mentioned the upcoming TxDOT projects for sidewalks on F.M. 116 south from Business 190 to Dennis street, using $975,000 in transportation funds to construct six-foot sidewalks. There are $1.7 million in transportation funds coming to the city which will be used to install 10-foot wide sidewalks with ADA compliant ramps from Constitution to The Narrows and throughout that development. 
The biggest project, $10 million in funding, will be used to construct a landscaped median and sidewalks from Avenue D to Constitution. 
She also reminded the groups about the $420,000 total in funding awarded to Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, which is earmarked for the section of median from Dewald to RGIII Boulevard. Both projects will be let together to get better pricing, Gardner said. 
She addressed a hot topic in some discussions—what kind of landscaping the median will have.  
“There’s been lots of talk about what type of landscape will be installed and there are renderings out there,” Gardner said, adding that some are concerned there will be tall trees blocking the view of the road. 
“That’s not likely to happen because the city will be responsible for the irrigation of those areas, so wee are looking at xeriscape landscaping. So you don’t have to worry about that.”
She said they are also trying to see about getting funding to move some of the overhead utilities on Business 190 underground, although she’s not how successful obtaining funding for that will be. 
Joe Burns, superintendent of CCISD, gave an update for the district. Enrollments are up for the district overall, with about 900 students at both junior high campuses with more than 2,300 at the high school, and at the prekindergarten campus, more than 580. He looks for numbers to continue to grow through the end of the month. He said the numbers aren’t due to evacuations from the hurricane, with the district only seeing three students enroll due to that. 
The renovation of the former National United bank building purchased by the district last year, will soon be under way in earnest after the asbestos has been remediated from the building. The plans are to make the building a full two-story building, with a projected 201-day renovation timeline. 
He also talked about future facilities projects and answered questions about the future transportation facility to be constructed near Summers Road. After that new facility is completed, all the district’s maintenance will be located at the South 5th Street facility, the present site of the transportation department. 
Burns said neighbors in the area will have a decrease in the noise level after the buses move from that location and traffic and safety in the area will be improved as well. 
Greg Solomon, president of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce gave an update, reminding the entities about the upcoming first business networking lunch to be held by the chamber, which was set for Thursday, September 14, along with the annual Gallop or Trot 5K, set for Saturday.
Harald Weldon, board member of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, was the lone representative for that group. He talked about the upcoming grand opening for McAlister’s Deli and other retail stores to be opening doors on the east side of Copperas Cove.

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