City council: no Animal Shelter bond on the ballot, for now
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A proposed $7.4 million animal shelter project is not being considered for the November ballot at this time, after the Copperas Cove city council conceded to have the city staff look into the project further.
Place 4 councilman Jay Manning asked for the discussion to be part of Tuesday night’s meeting.
“I think it’s irresponsible to place a question on the ballot, until we have a reasonable plan. It seems to me we were dodging questions that we should figure out how to address before we put it on the budget to just ask for money. That’s why I asked for it,” Manning said. “While we may place the question for funding before the voters, I believe we should first research and study the project, and we should at least know to discuss the pros and cons of what we’re recommending to the voters to do, before we do that.
He did agree that it is obvious that something needs to be done, and soon. He said if the city of Irving, population 240,000, decided to build a 23,000-square-foot facility for $8.4 million, “we a city of 32,000 don’t need to spend 7.4 million.” Also, he said that Seguin built a new shelter for $3.58 million.
“It appears that we need to do some more research before we have somebody write a check.”
Councilman Dan Yancey said that both he and Manning took a tour of the city facility.
“There’s a lot that needs to be researched and determined,” Yancey said. “We have got to hold taxes in line. That is paramount. The citizens of Copperas Cove deserve our best effort to come up with the absolute best solution to that situation whatever that cost might be.”
There is a possibility that the project could be done in phases. However, interim city manager Ryan Haverlah gave the example of the former city hall, on Main Street, as an example of a phased project. Also, the former fire station No. 3 is another phased project, which was constructed as funds at that time allowed.
Another possible issue with a phased project is the change in city government leadership.
“A whole new council will have to be educated on what we did now, so that in the future they will follow through with it., there is no guarantee though we will not be back in the same situation we are.”
The shelter had been part of the discussions during the city council’s planning session, with the council at that time discussing the possibility of putting the project up for voter approval in November.
Also on Tuesday evening, the council unanimously voted Mike Kriegel to a vacancy on the Subdivision Technical Advisory Committee, as well as authorized the release of funds to purchase Certificates of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) from Kempner Water Supply Corporation for approximately 320.5 acres of the Valley of Great Hills., in the amount of $114,418.50.
The council approved a resolution to deny approval of a “distribution cost recovery factor” that was requested by Oncor Electric Delivery Company, which would increase distribution rates within the city.
Another resolution up for approval was denied by the council. This resolution would have opposed legislation that would increase the maximum transport haul weights over roadways and also would have authorized Mayor Frank Seffrood to sign letters to Congress along with the Texas legislature to oppose those increases.
Five Hills Art Festival chair and art guild treasurer Linda Lapierre presented information about the group’s activities and expenses for the March 16-17 festival, and announced the date and location of the 2019 festival, which will be set for March 30 and 31 at Ogletree Gap Park. The council took no action on Tuesday to approve the release of hotel occupancy tax funds, which will be on the agenda for a future meeting.