City seeks to deny proposed Oncor rate increases
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The City of Copperas Cove is seeking to block a proposed rate increase to residential customers by Oncor Electric delivery.
During tonight’s Copperas Cove city council meeting, city staff are presenting a resolution for approval which would be sent to Oncor. Copperas Cove belongs to the Steering Committee of Cities Served By Oncor, and those communities are denying Oncor’s request for a rate increase.
In March, Oncor filed an application to increase system-wide transmission and distribution rates by $317 million or approximately 7.5 percent over present revenues. The company asked the city to approve an 11.8 percent increase in residential rates and a 0.5 percent increase in street lighting rates.
Also this evening, the council will hold a second public hearing and act on an amendment to the current fiscal year’s operating budget. The amendment includes a general fund increase of $30,000 for the Five Hills Scholarship pageant float and a storage building/shelter. Also, the 2015 certificates of obligation solid waste fund requires an expenditure increase for the purchase of solid waste vehicles and capital projects amounting to $96,623.
Two payments/release of funds are on the agenda. The first is a request from the Boys & Girls Club for $10,000 which the council had previously allocated to the organization from the general fund, to support after-school operations. The second request is from the Hill Country Community Action Association for $2,500 which also was previously allocated by the council. This is a payment in support of delivering meals to the elderly in Copperas Cove.
The council is being asked to amend the city’s Personnel Improvement Plan for 2017-2021 along with the position listing for fiscal years 2016-2017. Several positions in the Water Distribution, Sewer Collection, and Wastewater Departments are being reclassified.
Five citizens have applied to fill an unexpired term on the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation board of directors, which would expire on Sept. 30, 2017. Jeremy Tate, Jennifer Snelling, James Stockman, Gary Kent, and Jimmy Hammond have submitted applications to the city for consideration.
Public Works Director Michael Cleghorn is requesting the council award a bid and authorize the city manager to execute a contract with PrimeSpec Construction, LLC in the amount of $106,000 for the South Wastewater Treatment Plant skimmer pipe replacement. This project will be paid for with funding from 2015 certificates of obligation bonds. The city received five bids, ranging from $106,000 to $205,000.
Cleghorn is also bringing a request for the council to approve a professional services agreement with Utility Engineering Group, PLLC in the amount of $58,500 to complete three domestic wastewater discharge permit renewals for the city’s wastewater treatment plants.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, located at 210 S. 1st St. The city council is also holding a workshop starting at 5 p.m. prior to the meeting.
During the workshop, the city’s budget director/deputy city manager, Ryan Haverlah, will present budget topics to the council where the city’s 2017-2018 operating is concerned. He is seeking direction from the council during the budget preparation process, which will be ongoing now through September 2017.