Copperas Cove city council looks at $9.6 million in annual certificates of obligation bonds
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove City Council approved a resolution giving notice of intent to issue $9.6 million in certificates of obligation bonds for capital outlay plan items and capital improvement projects during its regular meeting Tuesday evening.
The debt issuance will not have a budgetary impact for fiscal year 2020-2021, but the principal and interest payments will be included in the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget.
The capital outlay plan items include purchasing new vehicles, new machinery and new equipment for the various city departments.
The city council previously discussed and identified priorities for the bonds during a planning session in March and during a workshop meeting on May 18.
The tax-supported projects and items to be funded with the bonds include $1.77 million for the Capital Outlay Plan items as well as $30,000 for the replacement of the concrete driveway at the Central Fire Station, $300,000 for Developer Participation Agreements for Roadway Oversizing, $500,000 for parks improvements, $57,477 for the Senior Center, $60,000 for the Cemetery Master Plan, $20,000 for city hall flooring, $40,000 for Municipal Court security access and $31,000 for the library’s children’s room renovation.
The park improvements will fund renovations to include demolition and replacement of back-stops, installing new netting, renovation of dugouts, and relocation of bleachers on the five softball/baseball fields at City Park.
The Water/Sewer supported items include $577,191 for the Capital Outlay Plan plus $520,000 for the rehabilitation of the Hughes Mountain 300,000 Gallon Steel Elevated Storage Tank, $97,500 for the replacement of the Janet Lane Water Line, $161,000 for the South Main Vitrified Clay Pipe Replacement, $598,500 for the Sanitary Sewer Evaluation and Rehabilitation and $1.26 million for the Northwest-UV Disinfection System Replacement.
There is also $1.03 million for Capital Outlay Plan items for Solid Waste. For the Golf Course, there is $305,500 for the Capital Outlay Plan and $170,000 for stormwater erosion mitigation.
Drainage improvements had previously been noted for Oak Hill Drive and Deer Flat Drive, of $628,123 for Oak Hill Drive, and Deer Flat Drive Reconstruction of $1.3 million. During previous discussion, council members had directed city staff to change the proposed street from Oak Hill Drive to Freedom Lane, which had been scheduled for FY 2024 in the Capital Improvement Plan.
Also during its meeting, the council approved a resolution authorizing and supporting the city manager to submit a grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice, Officer of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for the FY 2021 COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The FY 2021 COPS Hiring Program (CHP) provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire additional career law enforcement officers and to increase the community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.
The Copperas Cove Police Department plans to use the grant to hire three officers to form a Mental Illness Response Team to assist officers in responding to cases and incidents involving mental health and mental illness.
The three-year grant allows two years to hire the employees, for a total five-year period. The city would be responsible for a 25 percent funding match, with the remaining 75 percent coming from grant funding. This means that each year would require the city to absorb about $100,000 into the budget, according to Deputy Police Chief Jeremy Alber.
City Manager Ryan Haverlah explained that currently, CCPD has to rely on Coryell County for its Mental Health Unit deputies in addressing mental issues involving mental illness or circumstances, which has been difficult at times.
“This would really allow us as a department to address those concerns more immediately in trying to ensure that the police department is providing the highest level of public safety within our community,” Haverlah said.
During their workshop meeting, the city council recognized two employees for their years of service to the city. Christopher Altott, Public Works Assistant Director, was recognized for 15 years of service, while James Malone, Wastewater Chief Plant Operator, was recognized for 35 years of service.