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Copperas Cove city council makes allocations for general fund, HOT fund requests

Cove chamber, historical society receive nod for tourism funds


Cove Leader-Press 


During the June 27 city council special workshop, the Copperas Cove city council heard presentations from a number of local organizations that applied for available general fund dollars and hotel occupancy tax dollars to be spent in the next fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1, 2024. 

Each year as part of the budget planning process the City of Copperas Cove makes some of its general fund dollars available for local entities and organizations that demonstrate they provide a benefit to the local community. 

For 2024-2025, the City of Copperas Cove has designated $124,463 as part of the available general funds. 

The Boys & Girls Club submitted a request for $15,000 to help with its utility costs. The club provides low-cost afterschool and summer programs for children in the community. 

Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter requested $10,000 for its operations. 

Hill Country Community Action Association requested $10,000 toward its senior meals program. This program provides meals on weekdays for senior citizens age 60 and up. Altogether, the HCCAA receives $120,000 in annual revenue for the meal program, with the bulk of it ($96,900) coming from federal funds. The rest of the funds come from the City, the United Way ($2,500), the Texas Department of Agriculture ($1,250), and local donations. 

The Hill Country Transit District, also known as The HOP, requested $94,463 in funding toward its fixed route and ADA service. 

The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove requested $1,500 for the 4th annual Ronnie Viss Memorial Kids Day. 

The Noon Exchange Club requested $4,000 for the annual Feast of Sharing, a free community Thanksgiving dinner event held the week prior to Thanksgiving. 

The requests totaled $134,963, which is $10,500 more than the city had allocated from the general fund coffers for the next fiscal year. 

After discussion of the proposals and hearing an update from The HOP representatives about the upcoming new micro transit service that will begin this month in Copperas Cove, the council directed the city to allocate the additional $10,500 that would be needed to meet all organizations’ requests. This will be coming back for an official vote when the council votes to adopt the city’s proposed budget on Aug. 20. 

After the General Fund requests, the council moved on to consider each of the requests made for hotel occupancy tax funding, also referred to as HOT funds. The city receives HOT funds from the Copperas Cove hotels. 

HOT funds are primarily allocated for funding the acquisition, improvement, and operation of convention center or visitor information; advertising, solicitations, and promotions to attract tourists and convention delegates or registrants; encouragement, promotion, improvement, and application of the arts; funding historical restoration and museums; and also funding associated with hosting a sporting event

For the upcoming fiscal year, the City of Copperas Cove’s HOT funds account has a beginning fund balance of $386,091, as per the proposed budget. The anticipated revenue for the next fiscal year is $255,300. The City has made $236,500 available that organizations can apply for, to cover eligible expenses for their events. 

As with the General Fund requests, the City received more requests for HOT funds than is made available in the budget. 

Minus a $2,500 request from Cove House which was withdrawn from the requests, the City received a total of $270,108 in requests from non-City organizations. 

The City has already allocated some of the HOT funds, $4,000 for administrative cost reimbursement, $35,475 for Civic Center maintenance and operations, as well as $2,215 for City advertising with the Texas Lodging Association.

Altogether, including the City’s allocations, totaled $77,798 more than the $236,500 set aside for the upcoming year. 

Organizations requesting funds included:

Copperas Cove Historical Society - $8,500 for the Ogletree Gap Heritage Festival 

Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce – $115,688 for Visitor Bureau Operations 

Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce - $30,800 for Rabbit Fest 

Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce – $13,200 for Krist Kindl Markt

Not Rich, But Enriched - $11,920 for the 5th annual All Makes & Models Car/Bike Show & Beard/Stache Competition  

Launch Point Community Church - $90,000 for 4th of July Celebration 

During the discussion about the requests and allocations, City Budget Director Ariana Beckman said that in reviewing the first-time requests from Launch Point Community Church and from Not Rich, But Enriched, some of their intended requested funds were for “ineligible” use of the HOT Funds. 

“Ms. Beckman has already coordinated with the Texas Hotel Lodging Association to review and analyze each of these applications and funding requests. They have provided their opinion on the items that do qualify and don’t qualify, as the experts within the state law,” said City Manager Ryan Havlerah. “And so we rely on them to separate those items out and what city council has the option to do is allocate what could be considered eligible within those items. If City Council allocates more funding than that, regardless of how much money you do allocate, only those expenditures that qualify can still be reimbursed.”

The council came to a consensus to earmark funds in the amounts requested by the Historical Society and the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, and at this time, only earmark allocations for Launch Point and Not Rich, But Enriched, for expenses which would be considered eligible expenses. 

The remaining funds of $5,232 were divided between LaunchPoint Community Church and Not Rich, But Enriched based on eligible portions, to be reimbursed upon meeting full criteria. This funds both groups’ eligible requests at this point.

Altogether, LaunchPoint will receive a total allocation of $22,116, and Not Rich, But Enriched will receive a total allocation of $4,506 -- provided both organizations submit requests for eligible expenditures as approved by council.

The leaders of LaunchPoint, formerly at Cove Life Church, ran their event successfully for the past three years. For 2025, they wish to use HOT funds toward next year’s 4th of July celebration. The church requested $90,000, but an explanation of what the funds would be specifically used for was not part of the workshop packet. 

Not Rich, But Enriched (NRBE) is a local nonprofit led by Nikki Whitworth-Reazola, that wants to bring the 5th Annual All Makes & Models Car/Bike Show, Beard & Stache Competition to Copperas Cove.

NRBE outlined plans in their application, to include advertising ($500), flyers and signage ($540), sign holders ($550), event security ($480), eight porta-potties and two sinks ($1,000), Event Insurance ($250), Entertainment ($850), safety cones ($250), PA System ($1,500) and stage ($6,000). Reusable items would be used each year and for future events.

The event will be held April 4-6 in Cove Terrace Shopping Center, which is also the location of Whitworth-Reazola’s business, the Bookstore Barber Salon. 

The previous three years have seen hundreds attend the event. Last year, approximately 75 utilized Killeen hotels while visiting for the event. This year, Whitworth-Reazola said plans are to promote Copperas Cove hotels. 

Competitive “bearding” is a nationwide draw of competitors and the niche festival has national competitions in Philadelphia. 

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207