Copperas Cove's City’s Street Department makes the rounds for pothole repair
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Although the warm temperatures of July make February's subfreezing week of cold and power outages more of a memory, Copperas Cove residents are still left with evidence of Winter Storm Uri: potholes.
So far, the city’s Street Department has been making repairs and has completed approximately 60 as of last week, according to Scott Osburn, Copperas Cove’s Director of Public Works.
That’s out of approximately 317 damage areas identified during the comprehensive assessment that was begun immediately following Winter Storm Uri.
Osburn said the assessment was based on both citizen reports and field assessment by the department.
Of the 317 areas, about 194 were determined to be within the Street Department’s capability to handle within a reasonable period of time in-house, with the cost to be absorbed within the department’s existing budget, Osburn said.
The remaining 123 areas are larger damage locations, such as on Skyline Drive, Freedom Lane, Big Divide Road, and others, and the city expects to outsource those in the near future through the standard bidding process.
If residents have concerns about potholes in their neighborhood or a particular area of the city, Osburn said they can report those directly to the City's Street Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 254-547-2168.
Osburn said presently, street repairs are being solely funded via the city’s existing budget and street maintenance funds from the city’s 1/8-cent sales tax allocation which has been earmarked for such work.
Initially, the city identified as much as $1 million in street damages due to Uri. Osburn said that several locations have been also been identified.
Although the federal government is said to be providing states and municipalities with some disaster funding due to Uri, it doesn’t look like the city’s street funding will receive any help from that avenue.
“The city has participated in a FEMA session, which was attended by Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) representatives. Based on that session, federal funds are only available for very limited categories of storm-damaged public infrastructure. Notably, most street damage is not covered by the relevant declarations as FEMA considers the vast majority of the damage to be associated with street maintenance,” Osburn said. “At this time, no other state or federal funding has been determined to exist to assist the City with the repairs.”
One particular area which has massive potholes, some of which are as much as six to eight inches deep, is a portion of a parking lot that connects Avenue D with the plaza which houses Valvoline Oil Change, Dollar Tree, Cadence Church, Décor & More, as well as San Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant.
The corner of Avenue D and this area has a sign which marks it as “S. 12 Street.” However, it is not a public street but is privately owned.
Osburn admitted that newer employees in the City Street Department “inadvertently” repaired this area in 2019, but said it was an “error” as it is private property. The cost estimate for the repair at that time was less than $300, Osburn said, and included placement of base and an asphalt overlay.
This parcel of property, as per the Coryell County Appraisal District’s website and internal plat research, is actually listed as 710 E. Avenue D according to the city, and is listed as being owned by McGoldrick Enterprises, Inc. based out of Belton. This is the parent company which owns the Valvoline Oil Change.