Council adopts tax rate, annual budget at Tuesday meeting
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Copperas Cove city council formally adopted the 2017-201 budget for the City of Copperas Cove, along with a 2017 property tax rate during its first regular meeting for the month of September.
The council also approved the adoption of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation’s 2017-2018 budget as well.
In addition to the budget and tax rate approval, the council also approved the city’s capital outlay plan for 2018-2022, the capital improvement plan for 2018-2022, and the personnel improvement plan for 2018-2022.
The council held a public hearing and subsequently approved an amendment to the city’s 2016-2017 budget, which reflects budget adjustments to be made from various departments and city funds, one of which is an increase in revenue to the general fund of $122,112, along with an overall decrease in expenditures of $410,449.
Fee schedule amendments were approved by the council to include adding a Youth Sports Team Fees of $300 per team for fall baseball; a Fall Baseball Gate Fee of $150 per team; Food Manager License classroom training fee of $120; revising the credit card processing fee from $2 to 2.8 percent.
One fee was removed, as proposed by councilman Jay Manning, that of the $10 backflow test fee.
“We’re the only city in the area that I know of that does this, and it’s a fee charged just to do a test. It causes a lot of heartburn,” Manning said. “Covites are paying more to get the same thing done than anyone else.” Those with sprinkler systems must first hire a qualified tester, who must get a permit, then test the system, the submit paperwork to the city.
Councilman Dan Yancey asked for an estimate on how many annually are issued by the city, with Public Works Director Michael Cleghorn gave a rough, on-the-spot guess of perhaps 1,700 residences that require backflow testing.
All the fee additions and changes take effect on Oct. 1, 2017.
The council also authorized the submission of a grand application by Fire Chief Michael Neujahr for tuition reimbursement for firefighter training, and also gave approval of a bid by Fuelman to provide off premise fuel supply and management for the city’s vehicles.
It also directed the city’s Quality of Life board to set about officially renaming the city’s Municipal Civic Center to the Copperas Cove Civic Center.
The council held a brief executive session regarding the city manager’s evaluation at the end of the meeting, after which it emerged to announce that according to the city manager’s contract, wherein she met her established goals for 2016-2017, she would receive a $7,802.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first in the new council chambers for the council. The building also houses office space for the city’s IT department as well as other offices to include the city budget director and public information officer.