Council discusses possible bond election for November
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Copperas Cove voters could be looking at a possible bond election in November for the construction of a new animal control facility for the city.
That’s the direction the Copperas Cove city council is leaning after discussions at a planning session on Thursday, during which the council heard more about the proposed project, with a price tag of $7,473,000.
According to the presentation, the kennels are at full capacity and a new facility would enable more animals to be housed and allow for longer stays in the shelter, increasing the opportunity for animals to be adopted, and decreasing the number to be euthanized.
The new shelter would also address issues with storage space, state mandated guidelines, proper intake, and visitation areas.
According to a needs assessment completed in December 2017, the oldest part of the shelter, Kennel B, is 30 years old, built in 1988. The present Kennel A and office space was built in 2002.
The needs assessment also pointed out issues with the current facilities, namely flooding, rat infestation, deterioration of the building, drainage issues, food and supply storage issues, and work space.
Instead of taking a vote themselves to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds for the project, the council discussed the idea of letting Copperas Cove voters decide.
The vote to fund the new animal shelter construction would be the first put to the voters since November 2013, when voters approved a $6.4 million bond for the future construction of Fire Station No. 4, which is planned for the east side of Copperas Cove.
The Animal Shelter bond would increase property taxes by 5 cents per $100 valuation for the life of the note.
Other projects the council looked at include the expansion and redesign of Fire Station No. 3, on West Highway 190, that according to the presentation wasn’t constructed in a way to allow for future community growth and needs. It also is only staffed with two personnel per sihft for three apparatus, and in 2017, there were “1,008 times Engine 3 and 151 times Medic 3 were out of service due to in adequate staffing.” The department called this a critical need for immediate expansion. That proposed expansion is a little more than $2 million.