Hart sworn in to Copperas Cove city council, council accepts bid for Pecan Cove Drive reconstruction
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove City Council said goodbye to Place 6 Councilmember Marc Payne and welcomed Vonya Hart to fill his seat Tuesday.
A reception was held to say farewell to Payne. City Manager Ryan Haverlah presented Payne with his name plate, a plaque and an official City of Copperas Cove flag, on behalf of the city.
Judge Bill Price administered the oath of office to Hart following the reception, during the workshop meeting, and Hart took her place amongst her fellow councilmembers.
Hart said she looks forward to serving the community, building relationships in the community, and joining the council’s efforts of moving forward.
“I believe that whatever issues come before me, I will keep the community in mind and thoroughly research the issue to the best of my ability before coming to any decision. Preparedness is the key!” Hart told the Leader-Press.
During the council’s regular meeting, the council awarded a bid for more than $1.3 million from TTG Utilities for the Pecan Cove Drive Reconstruction and Drainage Improvements Project. TTG is the same contractor that will be constructing the sidewalks and median on Business 190.
Pecan Cove Drive was first annexed into the city limits in 1996. The reconstruction portion project was initially placed into the 2010-2014 Capital Improvement Plan due to the failing condition of the road, and the drainage improvements portion of the project was initially placed in the 2015-2019 Capital Improvement Plan.
The road is continuing to deteriorate at a very fast pace and guard rails are also included in the project. The drainage system is currently inadequate, with storm water runoff exacerbating further roadway failure and erosion of the existing bar ditch along the west side of the road, resulting in a narrower passageway for two-way traffic. The drainage component of the project will allow for proper drainage of water runoff and help preserve the new roadway and eliminate the associated issues along the right of way.
The funding for the Pecan Cove Drive Reconstruction and Drainage Improvements Project was approved and made available in the Drainage Fund Operating Budget in fiscal year 2018-19 and also in the city’s 2019 Certificates of Obligation bonds.
TTG Utilities, LP was the lowest bidder, at $1,346,431.
The city council also held two public hearings on Tuesday. The first public hearing was on amending the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget. Being the first of two required public hearings, no action was taken.
The proposed budget changes include an overall revenue increase of $46,332 and an overall expenditure increase of $252,197 in the General Fund; an overall revenue increase of $66,000 and an overall expenditure increase of $800,150 in the Water and Sewer Fund; an overall expenditure increase of $158,057 in the Solid Waste Fund; and an overall revenue and expenditure increase of $559 for a golf cart repair in the Golf Course Fund. The Drainage Fund also requires an overall expenditure increase of $1,833,816, while the Street Maintenance Fund requires an overall expenditure increase of $688,774 for street maintenance projects (tier 1 and 2) as approved by City Council. The PEG Fee Fund requires an overall expenditure increase of $110,000 for Council Chambers Audio/Visual & Broadcast upgrades, and the Court Technology Fund requires an overall expenditure increase of $1,000 for the purchase of two scanners.
The Parks Special Events Fund requires an overall revenue increase of $16,900 and an overall expenditure increase of $24,316 related to special events such as Fall Festival, Food Truck Festival, Polar Bear Run/Plunge, and Farmers Market. The City-Wide Donations Fund requires an overall revenue increase of $6,270 and an overall expenditure increase of $161,908. The Grant Fund also requires an overall revenue increase of $1,096,355 and an overall expenditure increase of $1,096,660, and the Law Enforcement Block Grant requires an overall revenue and expenditure increase of $1,388 for purchase of bulletproof vests for police officers.
The next public hearing was regarding the consideration followed by a vote to approve rezoning for 301 W. Business 190, the location of Crossroads Veterinary Hospital, from B-4 (General Retail District) to B-5 (Commercial Services District.
The city council also took action to accept the resignation of Billie Pederson from the Quality of Life Advisory Board and appoint an alternate member to replace her in Place 3. Per the board’s bylaws, the alternate members shall automatically move into a voting member position upon a vacancy being created for an unexpired term. The three alternates were Susan Dick, Alexis Webster, James Williams. Councilmember Fred Chavez nominated Susan Dick, which was seconded by Councilmember Dianne Campbell. The motion to approve appointing Dick to Place 3 was approved unanimously.
The city council also approved conditionally accepting drainage and access easements and an associated operation and maintenance plan, as well as authorized the city manager to certify compliance with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations as required by FEMA, for detention and related stormwater facilities associated with the Creekside Hills development.
“As part of the Creekside Hills development, which began back in 2016, the developer of the property (WBW Development Group) constructed a detention and flood control facility that is approximately 4.31 acres in size to capture, control and release stormwater originating from the development and also from upstream origination points,” said Public Works Director Scott Osburn. “The facility was originally proposed to FEMA as Phase I of this was going through through a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) to be located and constructed adjacent to the floodplain and floodway to prevent a rise in floodwaters associated with that development. While construction plans were developed and submitted to the city for this facility, this facility was not contained within either Phase I or Phase II of the platted areas of this development. The facility will be contained, my understanding, in a future phase of this development. Following FEMA’s approval of the Conditional Letter of Map Revision, the developer constructed the facility and proceeded to file a final Letter of Map Revision.”
If approved, this will modify the existing floodplain to track with the development and the facility’s carrying capacity.
The city council also approved an amendment to the city’s sign regulations. The amendment adds language to regulate the time, place and manner of searchlights. With a permit and a time limit of three consecutive days per permit, and a limit of two permits per year per business, the amendment states that the business searchlight must not have glaring or illumination that interferes with traffic safety, must not be within 500 feet of a residential area and must not be placed in public street right-of-way.
During the workshop meeting, the council heard a presentation from Copperas Cove Police Capt. Jeremy Alber regarding proposed revisions to Chapter 3 of the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding Animals and Fowl, specifically dangerous.
The Texas Health and Safety Code (HSC) 822 defines “Dangerous Dog” as a dog that “makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.”
The city’s Code of Ordinance defined a “Dangerous Animal” similarly; however, the attack referred to did not have to be to a “person” as described by the HSC, but rather the ordinance included “another domesticated animal”.
The revisions proposed would change the ordinance to mirror the HSC for consistency..
“Essentially, what we’re going to do is by adding the definition in the definitions section of the aggressive animals, we’re going to make it so that if an animal attacks another animal, we can actually hold it accountable or hold the owner accountable,” Alber said. “It really mirrors that of the Health and Safety Code as well; however, what we’ve done is instead of where it says ‘a dangerous dog’, we’ve changed that to ‘aggressive animal’ and again mirrored the Health and Safety Code so that it stays consistent within the ordinance.”
Consensus among council members was to bring the changes to a future meeting as an action item to consider.