Sutherland Building Material Centers coming to Cove
Fri, 2016-09-09 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Tuesday night, Copperas Cove city council approved a 380 economic development agreement between the city and Sutherland Building Materials, LP, the company which plans to open a store in the vacant HE-B building.
The agreement will expire on December 31, 2032, and as one of Sutherland’s obligations for the agreement, the company must create at least 25 full-time jobs with an annual average salary of $24,947 in the calendar year 2017. The company must also put a minimum of $300,000 into the property, and when fully developed, the property must have a minimum value of $2,250,000 which must continue to be maintained throughout the time of the agreement.
In exchange, the city promises to give Sutherland Building Materials, LP grant payments for 40 percent of the sales tax revenue and 40 percent of the property tax revenue. The total amount of the grant payments from the city shall not exceed $823,251 during the time period of the agreement.
Also on Tuesday night, the council held the second public hearing for the proposed tax rate of 79.7908 cents per $100 of taxable assessed value for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, for which it took a record vote on July 28 during a special meeting. The first hearing was on Aug. 16. No one spoke at Tuesday night’s hearing.
The city council amended and approved a resolution to set a purchase price for Allin House located at 401 N. Main St. along with frontage property of the former landfill on Boys Ranch Road. The Boys Ranch Road property is currently leased to the Cove Saddle Club for $1 per month.
However, the old city hall located at 507 S. Main St. and the Utility Administration Building located at 305 S. Main St. were taken off the sales block in an amended motion by place 6 councilman George Duncan.
“I’m just not real comfortable or positive that it’s in the best interest of the city to sell old city hall. They’re not making any more property and once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Duncan said, adding that he had the same reservations about selling the utility administration building. “Those are my two reservations on those two pieces of property. I really have no reservations at all about the Allin House or the Boys Ranch Road.”
Lack said the old city hall is a prime piece of property, and that it should be torn down and the property kept as green space or added parking, once the new IS building is installed.
The cost estimate to demolish the old city hall building along with the old police station—not the current location which is leased by Star Group – Veterans Helping Veterans—was around $65,000, said city manager Andrea Gardner. She agreed that “you can never have too much parking” where the site of the old city hall property is concerned. However, the new IT building will already have the required amount of spaces for that building.
Lack expressed concerns that should the old city hall property be sold, someone could build a “strip mall” there which would cause problems in that area. However, Gardner pointed out that property is currently zoned as a public facility and nothing like that could be built there, unless a future city council approved a zoning change.
As part of the consent agenda, the council approved $4,750 in emergency repairs to a 20-inch pump motor at one of the facilities in Killeen that sends water to Copperas Cove from its supplier and also approved changes to the city’s purchasing policy.
An area of Indian Camp Trail in Walker Place will now receive an additional street light after approval of the council on Tuesday night. City manager Andrea Gardner told the council a citizen had contacted place 2 councilman James Pierce Jr. about the issue of poor lighting in that section of the street. Oncor did a study and determined that the area did need a light and would install a street light at that location at no cost to the city.
The council took no action on a cost-sharing and reimbursement agreement for Military Affairs dinners held by the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee.
The council did approve an ordinance to establish of punishments and penalties for contempt of city council due to the failure to comply with a subpoena issued for witness testimony or production of documents related to an investigation by the city council.
The council also approved an additional expense of around $1,500 for city manager Andrea Gardner to participate in activities at the Army’s National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Cal. in October. Gardner said she was invited to attend by the Killeen Chamber of Commerce.
The council rejected a bid for the parks ground crew building, which came in from Lyness Construction at a little over $900,000, significantly higher than what BSP Engineers anticipated.
The council did vote to accept $90,000 in state funding for a drainage project for Avenue D, which will be included in the upcoming three-phase Avenue D sidewalk project.
Sean Corrigan, president and CEO of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, presented the chamber’s financial report for the month of July. For that month, the chamber spent $22,690.25 in HOT funds related expenses, bringing the total expenditures for the fiscal year to $230,851.59.
Interim director of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, Monica MacKay, presented the EDC’s monthly financial and activity report for July 2016. The council gave no comment on either report during the meeting. However, at the conclusion of the meeting, place 1 councilman David Morris said he would like to see the chamber receive its next payment as soon as possible.
The council met in executive session to discuss the vacant H-E-B property, to discuss the semi-annual evaluation of city manager Andrea Gardner, as well as discuss the interim public works director position. The only action taken after that session was to vote on the 380 agreement with Sutherland.