Council establishes city’s population at 34,272

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 

It’s official: the population of the City of Copperas Cove as of January 1, 2018 is 34,272. The Copperas Cove city council voted at its meeting on Tuesday night to approve an ordinance designating that number as the city’s population. The number is based on the total of new housing permits since the last census in 2010, and multiplying that number by the census household size for Copperas Cove of 2.68 per household. The result is then added to the 2010 census population of 32,032. 
The council voted to postpone a decision on an agreement with Change Healthcare Technology Enabled Services, LLC and the city to help it receive reimbursement for uncollected EMS transportation fees. “There are certain amounts of money we’re unable to collect for various reasons,” Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young told the council. According to the agenda item, in the calendar year 2017, the department lost $521,910.20 in fees, and $439,546.89 in 2016.
For a setup fee of $5,500 and a 14 percent share, the firm would help collect unpaid EMS fees to the city by obtaining those reimbursements. 
Young introduced Kevin Coyle, with Change Healthcare, who would be available to answer questions about the proposed agreement.
Coyle said the program is the Texas Ambulance Supplemental Payment Program, which would help the department as a public entity get reimbursed on a portion of the Medicaid and uninsured patients that it transports. He said the city could potentially receive as much as $130,000 the first year, and then after that as much as $200,000 annually, and that Change Healthcare has experience with over the 30 providers participating the program. 
Councilman Jay Manning made a motion to “postpone this until we can get some more information,” which was seconded by councilman Dan Yancey, which was approved by the council on a 4-3 vote. 
It is unclear what information Manning was looking for, as no discussion was entertained regarding that information prior to the vote. However, the agenda item included a copy of the proposed agreement along with a document containing information about the reimbursement program and the other communities in Texas that have agreements with Change Healthcare. 
The council also held two public hearings on Tuesday, and then voted to pass amendments for both the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation’s budget and the city’s 2017-2018 budget. The EDC’s budget was amended to include two more personnel for that department, at a cost of $90,330 for the remainder of the fiscal year. The city’s budget amendment included the addition of an additional meter reader/service technician in the Utility Department, at a cost of $30,503 for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Interim city manager Ryan Haverlah was appointed to represent the City of Copperas Cove on the Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Advisory Committee, with that position previously filled by the prior city manager. 
“(This is the) transportation planning organization in our region, where we work and request funding for improvements to state roadways as well as trails, some sidewalk improvements. The City of Copperas Cove has received a great benefit from its participation in the technical advisory committee,” Haverlah said, recommending himself for the spot, but also stated the council could appoint someone else. He was appointed unanimously. 
The council held an executive session regarding applications and possible interviews of potential city manager candidates. They emerged from that discussion, with mayor Frank Seffrood announcing that the council has decided to enlist the services of a professional service firm to obtain qualified candidates for that position. Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah confirmed that the city would be issuing a request for qualifications from firms and the council would receive those RFQs back in the near future.

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