By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

The arduous search for a new executive director for the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp. will continue with a helping hand from a third party.

The CCEDC heard presentations from three executive search firms to help with the hunt at its meeting last week.

It's been nearly two months since former Executive Director Jerry Conner handed in his resignation to the CCEDC board of directors.

CCEDC Marketing Director Monica Hull said it has received 13 resumes since, but the development corporation is now seeking the aid of a third party search firm to expand the applicant pool.

Hull said the board announced the economic development corporation's selection of the firm that will perform the search at its Thursday meeting; however the announcement came after press time.

The Pace Group would cost approximately $30,000, Chris Hartung and Associates and Johnson and Associates would cost approximately $15,000 for their services.

Hull said the board is looking for "a firm who will take the time to understand not just our organization, but our community."

Once chosen, the search firm is set to begin its national search for an executive director candidate in early January.Hull said before a new director is hired, prospective candidate will meet with community leaders.

"(They) will meet with community leaders so everybody has the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas on the qualities in the new executive director," she said. "The community leaders will have input to the qualities needed in our community."

During the Nov. 19 council meeting, the council voted to require the new executive director be a graduate of the Oklahoma University International Economic Development Institute. The board will review the resumes they received and forward those they would be interested in being considered.

In other business, the CCEDC paid off the manufacturer the remaining $42,302.50 for the 10-by-20 foot digital sign. The council still owes $16,000 for the erection of the sign to be paid after it is put up.

The controversial $238,000 sign was a part of the agreement the CCEDC made with Cinergy Cinemas to bring the development to the area. The large sign would promote the entertainment center and allow more visibility of the Constitution Drive development from U.S. Highway 190.

Hull said the funds were wired Monday and she expects the sign's delivery to Cove within the next two weeks.

In an agreement between the sign salesman Mark Josendale and the CCEDC, Josendale agreed to pay $535 to transport the sign to Copperas Cove and will reimburse the CCEDC the $75 a month cost to store the sign for three months.

Hull said the sign will be stored at the mini storage off Avenue D.

The Texas Department of Transportation visited Copperas Cove Dec. 7 to look at three prospective sites to house the digital sign.

The first site is the current location of the Business Park sign, and the other two sites are located farther east on Hwy. 190 on Copperas Cove Industrial Foundation property - the site between Arby's and the lift station on Hwy. 190.

The original site, on Fort Hood property on the north side of Hwy. 190, was not approved by TxDOT earlier this year because the sign has to be located in the incorporated city limits.

Hull said the corporation expects to hear back from TxDOT sometime this week.

Contact Alicia Lacy at or (254) 501-7476.

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