By Lauren Cabral and Mason W. Canales

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove City Council had a lengthy zoning debate during its Tuesday meeting after a resident requested a portion of the Crest View Heights subdivision be rezoned from residential to local business.

Mickey Deck, owner of Cove Driving School, told the council he'd like 1005 Phil Ave. to be reclassified from two-family residential to local business so he could set up a driving school at the property he owns.

Deck said his parents live in the neighborhood, so he has a vested interest, and he would only instruct four to six students at one time.

To rezone the property, the council would have to amend the Future Land Use Plan, which says the area should remain low-density residential, according to city planner Joseph Pace and Chris Stewart of Espy Consultants. City staff recommended not amending the plan, but noted the city's Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the amendment be made and the lot rezoned.

The council debated the amendment and rezoning for about 30 minutes since some parts of the area had already been rezoned to accommodate businesses.

In the end, the council approved the amendment 5-1, with Councilman Charlie Youngs opposing, making the area north of Phil Avenue, east of Laura Street and west of Margaret Lee Street retail/commercial instead of low-density residential.

The council members then unanimously approved rezoning Deck's property to local business.

Before the meeting, a workshop was held to discuss updates of the Copperas Cove Business Park area development.

Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Polo Enriquez said the CCEDC Business and Technology Park, which is aimed to be located across from Constitution Court on Constitution Drive, should include businesses concerned with renewable energy production, construction material, medical devices and light manufacturing, as well as distribution and logistics.

Enriquez said the project would likely be in the works for two or three years.

He also pointed out the Shops of Five Hills is making progress, and clarified the retail development would span 1.1 million square feet, which 34 Copperas Cove Bulldawg Football stadiums could fit into.

"It's a large one, and it'll be regional in nature," Enriquez said.

Consititution Court should be pre-leasing soon, Enriquez said, and streetlights will soon be installed along Constitution Drive.

Gardner gave updates on the Northeast Sewer Line project, planned to enhance the development of the Copperas Cove Business Park. Officials are in the process of securing easements associated with the project.

Resolutions accepting dedications of 15-foot permanent water and wastewater easements and 15-foot temporary construction easements by Copperas Cove Storage LLC, through Donald R. Clauson, and through Benny M. and Benny C. Boyd, were approved at the meeting in relation to the project. The easements for Cove Storage will cost $33,885, and those for the Boyds will cost $80,148.07.

Other action taken by the council included:

Robert McKinnon, Public Works division head, received retirement recognition. He served in his position from April 1983 to April 2011.

The Copperas Cove Junior High School cheerleaders, along with Monica Hull, Silvia and Brian Rhoads, received certificates of appreciation for assistance in the production of the Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership video to promote regional recycling.

The city budget for fiscal year 2010-11 was amended to redistribute $14,936 and add $115,199 in expenditures, which will come from the fund balance.

Gardner was authorized to execute a contract with Bell Air Conditioning of Belton to upgrade and install 16 energy-efficient heating ventilation and air conditioning units in city facilities.

The council awarded bids for fire and rescue equipment for the Copperas Cove Fire Department to Casco Industries and Wilson Fire Equipment for a total of $100,284.60.

The council awarded a bid to Big Tex paving for the 2011 Street Seal Coat Project for $120,293.58.

Gardner was authorized to enter a contract with APAC-Texas for the 2011 Street Hot mix Asphalt Concrete Overlay Project for $103,525.20.

Kempner Water Supply Corporation

KEMPNER - The Kempner Water Supply Corporation Board of Directors purchased warranties for two compressors at the Cliff and Eldine Poe Regional Water Treatment Plant and decided to work with residents to help eliminate noise at the plant.

The corporation elected to take a one-year contract for a service warranty on two compressors by Atlas Copco CTS at the plant for $12,400.

The warranty covers almost any type of maintenance and repair, said the corporation's general manager, David Sneed.

The board had several options, including a more limited service plan for about $1,000 less, or extending the warranties out to five years and saving 5 percent on the cost per year.

The board questioned if the warranties would be needed since the plant has only been operating since May and since it is discussing selling the plant to Water Control and Improvement District No. 1.

Sneed said that if the board wanted to continue using the compressors, it should purchase the warranties so that if a compressor goes out, the organization wouldn't have to worry about the second going out as well.

"When one goes out, you are on pins and needles because you never know when the other goes out," Sneed said.

After the board purchased the warranties, Ron Hill, a Salado resident, asked the board if it would investigate what residents could do to help reduce the noise caused by the compressors.

Hill said the board already has done a significant amount of work to reduce the noise by placing a wood fence around the site, but more could be done, such as possibly placing acoustic absorbing materials on the fence.

After several questions to Sneed and to Perry Steger, the corporation's engineer, the board allowed the engineer to meet with residents at the plant site to discuss further ways to reduce noise pollution.

The corporation also:

Approved the March financial and balance sheet report.

Authorized the corporation's administrative assistant to be added as a signatory for the First State Bank of Burnet.

Conducted an executive session to deliberate about real property regarding the sale of the Cliff and Eldine Poe Regional Water Plant, at 10441 Cedar Knob Church Road.

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