By Audrey Spencer
The Cove Herald
Copperas Cove City Council members and the Economic Development Corporation board recently approved amending EDC bylaws to allow Polo Enriquez to live outside the city.
Enriquez, executive director of the city's EDC, presented the request first at the June 28 regular EDC board meeting, then at the July 17 council meeting.
Each group approved his request.
"We felt like Polo's done an exceptional job for the EDC," said Dan Yancey, chairman of the corporation's board.
"We know the commitment he has for Copperas Cove and for the continued development that's taking place. It will not change as far as where he lives."
Enriquez said he made the request to live within 50 miles of Copperas Cove because he wants to take advantage of opportunities available now as he prepares for his eventual retirement.
"I need to start preparing for the next stage of my life. First, let me say that I plan to work for five, six, seven more years, and I want to spend those work years in Copperas Cove," said Enriquez. "Right now, and maybe for the next 12 months, the housing market will favor the buyer and interest rates will remain at very low levels. I'd like to take advantage of these circumstances."
Projects Enriquez mentioned hoping to see complete and "bear fruit" include The Narrows business and technology park; the Horseshoe development, a smaller 23-acre business park being developed by the Industrial Foundation; improvements on Old Copperas Cove Road; and the Five Hills shopping center, one of the biggest undertakings.
Enriquez said he also wants to get another land swap started and focus on downtown revitalization and business retention while he's still serving as executive director.
"Like some members of the CCEDC board, I want to be around to see the completion of several large projects that have been in the works here for many years," said Enriquez.
Proven dedication to the city's economic development is among the reasons the board feels comfortable letting Enriquez commute to the city.
"I want the citizens to know that (Enriquez's) commitment to Copperas Cove will not change," said Yancey. "We know and he knows he's not going to be here forever. He's doing an exceptional job for us, and we're extremely pleased with the work he's done."
Enriquez will live outside the city as he sees development projects through and prepares for retirement, which he said he envisions as a "country club-like setting where I can walk out my back door and swing a golf club."
Mayor John Hull said he doesn't anticipate any issues arising from Enriquez living outside the city.
"He's not like a fire chief or police chief that has to be on call," said Hull.
"The man is looking for a place to make his home, and evidently he found what he's looking for. It just happened to be outside the city."
When Enriquez does leave his position, the bylaws will revert to their original wording, requiring the executive director of the city's EDC to live within the city limits.
Contact Audrey Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.