By Audrey Spencer

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation on Thursday authorized work on a contract to build a U.S. Highway 190 welcome sign at the city's west end.

Polo Enriquez, executive director of the corporation, proposed to the board that business attraction funds from the budget be used to replace the sign currently in place at the west side of town.

"The existing welcome sign is not going to be there much longer," said Enriquez. "The structure is not holding up."

State transportation agency to fund replacement

The Texas Department of Transportation will fund the replacement of the east-side welcome sign when it is torn down to make room for the State Highway 9 northeast bypass.

The sign proposed by Enriquez will be identical, except for the landscaping.

"We will use a local contractor for plants," said Enriquez. "We're going to stay away from TxDOT landscaping."

The east-side sign bid was for $4,600 of TxDOT funds, according to information from the meeting agenda.

The breakdown is $2,100 budgeted for the sign and $2,500 for plants.

The estimate for the identical west-side sign, to be paid for by the corporation, is $4,400, which includes a new lighting system and landscaping carried out by a local company.

Report on business survey

Business retention specialist Jim Aanstoos, who was recently hired, presented a report on the state of the upcoming local business survey.

"We're in a preliminary stage, and I've laid out a flowchart," he said.

"We intend to roll it out after the first of the school semester, Jan. 17, because we're going to rely on (Central Texas College) business program students to conduct the survey."

Members of the corporation hope to get started on surveys even sooner, and with the help of the college students, reach every business in Copperas Cove.

From the survey, the corporation hopes to gain valuable insight on what it can do to help local businesses.

"The program will become ongoing," said Aanstoos.

"The objective is to meet face-to-face and make a connection."

The board also:

Approved paying a $1,235 invoice from the Law Office of Robert J. Gradel for legal services received between Oct. 25 and Nov. 25.

Authorized payment of $16,904.90 to Walker Partners for engineering and surveying services in relation to The Shops at Five Hills.

Announced a pre-bid meeting for Shops at Five Hills/Business & Technology park infrastructure at 2 p.m. Jan. 3. It will open bids for park infrastructure at 2 p.m. Jan. 10.

Discussed the corporation, and city and Copperas Cove Independent School District representatives attending a presentation

on a graphic information systems at 10 a.m. Jan. 12.

The system would provide city employees and residents with access to technology that would display aerial views of parts of the city.

Approved the October and November financial reports.

Contact Audrey Spencer at or (254) 501-7476.

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