By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

Copperas Cove's water distribution workers demonstrated what the East Pump Station could do the night before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony after a water issue June 17 could have possibly disturbed the city's water supply.

The 500,000-gallon prestressed concrete tank is designed to pump 1 million gallons of water a day, but pumped just 2.3 gallons June 17 after complications when workers tried to tie in a new 30-inch line in to an existing 20-inch line at the Turkey Run Pump Station, Water Distribution Superintendent Daniel Hawbecker said.

"It's to the diligence and hard work of the 11 people at the water department that the city has a superior system," Public Works Director Bob McKinnon said.

Early Thursday morning, city and Chamber of Commerce officials and representatives from Fort Hood gathered at the East Pump Station for the ribbon-cutting, dedication and thank-you ceremony.

Through the collaborative efforts of the city and Fort Hood, the pump station became a reality despite an encumbrance that arose mid-construction of the facility.

At the ceremony, City Manager Andrea Gardner told attendees the process it took to make the pump station a reality, starting in 2005 when McKinnon began working with the Army to secure an easement for the land.

"We began constructing in November 2007," Gardner said. "In February 2008, we received a nice letter from the Army that said you owe $440,000 for the easement."

Because easements in the past were done without a charge, Gardner began working with Col. Bill Hill, Fort Hood garrison commander, and Kirk Marek, Fort Hood real property accountable officer, from the public works department on Fort Hood to resolve the issue.

Gardner said they began the task of writing letters and after being denied, "the Department of the Army decided, since they had implemented fair market value during the middle of the process when acquiring this easement that it wouldn't be fair to apply that to this

particular easement."

"We hung in there and through perseverance … we were able to get that $440,000 waived without issuing an additional debt for the city," Gardner said.

After working with the city, Hill said it is his mission to provide support to the soldiers, their families and make sure that support extends to everyone surrounding them.

Following the ceremony, Hill was presented with tokens of appreciation from the city and chamber, which included a plaque mounted on the pump station.

"I'm just doing my job," Hill said.

Pump Maintenance Supervisor Daniel Joost will supervise the new pump station, which will split the work with the Turkey Run Pump Station.

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

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