GATESVILLE — Howdy, Copperas Cove. Here is what is going on downrange in Coryell County.

With the State Highway 9 bypass set to open soon, the county commissioners are bracing for an inevitable growth spurt northwest of Cove.

Improvements to Oak Springs, Bea Powell and Slater roads are the focus of the county’s efforts to get Texas Department of Transportation dollars through creation of one or two Counties Energy Reinvestment Transportation Zones.

Commissioners will finish that application in February. Stay tuned.

A bigger growth-related issue the commissioners are struggling to get their arms around is water.

County Judge John Firth asked the head of the Texas Water Development Board to focus planning efforts on the area.

“Groundwater sources and surface water districts that are challenged by numerous issues currently support the future growth west and northwest of Fort Hood,” Firth said in a letter to Kevin Patteson, executive administrator of the board.

Because water needs of Coryell and Lampasas counties are different from those of other counties in the Middle Trinity regional planning district, Firth said in the letter, the district’s planning process cannot address the area’s issues.

“Particularly challenging,” Firth said, is that the water supply company, Multi-County Water Supply Corporation, which supports a large area west of Fort Hood that includes more than 25 percent of Coryell County, does not have sufficient capacity to support current users much less future growth.

Firth said he is appealing directly to the water development board because the area spans too many different water-planning regions and districts to adequately address local needs.

So, if you plan to attend the opening of the new bypass, better bring a canteen.

Contact Tim Orwig at

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