COPPERAS COVE -- The Copperas Cove City Council has taken the first step toward issuing certificates of obligation that will pay for projects and equipment purchases.

During the council workshop held prior to the regular meeting on Tuesday, Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah took the council through more than $8 million in expenditures that would be paid for by issuing the certificates.

The debt would pay for projects such as $1.7 million in radio communications system infrastructure and $1.48 million for the reconstruction of Pecan Cove Drive. The certificates would also pay for the purchase of radios for the fire department, new vehicles for various city departments, and various types of equipment for the parks and recreation department.

State law allows local governments to issue certificates of obligation to pay for public works without needing voter approval. Certificates are issued for terms of up to 40 years.

Haverlah said after the meeting that all the certificates issued by Copperas Cove are supported by property taxes, which are used as a sort of collateral for the debt. About $5 million of the certificates are tax-supported, $2.6 million are water and sewer supported, and $192,000 are golf course supported.

Some of the certificates issued will be repaid over seven years, while others will be repaid over 20 years.

The city must publicly advertise it’s intent to issue the certificates of obligation. A resolution authorizing that advertisement was approved unanimously by the council.

Also on the council’s agenda Tuesday:

  • The council approved a resolution to authorize Police Chief Eddie Wilson to apply for a federal grant to help fund body-worn cameras for Copperas Cove police officers. The estimated cost of implementing the program is $48,360. The grant would cover half that cost.
  • Held a second public hearing on recommended changes to the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget. No one spoke during the hearing, and the council approved the budget changes unanimously.
  • Received an update from the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance on their quarterly activities. Alliance Executive Director Keith Sledd informed the council that projects eligible for the state’s Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant will be discussed at a meeting this Thursday. The council voted unanimously to pay HOTDA $4,250 for professional services provided by the group.
  • Received an update from Five Hills Art Guild President Linda Lapierre regarding the “Bridge the Gap” art festival. Lapierre said the festival’s relocation to Ogletree Gap Preserve was a success and added that allowing artists to set up the night before the event led to additional hotel room stays in Copperas Cove. The council authorized payment of $5,232.93 from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund for expenses related to the event.
  • Approved the naming of Dustin Dewald to an open seat on the Sign Regulations Workgroup Ad Hoc Committee.
  • Gave the Copperas Cove Fire Department permission to dispose of portable radios that no longer meet necessary standards and authorized the department to purchase new radios that will be reimbursed through a Homeland Security grant.

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