COPPERAS COVE — Wednesday’s State of the City Address focused on numerous events, programs and projects that took place in the past year.

The opening of Whataburger and H-E-B Plus!, which marked the first businesses in the Five Hills shopping center, were highlights City Manager Andrea Gardner mentioned during the address. “I (always) heard ... Cove needed a bigger H-E-B, and this dream has come true.”

She said residents can help the city continue to attract businesses. Potential retailers will look at the city’s current business climate and see how residents support current establishments.

“If those wants are to be realized, people need to patronize our stores,” Gardner said. “Shop in Cove. Buy in Cove.”

Community functions such as the Holiday Bowl and the chamber’s military affairs dinners were recognized for their contributions to the city.

The fire and police departments hold the Holiday Bowl flag football game each December to collect toys for the Blue Santa program, Gardner said.

While the police department won last year’s bowl, 14-8, “The true winner were the kids who received the toys,” she said.

Through the military dinners, the city and the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce strengthen ties with Fort Hood.

Rabbit Fest and the Heart of Texas Bowl bring thousands of tourists who spend money. “The two (college football) games brought an estimated 6,500 people to our city,” Gardner said.

She also gave an update on the State Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 190 bypass projects.

The bypass, which will take traffic from the east side of Copperas Cove south past Farm-to-Market 2657, is expected to be completed in May, Gardner said. Highway 9, which will take traffic from the east side of Cove north to FM 116, should be finished by the end of the year.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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