• December 27, 2014

City Council sets vote on $4.6M bond in November

Bond to fund new fire station, 2 fire trucks in Cove

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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:31 pm | Updated: 11:45 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

COPPERAS COVE — A $4.6 million bond issue to relocate the city’s second fire station and purchase two additional fire trucks will go before voters on Nov. 6, as well as several proposed city charter changes.

On Tuesday, the City Council decided to push the decision of constructing a new fire station at Grimes Crossing Road and Avenue B to replace the station at 1208 W. Avenue B.

The bond also would purchase a new ladder and platform truck and a new brush firetruck for the fire department.

The bond would be a 20-year loan that currently has an estimated interest rate of 3.25 percent.

It could also add 2.69 cents to the city’s property tax rate to pay for the interest if the bond is passed and the council approves receiving the money.

“The reason bond elections exist is so voters have to approve it with the knowledge that there could be a tax increase,” said Ryan Haverlah, the city’s budget director.

Copperas Cove Fire Chief Sean Hughes said the current facility is out of date and cannot hold modern equipment, especially the equipment the city is looking to purchase. Building the new facility also should help the city maintain its current Insurance Service Office rating, which determines the cost of homeowners insurance.

The station at 1208 W. Avenue B was built in 1977, houses one fire engine, a brush truck, an ambulance and a reserve engine.

A number of city charter issues, which governs how the council and city conduct business, also will be on the ballot.

Major proposed changes include reducing the number of council members required to meet a quorum to four and extending to two years the time a person must wait between serving as a council member and becoming a city employee.

Councilman Jim Schmitz said changing the number of council members to hold a meeting wouldn’t affect the number of votes to approve business, which may have caused the item to fail during the last charter election.

“I just think (residents) believe that we are lowering the number of votes required,” he said, noting a majority vote would still require four council members for an item to pass.

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