Copperas Cove will work with other cities in north and central Texas to oppose a suggested rate increase by Oncor Electric Delivery Company.

The council approved a resolution at its regular meeting Tuesday night to oppose the increase as unreasonable.

Oncor has applied to the Texas Public Utilities Commission for an increase in its electric distribution rates of just over $29 million. Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah noted that Copperas Cove retains control over any proposed electric rate changes and must act when Oncor submits any rate change requests.

Copperas Cove is part of a steering committee of over 140 other cities Texas served by Oncor that work together on any rate cases. Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton and Temple are also part of the steering committee.

Haverlah noted that the committee has opposed most of Oncor’s recent rate requests. Denying the rate case triggers a negotiation between Oncor, the steering committee and the utilities commission over how high the rates might actually rise.

The resolution also acknowledges that a firm will be hired to evaluate the legality of the rate request, and requires Oncor to reimburse the city for any expenses connected to hiring that firm.

The resolution was passed unanimously without discussion.

The council also conducted a vote canvass for the April 27 special mayoral election to pick a successor to former Mayor Frank Seffrood.

City Secretary Lisa Wilson told the council that final, official results from Coryell County show Bradi Diaz receiving 465 of the 757 votes cast, getting 61.75% of the total vote.

The council unanimously approved the resolution to accept the vote canvass without further discussion.

Diaz will be sworn in as mayor at the next council meeting on May 21.

In other council business:

No one spoke in opposition of a rezoning request for a seven-acre parcel of land at 1501 Canyon Drive. Following a brief public hearing, the council voted unanimously to allow the parcel to be rezoned to single-family residential. The parcel had been previously split between single-family residential and general retail district.

No one spoke at a second public hearing that sought an amendment to the city’s 2018-2019 budget to allow Hotel Occupancy Tax funds to be used to fund this year’s Rabbit Fest. Another public hearing will be held at the May 21 council meeting to get final approval for the budget amendment.

The council unanimously approved an amendment to the Coryell Central Appraisal District budget that would allow the agency to keep a $40,172 surplus to use for technology upgrades and possible future litigation.

The council unanimously approved the appointment of Dustin Dewald to the Planning and Zoning Commission. After nominating two people for an opening on the Copperas Cove Economic Development Commission board of directors, the council voted unanimously to appoint Jay Jackson to fill that position.

The council received a report from Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah on legislation making progress in the Texas Legislature as well as city department staff changes.

The council conducted an executive session to consider personnel matters. The city is currently searching for a Public Works director and a City Manager. No action was taken following the executive session and the council adjourned.

The next regular council meeting will be held May 21.

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