• August 31, 2014

Council considers groups’ requests

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:56 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

The Copperas Cove City Council proposed spending about $162,000 on seven outside entities through two funds in the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget.

Last week, groups operating within the city pitched their programs to the City Council while hoping to take a piece of city revenues for their nonprofit programs.

The largest amounts of funds were requested by the Hill County Transit Authority, the Communities Helping Americans Mature, Progress and Succeed (CHAMPS) and the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce.

The council debated dividing the hotel occupancy tax funding between CHAMPS and the Cove chamber.

Requests from both entities exceeded the fund’s projected revenues by about $142,000. The Cove chamber requested $220,000 to advertise various city events and CHAMPS requested $50,000 to help fund the Heart of Texas Bowl, a weekend event that brings four college football teams to town.

The entities’ missions came under fire.

“If we do $30,000 and $100,000, then we are giving less to an organization that does six times the mission,” said Councilman Mike Peterson, a former Cove chamber board chairman.

The Cove chamber uses the money year round and conducts numerous events to bring people to the city, he said.

Others argued the HOT Bowl is growing and attracting more people.

Copperas Cove Independent School District Athletic Director Jack Welch, who helps organization the HOT Bowl, said he understood the city’s limitations and that the money the city was giving was to house the teams in Cove.

The tourism generated would be from the team’s fans, families and spirit groups.

The council agreed to allocate the Cove chamber $101,103 and CHAMPS $27,000 — a $24,000 reduction in revenue for the chamber and a $1,500 increase for CHAMPS.

Other requests from organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club and the Noon Exchange Club were much smaller, ranging between $1,500 and $2,500.

“We are requesting the same $1,500,” said Amanda Stephens, of Prepared 4 Life, the group that organizes Lemonade Day in Central Texas.

Stephens said the funds would educate Copperas Cove children about being entrepreneurs and provide them with bags and information about Lemonade Day.

With the city’s contribution to the organization last year, Prepared 4 Life was able to almost triple the amount of participation from Copperas Cove students.

“Eighteen percent of all registered students were from Copperas Cove,” Stephens said.

The council agreed to fund every request but questioned city staff about the availability of funds.

“We have found some additional funds that way we could support them all,” said City Manager Andrea Gardner.

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