There are several upcoming opportunities for residents of Copperas Cove to voice their opinions on a variety of topics.

TAX RATE

There will be two public hearings to discuss the property tax rate.

In a July 31 special workshop, councilmen proposed a tax rate of 79.7908 cents per $100 property valuation for fiscal year 2019, the same as the current rate.

The council will officially vote on whether to adopt that tax rate on Sept. 4.

The meetings are required by law, as the rate exceeds the city’s proposed effective tax rate of 78.15 cents per $100 property valuation.

This is a rate that would net the same property revenue as the current fiscal year.

The first hearing will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Technology Center, 508 S. Second St.

Another public hearing will occur at the same time and location Aug. 21.

THE HOP

The Hop bus services, provided by the Hill Country Transit District, could see a service cut.

The transit district is proposing to eliminate all Saturday service systemwide for financial reasons. Hours would also be cut for routes 35 and 65, which serve Cove.

One of five public hearings to be held in cities The Hops serves will be held in Cove. It will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Copperas Cove Police Department, 302 E. Avenue E.

The district has an estimated $11.1 million operating budget in fiscal year 2019, with a roughly $450,000 projected shortfall.

Darrell Burtner, The Hop’s director of urban operations, attributed the shortfall to changes in its contract with the Texas Health and Human Services Department for transporting Medicaid recipients.

In a special workshop Aug. 2, councilmen reached a consensus to budget $100,000 out of the 2019 general fund for The Hop.

The Hop’s portion, originally requested at $158,286, is a sharp increase from last year, when the city paid $42,165 for The Hop.

BUSINESS 190

Several residents attended the Tuesday council meeting and voiced opinions directly to councilmen on a proposed renovation to U.S. Business Highway 190.

Residents will have another opportunity to voice opinions during the public forum portion of the Aug. 21 council meeting.

Some opponents have said a raised median included in the project will mean motorists bypass some businesses without being able to cross the road.

Others have also complained about a proposed lane reduction.

The first phase of the project spans about 1.25 miles from Constitution Drive to Avenue D, and would change the current configuration of three lanes in both directions with a center turn lane to two lanes in each direction with a median and intermittent turn lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes.

If preliminary dates hold, construction could start in spring 2020 and be completed by summer 2021.

Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah said he would present a final alternative to council for consideration on Aug. 21.

Haverlah has said in previous meetings that the alternative still includes raised medians and controlled left turns.

It would retain three lanes of traffic in each direction, however, and feature sidewalk improvements and dedicated bicycle lanes.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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