By Joshua Winata

Fort Hood Herald

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that includes the authorization of a land exchange between Copperas Cove and Fort Hood.

The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill authorizes the Army post to exchange up to 200 acres of land on the east end of Copperas Cove “for the purpose of permitting the City to improve arterial transportation routes in the community.”

Part of the land received by the city will be used to connect Copperas Cove with the Texas Department of Transportation’s proposed southwest reliever route project.

In return, Copperas Cove is offering an estimated 110 acres near West Fort Hood on Clear Creek Road and Ammo Road along Mohawk Drive owned by the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp.

Fort Hood and the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp. will deed their land over to the city, which will conduct the transaction since the post is required to handle such deals through a governmental body.

The House initially approved the land exchange in May, but differences between the House’s and the Senate’s versions of the bill discussed in conference postponed the bill’s final passage.

The defense authorization bill now awaits approval by the Senate, which is expected to consider the legislation this week.

If the Senate passes the bill and it is signed by President Bush, the U.S. Corps of Engineers will survey and appraise the land over the course of 45 days before the swap can take place.

The land is being exchanged on a value-to-value basis, as opposed to acre-by-acre.

“We made the assumptions based on advice from appraisers and experts in the land business,” CCEDC Executive Director Jerry Conner said.

Gary Davis, president of Austin-based First Advisors, has signed an option contract with the CCEDC to acquire up to 80 acres of the site to develop a regional, open-air shopping center and has been working to acquire tentative contracts with several major retailers.

Contact Joshua Winata at or call (254) 547-6481

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