COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation’s director told the City Council on Tuesday that the EDC is working on 25 business attraction projects thus far in 2013, but also discussed reasons businesses aren’t coming to the city.
“We wanted to show you what eliminated us, and you can see that a large piece of the pie was taken out because of a lack of available space,” said Polo Enriquez, the corporation’s executive director.
Businesses noting a lack of available space consisted of about a third of a pie chart that Enriquez displayed to show reasons companies chose to not move to Copperas Cove. Other major reasons included lack of infrastructure and transportation concerns, according to the Cove EDC’s presentation.
Enriquez said several of those items should be less of a factor as the corporation develops its Narrows Technology and Business Park off Robert Griffin III Boulevard and the U.S. Highway 190 bypass is constructed.
“I think we have been successful, and I think we will continue to eliminate some of the problems,” he said.
Councilman Jim Schmitz questioned if not having direct access to railways contributed to the transportation request.
Several companies want direct access to railways and others want to be able to travel to a loading station within several minutes, but most of what businesses want is to be able to access a highway in under five minutes, Enriquez said.
Going over the number of businesses the EDC has worked with, Enriquez said the city worked on 60 such projects in 2011, 44 projects in 2012 and is already at 25 projects for this year.
On 11 of those projects, Copperas Cove is still in the process of trying to draw them to the city, Enriquez and the presentation stated.
“A majority of the projects are manufacturing,” he said. “Manufacturing tends to be very active.”
Fourteen of the businesses that investigated moving to the city this year were manufacturing plants, stated the presentation.