By Taylor Short

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - The Copperas Cove City Council approved funding for two utility projects and added a list of new rules to be followed by the committee reviewing animal-related ordinances at Tuesday's meeting.

The council agreed on an advanced funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city to relocate utilities and install a 30-inch water line in relation with the State Highway 9 project or Northeast Bypass.

The bypass would extend from U.S. Highway 190 to Farm-to-Market 116.

TxDOT estimates the utility relocations at about $3.6 million. City Manager Andrea Gardner said the funding is available in the May 2010 general obligation bonds and that TxDOT's design phase is nearing completion.

The council also approved $188,763 to reconstruct water lines on four streets in an older part of the city. TTG Utilities of Gatesville will replace 40-year-old water lines with new 6-inch mains on South Ninth, 11th, 13th and 15th streets from Veterans Avenue to Highway Avenue.

Following a message from Chairwoman of the committee to Robyn Bandinel, review Chapter 3 asking to include George Fox as a member for guidance, Councilwoman Cheryl Meredith announced a list of rules the committees should follow.

Meredith's list included having a city staff member or veterinarian attend the meetings, using the animal shelter advisory board for guidance and making Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman a voting member.

"City staff took a backseat to let the committees go where they wanted and not circumvent their actions," Gardner said.

The council also suggested that the committees have televised or recorded meetings on days with council meetings to receive help from staff or city attorney Charles Zech.

The main ordinance under review in Chapter 3 requires the city council to pre-approve rescue groups before transferring animals to a no-kill shelter or to be re-homed and few groups have tried to take part in the sometimes lengthy process.

Another committee was formed April 6 to establish guidelines for rescue groups to transfer animals from the city shelter.

Contact Taylor Short at or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.

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