COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation board members approved a nearly $5.4 million budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year on Thursday.

Proposed operating expenses are about $1.2 million and capital projects are estimated at $4.2 million, according to the budget. The proposed revenue is $1.7 million, with $1.25 million attributed to sales tax dollars.

The Cove EDC is projecting a $10,000 increase in sales tax revenue, which is conservative, said Polo Enriquez, the corporation’s executive director.

Differences in expenses and expenditures will be made up by the corporation’s reserve funds, he said.

Funds for the capital projects include nearly $1.9 million for the construction of the Narrows Business and Technology Park, a 72-acre subdivision set to begin construction in September. A future land swap with Fort Hood also has $2.2 million proposed in the budget.

“We have allocated money for the next land swap,” Enriquez said.

The acquisition of property may not occur next year, but it is time for the corporation to start saving for it, he said.

The upcoming year’s operating budget focuses on a few new things, Enriquez said.

“Our pet project will be the entrepreneur center,” he said. “There is money in the budget to operate the center.”

Cove EDC is exploring the use of a building, currently under lease by the city, to create a business incubator to be known as the entrepreneur center. The facility would allow business owners a place to work with shared resources, consulting and staffing for a certain period of time.

The 2013-2014 budget allocates about $43,000 for the lease and utilities of the building.

There is no plan for additional employees for the center as the Cove EDC plans to use its current staff and interns to operate the facility, Enriquez said.

Business attraction incentive funds were taken from the budget, so the EDC could budget $100,000 for renovations to its offices.

Planning and design is underway for the renovations, and the city is supposed to share construction costs.

While approved by its board, the corporation needs the Copperas Cove City Council’s approval. Enriquez will pitch the budget to the council Tuesday.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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