By Taylor Short
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - The Copperas Cove City Council authorized the application process to finance the U.S. Highway 190 bypass project and appointed six residents to a committee charged with revising the city's animal control ordinances at Tuesday's meeting.
If the application for pass-through financing, due May 11, is approved, the Texas Department of Transportation would reimburse the city for about $8 million of the total cost of the project with payments beginning one year after construction is complete.
About $42 million of the total $55 million cost would be paid by Category 3 state funding that the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization tentatively reserved from TxDOT during a meeting in Austin on Feb. 10.
The city would contribute about $5 million plus interest, coming to about $13 million.
Gary Kimball, president of Specialized Public Finance Inc., said Tuesday that the KTMPO's reservation
of the funds - more than 40 percent of state
funding for roads in the next 10 years - is unprecedented and that this is the city's best, and possibly only, chance to get the project off the ground.
"The Texas Transportation Commission told both (Kimball) and I that it's very likely that the pass-through finance program will go away in the very near future," said City Manager Andrea Gardner. "This opportunity may not even be available next year."
The southern bypass would be a reliever route that stretches from the east side of Copperas Cove at U.S. 190 to a junction at U.S. 190 on the west side of the city.
The city proposes to issue the debt for the project in November.
The council also appointed six members to the newly formed, temporary committee tasked with reviewing Chapter 3 of the city ordinances concerning animal control and wildlife after the city fielded complaints about the difficulty of transferring animals from the shelter early this year.
Copperas Cove residents Klaudia Brand, Augustus Richardson, Sue Carroll, Robyn Bandinel, Heidi Sjule and Lois McMaster were appointed to the committee.
Another committee was formed April 6 to establish guidelines for rescue groups to transfer animals from the city shelter to a no-kill facility or to be re-homed.
The Animal Rescue Transfer Program committee is scheduled to present a draft ordinance to the council no later than July 1, and the second committee by Sept. 1, according to city documents.
The city council also authorized the city manager to contract with TTG Utilities LP for construction on the South 25th Street Drainage Project.
Assistant Public Works Director James Trevino said because of damage done by storms in spring 2007, the city received Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation grants for repairs.
Two grants were received for a total of $677,765 for the $780,048.80 cost of the project. Trevino said the difference would be covered by money in the current drainage department budget.
The project includes the installation of about 3,600 feet of pipe to drain storm water between South 25th Street and South 29th Street.
"There are a lot of sewer and gas lines in that area," Trevino said. "It's going to be a long project, and we've got to be careful because it's an older area of the city."
Trevino said work should begin within 30 days with a projected completion date near the end of the year.
Contact Taylor Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.