Members of the Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees will likely approve a resolution that would help the district keep its power to exercise eminent domain.
At a workshop Monday, board members were told they would need to pass a resolution asserting the district’s authority to exercise eminent domain in order to comply with new laws passed by the state legislature during its last session.
Eminent domain is a power possessed by the state to claim private property for public use, public safety, and, in some cases, economic development.
The new law requires all public and private entities authorized to exercise eminent domain, including school districts like Cove, to submit a letter and other documentation to the office of State Comptroller Susan Combs detailing their legal authority to exercise that power.
“(Eminent domain) is something we’ve had for a long time,” said Joan Manning, the board’s president. “The state just wants us to go through the new process.”
Those forms and documents must be sent no later than Dec. 31, 2012. Entities that fail to do so will lose their eminent domain authority as of Sept. 1, 2013, according to the Texas State Comptroller’s website.
While the Cove district’s board is moving to complete the process, there are no immediate plans to actually assert eminent domain in the near future.
“We don’t have any plans to use (eminent domain), but we want to preserve the right,” said Joseph Burns, the Cove district’s superintendent.
The board members will vote on the resolution at their next board meeting, which is being held tonight at 6:30.