COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove is less than two weeks from swearing in a new mayor.
The City Council conducted a vote canvass at its Tuesday night regular meeting, accepting the results of the April 27 special mayoral election to select a successor for former Mayor Frank Seffrood.
City Secretary Lisa Wilson told the council that final, official results from Coryell County show Bradi Diaz receiving 465 of the 757 votes cast, getting 61.75% of the total vote.
The council unanimously approved the resolution to accept the vote canvass without discussion.
Diaz defeated candidates Joey Acfalle, Ron Nelson and Brandi Weiland and avoided a potential runoff by drawing more than 50% of the votes cast.
Diaz will be sworn in at the next council meeting on May 21.
In other action Tuesday, the council cleared the way for Copperas Cove to work with other cities in north and central Texas to oppose a suggested rate increase by Oncor Electric Delivery Company.
The council approved a resolution Tuesday night that follows a city staff’s recommendation to oppose the increase as unreasonable.
Oncor has applied to the Texas Public Utilities Commission for an increase of just over $29 million in its electric distribution rates. Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah noted that Copperas Cove retains control over its any proposed electric rate changes and has to act when Oncor submits any rate change requests. Copperas Cove is part of a steering committee of over 140 other Texas cities served by Oncor that act together on any rate cases.
Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton and Temple are also part of the steering committee.
Haverlah noted that the committee has opposed Oncor’s recent rate requests. Denying the rate case triggers a negotiation between Oncor, the steering committee and the utilities commission over how high the rates might actually rise.
The resolution also acknowledges that a firm will be hired to evaluate the legality of the rate request, and requires Oncor to reimburse the city for any expenses connected to hiring the firm.
The resolution was passed unanimously without discussion.
Among other items decided by the council Tuesday:
No one spoke in opposition of a rezoning request for a seven-acre parcel of land at 1501 Canyon Drive. Following a brief public hearing, the council voted unanimously to allow the parcel to be rezoned to single-family residential. The parcel had been previously split between single-family residential and general retail district.
No one spoke at a second public hearing that sought an amendment to the city’s 2018-2019 budget to allow Hotel Occupancy Tax funds to be used to fund this year’s Rabbit Fest.
Another public hearing will be held at the May 21 council meeting to get final approval for the budget amendment.
The council unanimously approved an amendment to the Coryell Central Appraisal District budget that would allow the agency to keep a $40,172 surplus to use for technology upgrades and possible future litigation.
The council unanimously approved the appointment of Dustin Dewald to the Planning and Zoning Commission. After nominating two people for an opening on the Copperas Cove Economic Development Commission board of directors, the council voted unanimously to appoint Jay Jackson to fill the position.
The council received a report from Haverlah on legislation making progress in the Texas Legislature as well as city department staff changes.
The council conducted an executive session to consider personnel matters involving the director of public works, the city attorney and the search for a new city manager. No action was taken following the executive session and the council adjourned.
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