By Lauren Cabral

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - The City Council voted to approve an application submitted by Central Texas EMS to operate a non-emergency ambulance franchise in the city, which would make it the second such service in Copperas Cove.

The franchise submitted an application to the city in April, and Fire Chief Mike Baker said it would provide services the city could not. The city only provides ambulances for emergency services; before the council's action, Capital EMS was the only valid, existing non-emergency ambulance franchise in the city.

Councilwoman Cheryl Meredith made a motion to deny the application, and said she did not see the need for two competing companies.

Councilman Jim Schmitz disagreed, and said competition was a good thing. Baker said he saw no downsides or upsides to approving the application.

The council denied Meredith's motion 6-1, with Meredith voting yes. It later approved the application unanimously. The city will receive $2,500 annually as a result of the action.

The council also approved a resolution accepting a dedication of a 15-foot permanent water and wastewater easement and a 15-foot temporary construction easement by Discount Tire Company for the completion of the Northeast Sewer Line project.

The company did not request a fee for the easements, and the only cost to the city for the easement will be legal fees for preparation of required documents.

Chamber of Commerce President Marty Smith gave a first-quarter report to the council. She said the estimated 2011 tourism budget was $327,847, $177,800 of which is given to the

chamber by the city. The $150,047 difference is raised by the chamber.

Smith also gave reports of attendance at events such as Bike/Run Central Texas, saying 816 people from across the South had participated in the two athletic events held so far this year, and 172 hotel rooms have been booked by visitors for those events.

At a workshop before the meeting, Mark Gillem of the Urban Collaborative LLC, gave a presentation of the Fort Hood Strategic Plan. He said senior leadership goals for the post include improving traffic flow, making the post more pedestrian-friendly, having more green space and dividing Fort-Hood into self-contained divisions.

A variety of examples for possible implementations were given from places in Austin, Belton and Georgetown, and the council said they supported the proposed plan and offered their feedback.

Other action taken by the council included:

Dennis Courtney, superintendent of Sewer Collection, was recognized for 25 years of service to the city.

Mayor John Hull proclaimed May 15-21 National Police Week and EMS Week. He also proclaimed May 15 as Peace Officers' Memorial Day and May as Trauma Awareness Month.

Approval of rezoning 413 Allen St. to single-family residential from local retail.

Approval of ordinance updates and changes to the city's personnel policy.

Contact Lauren Cabral at or (254) 501-7476.

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