COPPERAS COVE — City Council members aided two city nonprofits on Tuesday, lending one money for a bus and agreeing to lease a building to another.

The council awarded $77,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Copperas Cove from the city’s revolving loan fund to pay for a 33-passenger bus, a robotics lab and to replace five computers in the computer lab.

Monies in the fund are provided through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Ryan Haverlah, the city’s budget director. The city has used the fund for years to provide no-interest loans to businesses and area nonprofits to retain or create jobs within the city.

“I think this will be a good investment in our community,” said Councilman Gary Kent about lending the money to the organization.

Sandor Vegh, who spoke on the organization’s behalf, said the funds will allow the organization to provide better transportation for the organization’s after-school programs, which serve about 100 to 120 students.

About 90 students use the current bus, which is old and much smaller than the proposed purchase, he said. The new bus will allow the organization to eliminate excess trips to its facility and schools and possibly enroll 40 students currently on a waiting list to participate in the program.

The council also agreed to rent a portion of the city’s old police station at 202 S. Fourth St., for the amount of $1 per year to the Star Group Veterans Helping Veterans.

The building is vacant with the exception of some city storage, said City Manager Andrea Gardner, who asked the council to allow the city to draft a lease agreement with the organization.

Such an agreement would be legal since the organization would use the facility to benefit Copperas Cove and other area residents.

The group’s spokesman, Jonathan Haywood, said the Star Group plans to use the facility for veterans assistance to include providing VA claims and a meeting place for veterans and their spouses.

“As long as they pay the utilities and maintain the building, I don’t see a problem with (allowing a lease of) a dollar or something,” said Councilman Jim Schmitz, who estimated the building would rent for a couple of thousand dollars if it were in good condition and not owned by the city.

The council members agreed.

The council also took the following actions:

Changed the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting times to 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

Agreed to dedicate the Copperas Cove Public Library’s children’s room in honor of Peggy L. Youngs.

Nominated the downtown sidewalk project for consideration under the Texas Department of Transportation’s Transportation Enhancement Program.

Authorized a resolution to submit the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program application for water system improvements.

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

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