By Lauren Cabral

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - The City Council on Tuesday postponed action on revising the property tax exemption for senior citizens, pending the release of more information.

During a budget planning workshop April 11, the council agreed to reduce the homestead exemption to property owners 65 and older from $12,000 to $5,000. As of April, there were 322 properties with the exemption.

If the exemption is reduced, the impact to property owners 65 or older will be a potential increase of $53, and the city would receive a maximum of $70,000 in increased revenue. Due to the property tax freeze implemented in 2007, however, the revenue increase would be less.

City Manager Andrea Gardner said that if the council decided to reduce the exemption, the city's increased revenue would go toward balancing the 2013 budget, since the measure would not take effect until January 2012.

The council voted unanimously to table the item, since the certified tax roll is not due to be released until July 25.

Gardner said it could come earlier or later but would provide the council with more accurate information to assist with determining what, if any, action should be taken on the homestead exemption.

New Oncor rate

The council approved an ordinance approving a negotiated resolution between the steering committee of cities served by Oncor and Oncor Electric Delivery Co.

Gardner said Oncor sought a $353 million rate increase in a Jan. 7 filing, and the city suspended the effective date of the rate change permit.

As a result of the negotiations between the steering committee and Oncor, an increase of $136.7 million was authorized, resulting in a monthly bill impact of a $2.35 increase for the average residential customer instead of a $5 per bill increase as proposed in the original filing.

The settlement resulted in a system-wide rate increase of 6.1 percent. Residential customers will see an increase of 6.2 percent, lower than Oncor's original requested 14.6 percent increase.

The council also authorized the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation to enter into a service agreement with Oncor Electric Delivery to install 12 street lights on Constitution Drive, and five more on the same road between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Old Copperas Cove Road.

It also approved the CCEDC expenditure of $28,750 for targeted infrastructure for an economic development project with 10K Investments LLC, which is developing the property identified as the "old Shamrock Service Station" on U.S. Highway 190. The improvement is for a project that encloses a drainage channel to create additional required parking.

The council also:

Appointed Earl Holt and Charles Hendricks to Places 6 and 7 of the Copperas Cove Planning and Zoning Commission.

Appointed Jack Smith, Michael Loven and Woodrow "Mickey" Deck to Places 1, 3 and 5 of the Copperas Cove Board of Adjustment.

Authorized Gardner to execute a temporary lift station agreement between the city and the CCEDC.

Awarded the Golf Course Reclaimed Water System Optimization project bid to Keystone Construction Inc. of Austin for $218,632.

Approved a final major plat for Heritage Plaza Addition, or 2524 E. U.S. Highway 190, as submitted by Turley and Associates, agent for 10K Investments LLC.

Recognized outgoing Unity Committee members Jeffrey Stoddard, James Piper, Gene Williams, Brian Hawkins, Andrea Scott-Maguire and Loretta Bell for their service.

Presented employee service awards to James Malone, wastewater chief plant operator, for 25 years of service; and Michael Chandler, golf course superintendent; Anibal Figueroa, parks and recreation laborer; Donald Denniston, code enforcement health inspector; Christopher Altott, wastewater operator; Christopher Schaub, solid waste driver; William Butler, heavy equipment operator; and Jane Lees, city secretary, for five years of service.

Justice of the Peace Bill Price swore in council members Jim Schmitz to Place 6 and Frank Seffrood to Place 7.

Appointed Seffrood mayor pro tem for one year.

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

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