By Alicia Lacy

Killeen Daily Herald

For two days last week, the Copperas Cove City Council and the city's department heads met for their annual retreat to launch the 2010 budget discussions, which brought back discussions on a possible recreation center.

During the retreat, the council revisited the possibility of constructing a multi-purpose recreation center, which failed in a bond election in November. The proposition was narrowly defeated with 4,023 votes against and 3,927 votes for.

According to the draft, the recommended standard for recreation centers is one center for every 25,000 people. With the city's population above 30,000, the city wants another center.

The multi-purpose recreation center began as a Top 10 goal for the city in 2003, and planning has been under way since.

In January 2008, the city was awarded a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife for about $400,000.

According to Community Service Director Ken Wilson, the grant specified that the facility has to have a natatorium. In addition, the center will have a leisure pool, a weight and fitness room, a gymnasium, a game room, an arts and crafts center and a children's activity center.

The plan is to build the center in Ogletree Gap Park for an estimated $9.99 million. The Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation department has secured $1.34 million, and Proposition 2, which voters must approve, will fund the remaining balance.

The proposition's funding request will be $2 million in 2009, $4 million in 2010 and $2.65 million in 2011; however, the department is looking into other funding sources.

Also during the retreat, the city's budget draft laid the framework for the capital improvement plan that includes projects to enhance the city's economic environment, reconstruct roads and infrastructure and improvements to the city's facilities.

Council members had the opportunity to review city staff's proposed capital improvement projects and expenses for budgets from fiscals year 2010 through 2014. But the council will only consider approving appropriations for projects included in the 2010 budget.

According to a memorandum from City Manager Andrea Gardner, the capital improvement plan includes projects for streets, fire, water, sewer, drainage and parks and general government.

The city researched various funding avenues for the proposed projects, which include grants, general obligation bonds, certification of obligation, tax notes, capital leases, operating funds and state funding.

Gardner said in the memorandum that if there are alternate avenues for funding capital improvement projects the city will explore those options first.

Contact Alicia Lacy at or (254) 501-7476.

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