By Jacqueline Brown

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE The Copperas Cove City Council tentatively agreed to a proposal from Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 Tuesday that could have a significant impact on the city water rates in the next 15 years.

The proposal would slightly decrease the amount the city owes to the district for the next three years, but would increase it by almost $450,000 in 2019.

Bob Wallace, a representative of the district, said the money is for the completion of a waterline replacement from Nolanville to Killeen.

"Our prices have been going through the roof," he said, explaining the budget increase.

Wallace said the district has two options: issue debt to complete the project or decrease the project scope. He said he's already received approval from the other cities involved and the project is more critical to Copperas Cove because it is at the end of the service area.

Council members were reluctant to approve the project without further research.

"I just don't want to take anything for face value when it affects people's money," Councilman Fred Harris said.

City Manager Steve Alexander and at least one council member are planning to meet with representatives from the water district to gather more information before the council officially approves the project.

The City Council also:

n approved the purchase of 1,000 acre-feet of water from the Brazos River Authority. Water/wastewater Director Bob McKinnon said the water became available about a month ago, and it is prudent that the city purchase the water while it can.

n authorized the submission of a grant to the Texas Department of Transportation for a sidewalk project that will connect four local schools and the City Park. The project will start at the proposed Seale Park on the corner of Truman Avenue and Farm-to-Market 116 and extend east to Halstead Elementary and west to J.L. Williams Elementary, Lovett Ledger Intermediate School and S.C. Lee Junior High. The trail will also connect to the Farm-to-Market 1113 sidewalk project, which TxDOT is expected to let bids for in August.

n authorized the submission of a grant to TxDOT for a traffic signal on the corner of North Main Street and Avenue B. Assistant City Manager Andrea Gardner said the city would be responsible for 10 percent of the cost or about $29,500. The Copperas Cove Police Department reported 11 serious accidents at that intersection last year.

n authorized a 30-percent collection fee for citations more than 60 days past due. In June 2003 the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure was amended to collect the fee if the city chooses to outsource collection services. The council agreed to enter into an agreement with Linbarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP for the service; Assistant City Manager Andrea Gardner said the change should generate up to $400,000 in additional revenue for the city.

Contact Jacqueline Brown at

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