By Jennifer Clampet
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE Residents of certain blocks along Avenue E and several side streets on the south side of Copperas Cove High School will have to acquire a permit in order to park on the city street during school hours.
The City Council voted 4-to-3 Tuesday night to adopt a resident-only-permit parking ordinance.
According to City Engineer Paul Boyer, residents will have 30 days to receive a permit sticker from the police department for their vehicles in order to legally park on the streets between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days. The ordinance will be enforced as soon as the signs designating the no-parking zones are posted.
Four residents spoke during a public hearing held prior to the vote three spoke against the proposed ordinance and one spoke in favor.
"I find the ordinance restrictive," said Mary Kempt, a resident of Avenue E. "I'm concerned about property value. Who's going to want to buy or rent a house when you can't even park on the city street during the day?"
Kempt added that she has lived in her home on Avenue E for 22 years and has never had a problem with children parking in front of her home.
Tommy Foster, a resident of South 13th Street, spoke in favor of the ordinance.
"I think it's a great idea," Foster said but added that he thought the one-year turnover for residents to re-register for a permit was too short.
Prior to the end of the 2003-04 school year, the Copperas Cove Independent School District and the police department received complaints from several residents on Avenue E about Cove high school students parking vehicles along the street. The curbside parking allegedly created problems for some residents when cars would block their mailboxes and garbage cans.
Council members Bob Reeves, John Gallen, James Stockman and Annabelle Smith voted in favor of adopting the ordinance. Councilmen Ray Don Clayton, Ray Gatewood and Bud Owsley voted against the ordinance's adoption.
"I was under the impression that residents wanted us to alleviate the parking problem," Owsley said prior to the vote. "I'm getting mixed signals," he added, referring to the residents who had appeared before the council in opposition of the ordinance.
Prior to the vote, Gatewood said he thought the council should at a minimum conduct more research into the proposed ordinance with regard to public opinion. Gatewood also questioned whether the school district had made any attempts to solve the parking problem.
Mayor Bradi Diaz said it was the Copperas Cove Independent School District that originally asked the city to help find a solution to the parking problem. Reeves said the council needed to help the local school district by alleviating the parking problem.
"I'm not sure what the school district could do to make students park at the school," Reeves said.
The ordinance designates the following areas as resident-only parking: the north and northeast side of the 700 through 1300 blocks of Avenue E, both sides of the 500 block of South 11th Street, both sides of the 500 block of South 13th Street, both sides of the 600 block of South 15th Street, both sides of the 500 block of South 19th Street, both sides of the 600 block of South 23rd Street and both sides of the 600 block of South 25th Street.
The ordinance states that a violation of the parking rules can be punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.
In other business, the council approved amendments to the city's salary program administration during the regular meeting. During a workshop prior to the regular council meeting, Fire Chief Dennis Haas briefed the council on the proposed title changes for three positions in the fire department. The proposal included changing three lieutenant positions to captain positions. Haas said the captain titles are not currently used by the fire department. The titles would also invoke a slight pay increase, according to Haas.
Other positions that will have title changes and slight pay increases include the fire support services officer to training officer/captain and fire inspector to fire marshal. Total of the title changes and pay increases in the fire department will cost about $29,000 according to City Manager Steven Alexander.
The council approved the following:
n Authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract and award a bid of $210,052 bid for Georgetown Road Drainage Improvement Project to McLean Construction.
n Amending the city's fee schedule.
Contact Jennifer Clampet at email@example.com