• July 23, 2014

Killeen council directs staff to explore adding San Juan as a sister city

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Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2007 12:00 pm | Updated: 10:50 am, Thu Feb 13, 2014.

By Kevin M. Smith

Killeen Daily Herald

There could be a new addition to the Killeen family soon.

At its workshop Tuesday, the Killeen City Council discussed the possibility of adding a new sister city.

Members of the Killeen Sister Cities Inc. nonprofit organization asked the city to consider adding San Juan, Puerto Rico, as a sister city.

Council members agreed for the city to pursue the possibility of adding San Juan as a sister city and said it would be easiest to keep it under the current Sister City organization.

"There's nothing wrong with looking at the opportunities," Councilman Billy Workman said.

Currently, the city has one sister city: Osan, South Korea; Central Texas representatives visit Osan annually and representatives from Korea visit Killeen annually.

This past summer, four Killeen Independent School District students, along with a local soccer team, traveled to Osan.

The city pays annual dues of $480 to Sister Cities International, of Washington, D.C., which provides an annual conference, awards, grants and resources for cities in the program.

"Any other (financial) obligation would be at the council's discretion," City Manager Connie Green said.

The other obligation to the sister city is having the mayor and council serve as ceremonial representatives.

"I believe opening the door to San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an opportunity to open the door to other sister cities," Councilman Juan Rivera said.

Killeen Sister Cities Inc. was formed in 1993 by the City Council, with the support of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce. The first two years, the group filled out paperwork to become designated as a nonprofit status and to form bylaws for the organization.

The group then searched for a sister city. By 1996, the group established a relationship with Osan, a city of about 120,000 just outside Seoul, Korea, and a delegation of eight members from Killeen went overseas to start the paperwork.

In 1997, the paperwork was completed when a 12-member delegation from Osan came to Killeen.

Contact Kevin M. Smith at ksmith@kdhnews.com or call (254) 501-7550

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