By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE – From its ashes rises a new building – in Copperas Cove – and possibly a new chief appraiser.
After a rocky year, the first signs of normalcy appear for the Coryell Central Appraisal District.
The tax district broke ground Wednesday for its new Copperas Cove facility after closing its books from 2007.
The appraisal district and the city hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility.
The appraisal district's building was demolished in October, after the roof of a neighboring building collapsed on July 3, 2007, which was followed by the resignation of Chief Appraiser Jerry Hogg in September and the board working to sort out the 2007 and 2008 budgets.
Interim Chief Appraiser Roy Johnson said the board has offered the chief appraiser position to Mitch Fast.
The taxing district will share the new building with the city of Copperas Cove Building and Code Enforcement departments.
The 4,800-square-foot facility, currently under construction at 207 S. Third St., is scheduled for completion in February.
Annabelle Smith, chairman of the appraisal district board of directors, said the location is ideal and just what the district needs. She said the board was glad to have its presence back in Copperas Cove.
"It gives us room to grow and serves the needs of the citizens of Copperas Cove. We will occupy the building just as quickly as we can and will announce when we will have our computers up and running," Smith said.
City Manager Andrea Gardner said there is great benefit to having the office in a central, downtown location.
"It's been a pleasure to work with the appraisal district officials on this project," Gardner said.
The facility is being developed by Jack Smith, who said it's his third project in keeping with the Downtown Revitalization Plan.
"I'm really excited to be a part of the revitalization efforts in downtown Copperas Cove," he said.
Dan Yancey, Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp. board chairman, said he thinks residents will be happy with the new facility.
"We are very pleased that Jack Smith recognized the potential of the downtown area," Yancey said.
On Wednesday, the appraisal district's auditor completed the audit for 2007. The taxing district is now working on the 2008 budget.
Contact Alicia Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-7476.