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The Copperas Cove Independent School District board of trustees approved the district’s request to locally extend its emergency paid sick leave for coronavirus-related concerns.

In the most recent stimulus bill signed by the president, the United States Congress declined to extend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which required certain employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to employees for coronavirus-related circumstances.

Covered private employers can receive the same tax credit for the paid leave if they voluntarily provide it between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to the National Law Review.

“We do expect that once the new president is inaugurated, that extension may come back into play and get extended,” said Superintendent Joe Burns. “... We want to make sure that we treat every employee fairly, and so, we want to go back and say that we could continue to extend those 10 days of paid leave for staff who have the same kind of conditions occur in their lives — either until a new law passes or until board calendars expire June 30, 2021.”

Burns explained that the leave is for 10 days cumulative, not consecutive. If an employee has already used the 10 days of leave and contracts the virus again or must care for a relative with it, the employee would have to use accrued sick leave or accrued personal leave.

“It doesn’t have to all be at one time,” Burns said. “And it doesn’t carry over past June 30, 2021.”

Land Purchase

The Copperas Cove Independent School District will purchase two parcels of land and is expected to close on the transactions today, but the uses for the land is not yet determined.

At Tuesday’s monthly board meeting, the board of trustees unanimously approved the purchase of 26.05 acres of vacant land on China Road in northern Copperas Cove and 30 acres of vacant land on Grimes Crossing Road in western Copperas Cove.

The cost of the land on China Road is $341,159.85, and the cost of the land on Grimes Crossing Road is $453,114.62, according to the settlement statements attached to the meeting’s agenda.

The price comes out to nearly $3.08 per square foot for the entire 56 acres.

“The purchase of these properties is coming from money designated by the board for property acquisition and is not coming from our current year budget,” said CCISD Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Support Rick Kirkpatrick. “The property will remain vacant until needed for expansion.”

Copperas Cove City Manager Ryan Haverlah told the Morning Exchange Club on Jan. 6 that the population of the city of Copperas Cove is expected to increase by 33% over the next five to seven years.

“The property is being purchased for future school sites based on expected growth in the City of Copperas Cove,” Kirkpatrick said. “The district examined property owned by developers that has been platted or is in the platting stage and sought these properties based on this information.”

Before doing any development on the parcels of land, Cove ISD Superintendent Joe Burns said they will need to be zoned.

“Any zoning changes necessary will be done in accordance with the City of Copperas Cove’s ordinances,” Kirkpatrick said. 

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