Cove building

This building at the intersection of Second Street and Avenue D in Copperas Cove could soon be demolished by the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation board has directed its staff to pursue a proposal to tear down a building at 201 S. Second St.

The building at the corner of Second Street and Avenue D has been owned by the EDC since 2017, when the organization swapped a property at 210 S. First St. for the currently unoccupied building. Copperas Cove EDC Director Jonas Titas said after Wednesday’s meeting that the building is structurally sound but has become a liability to maintain and insure.

Assistant EDC Director Diane Drussel told the board that she pursued and received a third proposal to tear down the building. The three quotes to tear down the building but leave the slab intact range from $32,000 to $38,400 to $78,000.

There are also concerns about asbestos. Drussell told the board that asbestos testing was done Monday and results of the testing should be available either late this week or early next week. Drussell said the EDC will likely be responsible for doing any asbestos abatement before the building is torn down.

Titas said the decision to tear down the building but keep its slab was made to keep costs down and have the slab intact for use in later building and development.

The four members of the board present at the meeting voted in favor of pursing the bid from Burks Dirt and Site Prep of Temple for $32,000. Drussell said she would request a timeline from Burks and would clarify if a need to dispose of asbestos in the building could increase the estimated cost.

In other action, the board also moved to dispose of a non-working digital sign located in front of the Five Hills Shopping Center on Business Highway 190.

The sign has not worked for five years and the EDC has pursued various legal options trying to get it repaired. Drussell said that Endeavor Real Estate approached the commission with an offer to purchase the sign and the easement on which it sits. Endeavor offered $25,000 for both.

The board voted 4-0 to accept the purchase offer.

In other action:

The board received a detailed presentation from Keith Sledd, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, on a possible future application for a Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG). The Central Texas Region has previously identified a security project at Robert Gray Army Airfield as the one that would likely succeed in getting a grant. Sledd added that the number one unfunded priority for Fort Hood at present is an access road for trucks that would eventually connect to a new railroad center near Copperas Cove. The road would help to reduce traffic congestion at the cargo entrance on Clarke Road that sometimes backs onto Interstate 14. The grant process requires that a project be selected by July, with the grant application submitted by October. Area government bodies will be asked to contribute money to help fund whatever project is ultimately selected.

The board approved releasing money to the City of Copperas Cove for services rendered to the EDC.

The board approved an unaudited financial report for April that shows the EDC has a fund balance of just over $6 million as of April 30.

Approved June 25 as a date for the EDC board and the Copperas Cove City Council to meet in a public workshop to discuss economic development.

Vote 4-0 to appoint Joey Acfalle as the new vice chairman of the board.

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