More than two months after Killeen City Council members delayed deliberating renaming Fort Hood Street to coincide with the name change at one of the world’s largest military installations, they’re scheduled on Tuesday to consider doing the same at Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.
“With Fort Hood in the name, people assume it is a military airport not open to civilians,” according to a city staff report. “(They) believe they must obtain gate entry on post to access the airport. The airport continues to deal with these issues today.”
However, officials have “an opportunity to consider a new name” while Fort Hood and other military bases across the country are being renamed, the report shows.
In October 2022, the “U.S. secretary of defense announced Fort Hood would be changing its name to Fort Cavazos. (That is) expected to be finalized no later than January 1, 2024.”
The possible change coincides with that at Fort Hood to comply with a congressional mandate to rename military installations and buildings named after members of the Confederacy.
Fort Hood has been ordered to change its name to Fort Cavazos by Jan. 1, 2024. The late Gen. Richard Cavazos was the Army’s first Hispanic four-star general and a Texas native who commanded III Corps and Fort Hood. He was Fort Hood’s top commander from 1980 to 1982.
Cavazos died in San Antonio at the age of 88 in 2017. An elementary school in Nolanville is named after him.
Meanwhile, on Jan. 3, with Mayor Pro Tem Ken Wilkerson having left the meeting early and with Councilman Ramon Alvarez not in attendance, the other council members agreed 3-1 in a motion of direction to delay the discussion about renaming Fort Hood Street until the full council is available. Jose Segarra voted against the motion, and Nina Cobb abstained.
“Fort Hood will be changing their name,” Mayor Debbie Nash-King said during that meeting. “Because Fort Hood Street was named after Fort Hood, some of the concerns that were brought to me are that we have soldiers, veterans’ families and family members in our community who were avidly against the name change of Fort Hood.”
The congressional mandate to remove the names of Confederates applies only to federal military installations and buildings — not those owned by the states or local government agencies, such as the city.
“Even though we do not (fall under) that mandate ... we are partners with Fort Hood,” Nash-King said. “That is one approach — that we could change it for the new name. It just makes sense to me. But that is the pro side, the unity of it. The negative side is all the businesses that are located on Fort Hood Street. They will pick up an expense.”
Councilman Michael Boyd said “it’s responsible” to have the discussion “this early.”
“I think the name that is proposed is appropriate,” he said on Jan. 3. “We can do a poll and have all these other names come in, but the businesses should have something familiar.”
Jake Smith, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Waco division, has told the Herald the agency “is working with (Fort Hood) to coordinate on-state system sign changes.”
However, that does not apply to that section of Fort Hood Street — a north-south State Highway 195 corridor — inside the city limits.
“TxDOT will honor a name change and will change on-state system signage if the city decides to rename the road,” Smith said. “Local city signage would not be under TxDOT purview.”
The other street in Killeen named after a Confederate general is Robert E. Lee Drive. It connects Shoemaker to Lake Road, near North W.S. Young Drive. Nash-King said that road could be considered for a name change, too.
The workshop on Tuesday is scheduled for 5 p.m. at City Hall, 101 N. College St.
Other items up for discussion include:
Resolution awarding a $392,099 bid to Ambrozi Contracting for Phase II of the terminal apron rehabilitation project.
Resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a grant agreement with the Texas Office of the Governor for the purchase of bullet-resistant shields for the Killeen Police Department for $157,092.60.
Resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a grant agreement with the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to provide de-escalation instructor training to police officers for $49,000.
Resolution authorizing a letter of agreement with Pipeline Analysis for a wastewater flow monitoring study for $352,598.
Resolution ratifying an agreement with Lloyd Gosselink for legal services in Oncor Electric v. City of Killeen and acquiring the street-lighting system.
Resolution approving an amendment to the interlocal agreement with Temple for a homelessness strategic plan with Marbut Consulting.
Resolution accepting the fiscal year 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant and approving an interlocal agreement with Temple and Bell County.
Approve investments reports for the quarter that ended on Dec. 31, 2022.
Appoint council members to the Youth Advisory Commission Subcommittee.
Order a general election on May 6 for each of the city’s four districts.
Amend the fiscal year 2023 budget to adjust revenue and expenditure accounts in multiple funds.
Rezone about 203 acres from business district and manufacturing district to planned unit development with local business district, multifamily apartment residential district and residential townhouse single-family district uses at 1401 Rio Boulevard.
Amend a conditional use permit to allow package stores as a permitted use at 10640 S. Fort Hood St.
- Quarterly financial report
- Planning and Zoning Commission update
- Boil-water notices update
- Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone update
- Air service development update
- Collaboration with 5, an energy advisor, to procure energy services.
- Discuss setting two meetings each year with the Youth Advisory Commission.
- Receive update on pending or contemplated litigation related to Oncor Electric v. City of Killeen.
It's embarrassing, the things they deal with. Wasting time and money, while there are so many problems to solve. Between the chickens (why not the dogs, cats and horses?) and the names of places, among others, it is obvious that they are not looking or listening to the true needs of the community.
That was racist.
Since our elected officials are still in their “History Bad” feelings, let’s just change the name to The Greater Tinker Bell and Peter Pan Regional Airport.
I think it is time to change the name of our council to ex council members.
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