COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove City Council approved a land swap with Fort Hood on Monday during a city council special session.
The session held a quorum of four council members. Place 3 has not yet been filled, awaiting a run-off election. Neither Jay Manning, Place 4, nor Jack Smith, Place 7, were present. The remaining four council members all voted in favor of the transaction.
The transaction basically completes a land swap with Fort Hood begun in 2009 that paved the way for the Five Hills Shopping Center and residential areas alongside U.S. Highway 190.
About 11.5 acres were left along Highway 190 belonging to Fort Hood, restricting access and development to that area, Ryan Haverlah, Cove city manager, explained to the council.
In return, three smaller sections of land of near equivalent value will be turned over to Fort Hood to increase the size of the post’s training areas.
Haverlah also explained the transaction was being done on behalf of private developers James Clark and Wesley Atkinson, who will continue to develop the Five Hills Shopping Center and residential areas.
“The reason this is necessary is because the United States government will not do a land swap with individuals or partnerships; they will only do it with governmental entities,” Haverlah said. “We are simply the intermediary for the land swap and all costs relating to the land swap will be borne by the partnership of Clark and Atkinson.”
Atkinson said this swap will allow access to the areas already owned by the partnership to continue developing the commercial and residential zones around the Highway 190 bypass.
“Without ownership, it made it difficult for us to make improvements,” Atkinson said. “We’re going to pave that road to get access into that property for future development.”
Atkinson and Clark will now turn over the three properties to the city of Copperas Cove, along with approximately $12,000 to make up for the full value of the Fort Hood property to be swapped.
The city will turn the land over to Fort Hood, the post will deed their land to the city and the city will then turn over ownership to Atkinson and Clark.