COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove Deputy Police Chief Brian Wyers walked away from the podium Tuesday evening with a smile on his face after he gave the Copperas Cove City Council an updated presentation of the proposed new Animal Control Facility.
A topic of discussion in the city for the past few years, Wyers had consistently received feedback from members of the council to try to reduce the cost of the proposed project.
On Tuesday, Wyers said he and architects modified the plans for the animal shelter and were able to shave $1 million off the cost, bringing it to a new estimated total of around $3.8 million.
“The changes that were made were a reduction in the lobby space, there’s the removal of the community training room,” Wyers said. “Some of the spaces that were divided up have been combined so that they would leave less of a footprint on the diagram itself.”
The current animal shelter, which is overseen by the Cove PD, is located at 1601 N. First St. in Copperas Cove and has space for 46 dogs and 12 cats. The new facility would increase capacity to 66 dogs and 40 cats.
“The big focus that I had for the architect was that we didn’t reduce the number of kennels,” Wyers said.
With the reductions, the new facility would be around 11,800 square feet.
“The current shelter is in very poor condition and we need a facility that will meet all of the state requirements,” Wyers said via email after the meeting. “The new facility will provide a safer environment for the dogs and cats that we take in and adopt out to the public.”
When Wyers first brought the project to the council in 2017, it was estimated to cost $8.2 million, and then a few months ago, he said it would cost around $4.8 million.
The preferred location of the new shelter by a majority of the council is next to Fire Station No. 2, 2401 Farm-to-Market Road 1113.
Councilman Fred Chavez was the only one who preferred the Ogletree Gap Preserve Park.
After hearing about the project in April, the City Council gave direction for the city to seek certificate of obligation bonds for the amount of the project. In May, just before receiving the proposed budget for next fiscal year, the council did a 180-degree turn and directed that the city consider general obligation bonds by way of an election.
Now, after Tuesday’s meeting with the lower cost, the council is 6-1 in favor of redirecting the city to seek certificates of obligation.
Councilman Jack Smith is the only one who was in favor of a bond election.
Smith has said in previous council meetings that he feels that funds for a new animal shelter is something that the registered voters should decide on.
Councilman Jay Manning said he believes it is the council’s responsibility to do the homework and make the decision.
City Manager Ryan Haverlah will present the council with a financial analysis of both the certificate of obligation bonds and the general obligation bonds and the impact each would have on the next fiscal year’s budget at a future city council meeting.