COPPERAS COVE — A proposed project that has been in the hands of Copperas Cove Deputy Police Chief Brian Wyers for around five years is now in the hands of the voters in Copperas Cove.
The Copperas Cove City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to order a $4 million bond election for the cost of a proposed new Animal Control facility. The proposition will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot for Copperas Cove voters.
“It actually was a bigger relief than I thought, but it’s just because it’s been a waiting game up to this point,” Wyers said after the meeting. “Now to have the full council support it the way they did tonight, it’s definitely a good feeling.”
The bond amount will be for $4.075 million. The project itself is estimated to cost around $3.8 million. City council members have previously directed that, if approved by voters, the new facility should be constructed next to Fire Station No. 2, 2401 Farm-to-Market 1113.
The total bond amount includes the price of construction as well as the acquisition of land, easements and rights-of-way in connection to the land acquisition, and the levying of a tax sufficient to pay the principal of, and interest on the bonds.
City Manager Ryan Haverlah explained the assumed budgetary implications on taxpayers if voters approve the bond.
“The estimated tax increase would be approximately 1.7 cents per $100 valuation,” Haverlah said.
He added that based on that number, combined with an assumption that the bond carries a 20-year amortization period and a 3% interest rate, a person who owns a property appraised at $100,000 could pay an additional $13.60 in property taxes over the course of a year — or roughly $1.13 per month.
Councilwoman Dianne Campbell characterized the potential property tax increase as a “minimal cost.”
“As the community continues to grow, that increases or adds to the appraised or assessed value within the city, which would actually reduce the impact of those bonds over time,” Haverlah said, referring to projected tax rate increase.
In the event the issue fails at the ballot, Wyers said it will be more of the same in an attempt to come up with a permanent solution to the state of the current facility.
“For us, really, we would just continue with what we’ve been doing,” Wyers said. “I’ve sat up at the podium and said a million times we’re putting Band-Aids on problems, and we’ll find ways to make it work. I mean, we’re not going to shut the shelter down.”
The Copperas Cove Police Department oversees Animal Control in the city.
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.
When originally brought to the council in 2017, the price of the project was around $8 million, which was shaved down to around $5 million earlier this year.
After more work with the architect, Wyers presented the final projected cost of around $3.8 million in July.