Cove Council Candidates Discuss Growth | Local News


As Copperas Cove voters begin to turn to the polls on Monday, they will vote for one of three candidates vying for the Square 3 seat on city council.

Their choice will be between Shawn Alzona, Scott Remalia and William Gregory Smith.

Alzona, 45, is a 22-year-old military veteran, is retiring as a captain and has held a managerial position in a zone distribution warehouse.

He is a longtime resident of the city and has spent the last few years as a member of the Parks and Recreation Quality of Life Council.

Remalia, 63, retired from the Marine Corps in 2001, retired from the public service in 2018, and retired as a bus driver in 2020 after driving for the Copperas Cove and Killeen school districts.

He has lived in Copperas Cove since 2018. During his time in the military, Remalia was the Commander of the Maritime Security Guard Detachment and helped develop five-year budget plans with the defense agenda for future years.

Smith, 48, is a United States Coast Guard veteran. He works as a firefighter / emergency medical technician with the Copperas Cove Fire Department.

Smith was not a candidate for public office, but served as the post commander, vice-commander and adjutant of American Legion Post 582 in Killeen.

The Herald asked the same questions of the three candidates and provided their answers to the questions. Their responses are below:

Question 1: The town of Copperas Cove has received over $ 8 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, half of which has already been received. One of you will have a say in how the city spends this money. How would you like the city to use the funds? Why?

Alzona: “My first priority is to make sure the people of Copperas Cove have a say in how these funds are spent. Second, I want to make sure the decision stems from deliberate planning that emphasizes “smart spending” and long-term value to the city. I am confident that our city managers will identify our most critical needs and come up with options that provide the most benefit to Copperas Cove, but ultimately I prioritize our critical infrastructure projects in the parks, recreational facilities and street improvements.

Remalia: “In the American Rescue Plan Act, there are specific categories for how these funds can be used based on guidelines from the US Treasury. In looking at these categories and comparing them to the current capital improvement plan, I would focus on three areas. Make up for the shortfall in hotel occupancy tax revenue; improvements to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; and to help local industries, such as the Boys & Girls Club. It is important to ensure that the city has a strong revenue stream and using the funds to supplement the occupancy tax deficit would contribute to the financial strength of the city. Improvements in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure will be needed, especially with the long-term growth expected. Helping local industries such as the Boys & Girls Club is invaluable in keeping people employed and residents able to use city services, which keeps the “money” in Copperas Cove.

Question 2: In 2020, the city council made changes to the water tariffs in the city, which increased base tariffs, lowered volumetric tariffs, and removed the senior discount. Many residents have expressed concern over this decision. If elected, what would you do to address concerns about water tariffs?

Alzona: “Letting residents know why the decisions were made and how they will have positive impacts in the future will help allay many concerns. First, the water discounts were found to be illegal on the basis of state law and had to be removed and the increase in base tariffs ensures that the city can provide quality water services, pressure and fire departments as the city grows. The cost of water is determined by the cost of providing water, as we grow as a city that cost increases as well. This is why my focus on economic growth for our city is so important. Economic growth will help finance our future needs and alleviate some of the stresses caused by the rising cost of living.

Remalia: “This is a valid concern, so I went back to the October 2019 rates and compared them to the current rates in May 2021. The base rate went from $ 14.00 to $ 20.00 for water. and sewer and basic drainage tariff increased from $ 6.00 to $ 7.00. Volumetric rates have gone from $ 4.75 per 1,000 gallons to $ 4.00 per 1,000 gallons for water. Sewer rates have gone from $ 5.75 per 1,000 gallons to $ 4.85 per 1,000 gallons. If you compare them for 1000, 4000, and 8000 gallon users for 2019 and 2021, those are the results.

2019: 1,000 – $ 44.50; 4000 – $ 76.00; 8000 – $ 118.00

2021: 1,000 – $ 55.85; 4000 – $ 82.40; 8000 – $ 117.80

Graduated water tariffs have been proposed in the past and I would like to see the impact of these on residents. “

Question 3: “As the city continues to grow, economic development is a necessity. What type (s) of business would you like to see in the town of Copperas Cove, and if elected, what would you do to help bring this type of business to the town? “

Alzona: “As a member of the Quality of Life board, it was clear to me that we needed economic growth to fund improvements across the spectrum of our city. Before coming to this office, I tried to understand why organizations don’t do business in Copperas Cove. I want to uncover and remove the barriers that prevent organizations from coming to our great city. I sat down with city managers, business owners and local developers to get a feel for what economic growth would mean for Copperas Cove and the resounding answer: everything. It would mean everything to Copperas Cove if we could bring businesses here. I would like to see large entities, manufacturing or warehousing, which could offer a mass of employment opportunities for our community.

Remalia: “This is a question that is at the forefront of the minds of most people here at Copperas Cove. This city is very well located, a wealth of talent and plenty of opportunities for businesses to relocate and succeed. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has many incentives to offer businesses and Copperas Cove has been designated an “Opportunity Zone,” a program designed to stimulate economic development and job creation in communities across the United States. . The city has many successful small businesses and I would love to see advanced manufacturing, defense and energy companies moving to our beautiful city. I would work with the Economic Development Corporation and determine what factors we could promote to encourage businesses to relocate. It is a multi-faceted business between the board, EDC and the Chamber of Commerce. Everyone needs to be intimately involved for these types of businesses to come to Copperas Cove.

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