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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Wednesday, March 30, 1994 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 30, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas                                WEDNESDAY Jimmy Johnson resigns as coach of the Dallas Cowboys See R 9 50 COUNTDOWNi 356 DAYS New Braunfels March March NewBraunfels HeraldZeitu 18 Pages in two sections i Wednesday March Serving Comal County for more than 142 years Hbrne of HELEN VELA Vol 142 No 97 Inside Letters to the Sports HEB Livestock show Stammtisch Birthday wishes from the HeraldZeftung The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung extends the following jirthday wishes to Helen Vela Ursula Brinkeroff Ramon Cha pa Charlotte Kelm Harry Ornas Sarah daSuarez Adolpho AJjOrte ga Jr Janus Forte Nell Stockman Happy Anniversary to Herbert Lucille Ormond 54 years Children sought for Kinderchor group The New Braunfels Kinderchor is looking for some new children to learn German songs Beginneronly classes will start this Thursday March 31 at at the Senior Citizen Center on Landa St For more information please call David at 6291785 or Oma at 6259288 barbecue cookers sought Anyone interested in competing in the wurst barbecue competi tion in Texas should call Suzanne Herbelin at 6259167 to sigh up The Wurst CookOff and Dance is slated for Saturday April 23 on the Wurstfest grounds in Landa Park Entry fee iteamfor the first meat category or for two or threemeat categories Cookers can also enter the side dish category for After the cookoff RoTel and the Hot Tomatoes will perform at Wursthalle Tickets will be at the gate or in advance Retired Teachers to meet April 6 The New Braunfels Retired Teachers Association will meet April 6 in the NBISD Education Center Board Room There will be coffee and cookies at The program and business meeting will begin at 10 and will consist of Laris Priesmeyer giving a review of Dave Barrys humurous book The Only Travel Book You mil Ever lOthGruene set for April 2 The 10th Annual Gruene will be held on April 2 at Gruene and will benefit Friends For Rivers This years run will be high lighted by the appearance of Bill Rodgers sixtime winner of the Boston and New York marathons For more information call 3254 The event is sponsored by Brooks Shoes Roger Solers Sports in San Antonio and Run Tex of Austin Marlon VFD to host pancake breakfast The Marion Volunteer Fire Department will have an allyou caneat pancake breakfast at the f e station on Sunday April 10 fom 7 to Call Fire Chief Roger Scheffel at 9142141 for more information Tht New Braunfels Heral4Zeitung invites its readers to submit items to Stammtisch According to the Sopkbnburg Archives and members of the Gtrman community Stammtisch represents a sitting place for members of the community to gajher an4 share the days Happenings We invite you to share vith lit Mayor Seidel says sell NBIP By JENNIFER ROMPEL Staff Writer New Braunfels Mayor Rudy Seidel has pro posed the possibility of selling New Braunfels Utilities in order to allow the city to get a better return on its investment The New Braunfels City Council met in a bud get workshop Tuesday night Much of the dis cussion centered around the city receiving a bet ter return from NBU Seidel who serves on the NBU Board of Trustees said he is setting the groundwork with NBU officials in order to receive more funds this year The city expects to ask NBU to transfer into the city revenue in addition to the payment in lieu of taxes that the utilities already provides NBU is expected to pay to the city for a payment in lieu of taxes in the 199495 budget Last year the utilities provided the city with an additional Seidel explained that NBU has assets of million He said if the city got a 5 percent return on its investment in NBU it would receive approximately million If the city received a percent return it would gain Last year the city received plus a transfer which is less than a percent return according to Seidel I have talked to someone who is familiar with utilities and found out we could sell NBU for up to million If we got only million we could pay off he said Seidel also explained that the city could pay off money owed by NBU and then invest the remain ing funds in longterm Treasury bonds If those bonds received a 5 percent return the city would receive million per year according to Seidel We could fix our drainage problems all of the streets would be repaired or we could replace bridges and hire more police and he said We could cut taxes by 40 percent and still have as much money coming in as we do Seidel said Seguin receive million from its utilities and San Marcos receives million He said he wants New Braunfels to get a half way decent return on its If the city sold the utilities the council would still have control over whether or not NBU could raise its rates City Manager Mike Shands said the numbers discussed Tuesday night were used to illustrate the citys point that more return is needed Shands explained that the citys charter pro vides for a public utilities board to be placed in charge of operating managing and controlling the utilities The city also has the right to abolish the board according to the charter The city has asked to meet with NBU offi cials on April 4 to discuss whether or not the utilities should transfer funds to the city in the 199495 budget The sale of the utilities would be very detri mental to the city of New said NBU General Manager Bob Sohn Sohn said the utilities would not really be worth the million Seidel had indicated Sohn estimates the utilities including water and sewer would be worth million while the electrical would be worth approximately million NBU owes million making the val ued at approximately million he said Sohn said the decision to give more money to the city would have to be discussed and approved by the utilities board of directors Im very he said concerning the mayors statements of last night Sohn added that if you raise utility rates to supplement the citys income it would be in effect a hidden tax Such a situation could have citizens outside the city subsidizing the citys income In other business the council also discussed making a deal with WalMart Distribution Cen ter Officials from the city and from WalMart arc expected to meet April 7 to discuss either annex ing WalMart or allowing the company to make payments in lieu of taxes According to Mike Shands WalMart was under a tax abatement for seven years and begin ning the eighth year the city would be allowed to bring in the center oneeighth at a time WalMart Distribution pays taxes to the Comal Independent School District and the county but the city has received no taxes according to Shands If an agreement not to annex is made the city could receive as much as in 199495 If the area was annexed WalMart could pay as much as in taxes but it would not have to pay until 1996 Convenience store robbed By JENNIFER ROMPEL Staff Writer New Braunfels police officers are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Circle K convenience store on the corner of Landa and Wal nut streets The incident is reported to have occurred at One clerk was on duty at of According to reports four men entered the store One of the men allegedly pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money Officers said the men had their faces covered with ban danas The suspects got an undisclosed amount of money and several six packs of beer According to officials the clerk handed the entire cash draw er to the suspects The suspects are estimated to be between the ages of 17 to 20 They are described as Hispanic males and one was reported to have been wearing a parkatype coat with a hood Oneact play HeraldZeitung photo by JOHN HUSETH Mlka Elder left as Helena and Jamie Smelsw right as Puck were part of New Braunfels winning oneact play presentation of A Midsummer Nights The New Brsunfels High School group along with the cast of The Marriage of from Smtthson Valley High School advanced out of District 284A Zone 2 City leaders TDOT officials map out highway priorities By CRAIQ HAMMETT Staff Writer Civic leaders gathered Tuesday night at city coun cil chambers to address the future of highway systems around the area Leaders from Comal and Guadalupe counties as well as New Braunfels and Seguin addressed officials with the Texas Department of Transportation with pleas for highway improvement projects The major plea among New Braunfels and Comal County representatives was for the widening of Inter state 35 from one end of the county to the other espe cially the area within the city limits The most urgent need in our county is the com pletion of the 135 widening said County Judge Carter Casteel in an opening address Other officials echoed and expanded upon her statement TxDOT estimates the project costs for upgrading 135 to six and eight lanes will reach nearly mil lion TxDOT officials presented plans for 1996 and listed projects in the Project Development Plan PDF for 410 years Most 135 construction is targeted in the 410 year part of the POP Some parts will be upgraded to six lanes while the stretch from of a mile north of the southern inter section of FM 337 and 135 to of mile north of FM 306 will be upgraded to eight lanes Officials urged that this and other city and county road construction be moved See related story up on the project time table page2A especially that of 135 through New Braunfels Our highest priority is the completion of eight lanes of Interstate 35 to south and Interstate 35 to the said Mayor Rudy Seidel Im afraid the city will become a bottleneck with eight lanes from both sides to four lanes in the city Members of a Chamber of Commerce Trans portation Committee joined council members and officials of the county to express concern for the crowded road conditions caused by growing popu lation and tourism in the county Of critical importance is the completion of 135 and widening of State Highway said NBISD President Dick Robinett Beginning at 6 we have a fleet of school buses out thereIt has become extremely hazardous loading and unloading on 46 It is a nightmare for school buses to get through on Mayor Pro Tern Butch Benitez agreed with the danger of Hwy 46 and pointed to the danger of access roads on 135 We feel it is important to address changing the frontage from twoway to oneway as soon as pos he said Weve had several fatalities on the The problem as always is money Local TxDOT engineer David Kopp said New Braunfels competes for funding with 16 other counties in the San Anto nio district who believe their projects are just as important District Transportation Planning Engineer Clay Smith presented a program explaining the process by which construction is planned approved and money appropriated He said if 135 is designated a Federal Demon stration Project it would help relieve funding and speed up the process The Demonstration Project designation would help get appropriations for a project over and above what they could get he said It would help it move faster and free us to move on to other projects around the Signing and pavement marking work is already underway on IH35 from just north of FM 306 to the Hays County line Work is also being done on a bridge on Spring Branch Rd at the Guadalupe River and on a drainage structure on FM 2673 miles west of FM 306 Unemployment rate on the rise but number of unemployed increased too By JENNIFER ROMPEL Staff Writer The unemployment rate in Comal Jaunty increased by twotenths in FeBrUary however the number of people employed in the county is on the rise according to statistics released by the Texas Employment Commis sion The unemployment rate for Febru ary was percent Januarys rate was percent The increase in the unemployment rate is extremely small according to Al Debarros of the Texas Employment Commission Over the entire month this is a very small change In fact San AntOr nio went from in January to During this time of year January and February the unemployment rate usu ally goes he said Comal Coun tys didnt go up as much as San Anto the unemployment rate increases during this time of year because the retail industry dismisses many employ ees who hired during the Christmas holidays according to Debarros The retail trade reaches its lowest point in said Debarros They start letting temporary people go and because of endoftheyear rea sons they and other companies let a lot of people go It is a seasonal drop It is not unex pected The part to look at is the total employed and total he said In February 1993 the total employed was and the unem ployment rate was 6 percent In Feb ruary 1994 the total number of people employed was The total number of people unem ployed in February 1994 was Comal County is included in the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area The number of people employed in the area in February was This is up from in February 1993 Formation of water district in rural Comal County to be discussed tomorrow By CRAIQ HAMMETT Staff Writer The formation of a proposed water district in the north and western parts of Comal County will be the topic of discussion 10 Thursday at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Co Audito rium A hearing examiners board from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission formerly known as the Texas Water Commission will hear a proposal from residents who want to form an underground water district The district if formed would cover 64 of the county according to a report cited by Lt Col Cameron Wiley one of the districts main proponents The district would be called the Comal Coun ty Underground Water Conservation District This district is not pan of the Edwards but rather the Trinity Aquifer The area is classified as a critical area of groundwater problems The district cannot obtain legitimacy until the TNRCC has heard opinions from the public before debating the issue in Austin and eventually approving the district If approved a temporary board of directors will call an election of district residents to ratify the district and elect a board The district would then have wideranging powers regarding usage of underground water The Comal County commissioners court will meet one hour earlier at 8 Thursday then proceed to the Guadalupe Valley office for the district hearing Buying Selling Look first in The Marketplace Comal Countys bargain center   

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