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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Tuesday, February 13, 1996 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 13, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas                                TUESDAY Rangers Unicorns battle for final playoff spot tonight See Page 5 Churchill School New Braunfels Herald 50 CENTS 26 E 8 pages in one section Tuesday February Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more SCHMIDT Vol 144 No 66 Inside Market StammHsch Birthday wishes from the HeraldZeitung The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung extends birthday wishes to Maurice Tipper Lewis III Merle Sarvey Les Schmidt Dee Ann Cornelius Randi Hummel belat Stanley Hummel Irma Arciie Carold Cochran and Kevin Handle Pollen Count Mold Pollen measured In parts per cubic meter of air Readings taken yesterday Information provided by Dr Frank River Information Comal River 266 cubic feet per sec ond down 8 from yesterday Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well feet above sea level down 04 Main Street puts on seminars The New Braunfels Main Street Design Committee will host a seminar on Advertis Your Business tonight Other upcoming semi nars include Signage in Keeping with Concept and Building Feb 27 and Good Merchandising Great and Easy Window Displays March 12 Each of the free seminars at City Hall in the Municipal Court room 424S CastelfAveT Bring a brown bag dinner Beverages and dessert will be provided Gruene FACE to meet The Gruene Family and Community Education Club will meet Wednesday Feb 14 at 2 at the Extension Meeting Room for a Valentine program For more informa tion call the Extension office at HOPE to hold workshop The Hispanic Organization for Public Education is spon soring a workshop Monday Feb 19 at 7 at the NBNB Building 1000 N Walnut The topic will be Everything You Wated To Know About The Gifted and Talented Pro gram Speaker will be Marilyn McFarland gifted and talent ed consultant Region XIII Also available to answer ques tions will be local school dis trict officials For information call Sylvia at 6259213 After hours mixer tonight Greater Hispanic Chamber of Corrimerce after hours mix er will lje held at the Bavarian to 7 The cost is Clarification The last line of type in the Sunday Feb 12 page 1 arti cle about Jan Kennadys announcement that she will run for mayor was inadvertant ly omitted The story should have read If I am elected mayor I promise to follow that plan Saturday nights Lotto Texas numbers The wiinnino numbers Lotto Texas 13 18 Est million LOTTERY City approves higher water sewer rates By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer The city council gave the nod last night for New Braunfels Utilities to increase water and sewer rates Mayor Paul E Fraser Jr cast the only dis senting vote NBUs water and sewer services have been in the red for several years said Guadalupe Castillo NBU presi dent The electric service has in effect been subsidizing water and sewer I think its time that we corrected he said Were asking you now to help make the water and sewer a viable Under the plan approved last night the rates would increase in two steps step one percent water increase and percent sewer increase on April 1 1996 step two 5 percent water increase and 4 percent sewer increase on Oct NBU trustees presented five alternate scenarios for fiveyear plan funding to the city council in November The sce nario most popular with council mem bers combined million in bonds with rate increases We should not subsidize a resource that is said Councilman Ray Schoch and water is Fraser who sits on the NBU Board of Trustees has said that NBUs five year plan for capital construction pro jects is more ambitious than it needs to be A utility cannot said Paula DiFonzo NBU general manager We must plan for growth we cannot extend service to one customer at a time or we would be building and tear ing down Fraser said he would like to see a cost of service analysis completed before the rates are restructured And we have the Canyon Dam power sta tion that is losing he said If anybody has any better idea of how to do it Id love to hear said Councilwoman Jan Kennady The city council will meet again Thursday at to consider approving NBU to issue revenue bonds Council members will also vote for the second of three times on the water and sewer rates Braunfels Utilities Proposed Increases Residential Water in Rate Proposed Rate for April 1 Oct1 Rate after Oct1 92 of 1 R S R Sewer Rate Proposed Rate for April 1 Oct1 Rate after Oct1 Monthly per Monthly are per 1 000 gallons awer rates are based on the three months of the year with the lowest usage ates must be voted on two more times at future city council meetings ext meeting is Thursday at PEC customer base grew by six percent last year By DAVID DEKUNDER Staff Writer HeraldZeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Barn burns A barn at 550 N Krueger went up like a torch late yesterday morning but New Braunfels firefighters kept the blaze from spreading Wind played a large part in the rapid spread of the fire said Battalion Chief John Herber The barn itself was owned by Walter Sippel but the 300 to 400 bales of hay belonged to Ronnie Schmidt according to New Braunfels Fire Department records The fire was under control within 20 to 30 minutes of the call but firefighters worked several more hours to put out every ember Schmidt helped greatly Herber said by pulling apart smoldering hay bales with his tractor Increased growth in the Austin and the Canyon Lake areas meant more customers for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in 1995 a cooperative spokeswoman said are to the Hill because it is an attractive place to PEC spokeswoman Robbie Searcy said The Johnson Citybased cooperative cov ers a 3county service area in the Hill Country and Central Texas which includes Canyon Lake PEC has members with in Comal County In 1995 nearly members in the Hill Country were hooked up to PEC PEC serves businesses and residential areas with 85 percent of its business serving residential areas Searcy said The new 1995 customers represented a six percent increase from 1994 and an increase of more than 20 percent over three years Over a two year period from Jan 94 the Canyon Lake area showed an increase of People are coming to the Hill Country because it is an attractive place to Robbie Searcy percent compared to the rest of the PEC service area which increased by percent Searcy said Searcy said PEC has been prepared to meet the growth by upgrading facilities For several years we have been con verting our transmission lines to higher voltages from 69 kilovolts to 138 kilovolts to meet the increase Searcy said We have been looking at our transmission facilities andseeing how we can best get the power to our To meet the foreseen growth PEC raised its rates in December 1994 which was the cooperatives first rate increase in 11 years Searcy said We were not trying to catch up but to be prepared to meet the anticipated growth to make our facilities Projections show springs in trouble if dry spell continues By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer The Comal Springs could dry up by August 1997 if drought conditions con tinue for the next two years Thats the worst case scenario from the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center EARDC at Southwest Texas State University The regional supply could drop sig pificanjly in the ftiture even in less severe conditions say study results released by the EARDC Friday Area residents should be concerned said Glenn Longley EARDC director Weve used pumping and recharge data from the periods of 89 and Longley said Of course we have more people in the region and more pumping from the Edwards Aquifer than we had during any of those periods so well levels and spring flows could diminish even more rapidly than the model The EARDC model shows the Comal Springs could go dry by August 1997 if conditions in 199697 mimic those of 195556 the last two years of a severe 10year drought The Comal Springs did stop flowing for two months in the summer of 1956 Spring flow at the headwaters of the San Marcos River could fall from the current rate of about 165 cubic feet per second to about 30 cfs by the end of 1997 Well levels around the region could fall from as much as 30 feet in Uvalde to nearly 100 feet in Sabinal 300 S p 250 r n g f 150 i o 50 Comal Spring Flow conlth 89 condit 56 Spring flow measured in cubic feet per second Projections by the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data San Antonio well levels would fall 60 feet according to the model If weather conditions are more like those in 198889 a less severe drought year current levels still show the Comal Springs drying up by October 1997 the EARDC study shows Started in 1979 at Southwest Texas State University the EARDC studies the Edwards Aquifer which it call a unique worldrenowned karst aquifer made up of porous permeable lime EARDC scientist Misai Wanakule developed complex models for pre dicting aquifer and spring conditions that use the huge variety of conditions that contribute to aquifer levels The EARDC collects and shares geo graphical biological weather water resource geological and socioeco nomic facts relating to the aquifer The center offers a variety of services including lab services for water analy sis NBU officials said Tuesday that they projected water usage at about 6 million gallons of water per day for February but acutal usage is over 7 million gal lons per day Low spring flow triggers Stage 1 of conservation plan By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer People relying on water from the Edwards Aquifer are being asked to practice voluntary conservation already and officials say this is the earliest the measure has been put into place since the inception of the plan seven years ago The aquifers recharge zone has not had measurable rain for more than 40 days On Monday the Edwards Under ground Water District declared Stage I of its Demand Management Plan This voluntary reduction stage is implemented when spring flow rates at Comal Springs reach 250 cubic feet per second The reduction goal at this stage of the plan is 10 percent 1 think that as we move through time Comal Springs is a more sta ble said Rick Illgner general manager for the District The plan is aimed at protecting spring flow so its fitting to use spring flow as the Rainfall for the Edwards Aquifer region was five inches below normal last year Illgner said January is typ ically a dry month but January 19 was the driest on record These dry conditions nave prompted the earli est declaration of the DMP by the District since the plan was put into effect in 1989 Illgner said last year was the first time stage 1 of the DMP was declared and that occurred in August He said during that time reduction actually surpassed the 10 percent goal and the second stage was not needed However he said there is no guarantee that the second stage which is mandatory reduc tion will not be needed this year He said the area typically gets most of its rain from March to August and only time will tell if further reduc tions will be needed Were concerned but were not in a said Illgner We think people just need to be responsible and people need to be If spring flow continues to drop and falls to 225 cfs mandatory reductions will be put in place Stage 11 has a 15 percent reduction goal when the spring low is 225 cfs Ill gner said this will directly effect those who supply or produce IS million gallons of groundwater per year He said users will be given a target base line to meet during this stage and must cut usage Were going to give them a tar get base line Were not going to just tell them to reduce usage by 10 percent Theyll know how much they can he said If spring flow drops to 175 cfs stage 111 will be declared with a 20 percent reduction goal Stage IV begins when spring flow falls to 150 cfs and has a 30 percent goal If water levels continue to drop there is an extreme water emergency stage This stage is declared if there is an immediate threat to water resources or human health Gramm would do well to focus on his senate race See Opinion Page 4A   

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