Wednesday, June 12, 1996

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 12, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas See Page 1B II t 1t A 3 iJk CoumyCourttxHiM pages in two sections 2627 E YANDELL OR EL PASO TX 7990S Wednesday June 12 1996 Serving Comal Courtty afeat for rnore than Home of VAUUHt WMfrt Inside Market the The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung extends birthday wishes to Valerie White Happy anniversary to Roger and Susan Croteau 8 To have a binhday or anniver sary listed here call 6259144 Pollen Count Grasstrace Poden measured In parts meter t air Readfngs taken Tuesday Intomiafkxi provided by Dr Frank River Information Comal cubic feet per sec ond same as yesterday Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well feet above sea level down 16 from Tuesday Canyon Dam cfs Canyon Lake cfs Canyon Lake level feet above sea level Below conservation NewBraunfetsUtHttlM NBU reports pumping million gal lons of surface water and million gallons of aquifer water Tuesday Account set up to help Robert Konkel A special account to help local Konkel who is battling AIDS has been set up at First Cbmmer cial Bank 654 Landa Street To donate just stop by the bank and tell them you Want to makefreiepesit in the spe cial account for Robert Konkel You can have your name included or make the donation anonymously BPWtomeetat Holiday Inn The New Braunfels Busi ness and Professional Wom ens Club will meet tonight at the Holiday Inn Social at dinner and meeting at 7 i Installation of officers will be held For more information Brenda Sullivan at 625 4545 or Kristy Davis at 609 5678 American Forum meet Thursday The American Forum will meet at 7 Thursday at the American Legion Hall Quilt Guild to Jazz tt up Saturday The New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild will meet at 9 Saturday at the First Christian on Loop 337 Pro gram will be given by Sherrie Spangler Jazz It Up Wear iable Art Public is invited In the Friday edition of the Insignia Inc New Braunfels was incor jrectly identified as the compa iny that evicted the Childrens Museum Insignia Manage Iment Group based in is the com jpany that owns Courtyard jPlaza Shopping Center and jevicted the museum last Feb jruary JRestaurant update It was reported in the Reports earlier this jmonth that the city health inspector closed the fettle Restaurant on Loop 337 The was corrected later ttiat same day and the is open for busl hess This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint NBU argues for relief from putiipiiig ftiles no actioh takfeti BybENtSEDZlUK Staff Writer certain percmteges based on the sever although New firaunfeis is largest suggestion ity of the drought NBU argued the rules are unfair since NBU has already cut its use of surface water by about 90 He offered a suggestion of putting a objectives bf it hesaid percent time to review Isthinfc its a way to bring NBU The board agreed to postpone any into toe plari and still keep the overall action until its r ObjeCtlVCS 01 It he Said tn thp mpflntimp nilfnhVn baiH wi the DMP and the city Will fcdntinue 4 a wigvi xic aaiu umi wuum vnanKc me saia INiiU received memn r for the amount of aquifer water it target for allow mote aquifer the tod the city will Demand Management Plan Tuesday pumps be based on 1990 usage which pumping than the current DMP She said she asked the board to nost to operate under its NBU argued the mandatory reduc is the last year the city relied solely on I didnt see an opportunity for bar pone any action on the variance reouest However she said the hons required by the plan fail to rec aquifer water said fflgnerMlfs just food for so NBU could review the suggestion preparing for the worst ogmze the aty s substantial use of sur Illgner EUWD general man thought Its an idea for the board to We are still standing behind our Were having to look atwhat direc saw the variance request take into request for a she the tion We Would go the variance The DMP mandates cutting the as a basic yes or n6 question without fllgner said bbth The EtfWD and board would like us to Consider Mr dobelief amount of aquifer water pumped by much room for He said NBU boards need time to look at the Illgners suggestion we would like were in compliance shLid Bubba Szlem of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Karlm M Service measure the depth of the water near Comal Springs as part of a study started in 1992 They are try ing to determine the spring flow needed to maintain the ecosystem Dropping spring flow levels and what Ra WfWprt bV WJPr pumpers to reduce their reltanc on water his tod lub back Into the courts The club I major pumpers in an the eWrP tllttl liUA At AnH j iriVVWHI rilV VIUW IV Vlflf fpMCl Hint Comal and Sm Mercos Sierra By ABE LEVY Staff Writer The Sierra Club filed a class action lawsuit Monday against pumpers of the Edwards Aquifer including New Braunfels Utilities asking for increased conservation measures to protect water quality and endangered species The suit was filed in the Mid division of the Dis tript Court and names 19 pumpers including San Antonio San Antonio Water System Bexar Metropolitan Water District San Marcos and the Department of Defense The suit alleges that the pumpers have not complied with the Endan gered Species Act by reducing their water use to protect species depen dent on the aquifer Keeping lawns green during a drought is not as important as the sur vival of species that preceded us on Earth by millions of said Ken Kramer Sierra Club state director If these species cant survive then our way of life is threatened In addition the lawsuit alleges that overdrafting of the aquifer could cause containipated water to move into the clean water sections of the aquifer which feed public water lines The Sierra Club cited a recent study by the Edwards Underground Water District which said contaminated water lies beneath Comal and San Marcos springs and could contairoV nate public including NBUs wells Overall the suit claims that insuf ficient conservation attempts by the pumpers will ultimately harm the ecpnomies pf businesses around the Edwards area Sierra Club officiate said the suit is a fpllowup tp the Sierra Club vs Babbitt case of 1991 that sought a recpvery plan from the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect endan gered species dependent on the Aquifer Keeping lawns green during a drought is not as important as the survival of species that preceded us on Earth by millions of Ken Kramer Sierra Club state director The Service produced a recovery plan in May but Sierra Club officials said it did not meet the Endangered Species Act rquirements Mondays suit tar gets the aquifer pumpers whom Sier ra officials feel directly affect the ecosystem of water life The Service collected species sam ples from Comal and San Marcos springs in May but fears drought con ditions will permanently destroy the species habitat the suit claims the Comal Springs fountain darter San Marcos gambusia Texas wild rice and the Texas blind salamander are facing extinction due to dropping aquifer levels from unnec essary pumping Past attempts to reproduce blind salamanders have been a hitormiss process Sierra Club officials said the suit does not seek a temporary injunction on pumping but seeks to force pumpers to prove compliance with the Endangered Species Act and water quality standards NBU attorney John Dierksensaid the utility is in a good position to defend the claims since city aquifer pumping has dropped by 80 to 90 percent annually after construction of the surfacewater treatment facility at 2356 Gruene Road Were in a really good ppsition We can stand up very comfortably before the Dierksen said Were in a really good position We can stand up very comfortably before the John Dierksen NBU attorney The City of New Braunfels passed an emergency water ordinance May 28 that called for strict conservation measures under severe drought con ditions The move NBU officials said will prove the city has gone to great lengths to conserve the Sierra Club officials said although New Braunfels is not a primary user of the aquifer the city still pumps from the aquifer and is susceptible to the ill effects of contaminated water New Braunfels pumps less water from the aquifer than most of the irri gation farmers and municipalities For instance the city pumped an average of about gallons per day last year for an annual total of million gallons NBUs annual total is less than the City of San Antonio averages per day which is 165 million gallons District Judge Lucius Bunton will most likely handle the case Bun ton is known for expeditiously moving cases on his docket and has handled other Edwards Aquifer cases The suit cpmes at a time when major pumpers and the Edwards Underground Water District are wait ing for a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court on whether the Edwards Aquifer Authority has gov erning power over the aquifer Were pretty much in a crisis situ ation right now and yet we have no management plan in Kramer said This is a time of heavy uncer ByDENISEDZlUK Staff Writer Both Comal County school districts are well within the stateset limits for spending on administrative costs new ly released figures show A bill passed by the Texas Legisla ture in 1993 dictates how much school districts are allowed to spend on administrative costs Scott Lewis a planner with the Texas Education Agency said the pur lie perception was that too much mon ey was being spent in public schools on administration and not enough on instruction Lewis said legislation was Top Salaries New Braunfels Independent School District Superintendent Assistant Superintendent for Finance High School Principal v x The amount df administrative spending depends on the size of the district The smaller the district you have the higher the ratio youre he said The Comal and New Braunfels independent school districts are in the same group and have an allowable standard of percent of spending for administration The CISD ratio for the 199495 year was percent with for instructional expenditures and for administrative expenditures The ratio for NBISD was percent for instruction and 1 for administration Abel Campos CISD director of business operations said the adminis trative costs of districts reflect more than just the number of administra tors or their salaries He said they include legal fees insurance travel accounts payments to appraisal dis tricts and any other money spent on administration A district could have lower salaries but have a lot of other administrative costs such as legal fees which drive the ratio up Its not just human beings Its any and all costs tied to running the dis said Campos The ratios for both districts Comal Independent School District Superintendent Director of Business Operatings Assistant Superintendent for CurrteulUrr and Instryctiori i Note Figures are the three highest In tie two districts for the 199495 school year decreased from last year Campos said the drop is something that just hap pened during the regular operation of the district The fact were growing means you need more people to help you out We just channel those funds into the class he said The ratio is a byprod uct of what we do hot an Lonnie Curtis NBISD assistant superintendent of finance said NBISD strives to keep all administrative costs low He added that the decreases so far have been easy but the district may soon reach a point where it cannot reduce administrative costs any fur ther We just look very closely at any thing we might do that pertains to administrative he said Lewis said a district failing to meet the allowable standard gets a warning the first year If it exceeds the standard again the following year the district must pay the state the amount they exceeded it by Of the 314 districts in the same group as NBISD and CISD 22 districts or 7 percent were over the limit What goes GBRA cuts Guadalupe flow back to 75 cfs By DAVID DEKUNDER Staff Writer GuadalupeBlanco River Authori ty officials in Seguin decided Tues day to lower the amount of water released from Canyon Lake into the Guadalupe River from 100 cubic feet per second back to 75 cfs GBRA General Manager Bill West said The decrease in the release at Canyon Dam will take effect at about 6 pjm tonight GBRA Chief Engineer Tommy Hill said On Friday GBRA officials decided to increase the release to 100 cfs because of last weeks rainfall and increased inflow at Canyon Dam which was up to 80 cfs This week the inflow at Canyon Lake decreased to 50 cfs The tempprary increase meant good news for river outfitters last weekend as they had more water for tubing and A weekly review is appropriate instead off adjusting it on a daily basis and driving people Bill West GBRA general manager rafting The GBRA action on Friday was the first increase in the release since the river authority decreased the release by 40 percent from 130 cfs to 75 cfs on May 29 because of the drought and the reduced flows into Canyon Lake A weekly review is appropriate instead of adjusting it on a daily basis and driving people West said Tourist tips from a local resident See Opinion Page 44