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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 6, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas FRIDAY Area state officials reacttd Bullocks retirement See Page 10A New Braunfels 50 CENTS 24 pages in three sections Friday June PASO IX 79903 Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years Home of Johnny Williams IIMBM Vol 145 No 147 Inside Stammtisch 1 Birthday wishes from the HeraldZeitung The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung extends birthday wishes to Eric R Watson Johnny Williams Her ring Dixie Pace Kevin Jones Kayla Shoemake 9 years Wise John Montague Aleisa Shepherd Beth Hall Lance Frerich 17 years old Kristy Roberts 15 years old Paige Granzin 4 years old Sat Mary Helen Cantu Sat Alex Caballero 13 years Hector Resales James Pierce Janie Moreno Satur Mark Guerrero Satur Chavela Sanchez Satur day and Cecil Fortson Happy anniversary wishes go to Jo and Richard Free 39 Mr and Mrs Robert Parchman 16 years and Denise and Jeff Mund 22 years Satur day To have a birthday or anniver sary listed here call 6259144 Pollen Count Mold Pollen 32 Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air Information provided by Dr Frank River Information Comal River 270 cts down 8 from Thursday Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well feet above sea level down 03 Canyon Dam discharge cfs Canyon Lake inflow 970 cfs Canyon Lake level feet above sea level Above conservation New Braunfels Utilities NBU reports pumping million gal lons of surface water Thursday and gallons of well water were used Tubing conditions will be ideal If youve been waiting for ideal tubing conditions your wait is over The morning discharge rate from Canyon Dam into the Guadalupe River was about cubic feet per second but officials said the rate would be lowered to about 700 cfs at 5 today The 700 cfs flow rate considered ideal for tubing and rafting will remain in effect through the weekend barring significant rainfall The springfed Comal River the shortest longest in the is flowing at 278 cfs Birthday bash benefits senior center Gruene Hall hosts FM Radio New Braunfels Bash Sun day starting at noon Musical entertainers will include Chris Wall Gary P Nunn Tim DuBois Michael Waid Geronimo Trevino Al Barlow Bret Graham The Derailers and Kimmie Rhodes Proceeds from the event will benefit Comal County Senior Citi zens Expansion Fund Tickets are at the door with an empty bot tle of Artesia Water For more information call 210 6257311 or 2106299292 Expect good weather for the weekend Today should be a nice start to the weekend and a great day to head outdoors Tonight expect mostly cloudy skies with a 30 per cent chance of showers The low will be in the 70s and a 5 to 10 mph breeze from the southeast Saturdays weather will feature mostly cloudy skies a 30 percent chance of showers high in the upper 80s and a southeast wind at 10 mph City decides to rebuild Bridge HeraldZeitung photo by Michael Darnall Local attorney Don Jemela addresses council dur ing the hearing Council votes unanimously to take TxDOTs funding offer By ABE LEVY Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council voted unani mously Thursday to enter into a contract with state transportation officials to reconstruct the 88yearold Gruene Bridge The decision came after about twoanda half hours of public comment during a special meeting with a standingroomonly crowd The move brought closure to a debate that has continued between the city and Gruene residents and business owners for more than a year concerning possible reconstruction of the lowwater crossing The city said the bridge posed safety prob lems to tubers because of its low height over the river and traffic and pedestrian hazards because of its narrow lanes and pedestrian walkway Local merchants and residents of Gruene have urged the city not to destroy the existing bridge because of the scenic view ambiance and historical significance it has provided since its construction in 1909 Texas Department of Transportation offered to pay 90 percent of the reconstruction project that is estimated to cost up to with the city picking up the remainder estimated at about Eighty percent of the states grant is funded through the federal government officials said TxDOT officials indicated they needed an answer from council by Thursday or matching grant would go to other projects Council members said the decision was dif ficult but necessary because of safety con cerns As a resident I would love to keep the bridge just as it said councilwoman Jan Korylo whose District 4 includes the bridge But theres a definite need for safety mea sures I would feel very guilty if someone were killed at that TxDOT officials now will act as consultants for the city as design plans are finalized includ ing a hydrology study of Guadalupe River flows in relation to the height of the bridge officials said Thursdays action also gave the goahead for TxDOT to begin a impact study of the bridge site on Gruene Road just west of Gruene Historic District Officials said the project would require addi tional money to purchase rightofway to com plete the construction project scheduled to begin in at least two years The current plan includes a pedestrian walk way and guardrail and would raise the height HeraldZeitung photo by Michael Darnall fyldypr Jan Kennady listens to a speaker at the Gruene Bridge hearing Thursday night for tubers to pass underneath if water at Canyon Dam were released at about cubic feet per second officials said The plan is not final officials said and could be subject to changes as the design plan continues to be studied Dee Buck a Gruene merchant who opposed reconstruction said he understood the argu ments for safety but wanted the city to explore more options The way it came out was a safety vs aes thetics he said after the vote We thought there were other ways to deal with the safety Zero Rivers owner of Rockin R River Rides next to the bridge said he was glad about the decision which he said should help avoid riv errelated injuries he had witnessed many times As a resident I would love to keep the bridge just as it is But theres a definite need for safe ty measures I would feel very guilty if some one were killed at that 4 councilwoman Jan Kotylo of the crossing by 6 feet on the upstream side and 4 feet on the downstream side That height would meet minimum standards Comal commissioners OK auto theft task force Sheriff No local tax dollars will be used By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer Comal County will join forces with 13 other Central Texas coun ties to help address the problem of automobile theft Comal County Commissioners Court on Thursday approved par ticipation of the local sheriffs office at no cost to the local tax payers in the Auto Theft Task Force Sheriff Bob Holder said the task force was initiated by Travis Coun ty Sheriffs Office to tackle the problem of automobile thefts Hold er said Comal County was the southernmost county involved and Bell County was the northernmost Other participating counties include Bastrop Blanco Hays Travis and Williamson Your large cities usually have their Holder said But theres nothing out there to meet the needs of the small counties strength in numbers and thats what this is all Comal County has a problem with auto theft Holder said and although its not overwhelming it needs to be addressed According to the grant proposal Comal County had 140 auto thefts placing it fifth highest among the 14 counties in the task force In 1995 the county had 97 auto thefts of which 66 were in the city Holder said the county will have a field agent highly skilled in the area of auto theft combing the coun ty for stolen cars chop shops and any other signs of auto theft The position will be funded fully through a grant he said and will not require any local tax dollars Its a winwin situation that I think will do our county Holder said Were going to dis cover some things that even I dont know about right If the grant is approved it will be funded starting Sept 1 Holder said if any matching funds were needed for the grant Travis County would pick up the tab Local officials TCI eye public access TV agreement By ABE LEVY Staff Writer Access to local government could be as close as the television by late summer according to a pro posed agreement between the city of New Braunfels and TeleCommunications Inc that would give the city a government access channel The broadcast could be functional by late July or early August and would cost TCI an estimated to to install the necessary cable and camera equipment according to the proposed agree ment city officials said The broadcast will share an undisclosed cable channel for such programs as Live city council meetings planning and zon ing board meetings and other city government meet ings inside council chambers A bulletin board for public announcements Informational videos on city services and events Live talk shows The city has had a franchise contract with TCI since 1989 that stipulates the cable company pay 5 percent of its gross receipts to the city and also guarantees a government access channel The current contract is a nonexclusive franchise agreement that extends to 2010 and brought in a total of to the city last year City officials said they had not taken advantage of broadcast rights because they lacked the necessary equipment that TCI is planning to pay for entirely in the proposed deal City officials said the cable access agreement was not connected to the recent rate increases for basic and expanded service made by TCI earlier this year TCI General Manager Dennis Moore could not be reached for comment Thursday City officials said thpy did not know of another Texas city the size of New Braunfels that had its own cable access channel Its going to give us an opportunity to listen first Mayor Jan Kennady said Communication is the key as far as Im Kennady and other city officials had been work ing on bringing public broadcast abilities to the Municipal Building since almost one year ago Its going to mark the beginning of a new era as far as communication in this said Don Fer guson assistant to the city manager and former news editor for who is negotiating with TCI Residents will have the opportunity to see government in action and stay up with the making of laws in this community It is our hope we can create a model for other Mayor proposes cable committee By ABE LEVY Staff Writer New Braunfels Mayor Jan Kennady said she planned to form an ad hoc committee to monitor TeleCommunications Inc as a means to help improve the cable companys local service The proposed committee is scheduled for con sideration at the City Council regular meeting Mon day and is part of a response to TCIs rate increase that was proposed earlier this year and became effective June 1 From 40 to 50 people expressed complaints about TCIs service and programming citing low channel availability and poor signal quality city officials said TCI General Manager Dennis Moore would attend the proposed committee Kennady said providing local customers with a direct line of communication to top administration Moore was unavailable for comment Thursday Turn to Committee Page 2A State legislators address education issues at local luncheon By CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Funding for public education in Texas was one of the major topics discussed by state legis lators Thursday at a Communities in Schools of Comal County Inc luncheon attended by local educators and civic leaders We did less with education this session than in any session Ive been involved in with the Leg said Rep Edmund Kuempel RSeguin Action on educational issues was closely tied to property tax reform that was intended to change the way schools are funded in the state Kuempel explained The failure to pass comprehensive tax Jeff Wentworth Edmund Kuempel reform limited legislation regarding education Kuempel said the Legislature did provide some relief for property owners in the state by raising the homestead exemption from to He estimated the average homeowner in Comal County would see a savings of about 150 in his tax bill Jerry Major superintendent of the Comal Inde pendent School District said the Legislatures actions on the homestead exemption could result in reduced funding for his district We still are working with preliminary numbers from Austin but our estimates are that we will receive around million less from the Major said adding that money from the state will drop from about million to about million The remaining question is will the state make up the Major said State Sen Jeff Wentworth RSan Antonio said there were provisions in the bill that would compensate school districts if shortfalls occurred Wentworth announced the Texas Tuition Assis tance Grant Program a program he sponsored to provide tuition and fee assistance to college stu dents in Texas received million in funding from the legislature A lot of kids get to the eighth or ninth grade and realize their family does not have enough money to send them to college so they dont see the need to get a high school diploma and drop out of Wentworth said This program pro vides the incentive for them to stay in Reds Athletics advance to Major League championship See Page Iff
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