Thursday, January 7, 1999

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 7, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas HERALDZEITUNG Vol 148 No 35 12 pages in 1 section January Servin8CofiulCoum since 1852 50 cents Lockout lifted The NBA lockout ended Wednesday after 191 days of struggle and impasse on how to divide the leagues revenue NBA com missioner David Stem and union leader Billy Hunter emerged early Wednesday with an agreement which was rat ified later in the day A SOgame season will begin in the first week of February For more on the lockout and its relation to the Spurs see page 8 Taxes light up display City claims profit despite subsidy BY BILL OCONNELL Staff Writer New Braunfels city officials claim the Holiday River of Lights turned a but if me project had not been subsidized by more than in local tax money it would have been about in the red Holiday River of Lights is a light ed seasonal display conducted Nov 26 to Jan 1 at Cypress Bend Park Visitors are charged a fee per car for the drivethrough display City manager Mike Shands said the River of Lights was partially fund revenue because the event attracted visitors to the city dur ing the holiday season Its a judgment call Its n6 some thing thats clearly defined This is just another tool in a communitys arsenal to attract visitors to the Shands said Room occupancy taxes are assessed by overnight rentals like hotels and condominiums Visitors pay a 13 percent tax for accommo dations with 6 percent of the rev enue remitted to the state and 7 per cent given to the city The city of New Braunfels received more than million in room tax revenue in 1998 The whole intent of this endeavor was to not have to use property tax money and to return money to the general fund Were taking the excess revenue and putting it back in the general Shands said The Holiday Festival of Lights is in its second year of a threeyear lease with a company that provides the light displays Last year the city used more than in tax monies The total subsidy for the project for See Vandal puts phone customers on hold Guadalupe Valley cables were cut Tuesday night Bv CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer About county residents were with out emergency 911 and long distance ser vices for more than one hour Tuesday night after an apparent act of vandalism at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative office in Bulverde Officials said they believed someone or a group of people used an ax to cut cables at the companys office in the 6900 block of Circle Oak Drive At this point it looks like a random act of really nothing we can tie this GVTC vice president and chief operating officer Robert Hunt said More man 950 customers in the Bulverde area were without phone service from about 7 until the system was restored about pm said Malford lost GVTCfc direc tor of plant and engineering Jost said about customers in the Canyon Lake area including Smithson Val ley Sattler Hancock and Cranes Mill were without long distance and 911 service from 7 until about Officials had no dollar estimate of the cost to repair the damage No known emer gency situations caused by the vandalism were reported Capt David Ott of Comal County Sheriflft Office said he ordered patrols to pay special attention to banks and other businesses to prevent looting or other vandalism while phone service was down At this point it looks like a random act of vandalism theres really nothing we can tie this Robwrt Hunt Guadalupe Valley Telephone CEO The case remained under investigation by the sheriffs office Hunt said the cooperative would work with the countys Crimestoppers program to offer a reward for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of the crime DIGGING INTO DRAINAGE ISSUES Left Stan Cunningham of Edward Jones Investments 650 Landa points out the sixfoot deep drains in front of his business Cunningham and others in the area are concerned about the safety of children playing in and around them Above Jimmy Lagunas shovels mud dirt and water torn A iiLW i Street on Wednesday ROBIN MEETING What Flood Control Study Committee When Where 4 today Comal County Courthouse room 306 Why Discussion on lessening the impact of major floods Flood leading to new laws City meets with drainage engineering firm could decide on new policies on stormwater BY BILL OCONNELL Staff Writer The flood of 1998 could lead to the building of additional dams and the writ ing of new laws regulating real estate development in New Braunfels and Comal County City officials met with a Fort Worth based engineering and consulting firm Tuesday and discussed ways to improve area drainage Talks ended after more than two hours and both sides agreed to meet again Jan 25 I have hope for the first time in three councilwoman Cathy Talcott said Freese and Nichols reportedly will make a proposal to city leaders at a Jan 25 City Council meeting The proposal should include calling for a series of meetings with city residents If approved by council engineers from the firms Austin office will meet with residents and gather public input on stormwater drainage and flood control issues That input would be incorporated into a city ordinance to provide a specific level of protection against flooding Freese and Nichols officials presented council Tuesday with a similar ordinance that had been prepared for the city of McKinney The 64page document detailed guidelines on flood management engineering considerations and financing for a comprehensive drainage plan The cost of drafting a similar ordinance for New Braunfels was not discussed and the consulting firm was not hired to perform any work for the city The cost will be proportional to the level of protection the city wants to provide the Freese and Nichols princi pal John King said A new city policy on stormwater drainage could regulate real estate devel opment by requiring builders to pay impact fees and requiring them to follow specific guidelines when building in areas prone to flooding Drafting such an ordinance could take several months Three new council mem bers could be seated by then but city lead ers said Tuesday they didnt want to wait to see if council still had the will to finish the ordinance We need to do something right councilwoman Jan Kotylo said Mayor Jan Kennedy will reach her term limit in May while councilwomen Cathy Talcott and Juliet Watson could be chal lenged for their positions I am perfectly fine with another coun cil dealing with Kennady said Tues day City leaders agreed the floods of 1952 1972 and 1998 pointed to a need to pro vide better flood protection Some said they believed the city also should work with Comal County officials to address flood control improvements outside city limits Were going to have to work with the councilman Larry Alexander said Four Creek Dry Comal Creek Alligator Creek and the the Guadalupe River contributed to the citys historical stormwater drainage and flood problems Private engineers and consultants said one way to keep water from flowing unabated through those watersheds toward New Braunfels was to build flood con See Bexar Metro Water District gets day in commissioners court Staff Writer County Judge Danny Scheel is not the only Comal County commissioner who has ques tioned me motives of the Bexar Metropolitan Witter District Scheel said he became alarmed last year when the company known as Bexar Met began negotiations to acquire Bulverde Water Company It me because I believed they might recover fee water and sell it to San Anto Scheel said SCHEEL But Scheel spoke with representatives of Bexar Met and was assured the intentions were honest and without sinister undertones Scheel then invited them to address the commis sioners court Rick Vasquez and Chuck Ahrens of Bexar MEETING Who Comal County Commissioners Court Whit Hearing of presentation from Bexar Metropolitan Water District When today Where Commissioners Courtroom Comal County Courthouse annex 150 N SeguinAve the courthouse annex Vasquez said fears the company would come in and take over water resources in the county were unfounded We have no expansion plans in Comal County at this said Vasquez devel opment planner for the company Negotiations to acquire Bulverde Water Company are continuing Vasquez said Many people incorrectly believed Bexar Met was a private company Vasquez said Bexar Met was formed as a public company by the legislature in 1945 It is governed by a sevenmember board of directors elected ty the districts customers INSIDE