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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 29, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS HERALD Vol 148 No 51 22 pages in 2 sections January 1999 r RID AY Homeowners could get flood money 20332 11009 BOWEST SUING 2627 E YflNDELL DR EL PRSO IX 79903 Serving Gomel County since 1852 50 cents BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Comal County residents affected by the flood might be eligible for a gov ernment program that allows them to sell their homes at preflood values County Engineer Tom Hornseth said a public meeting was scheduled for on Tuesday at Comal Coun ty Courthouse for those interested in participating in the program The meet ing will take place in the commission ers courtroom The Comal County floodplain administration staff and representa tives from the state hazard mitigation program will be available to explain the program and answer questions Homeowners whose homes were damaged significantly might be able to sell their flooddamaged homes to the county The homes could be bought using funds from a special grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with a 25 percent contribu tion from the county The county would become the own er of the properties and no permanent structures could be built on the prop erty County officials and board mem bers of the Water Oriented Recreation District have expressed hope that some of the property could be set aside for public parks on the Guadalupe River Hornseth said he met with represen tatives of the Natural Resources Con servation Service and the river cleanup project would be split into two phases The first phase would focus on cleaning the river channel and the sec ond would deal with cleaning private property He said specifications called for cleaning the river from Farmto Market Road 306 to the New Braunfels city limits near Gruene during a 60day period Work should be completed by May 1 I would like to see it move faster but the federal government just moves slowly at County Commis sioner Moe Schwab said Spirited Ste Peter and Paul first graders from left Nathaniel Rodriguez Courtney Ohlenbusch Madeleine Medranoand Megan Mendez scream out their spirit at a special pep rally on Thursday ROBIN HeraldZoitung Exemption issue tabled Left Bill Coale of Canyon Lake makes his feelings known without saying a word at Thursdays Comal Independent School District board of trustees meeting Above CISD superintendent Jerry Major speaks about the need to find additional funds for the district ROBIN HeraldZeitung How THEY VOTED CISD board of trustees voted 60 with one member absent to table a vote on remov irta its optional home steajd exemption The board was expected to tgje action on the issue again at its Feb 25 meeting CISD homestead break lives to see another meeting BY HEATHER TODO Staff Writer Comal Independent School District board of trustees voted 60 Thursday night to postpone a decision to eliminate the 20 percent homestead exemption for district taxpayers until a future meeting Emotions ran high between teachers and taxpayers during a public discussion about eliminating a significant tax exemp tion for district patrons at a CISD board meeting About 150 district patrons came to voice their opinions about an admin istrative recommendation to cut the home stead exemption CISD homeowners currently have the option to receive a tax exemption that lowers the assessed value of a home by 20 percent which significantly reduces the amount of CISD school taxes CISD officials are considering dis carding the exemption because the dis tricts maintenance and operations tax rate is at the states maximum However board members moved the decision should be tabled until more infor mation could be provided I dont think the public is educated about this issue and I dont think tonight is the trustee John Clay said I think we should wait for the performance review audit continue to educate the public and wait for word from the legis CISD will receive a school perfor mance review audit from the office in May Several board members also voiced concerns that making a deci sion before the legislature took action on educational issues was premature If passed Senate Bill 68 would create an adjustment in state funding for schools whose growth rate was greater than the state average During the audience participation seg ment of the meeting district patrons in equal numbers voiced vehement opposi tion and support for the recommenda tion A packed room of district taxpayers including many retired patrons criticized the district for a lack of communication about the proposed elimination Former Bulverde West Mayor Bob Hieronymus said I dont believe the board has done a good job of communi cating to the taxpaying public There are other districts that operate with the cap so why do we need to take this kind of measure The meeting quickly turned into a ques tion and answer session between board members and taxpayers about the effects of the proposed elimination CISDs 1998 property tax rate is valuation A patron whose home has appraised value of cur rently pays school taxes on of the appraised valte with the 20 percent homestead exemption and the states homestead exemption Many CISD teachers and personnel voiced their support of the recommenda tion to provide more funding for teacher salaries which are the areas lowest The board will meet again Feb 25 Ingram trial turns into detailed math match BY HEATHER Tooo Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY What began as a local dispute between area residents and a concrete manufacturer has turned into a mathematical slugging match Engineers and geologists played the leading roles in Ingram Readymix Com panys official hearing this week to obtain authorization to build a tew con crete batch plant Ingram is applying for a standard exemption which would allow the cement franchise to build a new plant west of Texas 46 and 281 The Texas Natural Resource Conser vation Commission is conducting the hearing at die request of Citizens League for Environmental Action Now and Bul verde residents concerned about the proximity of the plant site to area schools Three Comal Independent School Dis trict schools one Christian school and three day cares are one mile from the proposed plant location Detailed testimony on air emission calculations from Gary Johnson vice president of Ingram Readymix and Ann Inman team leader for the TNRCCs mechanical section provided evidence the proposed plant would be in compli ance with state standards for air quality control A TNRCC spokesman said the envi ronmental agency was a represented par ty in the hearing in order to determine if the proposed plant would violate any safety standards Johnson testified the proposed plants Total Suspended Particulates rate would be 227 tons per year which would not exceed the emission limit of 25 tons per year required for a standard exemption Johnson also said a provision entailed in Ingrams application would bind the manufacturer to an annual production rate of tons per year and would require Ingram to perform quality control measures SeeTRIAUSA Coumy property tax deadline drawing near BY CHRlsfcwws day but her office would office did not postmark mail Staff Wi A steady stream oft has lined counters at the Comal County tax office this week just in time to beat the deadline for paying their county and Comal Independent School District property taxes for 1998 ria Clennan said tto deadline for paying the taxes was day but her office would accept payment in person on Monday Since we will be closed on Sunday we will accept pay ment on between 8 and on Clennan said She said payment must be postmarked by Sunday to avoid late payment penalties She rec ommended payments be mailed early because the post office did not postmark mail on Sunday Late payments are subject to a penalty of 7 percent of the total tax bill That increases to 9 percent on March 1 The penalty increases by 2 percent each month until July 1 when it jumps to 33 percent Clennan said The tax office is at 205 N Seguin Avenue in New Brawn INSIDE Abby 5A Classifieds Comics OB 8A Crossword 7A Forum 8A Local 4A Obituaries 3A Sports 2A Television Laney names 14 Republicans to lead House committees AUSTIN House Speaker Pete Laney shook up commit tee assignments Thursday placing 14 Republicans in key positions but depos ing several veteran GOP chairmen Democrats who hold a 7872 edge in the 150seat chamber now lead 23 of the Houses 36 permanent committees A select committee appointed to con sider a constitutional rewrite also will be headed by a Republican I have tried to accommodate the requests made by each member as much as possible and to apply the tal ents and interests of each member to their best Laney said Rep Edmund Kuempel RSeguin is chairman of the Committee of State Recreational Resources and sits on the Committee fer Environmental Regu
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