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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 24, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas f NEW FELS M003 SOWFST MICROPUBLISHING 262 E DR EL POSO TX 79903 Vol 148 No 68 20 pages in Z sections February WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Eckerd plan rejected by city Company officials left disappointed idea now dead for a year BY BILL OCONNELL Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council on Monday rejected a proposal to build an Eckerd drug store at a busy intersection Eckerd officials said they were very disappointed Tuesday upon hearing that New Braunfels City Council torpedoed a plan to build a modern store at South Wal nut Avenue and Business 35 Council voted 43 in favor of the project but city policy required a 61 vote or better because of public opposition to the pro posal If 20 percent or more of residents in the immediate area object to the proposal the 61 vote is required It was a very tough said May or Jan Kennady who voted against granti ng a special use permit I believed Eckerd did a lot of homework and made an excel lent Neighborhood residents who complained about the plan convinced more than enough council members to deny the request Council members Cathy Talcott and Juliet Watson joined Kennady in voting against the proposal The special use permit would have allowed for an expansion of commercial property at South Walnut and Business 35 Eckerd proposed to consolidate three busi nesses and about five private homes into a nearly tract of land at the pro posed she A Houstonarea developer Shel by Estus Realty Group designed two plans for the project in an attempt to placate res idents concerned with excess noise traffic and litter They realty bent over backward trying to accommodate Eckerd district manager Jeff Neason said New Braunfels city manager Mike Shands said councils vote Monday pre vented Eckerd from proposing another pro ject at the South Walnut and Business 35 site for one year without a redesign that was significantly different than the one denied by city officials Its finished for a Shands said It cant come How THEY VOTED How New Braunfels City Council mem bers voted Monday on a conttwarUal request to build an Eckerd drug store at a busy city Intersection Jan Kennady Juan Luis Martinez Larry T Alexander Randy Vanstory Jan Kotylo Cathy Talcott Juliet Watson YM X X X X No X X X ROBIN Rev Chuck DeHaven director of New Braunfels Rebounds listens as Larry Phelps chats with R A Barf Bartholomew of the New Braunfels Habitat for Humanity group during a tour Wednesday of homes receiving flood repairs NB Rebounds extends helping hands Interfaith group gives aid to 61 families affected by the October 1998 flood BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Comal County has been blessed with spring like weather most of the winter and summer and good times are ahead The disastrous flood of Oct is just a distant memory for most But hundreds of local residents face the harsh realities of homelessness and want every day said officials with New Braunfels Rebounds Some of the people will not be back in their homes for three said Larry Phelps vol unteer coordinator for the group Phelps said Rebounds volunteers identified 61 families with homes badly damaged by the flood and estimated the number could reach 300 before the groups work was done New Braunfels Rebounds is an interfaith orga nization created to coordinate the longrange needs of flood victims in New Braunfels and Comal County The groups primary purpose is to maximize resources and minimize duplication of efforts officials said Even four months after the flood some fami lies have not applied for aid and dont even know what to do to get help Phelps said I know of two people who havent registered or filed for anything and are waiting for the government to come up and hand them a Phelps said They just dont Phelps cited a group of flooddamaged homes near Rusch Lane as an example Unless you came down here to help these people I doubt that most people in New Braun fels know this area Phelps said Phelps estimated as much as in mate rials would be needed restore the homes to close to their original condition but it would take more volunteer labor to get the job done Funding sources through federal agencies and private charities had been identified for some of the rebuilding projects but with Winter Texan volunteers leaving soon Rebounds was more in need of volunteers Phelps said ROBIN Volunteers carry in plywood to reconstruct the walls inside a flood damaged home near Common Street If you can help by sending a check by all means send a Phelps said But if ypu are physically able to work we need you tp come down here and volunteer to Officials said the work was difficult but rewarding Some people just dont want to get in the dirt and this is very dirty said Bart Bartholomew a board member of the See CISD trustees returning to tax exemption issue Thursday BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Comal Independent School District board of trustees will enter into a second round of open discussion over elimination of a vsignificant tax break for district patrons at a board meeting at 6 on Thursday The meeting has been moved to Smithson Valley High School 14001 W Texas Highway 46 in order to accommodate a larger demographic area of the district CISD officials said discussion on the proposed elimination of the districts 20 percent home stead exemption would not begin until about to allow more patrons to attend the meet ing after work During a crowded board meet ing on Jan 28 CISD trustees broached the subject of eliminat ing the exemption in order to maintain the same amount of funding for maintenance and operations Trustee Scott Watson is sched uled to present two alternative homestead exemp tion grandfather clause and an impact fee for discussion and possible action Thursday There is the concept of an impact fee where people who buttd new homes who are a large part of the problem have to pay a fee that goes to help build Watson said We could also establish a grandfather clause that allows people who received the home stead exemption before a certain year to keep it while new people would not be Watson said both concepts would require a resolution from the board and authorization from the legislature MEETING WHAT Comal Independent School District trustees WHEN Thursday WHERE Smithson Valley High School 14001 Highway 46 WHY Second round of open discussion of elimination of 20 percent homestead exemption Trustees are exploring ways to generate additional funding for the 19992000 school year in the face of growing fiscal problems The district is sitting at the stateimposed maintenance and operations tax pays for teacher salaries and school supplies The total rate including the interest and sink ing fund rate is per valuation CISD qualifies as a proper ty rich school ing to its total taxable property value divided by the number of loses a significant amount of state funding Under Senate Bill 7 as CISD property values continue to increase the state cuts CISD stu dent aid CISD teacher salaries are well below surrounding school dis tricts and a pay raise would be necessary to retain quality teach ers CISD is expecting 600 more students next year and needs about 70 more teachers Even with eliminating the exemption well still have to cut the budget somewhere It wont solve all the districts financial CISD business man ager Abel Campos said However the idea of eliminate See Restaurant owner files for District 5 city council seat BY BILL OCoNNBU Staff Writer LopaJ restaurant owner Lee kicked off the May city elections race Mon Jay by announcing his candidacy for the Dis trict 5 city council seat Current District 5 council member Cathy Talcott has said publicly that she would not run for reelection because site was moving out of the district owns and manages Mexican Restaurant at 585 Business 35 West An active member of several local civic orga nizations Rodriguez said Tuesday he wanted to devote more of his time to the city I feel a certain need to give back to the commu he said Rodriguez was born in New Braunfels in 1959 and lived in San Antonio as a youth He RODRIGUEZ returned to his hometown in 1973 as a teenag er and graduated from New Braunfels High School in 1977 Rodriguez received degrees from Southwest Texas State University and San Antonio College Rodriguez said he and his brother Mike had owned and managed Libradofe for about 17 years A number of civic duties have kept the new District 5 council candidate busy the New Braunfels the Economic opment Corporation and United Way of Comal County Other civic duties include involvement in Communities in Schools Gruene Music Fest and the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc Landa Park and East Torrey Street border District 5 to the west and from there the dis trict runs east across Interstate 35 to as far as Alves Lane just beyond FarmtoMarket 1101 Rodriguez said he believed several issues INSIDE
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