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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Thursday, July 1, 1999 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 1, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW 20332 MQ 09 17 SO WE ST MIC RO PU ISHING 12627 E DR EL POSO IX 79903 ZEITUNG Vol 148 No 160 14 pages in 1 section July 1 1999 ID AV ServingComal CountV since 1852 50 cents Ingram plant gets TNRCC approval Company officials pleased with decision opponents plan to file rehearing motion BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer AUSTIN The states top environ mental agency unanimously gave Ingram Readymix Company final approval on Wednesday to build a concrete batch plant off 28 land Texas 46 The Texas Natural Resource Conserva tion Commission approved Ingrams appli cation for a standard exemption granting die franchise authorization to build a second plant in Comal County Ingram Readymix currently has a con crete batch plant off old Highway 81 West The proposed plant site is in the Spring Branch and Smithson Valley area sev eral miles west of 281 and Texas 46 The commissioners decision was yet another round in an ongoing feud between Ingram and a band of Bulverde residents city officials and school board members Comal Independent School District Cit izens League for Environmental Action Now the city of Bulverde and Comal Area League of Women Voters opposed the site because of its proximity to local schools CISD officials said about students attended school near the plant site Ingram Readymix cannot begin con struction on the new plant until the com missioners order is final Commissioner chairman Robert J Hus ton said the protestants had 20 days to file a motion for a rehearing plus a 10day response period Commissioners then have 15 days to respond to the motion If they do not take action the order becomes final Kip McClinchie said CLEAN planned to file a motion for a rehearing Gary Johnson vice president of Ingram Readymix said Were very pleased I think weve proved our case Weve done all we can to address thenconcerns and I think the decision proves See HEATHER Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission members discuss Ingram Readymix Companys application for a standard exemption on Wednesday Getting over the underpass Plans to widen twolane section of Seguin Avenue rank high on priority list BY PERI STONE Staff Writer Traffic solutions sure dont come easy The Texas Department of Transportation has plans to alleviate some of the challenges on Seguin Avenue one of the major crossways through town but not without closing the road and asking eight homeowners to move The plan is to raise and widen the twolane Seguin Avenue underpass to four lanes by taking out the existing bridgeand putting in a new concrete structure The project is rated as the fourth highest priority in the citys master plan Makes sense the underpass is about three blocks north of Interstate 35 and the Post Office is two Part of a series buildings north on the roads we drive But the citv wont participate in fund ing of the project Federal money will fund 80 percent and state money will fund the other 20 percent Because the project could take 18 months or more motorists traveling on Seguin from Inter state 35 to downtown and beyond will need to find an alternate route for about nine months The traffic likely will be diverted to Castell Street a mostly residential street that runs parallel to Seguin TxDOT wont open the project for bids until September 2000 at the earliest depending on how swiftly the agency acquires rightofway is our biggest challenge TxDOT resi dent engineer Greg Malatek said But some homeowners already are prepared Were moving Mary Resales said by August or Once she moves her home at 853 Seguin Ave will be demolished to make way for the traffic that swishes past her home or chugs at a snails pace depending on the time of day PERI Planned expansion to the Seguin Avenue underpass will affect eight buildings and 15 parcels of land including the home of Mary Resales at 853 Seguin Were moving Resales said by August or The project wont open for bids until September 2000 Eight buildings and 15 parcels of land will be affected by the construction TxDOT has made offers on three of the 15 parcels of land based on fair market Malatek said If homeowners wont sell the land for the price offered they can request a condemnation hearing in which a mediator helps the two parties reach a mutual agreement This process could hold up the project depending on how long it takes Malatek said If homeowners do accept the agreement TxDOT seeks out several choices of homes and See Warrant issued for hitandrun suspect Police impound car driver remains at large BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer New Braunfels Police impounded shortly after 6 Wednesday a 1987 Acura which they believe was the car that struck and killed a 78yearold New Braunfels man on Monday night Police issued an arrest warrant for Jesse Gomez 38 of New Braunfels Officials said they believed Gomez owned and drove the vehicle that struck and killed Ray Biggadike as he crossed Business 35 near Avenue A on a batterypowered scooter about Monday Police arrived at Wednesday at a resi dence where the car was parked in the 1600 block of Bridge Street They had a search warrant for the car and an arrest warrant signed by County Courtat Law Judge Brenda Freeman The vehicle with significant damage to the right front fender hood bumper and lights was found in a twocar garage behind the residence Officers doing surveillance before the warrant was obtained said a man fitting Gomez description left a residence shortly before the warrant arrived Officials said Gomez residence is next to the one where the car was impounded Residents at the home where the car was found declined comment on why the car was parked in their garage The arrest warrant was for failure to stop and render aid Police said they had no other suspects Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip said the offense was not classified as a felony but fit into a special category punishable by a prison term no longer than five years Lt John Wommack of the New Braunfels Police Department said he expected to arrest Gomez short ly v We dont know where the subject is right now but we have been contacted by his attorney and the attorney said he would bring him in Wom mack said New Braunfels Police Comal County Sheriff Office and the Criminal District Attorneys OffMjjf See New Braunfels a big part of population boom in Texas City experiences growth of 34 percent since 1990 BY HEATHER TODD AND CHRIS CREWS Staff Writers In a decade that saw Texas pass New York to become the nationfc second most populous state behind California New Braunfels was among 100 cities that led the boom Population figures released Wednesday showed New Braunfels grew by about 34 percent since ranking 40th among 109 Texas cities with at least 8 percent growth between 1990 and 1998 The growth rate of percent repre sents a annual increase Cities like New sits at made up percent of the 892 cities experiencing doubledigit growth Figures from the Census Bureau indi cated cities with populations between and grew than any other population category Michael Meek president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce said the figures showed tiie population would not increase as rapidly as some predicted If you extrapolate these percentages out to the year 2020 our population will be a far cry from the pre dicted in the comprehen sive plan Our population will be about he said At these rates New Braunfels would reach the population mark iri 2001 the mark in 2007 and the mark in 2012 The city will have residents by 2016 he said The Comprehensive Plan Committee used a base growth rate of about 5 percent annu ally compared to the figure calculated MEEK by the Census Bureau New Braunfels City Manager Mike Shands said The comprehensive plan estimates a pop ulation of by by 2010 and by 2020 Shands said the city had to balance growth with economic realities WeVe got to try to keep pace with growth knowing the community wants a conserva tive economic approach meaning keeping taxes he said Shands said the citys budget increased between 3 and 4 percent annually between 1994 and 1998 roughly matching the annual population growth INSIDE Key code 76   

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