Friday, July 16, 1999

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 16, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS EL PflSO TX 79903 Tl A T TV Vol 148 No 171 24 pages in 2 sections July H A Comal County since 1852 50 cents Trail supporters stress need for safety Others see drainage street repairs as more important priorities for city BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer Supporters of proposed hikeand bike trails in New Braunfels say alternative routes would make streets safer for pedestrians and bik ers but others wonder whether drainage and street repairs should come first New Braunfels City Council approved the proposed trails on Monday after debating priorities trails or streets and council hesitated to take a strong stance until after state grant money is awarded With councils blessing Comal County Trails Inc now can apply for state grants to fund 80 percent of trail construction The city likely will be asked to give toward construction if the grants are awarded in Novem ber Maintenance of the trails esti mated at a year for four trails probably would fall on the citys shoulders The city will have three years to decide whether to participate but the debate already has begun Bart Bartholomew a member of Comal County Trails remind ed council of recent accidents on New Braunfels streets Two people have been killed on city streets in the last 90 Bartholomew said Are you going to lose some more In March pedestrian Yolanda SeeTRAIUSA LESLIE Supporters of proposed hikeandbike trails gather Thursday at the HEB soccer fields where one of the trails would begin Residents demand street work Infrastructure board OKs Krueger Avenue project BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer A group of more than 20 West End residents demanded answers Thursday to their long lasting street they got some After an hour of heated discussion the citys Infrastructure Improvement Corporation board of directors approved a reconstruction project for Krueger Avenue between San Anto nio and Katy streets recorrimehds how council should spend of 1 percent of the 1 percent sales tax The boards recommendation on Krueger will go before city council at the next meeting scheduled for July 26 Council has the final say on the project Weve been waiting 40 or 50 years for Randy Galindo organizer of the local chapter of Tejano Democrats said How long have you lived here he asked board president Bruce Boyer Galindo stood and paced animatedly as he addressed the board as he did in June at the first meeting of Tejano Democrats a statewide organization with members who try to promote political awareness among Hispanics At that meeting Galindo told attendees he would fight to get their roads fixed 110 percent and received cheers But his approach wasnt well received ini tially at Thursdays meeting I dont appreciate you coming in here and blaming us for 40 years of Boyer said We arent the city We are volunteers We arent responsible for 40 years of Boyer told the crowd that the projects they approved were spread throughout the city We dont favor one area We have limited he said Were not trying to leave anyone out It has to be in a managed plan It has to fit in with city But no one listens someone called out We get the Boyer said the groups three street project requests Krueger McGaugh and West End had never been brought before their board previously To request a project citizens must fill out an application from the city detailing the location Close encounter No one was injured at the Johnson Oil Company 4332 West Interstate 35 when an 18wheeler crashed into the building about Thursday leaving a pool of spilled diesel fuel The truck dri ver was transported to McKenna Memorial Hospital after complaining of chest pains Brakes fail on 18wheeler pair of accidents along 135 southbound access road are result BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer An employee with Johnson Oil Company got quite a scare Thurs day when an 18wheeler hit his office after veering off the Interstate 35 southbound access road The 18wheeler was exiting 135 south at Solms Road about when the brakes reportedly failed and rearended another 18wheeler on the access road law enforcement officials said The truck then veered offthe road collided with a fuel truck and struck the front wall of Johnson Oil Com pany 4332 West Interstate 35 The building is located behind an Exxon station The truck did not crash through the building but left a large dent on the wall only several feet away from Mark Seaman who was sitting in his front office Johnson Oil Company operations manager Ryan Qurunings said Sea man was talking on the telephone and sitting behind his desk when the truck hit the building Cummings said Seaman was shaken up and met with para medics at the scene but he was not injured We heard the first crash when he hit the truck and then he hit one of our trucks before hitting the he said New Braunfels Fire and Rescue battalion chief Elroy Friesenhahn said the driver of the 18wheeler complained of chest pains from hit ting the steering wheel and was trans ported by ambulance to McKenna See County expecting tax increase BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Comal County residents likely will face a 4 percent increase in the tax rate if commissioners balance the 2000 budget County Judge Danny Scheel said Thursday he expected the tax rate to increase from per property valuation to about per valuation With the 4 percent increase the homeown er of a home who paid in proper ty taxes in 1999 would have to pay in 2000 Commissioners will conduct budget meetings Budget hearing schedule on four days riext week Hearings will run from am through noon Monday Tuesday and Friday and from until noon and from through 4 on Wednesday Budget requests from the countys elected officials and department heads came to about more than the in projected revenue The budget approved for 1999 was Two citizens attended this past years budget hearings Scheel said he wanted to make cuts in the requests to make revenues match expendi tures Im determined we will go into next year with a balanced Scheel said County Auditor David Renken said previous budgets included spending some of the coun tys general fund reserves to make up for bud get shortfalls An increase in sales tax collections and income from housing federal prisoners in the new jail expansion would bring in more rev enue during the next budget year Renken said The increased income would cover person nel and capital expense growth for the next year but the tax rate increase would pay debt service for recent building projects he said The increase will not fund operations but cover the principle and interest for things like the courthouse annex the jail and the new justice of the peace Renken said Despite the tax rate increase Scheel said See INSIDE Key code 76 Bulverde city council wrestling with budget issues BY CHRISTINA MINOR Staff Writer BULVERDE Mayor Bob Barton who has been in office about two months is making his mark on city operations with the newly amended 1999 budget On Tuesday Bulverde city alder men unanimously approved roads and a contingency plan for a volunteer program However they balked at bis desire to donate city funds to orga nizations such as the public library the senior center he animal shelter the United Way and the communi ty center J thought we could help in some Barton said But right now city council does not think it is important Speaking as a citizen I think the city should make contri Alderman Ken Fiedler said he did not agree with donating funds to the organizations I think we need to hear from the he said There should be no donations unless we recover benefit from it What is the sales tax for Bulverde currently collects a onecent sales tax The city also is expected to collect in property taxes this year from Bul verde South and Bulverde East They consolidated with Bulverde West and Bulverde North in 1998 Bartons amended budget increases the road work allocation from to for July through September The October through December budget decreas es to The original budget called for percent of expenditures to be dedicated for road work In the pro posed 2000 budget Barton wants to allot percent of funds to roads I want to maximize funds for road Barton said I also want to start the volunteer program which I campaigned to Barton who wants to use vol unteer staff to manage some of the duties at city hall said the com munity would benefit from this program We have some community members who know more than we he said We have some very qualified citizens living out here The volunteer staff would help to support and supplement the paid city employees by answering phones answering general ques