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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 12, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW 20332 MfUjq SOWEST rtlCROPUBLISHING 2B27 E YRNDELL DR FELo TX ZEITUNG Vol 148 No 212 54 pages in 5 sections September SUNDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 INSIDE Rangers win in a thriller Smithson Valley passed its first test of the 1999 football sea son with fly ing colors The Rangers improved to 20 with a dramatic 10 7 win over San Antonio OConnor this past Friday New Braunfels also pushed its record to 20 but the No 4 Canyon Cougars lost to No 8 Schertz Clemens B Skat players explain the game Skat a card game that was brought to the United States and New from Germany requires a quick mind and plenty of concentra tion Discover what this popu lar pastime is all about Business fills renovated home Gallagher Real Estate found new office space in an old house Owner Charlie Gallagher recently moved his business into a remodeled and renovated Langston House which dates back to the WEATHER September is here but the summer heat will continue this week See page 2A INDEX CISD tax rate hearing set for Monday BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Comal Independent School District patrons can give their two cents Monday about a proposed tax rate increase that could raise the average bill by more than A public hearing on the 19992000 tax rate will begin at 7 at Bill Brown Elementary School 20410 Texas 46 West Abel Campos business manager for CISD said the administration proposed a tax rate next year with a 38cent debt service rate and a maintenance and operations rate The current per valuation tax rate is based on a main tenance and operations rate and a cent debt service rate The 11cent increase on the 19992000 tax rate would jhean the average home owner would pay more in school taxes next year Officials with the Comal Appraisal Dis trict said based on preliminary figures the average home in CISD would be val ued at year The average home value in CISD this year was about t The tax rtfee would translate into a MEETING WHO Comal Independent School District board of trustees WHEN 7 Monday WHERE Bill Brown Elementary School 20410 Texas 46 West WHY Public hearing on proposed 19992000 tax rate tax bill next year more than the average tax bill of this past year CISD patrons receive a exemp tion from the state and a 20 percent home stead exemption from the district A tax relief provision in Senate Bill 4 passed by state lawmakers during the 1999 legislative session actually will save local taxpayers some money on their tax bills this year Campos said the district initially was looking at a 15cent increase on the debt service rate to fund bond projects or a total tax rate But additional funding from the state based on a tax relief measure allowed the district to divert those funds to debt service and lower the tax rate by four cents Bond workshop WAI New Braunfels resident Vance Langley addresses New Braunfels City Council during Saturdays bond elec tion workshop at the municipal building 424 S Castell Ave City council listens as residents share views on proposed projects BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer New Braunfels voters could have a lot to chose from in a future city bond election In a workshop Saturday New Braunfels City Council listened to and discussed five hours worth of ideas for bond issues ranging from streets and drainage to recreation to public safety projects Council did not accept or reject any ideas or start prioritizing the project list Ultimately any projects they do chose will be put before voters in a bond election although an election date has not been set City manager Mike Shands said By passing a bond the voters are voluntarily imposing additional prop erty taxes on themselves to repay the debt We are saying that we agree to higher taxes for the bond improve The property tax increase per valuation would be about per year for instance for a million bond financed over 15 years We all have to pay Mayor Stoney Williams said Its hitting us See BOND WAI New Braunfels Mayor Stoney Williams left and District 3 coun cilman Randy Vanstory listen as District 3 CQuncilwoman Jan Kotylo speaks at the bond forum Grand jury indicts two for blaze BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer A Comal County grand jury indicted two New Braunfels residents this past Wednesday on a number of charges related to a Feb 3 blaze that damaged four downtown business es Leticia Gonzalez 26 and Andrew Ortiz 36 are accused of starting an early morning fire in the 100 block of North Castell Avenue No one was injured New Braunfels Fire Marshal Elroy Friesen hahn said Gonzalez and Ortiz were indicted on charges of arson tampering with physical evi dence and theft The indictments ended a sevenmonth inves tigation that involved city state and federal fire officials Damage to the building on the east side of North Castell Avenue was esti mated between and Friesenhahn said Gonzalez was the man ager of one of the businesses destroyed by the fire First Plaza Finance at 140 N Castell at the time of the blaze Ortiz was Gon zalezs boyfriend at the time If convicted of the arson charge the pair could face two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to Jim Noble Comal County assistant district attorney said the theft charge was raised to thirddegree felony because it carried a charge of engaging in organized crime Organized crime is not its own offense but if you commit a crime with two or more other people its considered an organized he said Noble said the value of the theft ranged between and which was nor mally a state jail felony But with the organized crime charge the theft charge would be bumped to a three degree felony which carries a prison term of two to 10 years and a fine up to Tampering with evidence also is a third degree felony Noble said persons can be indicted for a crime based on a grand jurys finding of prob able cause At least nine people on die 12 See A Fall an ideal time to fight fire ants Chance lowry store manager at Home Depot 1360 Interstate 35 North displays some fire ant repellent products Fire Ant Awareness Week lets Texans coordinate efforts BY ERIN MAQRUDER Staff Writer Anyone who has ever encountered fire ants knows they give a very painful connotation to the phrase Ants in Your Now is the time for Comal County residents to do something to take the sting out of spring by treating their yards for fire ants in the fall This week has been designated Fire Ant Awareness Week by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and the Texas Universi ty System The campaign is designed to motivate neigh borhood residents to coordinate their efforts to manage the fire ant population Comal County Extension Agent Marty Gibbs said If only one resident treats their Qibbs said The fire ants will simply pick up and move to another yard that does not have an Gibbs said fall was an ideal time to treat fire ants because it eliminates 90 percent of the pop ulation by spring Fire ant control is important because they can be much more than just a nuisance Gibbs said Fire ants tend to get where they dont he said They can ground out electrical equipment cause damage to farmlands and in rare cases kill However only a small portion of the popula tion experience severe allergic reactions See FIRE
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