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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 22, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas fELS SB 2 7 E YRNDELL DR TX 79903 EL EITUNG Vol 148 No 219 18 pgs in 2 sections September 22 1999 WEDNESDAY Contamination concerns commissioner Serving Gomal County since 1852 50 cents BY ERIN MAQRUOER Staff Writer Many western Comal County residents are comfortable with the quality of drinking wafer they receive from the Trinity Aquifer What they might not know is their water supply is at risk of future contamination by harmful gasoline additives Comal County Commissioner Jay Millikin said Millikin is concerned that if underground gasoline storage tanks or connecting pipes leak the water supply from the aquifer would become contaminated His fears are not unfounded On June 11 a pipe leading to an under ground gasoline storage tank at a Texaco sta Hummel shifting its focus BY HEATHER Tooo Staff Writer After fighting to keep its doors open this past year the Hummel Museum is shifting its focus to its most popular art collection the his torical Hummel figurines Officials at the museum 199 Main Plaza said this week they wouldretunv more than 300 pieces of twodimensional art back to the Nauer family in Switzerland Museum director Doreen Schaeffer said The family requested the return of the art which has been on loan to the museum from the Nauer family since 1991 Prepara tions are being made at this time to send the art back to Schaeffer said the art which already had been removed from exhibits would be returned in the next two weeks But officials said the museum still would have more than historical Hummel fig urines on hand which were the most popular exhibits for visitors The museum has one of the worlds largest collections of Hummel collectibles on public display Schaeffer said the museums figurine col lection was requested to be on display during a GermanAmerican Society conference next month in Austin In December 1998 officials said the muse um had a longterm debt of and might be forced to close its doors Museum president John Lovett said contri butions and successful fundraisers allowed the museum to survive Schaeffer said We sent out word in Decem ber and got some very generous contributions from individuals and businesses that allowed us to stay Sister Hummel was a professionally trained artist who lived in Germany under the Nazi regime during World War II The figurines were inspired by Sister mels original artwork tion a in northern Bexar County was cracked and leaked about 900 gallons of gasoline The station is at the intersection of Borgfeld Road and Highway 281 just south of the Comal County line The leak occurred when MILLIKIN an elderly man accidentally backed his vehicle into a gasoline pump pulling on underground pipes and rupturing mem Millikin said emergency shutoff valves which stop the flow of gasoline from the stor age tank either did not work or were erro neously turned off by an employee The accident was a rare he said But w6 need to know how that leak occurred If it could happen once it could happen To date the leak has contaminated 10 wells in an area about a halfmile northeast of the gas station Since the leak two of the wells have come clean and no new wells have been contami nated in the past three weeks Millikin said The main contaminant is an additive called Methyl TertiaryButyl Ether which helps gasoline burn cleaner Oral consump See In remembrance WAI Loe Pohlman a Korean War veteran recites the Pledge of Allegiance Tuesday night at the fifth annual candlelight service for at the Texas National Guard Armory SCHAEFFER Fun at the fair WAI Tori Wichert front covers her eyes as she shares a ride on the Super Slide with Christina Mercier Tuesday night at the 106th Comal County Fair The carnival midway made its debut Tuesday and also will be open from 6 to 11 tonight Admission is per person The fair officially begins tonight with the traditional Night in Old New Braunfels celebration at 6 In the Comal Corral For a complete schedule of this years events see page 5A LCRA board likes building plan BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer A million proposal to turn the Comal Power Plant into a destination hotel was given a tentative nod Tuesday by Lower Colorado River Authority board members This isnt all about one board member said This is about historical preservation I think we should pursue The board did not take official action on the proposal during the threehour workshop at Lake Buchanan In general manager Mark Rose said planned to contact officials at Southwest Texas State University who also might be interested in the structure on Landa Street near Landa Park But LCRA senior project manager Jeffrey Singleton will continue working with Morgan Hill in Houston who submitted the hotel proposal several months ago Morgan Hill Interest was the only entity to submit a pro posal Singleton said a development agreement should be brought before the board in three to four months During that time Hill will apply to have the plant list ed on the national registry of historical places He also will work on securing funding sources Singleton said LCRA which has owned the plant since 1947 would lease the land in a longterm agreement and receive a per centage of any revenue generated But it wouldnt see any money until the hotel was operational Were willing to take the Singleton said But their potential partner has a lot of integrity Single ton said Singleton said he was impressed by Hills work on a hotel in Bryan which had not yet been completed Hills proposal for the Comal Power Plant calls not only for a hotel but also for at least two new buildings on the 26acre site including a restaurant and clubhouse Other features include hiking trails a spa tennis stands and courts a putting green chipping range and bridge to Landa Park Singleton said these features implemented six of the top seven recommendations made by a city committee in January Singleton said the hotel would bring million into New Braunfels over a 10year period though new jobs tourism and sales and bed tax revenue An estimated tourists would come to the hotel every year Singleton said The plant built in 1925 has been offline since 1973 LCRA officials are supervising a major environmental cleanup project scheduled for completion in March 2000 INSIDE 7A Abby Classifieds 48B Comics 26 Crossword 7A Forum 6A 4A Movies 7A Obituaries 3A Sports 810A Today 8A Television 2B Key Colo 7p Breathing life into an old pipe organ Instrument donated to Sophienburg in 1942 was silent at museum for at least 15 years BY PERI STONBPALMQUWT Staff Writer Three local men are breathing new life into the pipes of a 19th spent at least 15 years silent in the Sophienburg Museum Retired teacher Barron Schlameus and retired social work problems Schlameus said a major problem was a broken pedal repaired this past week by Gordon Brown a retired civil service work er Some of the organs stops which activate one of the four sets of pipes had been problem Schlameus was fixing And the 188 pipes needed atten er Everett Fey spent the past week tion too so Schlameus and Fey dismantling the organ and locating spent most of Tuesday cleaning and tuning each handcrafted piece a project still not completed These pipes every one of them has to be tuned just Fey said He has been fixing organs as a hobby for about 40 years The Sophienburg organ has four sets of pipes a 4foot flute an 8 fopt stopped diapason a 4foot principal and a 2foot flute To tune the pipes the individual pipe is placed into its slot played compressed air rush through See PIPE WAI Everett Fey tests one of the cedar pipes of an organ at the Sophienburg Museum 401W Coll St Fey is one of three area retirees working to restore the instrument
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