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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 24, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW FEJ HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 70 14 pgs in 2 sections February 24 2000 THURSDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Differing opinions Downtown merchants have their own ideas of how bed tax should be spent BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer Downtown has been thrown in the middle of the recent tax debate but merchants and others associ ated with downtown hardly agree on the issues Two referendums have been put on May 6s ballot If approved one would prohibit the city from using its por tion of bed tax revenue for a convention center and the oth er would prohibit the city from spending its 20 percent of the tax for two years Supporters of the first referendum say the city needs to spend bed tax revenue on the arts and historical renova tion before a con vention center is built Many of these supporters criti cize the freeze saying an already dying downtown needs the money now or before the two years is up But people associated with downtown are split on both issues Some say downtown could use hotel tax money now others disagree And some say a convention center could really benefit downtown others arent so sure Adam Cork owner of Color Express 193 W San Antonio said he supported the freeze and wasnt con vinced downtown ever needed a portion of tax revenue Whats bothering me is people are saying downtown is he said Thats offensive to Downtown has experienced a 10 percent increase in sales tax from this past year he said And when compar ing the existing storefronts to 10 years ago fewer stores are empty he said See If we re going to work on downtown we need to do it soon Paul Martinka owner of Henne Hardware Company K JESSIE Henne Hardware owner Paul Martinka says he believes the twoyear freeze on bed tax money is too long Other downtown merchants say the funds arent nec essary for a downtown that is seeing success Regional water groups narrow plans BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer SAN MARCOS Developing a water plan to meet the Texas residents needs for the next 50 years is no easy task But Central Texas and Lower Colorado region al water planning group members who are charged with helping to formulate such a plan met Wednesday morning in San Marcos to dis cuss joint water supply options The more than 300 area residents who gathered to hear presentations at the San Marcos Activity Center 501 E Hopkins Drive also were allowed to voice concerns about future water availability and planning for the neighboring regions South Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group represents Region L which is made up of 21 counties including Comal that stretch from Refugio County at the coast up to Kendall WHATS UP The Central Texas and Lower Colorado regional water planning groups will meet again at 10 March 6 at the San Antonio River Authority 100 E Guenther Street in San Antonio Residents can get more informa tion about Region L water planning by visiting its Web site at County The adjacent Region K represented by the Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group and Region L contain parts of Hays Coun ty The regional water planning groups are the result of Senate Bill 1 which was enacted two years ago by the 75th legislative session The omnibus water bill divided Texas into 16 water planning groups charged with formulat ing and submitting regional plans to the Texas Water Development Board The plans will be used by TWDB to create a comprehensive statewide water plan in Fall 2001 The essential demand for water in Region L is concentrated in the Interstate 35 corridor from San Antonio to Hays County and in the Hill County where residents rely on the fragile Trinity Aquifer Region L planning group members said The San Antonio Basin area is projected to County gives burn ban reprieve BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer Recent rainfall did nothing to eliminate the drought but provid ed enough relief for Comal Coun ty Commissioners to temporarily lift the burn ban in place since August Residents will have the oppor tunity until 5 Friday to burn outdoors and get rid of brush and trash piling up on their properties Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford said residents should do so with extreme caution Just because it rained people should not think they can start a fire and then leave Manford said There is still a fire danger and we still have that dead winter fuel We are about to have some 80 degree days and that kind of weather will dry out the grass on top in one Manford said to ensure conj trolled burns stay controlled res idents should follow a few simple tips Always tend the fire Make sure the area around the fire is cleared of brush or oth er debris that could ignite Keep water near the fire in case the burn spreads If a fire spreads because of neg ligence when burning the respon sible party could be charged with reckless class C mis demeanor punishable by up to a fine Manford said Residents planning to burn today or Friday are required to call the Comal County Sheriffs Office dispatch at 6203408 and provide it with the location of the burn Pryor to seek council position BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer A selfemployed life insurance agent announced Wednesday hes running for the District 4 seat in New Braunfels City Council currently filled by Jan Kotylo Dave Pryor 35 is the only per son who has filed for one of the two open spots on council Kotylo announced Friday she would not seek reelection to allow more time for her grand children and volunteer work District 5 represented by Randy Vanstory also is open Vanstory said he also would not seek reelection His business took up a lot of time he said making it difficult to devote enough energy to council Filing for District 4 and 5 start ed Tuesday at the New Braun fels Municipal Building 424 S Castell and ends March 22 The election is May 6 Voter registration cards tell each patron his singlemember district Early voting begins April 19 and ends May 2 Pryor said he looked forward to representing the families in his district which includes the northeast New Braunfels area including Gruene the Loop 337 and Common Street area and the PRYOR Loop 337 and River Road area District 4 is bor dered by Interstate 35 to the east the MKT railroad to the west and the New Braunfels city limits just north of FarmtoMarket Road 306 Pryor said he wanted to work to maintain the charm and smalltown spirit of New Braunfels while encouraging mature I want to have a New Braun fels that when my daughters graduate high school and col lege its a place theyll want to return and he said Pryor has been married 16 years to his high school sweet heart Margy and has two daugh ters Christina 8 and Amanda 4 Hes currently selfemployed as a life insurance agent with Hoffmann Financial Services and teaches in the childrens ministry at Tree of Life Church He also See CISD considers modifying approved 20002001 calendar BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Comal Independent School Dis trict students could start school two days earlier in August if trustees modify the 20002001 calendar Thursday night The change could come in response to concerns voiced by some teachers and administrators CISD trustees will take another look at the 20002001 calendar they approved a month ago at 6 Thursday at Canyon Intermediate School 1275 N Business 35 During executive session trustees also could take action on buying property for a new elementary school in the 281 and Cibolo Creek area The calendar trustees approved Jan 27 is similar to the current school calendar with an Aug 16 start date the first semester end ing before students return from Christmas break and two oneweek breaks hi the spring Trustees approved the calendar after considering four calendar drafts The final vote came after two motions to approve two different calendars failed In the selected calendar trustees shifted a week of staff development and teacher workdays in mid August which moved the start date from Aug 14 to Aug 16 Trustees also changed Nov 22 and Dec 22 from school holidays to school days with an early release Trustees said they have received numerous calls and letters from teachers administrators and par ents asking them to reconsider mak ing those two days school holidays At a Jan 10 board meeting audi ence members applauded when Jean Klein a teacher at Frazier Ele mentary said trustees were not thinking about students or teach ers when they approved the modi fied calendar Klein said students and teachers needed those days off to travel and prepare for the holidays Klein also said the calendar approved was not the one favored by the majority of school staff Trustee Dan Krueger he would vote in favor of a motion to change Nov 22 and Dec 22 from school days to holidays He said his main concern was that too many students would not be in class those two days Schools are driven by average daily attendance numbers and if were going to lose a lot of students those days then it would be crazy to do it that he said But that would probably require pushing the start date back to Aug 14 John Clay who voted against the calendar Jan 27 said he was against starting earlier in August INSIDE Key Code 76
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