Tuesday, April 25, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 25, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 112 14 pages in 2 sections April 25 2000 TUESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Proposed tax hike draws little opposition Golf course plan fee increases OKd BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Only one New Braunfels resident voiced his opinion about a proposed 2 percent tax rate increase Monday night and he spoke in favor of it Local resident David Stinchcomb who did not speak during the pubic hearing but during citizens commu nications said a higher tax rate would help the city keep up with infrastruc ture without going to the taxpayers with bond propositions No one spoke during a public hear ing about a proposed per valuation tax rate that could increase the total tax revenues by 10 per cent City council approved the proposed tax rate Monday on its second read ing Council alto set May 8 as the date to vote on the tax rate The average household with a val ue of about already pays a year hi property taxes The increase would bring that total to The current tax rate is per valuation Chet Lewis director of finance said only 2 percent of the expected 10 percent increase in tax revenue would come from the higher tax rate He said new construction and new annexed properties made up 6 per cent of the revenue increase and the remaining 2 percent would come from an increase in property values The maximum allowable tax rate possible without requiring a rollback election is per valuation a rate that would cost the average household about With the 32cent tax rate the city could get about more in revenue than the effec tive tax rate of per val uation The effective tax rate generates the same amount of property tax as the previous year Council also approved the second reading of a proposed million budget which includes spending on downtown improvements See K JESSIE Ken Mutton Jim Hayes and Earl Thomas enjoy a game of golf Monday morning at Landa Park Council approved a fiveyear plan for the course that night Hydrant repair floods neighborhood RON Above Jerry Sanchez far right and two water department employees survey damage to a Walnut Avenue fire hydrant Monday after they shut off a valve break that saw an estimated gallons of water flow into neighboring yards Below Neighbor Roland Kneupper watches in dismay as his backyard is flooded Broken valve sends gallons of water down street BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The ground rumbled and water roared Monday morn ing as a city crew tried to repair a North Walnut Avenue fire hydrant About gallons of water gushed from beneath the fire hydrant flooding nearby yards and a garage New Braunfels water and sewer collection manager Jer ry Sanchez said a water department crew was preparing about 9 Monday to fix a hydrant near North Walnut Avenue and Kerlick Lane when water erupted from beneath it In the half hour or so that it took to stop the water from a 14inch water main across the street water flooded a garage attached to a nearby home as well as a number of nearby yards See Mistake costs voters chance to cast ballots Error on voting card leaves couple out of council election BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer At least one New Braunfels couple will not be able to vote for their next city council repre sentative because an error on their voter registration cards listed them as living in the wrong sin glemember district On Thursday the Hunnicutts went to the vote in the city elec tions at Comal County Court house They were told they could not vote in the District 4 city council race because they were listed as living in District 5 How ever they were allowed to vote in the citywide bond issue election After the error was discovered officials contacted Secretary of States election officials Monday for advice Bonnie Sarkozi city secretary said the Secretary of States office advised the city to not allow Lee and Eva Hunnicutt to vote in the candidate election because the candidate and bond elections were on the same ballot Lee Hunnicutt said he and his wife were frustrated that they were not allowed to vote in the District 4 race through no fault of their own Its the principle of thing We were denied our basic right and we didnt do anything wrong And theyre making it incum bent upon us to make the he said Im disap pointed but if the outcome comes out to one vote then Ill probably be moderately Elizabeth Hanshaw director of the legal division of the Secre tary of State Elections Division ELECTION Early voting in the May 6 city coun cil and bond issue elec tions begins Wednesday and will continue through May 2 at the Comal County Courthouse annex Room 101 Voters can cast their ballots from 8 to 5 Special voting hours will be offered from 9 to 2 on Saturday IMPORTANT Officials at the Comal County Voter Registration office are urging registered voters in New Braunfels to check the information on their registration cards before heading to the polls to avoid any more mixups said because it was a secret ballot election officials could not guar antee the Hunnicutts would vote only in the candidate election and not vote in the bond election again I think the city would be in a better position to not let them vote in the candidate election Theres too many variables and too many Hanshaw said The city would have to take the legal risk if the election results came back one or two votes Karen Sachtleben voter admin istrator for the Comal County Voter Registration office said Lee and Eva Hunnicutt who live in District 4 mistakenly were list ed as living in District 5 on their See Three hurt in boat crash CANYON LAKE Two men were condition at University Hospital said transported by helicopter and another Canyon Lake captain Stuart by ambulance to a San Antonio hospital Rhodes who responded to the accident after heir bass boat collided with several The accident happened about tree or stumps in Canyon Lake near when the 17 or 18foot Skeeter Cranes Mill Road bass traveling at a high Alcohol might have been a contribut rate of speed toward the mourn of the ing factor in the accident law officials Guadaluoe River near the Cranes Mill said boat ramp collided with one or sev As of press time Monday the identi era tree stumps or trees in the lake ties of the three injured men had rwt officials said been released One of men probably thrown One of the men who was transported from the boat as a result of the impact by hfllicftptyr iwnfllwd in flrifiml fluid Conm CSftuoty Shwitf two were repxirted to be in serious tottwaccideot INSIDE Abby i Classifieds Forum Movies Obituaries Today Television County loses patience over jail work BY ERIN MAQRUDER Staff Writer The deafening pounding of construction and renovation at die Comal County Jail still could be heard Monday afternoon even though a written agreement with the contractor stated it would have been silenced almost two months ago But for more than two years the million jail expansion and renovation project has been plagued by repeated missed deadlines HOLDER 1 extended deadline for com pletion of the project and the county has been charging the company per day in liquidation damages since the missed date Stoddard Construction rep resentatives were not available for comment by press time Monday And county omcials say Dallasbased tractor Stoddard Construction is the main reason Honisem said rw Stoddard already had the project has been delayed more than seven more than enough time to finish the projwt which began in March 1998 r MQw jg delays are the SeeJAIUBA