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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 3, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW JL Irv J ELS Witt r Restrictions Landscape watering It allowed from mkJnlohtto 10 NG Vol 149 No 118 18 pages in 2 sections May 3 2000 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 Appraisals out values up Residents face tax hike with or without bond election BY RON MALONEY AND HEATHER TODD Staff Writers The newest notices of appraised value began arriving Tuesday in the mailboxes of owners of about half the property in the Comal Appraisal District Locally with seven bond proposi Props 5 6 seen as long overdue BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Supporters of a million sports com plex and a million activity center say building better recreational facilities would be a sound investment in ihe future of New Braunfels Voters will decide at the polls Saturday whether they want to make that investment one that could if both propositions were approved raise the current 31cent per valuation tax rate by more than 6 cents In addition council could decide to raise the property tax rate to help fund mainter nance and operations of the facilities Prop 5 would fund a sports complex with athletic fields and Prop 6 would fund an activity center including an indoor Olympic swimming pool and gymnasium Many parents and volunteers say the facilities would significantly improve the state of youth recreational facilities in New Braunfels improvements that are long overdue they say David Feltmann a board member of New Braunfels Youth Sports said existing facilities were inadequate On the soccer fields we have so many kids out there were wearing out the he said More than 400 girls who play softball haul water to their fields and play only dur ing the day because they dont have lighted fields said Randy Heinbaugh with the Girls Softball League Hundreds more kids who love basket ball or volleyball vie for gym space so tight that programs remain limited Feltmann said expanded recreational facilities would give more youth in the area the opportunity to participate in athletics A location for either facility has not yet been determined and wont be until after the election If approved the sports complex would raise the current 31cent per valuation tax rate cents A resident owning a home with a taxable value of would pay about more in taxes or a year instead of If the activity center is approved it would require a increase on the current tax rate That would cost the resident of a home with a taxable value of about See tions worth million on Saturdays city the timing was probably less than favorable to proposition supporters Everyone who gets a notice this week will be facing the plain unpleasant reality that their taxes will go up this year no matter how they vote Mayor Stoney Williams acknowledged that the timing of the property appraisals just days before the bond election could be detrimental to the bond propositions Its not the best timing right now in terms of the bond propositions because these things are needed and I think people will rethink them now But its good for people to know their property values and how each proposition is going to affect he said Williams said he thought the reappraisals could make some people reconsider their votes on some bond items I am sure it will make some people rethink how they how they vote on things like the activity center or the he said If people think we need these things then I dont think it will affect their deci sion But anything they think of as a perk I believe they will rethink it a lot City Manager Mike Shands said he didnt believe the appraisal notices will have a significant impact on how resi dents vote in the May 6 election There have been about early vot ers and I would say its likely most people have already made up their minds about the bonds and how they are going to vote Its obviously not going to affect those who have already voted and I dont think its going to greatly affect those who are waiting to Shands said The timing of the notices is set by Texas HOW TO DISPUTE AN APPRAISAL Appeal within 30 days before May 31 by call ing the Comal Appraisal District at 6258597 to request an appoint ment with an appraiser or the Appraisal Review Board Formal requests for an appointment with the ARB can be mailed to the Comal Appraisal District at 178 E Mill St 78130 Hope Floats in Gruene K JESSIE Jamie Madison above holds up the last unrolled Tshirt for Saturdays Hope Floats in Texas in Gruene Jamie suffers from A T and even helping roll tee shirts gets her a little tired Below family and friends help prepare Tshirts and goodybags for the benefit i Tubers look to raise money awareness FROM STAFF REPORTS More than of the tubers float ing down the Guadalupe River Sat urday will enjoy the sunshine and a good time in the cool water but that wont be all or even the most important thing they came for Theyll be looking to raise in the fourth annual Hope Floats in Texas and to raise awareness of the debilitating and fatal childhood disease ataxia telangiec tasia AT combines symptoms of mus cular dystrophy cerebral palsy can cer cystic fibrosis and immune sys tem dysfunction Saturdays activities will be hosted by Dave and Amy Madison of Schertz and their children Braun 19 Jamie 17 and Andy at Rockin R River Rides as part of a nationwide effort to benefit the AT Childrens Project All three Madi son children have been diagnosed with AT Floats in Texas is impor tant for the AT Childrens Project as a fundraiser but its just as impor tant because it helps others to find us and can help mem gain an early said Amy Madison direc tor of Hope Floats in Texas and for the AT Project Events this weekend include a Fri day night Camp for a in which church youth groups will set up tents and enjoy an evening of music and campfires Its a nice mis sion Madison said Saturday things begin at and include the only river float for charity in Texas a twokilometer walk through scenic and historic Gruene and an auction of items including a late model car sports celebrity items vacations and more Registration for the walk or the float includes a free meal with a Tshirt On hand will be San Antonio radio personality Sonny Melendrez record ing artists Carmen Clark and Jill Jones and the Lone Star Chorale and the Wimberley Volunteer Fireants Sponsors include Rockin R River Rides HEB Southwest Airlines Schlirterbahn State Bank and Trust Lions Club WB35 TV VFW Physical Therapy Unlimited Health and Fitness Cen ter Realty Executives Sausage and Linda AlexanderCentury 21 Realty Low rainfall threat to rec GBRA reduces river flows BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer Despite recent rainfall outfitters are worried that thousands of waterhungry tourists might be walking instead of floating their way down the Guadalupe River Memorial Day weekend Because of scarce rainfall coupled with a recent drastic decrease in inflows to Canyon Reservoir the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority implemented Sun day a drought provision that reduces downstream flows to conserve stored water for future use GBRA officials said The provision allows GBRA to reduce flows from Canyon Reservoir from the required 90 cubic feet per second minimum to 60 cfs when inflows to the lake average less than 90 cfs for a period of 45 days GBRA spokeswoman Judy Gardner The conservation measures will remain in place until the reservoir gets enough rainfall to return Canyon Lake back to the conservation level which is 909 feet above mean sea level The last time GBRA invoked the drought release provision for Canyon Reservoir was in May 1996 at which point the com servation measures remained in place until fall Gard ner said i As of Monday Canyon Lake measured feet above mean sea level But if the drought continues until summer as many have impact on the local recre ational industry could be significant said Paul Rich vice president of the Water Oriented Recreation Dis trict and owner of Mountain Breeze outfitter and campground in New Braunfels If we dont get any rainfall or any water help from GBRA we might as well shut the doors because you cant recreate at 60 Rich said GBRA manager Bill West will address concerns and discuss the drought provisions at 5 Thursday at a special WORD meeting at the Tye Preston Memo rial Library meeting room 1321 FarmtoMarket Road 2673 in Sattler The drought provision only requires GBRA to release water at an amount equal to the actual inflow to Canyon Lake but West said the river authority would supplement the release with additional stored water to meet contractual obligations to municipal and industrial users downstream And even if Canyon Reservoir benefits from a sig nificant rainfall event GBRA is not required to release more than 90 cfs as long as the lake level remains below 909 feet above sea level Gardner said As of Tuesday the flow of the Guadalupe River INSIDE Abby 7A Classifieds 58B Comics Forum 6A 4A Movtes 7A Obituaries 3A 8A Tttoviston 8A Gomez pleads guilty could get 6 months In Scooter Man death BY HEATHER TODD Under the plea agreement Gomez would Staff Writer serve 10 years probation and the manslaugh The face of Rw Scooter Man Biggadike would be dismissed gadikeontnevisorofajyvehicJehedrivwas A sentencing hearing is scheduled June 8 pait of a plea agreement preaented Monday in At time a judge could accept the plea and Gomez who was facing manslaughter days in prison and 10 years probation or the charges m Biggadike death in 1999 plead judge could reject the jfiittJteilBffl yf fMhOT tji ffry Tf tfai jw days in prison if a judge accepts we plea agreement Gomez could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison if be violates the pro visions of his probation Gomez was accused of hitting Biggadike as the elderly man crossed Business 35 on his batterypowered scooter June 28 Biggadike was crossing he busy fourlane thoroughfare from the east toward Avenue A He was thrown 58 feet from his scooter and pronounced dead on the scene Authorities investigated the accident as a hitandiw after witnesses said me unidenti fied hit Biggadike turned right onto a nearby gtoaot and 1 service and attend a driver safety course and a victim impact program within one year Gomez also would pay a fine send an apology letter to the victims family with in 180 days and use an ignition interlock on any vehicle he drives Bill Biggadike Ray son said the recommended prison sentence seemed light in consideration of his fatherls death But in regard to the provisions of Gomezs probation he said If it makes him realize it aflongasanoth how of community tontty went   

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