New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, June 23, 2001, Page 3

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung June 23, 2001

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 23, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Saturday, June 23, 2001 — Herald-ZeitUNG — Page 3APLANT/From 1A RACE/From 1A “The crisis in California is like ‘The Perfect Storm,’ where many events combined to create a monster,” Moore said. He cited as mistakes the practice of relying on neighbors to produce hydroelectric power because it was cheaper — and expecting that power to always be available, flawed rules and a flawed regulatory environment and discounting the cyclic nature of the natural gas industry. In Texas, he said, the climate is like Desert Storm. “We got the rules right in Texas. This is an overwhelming success, a model to follow,” Moore said. “This is a fabulous day, the culmination of two and one half years of work,” Moore said. “We’ve had a great partnership, and we’ve enjoyed our relationship with Guadalupe County, with our investors and with our employees. Moore singled out the plant’s employees for particular mention.AQUIFER/From 1A “All these people came together and said, ‘we can do it,’” Moore said. Guadalupe County Pct. 3 Commissioner Jim Wolverton worked with TIE when it first expressed interest in Guadalupe County in 1998, as the plant site is in his district. TIE kept all its promises to Guadalupe County and then some, Wolverton said. The partnership has been a good neighbor and good members of the community from “day one,” Wolverton said. “The first time we met in 1998, they told me what they wanted to do,” Wolverton said. “The only thing they asked me was, ‘how can we win the confidence of these people?”’ Wolverton said he’d told them the answer was a simple one. “I said these are a bunch of hardworking people out here,” Wolverton recalled. ‘They don’t expect much, but you’d better keep your word to them, and you have.” Dasher also believes San Antonio and its neighbors can do more to keep the air clean. She suggested developing some type of transportation system for people living outside San Antonio to commute to work and help reduce air pollution. “This area is too beautiful. We don’t want it to be another L.A.,” she said. Dasher advocates more authority for county government to help manage growth and maintain natural resources. The Canyon Lake resident said she has voted Republican since she graduated from high school in 1973. She said she previously was a registered voter in Iowa and Bexar County. She is now registered in Comal County. Voting records show she has participated in every election possible since she registered in Comal County in 1998. She and her husband John have been married 24 years. They have a son, Shane, and a daughter, Tabatha. After graduating from high school, she joined the U.S. Navy and served as a storekeeper. She was honorably discharged in 1977, she said. Dasher said she was involved in a civil dispute nine years ago. She owned a plant nursery at the time and did business with a Bulverde woman. The woman claimed Dasher sold her bad plants and did not take proper care of the plants. The woman sued Dasher in Justice of the Peace Court No. 3. Judge Fred Stewart found in favor of Dasher and awarded her $238, a court official said. Dasher said the woman has yet to pay her the money. Dasher operates the Mailbox-Postal Center in Startzville. She belongs to the Canyon Lake Women in Business, Canyon Lake Republican Women, Canyon Lake and Bulverde-Spring Branch chambers of commerce and is the president and co-founder of Elf Tabatha, a nonprofit organization that helps children in need. The organization is in honor of her daughter, who was permanently injured in a car accident several years ago. The accident made Dasher more aware of the difficulties disabled people have in getting access to healthcare benefits, she said. “I understand the need to have a common sense voice and fight for a good quality of life for all the people,” she said. acre feet per year. The way the authority is doing it is by purchasing water rights wherever it can, and reducing allocations to municipalities like Garden Ridge. Feibelman has been warning about water problems for years. And in spite of repeated attempts to impose conservation measures on the city, it over-pumped its allocation of Edwards Aquifer water by 14.95 acre-feet this past July, when the Edwards fell below its critical management level of 650 feet above mean sea level. Garden Ridge was assessed $11,006.61, which after arbitration the Edwards Aquifer Authority dedicated to a water conservation education program in the Comal Independent School District. “It’s going to the CISD, and that’s good,” Feibelman said. “But the point is that we did get a levy.” The mayor said he’s contacted EAA General Manager Greg Ellis, and that Ellis is supportive of the Garden Ridge plan and will do what he can to expedite the city’s permit through the authority. Still to be accomplished will be a permit from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission as a public water system. Feibelman said he got the idea for drilling the well from a developer who has run three wells into the Trinity not far from Natural Bridge Caserns. ‘These guys drilled 960 feet and hit good water,” the mayor said. “They asked me to include that development in our CCN (certificate of convenience and need),” Feibelman said. The city wasn’t interested in the proposition. “They then asked if we’d maintain the system if they gave it to us,” Feibelman said. He investigated, and found it would cost Garden Ridge about $3 miflion to build a pipeline to take advantage of that water. But the idea set city officials to thinking about their water tower site, where it could prove much cheaper to build the facilities to pump the water, treat it and blend it into the city system. Feibelman said he hopes he can hit good Cow Creek water and get from 200 to 400 acre-feet per year — enough to cover the city’s shortfall in an Edwards Aquifer emergency. An acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons or enough water to cover an acre of land with water I foot deep. Feibelman said he hopes the well would produce at a rate of about 200 gallons per minute. If it doesn’t, or the city doesn’t hit potable water, Feibelman said he’d seek a permit from the EAA to use it as a backup well into the Edwards so the city isn’t out all of its development costs. Garden Ridge is exploring other water options, including joining onto the Schertz-Seguin Gonzales County pipeline project now underway. But that water, Feibelman said, would likely be leased, not pur chased, and therefore subject to being pulled back by either community — most likely at a time when Garden Ridge needs it most. “Having your own water source or purchasing it is the future of this city,” Feibelman said. Edwards Aquifer Authority General Manager Greg Ellis said Friday Feibelman will need a construction permit to punch through the Edwards Aquifer in the recharge zone. “Theres no problem with that. There’s a specific construction method they have to use,” Ellis said. Feibelman’s well will be encased so it doesn’t mix water from the two aquifers. Ellis said he thought the permit would take about 30 days to secure. QUESTION/From 1A Lake Utility Company, has applied for a TNRCC permit to discharge up to 140,000 gallons per day of treated wastewater into Rebecca Creek. The utility company would service the 180-acre subdivision. Residents worry the discharge will harm Rebecca Creek, which eventually flows into the Guadalupe River and ultimately Canyon Lake. The residents formed a grass-roots organization, the Northwest Comal County Environmental Coalition, to oppose construction of the plant this past year. “You’ve heard this community’s outcry. You’re not going to try to accommodate this,” Coalition Chairwoman Sheryl Garza said. Garza directed her comments towards Veytia. Veytia and Garza’s group met at another TNRCC meeting in November 2000. Per a request from state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, the TNRCC held another public meeting to help resolve issues between them. Coalition members and others asked Veytia if he would be the responsible party if something were to happen at the plant. Veytia said he knows nothing about running a wastewater plant and said he is negotiating with AquaSource to purchase and operate the plant. “Our intention is for them to own that company,” Veytia said. AquaSource is a national water utility company with regional offices in Houston. The company is a subsidiary of DQE, a utility and communications company in Pennsylvania. Coalition attorney Stuart Henry provided TNRCC personnel with documentation on the company’s compliance record in Texas. AquaSource operates a wastewater plant in Wimberley. The plant had two recorded sewage spills in the Wimberley area. In an April 2000 incident, up to 50,000 gallons of discharge or effluent leaked out from a cracked pipe near the plant, according to an article in the Wimberley View. In another incident on Jan. 5, 500 gallons of treated wastewater leaked into a wooded area off Ranch Road 12 near a grocery store and a senior center in Wimberley, according to the newspaper. “It’s clear to me that groundwater and surface water are so scarce, this area can’t take the chance on polluting it,” Henry said. Henry also said the TNRCC application is not complete because AquaSource will be the true owner of the plant, not Veytia. Coalition member Charles Stephens told Veytia and TNRCC staff the plant would Obituary STEPHEN Kleat Stephen, of San Antonio, passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2001, n San Antonio at the age of 18 years. Memorial services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, June 24 at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home at Canyon Lake with the Rev. Mal Hier-holzer officiating. 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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: June 23, 2001

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