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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 14, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS TUESDAY January 14 2003 4 7 JQ pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 153 No 53 Serving New Braunfels and Coma County since 1852 50 cents 78th legislative session convenes today BYSEANBOWUN Staff Writer A new state representa tive and a veteran state sen ator wholl represent the Hill Country in the 78th ses sion of the Texas Legisla ture which opens today in Austin outlined their major concerns Monday One includes how to run a state on a budget expected to suffer a billiondollar shortfall But first New Braunfels attorney and Republican Carter Casteel who will be sworn in today to represent Casteel Wentworth Comal Bandera Kendall and GUlespie counties as the new state representative for District 73 focused locally Casteel said shell watch rural land issues wise land rural develop ment and infrastructure Shell look at ways for coun ties to have some authority over water availability and growth She wont be alone Jeff Wentworth a veteran Republican who returns to the state said landuse is RE See INSIDE PAGE 3A Budget shortfall nearly twice as bad as expected Governor wants insurance reform Coming WEDNESDAY HeraldZeitung Reporter Sean Bowling and photographer K Jessie Slaten chronicle state Rep Carter Casteels first day in office Dress rehearsal K JESSIE Canyon students share some time together while waiting for their class of hogs to go into the show ring Sunday mom ing at the Canyon High School chapter livestock show Canyon High ag students learn about responsibility BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer Proud parents of Canyon High School agriculture stu dents watched on a wet Sunday as their children showed off their shiny pigs steers goats and lambs results of responsibility Learning that R word plus others like teamwork showmanship and coopera tion were reasons why 150 CHS ag students held their show It happened from to 1 at the Comal County Fairgrounds Having it at the fair grounds was another rea son for the shows impor tance CHS ag teacher Glenn Grimm said its a dress re hearsal For major and county stock shows its a chance to let kids come into the show get into a practice situation and the older kids take the younger kids under ttfeir wings and work with the younger kids and give them Grimm said Another reason for the show the Cougar ag stu dents learned sportsman ship They learn how to be a good winner and how to be a good loser it is a com petition for Grimm said And in competing they learn about goals he said Real rewards The ultimate goal of the program is financial reward in the end Weve had col lege educations paid for by this a lot of our students have done that Also schol arships If theyre good in Evan Lenz right helps Meggan Duncan pen her medi umweight Hampshire during Canyon High Schools chapter livestock show Sunday at the fairgrounds Although as an assistant Lenz can wear his jacket in the ring competitors must brave the elements like Sundays See CHAPTER cold gusts in their show clothes Council pedals closer to bike path to Gruene BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A bike path to Gruene or most of the way to Gruene could become reality after Monday nights unanimous city council vote to move for ward with the plan The project would allow the City of New Braunfels to take advantage of a grant secured by Comal County Trails from the Texas Department of Trans portations Transportation Enhancement Program New Braunfels would have to spend on the pro ject The path would run from the Faust Street Bridge area under Loop 337 into the Church Hill area and on to Gruene Road Monday nights vote autho rizes City Manager Charles Pinto to execute a pair of agreements with TxDOT that will move the project for ward The agreements must be signed by March 9 City Engineer Mike Short told council Monday night he was in the process of retain ing an engineering firm to study the project and deter mine what it will cost Comal County Trails had prepared an estimate but city officials believe it might not be complete Short told council that at a meet ing with TxDOT offi cials this Kendrick past week he had been told the city could build what ever portion of the path pos sible with the funding avail able without being required to complete the project District 4 Council member Robert Kendrick said he had concerns about the costs 1 think weve pretty well determined that the money and the scope of this project dont Kendrick said He wondered if the route could be changed to make the project less costly We cant change the Short answered We can only shorten Mayor Adam Cork asked the engineer what portion of the trail he thought could be completed for threequarters of a million dollars Faust to the tracks on Gruene Road is probably how far wed get with it but thats a complete Short said Fire destroys Canyon Lake home BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer CANYON LAKE of unknown origin destroyed a home early Sunday Canyon Lake Capt Mark Montgomery said the home located at Canyon Springs and Post Oak drives was heavily burn ing when firefighters arrived on the scene just after The home was a complete loss but Canyon Lake and Spring Branch firefighters saved the attached ga area Montgomery said Value of the structure esti mated to be about sq and its contents were not known Monday Comal County Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Anz said the owner of the home was traveling in New Mexico and hadnt been reached We have to talk to the property owner to get per mission to go in Anz said We dont know what caused the fire City approves in home buyouts BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The City of New Braunfels will move forward with the first six of what could be 23 buyouts of homes damaged or destroyed in the July 2002 floods City council members vot ed unanimously Monday night to approve in pur chases of the six homes which are located on Fair Lane Riverside Drive Crest Lane River Acres Drive and in Sleepy Hollow New Braunfels Chief Financial Officer Chet Lewis told council the six property owners involved would re ceive checks from the city as early as in a week or two as soon as the city closes on the purchases What were asking the city council to do is make a mo tion to allow the city manag er or the mayor to close on these Lewis said District 3 City Council member Debbie Flume ex pressed concern that more homeowners hadnt sought to take advantage of buyouts particularly in the Sleepy Hollow area where only one of the initial six homes were located Lewis told her the program is a voluntary one and those who stayed on lots flooded this past summer and sub stantially damaged would be required to elevate when they rebuild District 2 City Council member Larry Alexander asked Lewis if he was aware of how long the buyouts which are part of the Feder al Emergency Management Agencys Hazard Mitigation Grant Program would take Lewis assured him he would cut checks as quickly as the city could close on the properties Alexander sounded dubi ous I know a homeowner who backed out of the program because FEMA told him he would go three or four years before he saw any Alexander said Lewis told the councilman that the homeowners would nt see such delays that if anyone did it would be the city If theres a delay it will be on our end in terms of get ting reimbursement not his He can still participate and he should call us That indi vidual should have talked to me and not the person from Lewis said Mayor Adam Cork ap plauded Lewis the city staff and their work on the buy outs This is an extremely un usual situation to get ap provals this Cork saidf It hasnt been as fast as FEMA said but its been much faster than in other disasters I know there are people out there waiting but they should know Cork said The buyouts will take place within FEMAs fast track approval system The appraisals of the first six homes total mil lion and in insur ance claims have been paid on them The total purchase price is and the citys share of that will be in cash or inkind services Under the fast track or first tier of flood buyouts New Braunfels has approvals from federal and state offi cials to purchase 23 proper ties within the city limits INSIDE Key Code 76
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