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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 18, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page Tuesday February PEST AVAJUIE COPY 1A fell this in a project he calls The Land mark former Lower Colorado River Authority power plant on Lan da Street He and his partners who include McQueeney resident Jim Hardy are prepared to drop million or more into the project which comes on top of the million the LCRA spent dismantling the plant and cleaning up the property Peel is a developer renowned for Ms respect for the environment and for working with environmen talists on his projects My last deal was done with the Nature Peel said this past Friday Were used to having people looking over our shoulder New Braunfels isnt going to have any trou ble with He is excited about the LCRA pro ject Ill be coming down here New Braunfels at least once a week until ithis project is he said That will be sometime in 2005 he believes How can you not be excited by this How can you not be impressed with it Peel asked From the outside the LCRA build ing will remain the landmark it has always been since it was built in the 1920s Inside it will retain much of the ironwork that hearkens back to its heritage when it was the largest power plant west of the Mississippi River Now Peel is working to get the LCRA building listed on the Nation al Register of Historic Places which will qualify the project for a 20 per cent tax credit not insignificant on a million project Right now were right at 100 units in here Were pretty much governed by the Peel said The LCRA buildings leaky old paned windows will be replaced by high tech coated low energy transfer glass that from the outside will look just as the windows do now Peel said He cannot cut new window openings and retain a historic desig nation He will take full advantage of the windows in the design of his lofts I like to have a living room with a Peel said Even the smokestacks on top of the building will stay although they will not be used At the same time as Peel pursues the historic designation he will be wending his way through the local permitting process Already he has appeared with drawings before ser vice clubs and organizations mak ing sure local folks know his vision and intention for the LCRA project THE LOCAL PARTNER The LCRA building is not Hardys first project with Peel Larrys done every kind of housing development you can Hardy said His first words when he saw this one were I know I told you I wanted a challenge Peel has taken on other challenges Hardy said and triumphed Peel has developed other housing in environmentally sensitive areas including the Barton Creek green belt in West Austin The LCRA plant is one of three projects his company has in its busi ness plan for the next three years The other two are a residential development in West Austin and one along the South Fork of the San Gabriel River in Georgetown The LCRA building is an impor tant structure in the history of New Hardy said This is going to be a neat deal Larrys the only man I know who could do it Itll take a lot of sensitivity creativ ity and It is too early to say what the units would lease for Hardy said Once he has set the floor plates you can calculate square footage Larrys still moving them up and down to match them with the win dows The units will be relatively large They will be for people had big hbmes and are retiring with big Hardy said Were not at the costing stage yet but itll certainly be the upper end of the Hardy said A short distance away Peel was looking at spaces examining one detail and another Were certainly going to include a museum of the history of this build ing in this Peel said in one spot atop the old control room look ing out over the Comal River All of my projects include public space Just look at this Peel exclaimed If you count over to the third set of windows theres square feet here alone This is a clubhouse It can be used for wed dings gatherings The list goes on and on a rush of ideas How many cubic feet was the space Its bigger than the national Peel said Hardy chuckled and shook his head Hed heard it all before and then some Larry gets new ideas every time he comes he said Council workshop takes look at river management DRUG 1A BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer City Council will look at technology and review its riv er management plan at a workshop session set for this evening Council meets at 6 today in the council cham bers at City S CastellAve Mayor Adam Cork said council members would look at the citys river manage ment plan which deals with law enforcement refuse re moval and other river recre ationrelated issues The river management plan is a threeyear plan We expect to have a review of items every said Cork New Braunfels appointed a group called the River Activities Committee to study riverrelated issues after the summer of 2000 when a draught drastically reduced Guadalupe River flows and brought more tubers into the city to float the Comal River District 6 Councilmember Ken Valentine is a former RAG member and chairman He has recently recom mended raising fees tubers pay to use the rivers within the city limits to pay for in creased cleanup and law enforcement Cork said council would carefully examine the plan in context of the citys other needs We can expect to have some changes but we have to be cognizant of the budget We have already been told this is going to be a tight bud getary year While we have to protect the river we have to maintain the budgets integri ty for the entire city not just the Cork said The New Braunfels Police Department is understaffed by several positions Cork said and money might not prove available to add any new slots at the police de partment One guy can only be on the river once We cant make him two people no matter how much we pay him Un less we have more officers javailable on the force were going to have a toughtime getting a lot more officers out Cork said Weve got to work our way through what their roles will be realizing this year well have two rivers to take care of We havent added a bunch of police officers Fully staffed I think were still lean for that kind of cov erage So you end up paying overtime and really I think you burn your officers Cork said We have to make sure theyre doing real police In terms of technology Cork said he believes the city is generations behind the state of the art in the tech nology it uses to get its work done New Braunfels is really behind in technology We have a long way to Cork said The city needs to look at ways it can provide its ser vices more efficiently the mayor said You can throw a lot of bod ies at a job or you can do it with the proper Cork said I think smart technology is probably a good investment for the city Were in such a quick growth pattern for the population that the services we offer need to be up to date Otherwise were wasting Cork said The city has computer equipment that is so old it is amazing Cork said In our Planning Depart ment they have software they cant run because the hardware is not up to date When you look at that we have a lot of requirements for service were putting a lot of man hours into the job but the tools arent up to date Sometimes you spend a lot of money by not having the right tool and we need to take a look at Cork said This is all thinking in terms of what is best for the city in the long term Some times you have to spend short term money to realize longterm Cork said Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon Gomez has prior felony convictions which means that if he is convicted as a repeat offender he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison Rodolfo and Sandra Gomez have not yet been scheduled for trial Of the six people taken into custody at the residence in the raid Sanchez said under questioning by Assistant Dis trict Attorney Ed Springer that Rodolfo Gomez was the only one who had no needle marks During four alleged drug buys at the Gomez home that stretched from Sept 11 2001 to Dec 12 2001 Sanchez tes tified that he either searched the task force informant or his vehicle before and after the buys He would also par ticipate in the debriefing of the informant afterward to try to gather intelligence information about the resi dence and its occupants He and another undercover officer would follow the infor mant to the residence he said to provide cover for a third detective who rode with the informant Sanchez testified under questioning He adinjttea Under cross examination by Garcia though that he had no direct knowledge of who had sold the drugs He couldnt see the Gomez home from where he was parked Sanchez said We saw the informant walk toward the house Our main concern was officer safety was to watch the de Sanchez said Garcia questioned whether the officer could be consid ered an expert on signs of drug abuse or even on needle marks Sanchez said he had taken courses on drug abuse as part of his training and continuing education and that people he had arrested in the past had educated him on the issues But as for as all these punctures or tracks you cant tell that any of them if they are tracks occurred at the Gomez Garcia charged You cant tell us whether they had anything to do with the allegations that it had something to do with the alle gations of this lawsuit can you Garcia persisted One of the other undercov er officers testified that he had seen the informant go up to the Gomez house and purchase balloons containing small quantities of heroin from people he later learned were Arnaldo and Rodolfo Gomez On Dec 7 2001 the offi cer said he got a look at the man who sold the drugs but he didnt know him then At a later time did you learn the name of the person you saw Springer asked Yes the detective answered Who was that person the attorney asked Arnaldo the detective answered From 1A to San Antonio It included j four coalpowered boilers lat er oil and each 110 feet tall that produced steam to run two Westinghouse tur bines Welty said the plant origi nally the largest west of the Mississippi River was de signed to be doubled in size by building onto the back That would have meant eight boilers four smoke stacks and four turbines but it never happened Inside with the exposed ironwork the building still seems massive There was a boiler in this space here and it went all the way to the roof There were three others just like Welty said on a recent tour Be careful not to look up and dont step on the little pieces of metal on the floor because they cover Welty said The plant which has been gutted and stripped of all lead and asbestos has not pro duced power since 1973 There are plenty of holes in the floors covered with boil erplate If it is difficult now for someone to imagine the 12 story tall brick power plant as thing of beauty it might not be once developer Larry Peel gets done rehabbing it into loft apartments Weltys back now working at the plant while Peel pre pares to convert it into upscale housing I came back to work for them just to help them take care Welty said FLOOD From 1A study requirements for the first new facility it hopes to build on property near Kru ger Canyon in Splms A million federal grant has been earmarked for the project and county officials have approached federal offi cials about additional fund ing for other projects Officials have tried for more than a year to negotiate a purchase of the Solms prop erty and will soon enter into condemnation proceedings against the international mining conglomerate that owns it County Judge Danny Scheel said he wants the county to own that property for several reasons First if the county does nothing it will become another limestone quarry Second it offers a unique opportunity to buffer growth and northward sprawl from San Antonio Wed like to preserve it as parkland or green Scheel said Monday Attention Diabetic Patients Medicare Pays For Biomechanical Footwear provides unsurpassed comfort and protection thanks to unique features such as removable Gel 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