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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, May 2, 2003 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 2, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW BRAUNFELS FRIDAY May 2 2003 16 pages in Z sections EITUNG VoK 152 No 145 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents 2003 Str8d Inventory and Study fofed the te PROPOSITION 2 WHAT DOES IT DO It would reduce the sales tax set aside for economic development from of one cent to of one cent Revenues dedicated for economic development would be reduced from million to per year PROPOSITION 3 WHAT DOES IT DO It would create a sales tax to be set aside for street maintenance In the amount of of one cent This would produce million In revenue annually for street repair of existing roads htaf an overlay Cost per Total cost MINOR 160 Wradtfl need a sdai coat Cost Mr square Total coat 180 mreeiB need a crack seal Cost per square ToTAt ftKPAIft COiTi Is it streets or j Arguments for against propositions not that simplistic both sides show costs benefits and a large impact on citys future BY DYLAN Staff writer Buffeted by tough economic times New Braunfels vot ers must decide Saturday how to spend one of the citys largest revenue sources In question is million in sales tax dollars that now comprise two thirds of the funds controlled by the citys Corporation Board of Directors That board is charged with encour aging commercial development Voters must decide on two propositions 2 and 3 that would divert that million in sales taxes from economic devel opment to street maintenance City Manager Chuck Pinto said dollars in dollars the proposi tions dont affect the general fund But the vote could alter how the citys share of sales tax dollars are being used Sales tax revenues make up about million of a million city budget Pinto who is obligated to take no stance on the ballot items recognizes the importance of street maintenance and economic development He sees the 4B tax and the proposed street maintenance tax as fiscal tools only He and his staff would use whichev er the voters favor HOW BAD ARE THE STREETS One of the major arguments in the debate about Propositions 2 and 3 is how many roads could be fixed by the funds generated by the proposed changes Those favoring the propositions claim they would take a bite out of street maintenance problems quickly but opponents favor a longterm plan that would address repairs by build ing economic development The citys 895 roads are about 224 miles long and the typical road in New Braunfels is about 32 feet wide How much it would cost to fix a mile of roadway depends on the type For every spent in New Braunfels m sales tax is paid of repairs needed Repairs could cost as little as per square foot of road to seal cracks or as much as per square foot of road to recon struct Thus repairs for one mile of road could cost between and It took city staff six months to inventory and assess city streets The roads were then rated and compared so that street repair could be priori tized A comprehensive maintenance program has not been established According to the inventory the total assessed cost of neces sary routine street repair is about million The study found that about two thirds of the citys streets need some kind of repair Fiftyeight streets need to be dug up and recon structed at a cost of about million Currently the city spends per year for routine street repair At that rate it would take the city 84 years to complete the million worth of needed street repair Propositions 2 and 3 would report edly speed up those repairs by ear marking million per year for four years million total tp street repair After four years the proposi tions would have to be reinstated by popular vote It would take the city 30 years at to accomplish what Propo sitions 2 and 3 would accomplish in four years Pinto said there is an additional million in street projects not listed in the street inventory These include drainage projects and the construc tion of new roads such as the County Line Road extension and the Gruene and Bike Trail None of the budget for repairs is spent on these type projects Mayor Adam Cork promotes a long term plan of strong economic devel opment that would fund the street repairs gradually by increasing the citys commercial tax base See DAVID Top Voting clerk Kathy Hoegenauer explains to election judges and clerks how the Eagle ballot counting machine will work at the polling locations during elections Satur day Above Deputy voting clerk Uz Ladshaw and New Braunfels City Secretary Michael Resendez perform a logic and accuracy test on the votecounting computer in the Comal County Courthouse as election judges and clerks look on The group gathered Thursday to leam how the tallying process will work NOTES lit How is that divvied up goes to the state goes goes to the 4B funcf for cants goes to keeping property taxes down Bulverde hopefuls outline need for longterm planning BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer BULVERDE Early voting closed Tues day in Bulverde with 125 of regis tered voters casting ballots in this years municipal election a turnout so far of 4 percent City Secretary Phyl lis Peterson said vot ing will be conducted between 7 and 7 Saturday at Bul verde City Hall Suite 236 of the Bulverde Market Center 30070 281N Two atlargo seats are up for election There are four candidates The two pulling the highest number of votes will be elected Alderman Churlie Baetz who this past November won hia in a special election will aeek a full twoyear term Sarah Stevick Elliott L Franklin and Cindy Cross join Baetz in the contest See COVERAGE INSIDE Bulverde alderman candidate questlon CISD candidate their Thuratey tubing down the Guadalupe near Qruene Guadalupe open better than ever BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Get your tube crank up your boom box and bring your beer Comal County officials said Thursday the Guadalupe River is cleaner than ever and river flows will be opti mal when this summers tub ing aeaaon kicks off I want everyone to know Comal County is open for business and the Guadalupe is better than it has ever said Precinct missionw Jack Dawson In Comal County nothing has changed You can bring your stereos Theres no noise ban and no alcohol Pawaon said Pawson who acting county judge while Danny Scheel is away on vacation said it ia a vital message to get across to the touring and tubing public Its important that we bounce back from what we lost last Dawson said In 2002 the July flood shut down the county just in advance of its second big hol iday The Guadalupe was closed until Labor Pay County Auditor David Renken said Comal County lost about of its budgeted in 2002 sales tax revenues because of the flood This year Renken said the county would budget just less than million for sales tax revenues Not ail citizens may want the tourists Dawaon said But people need to understand that our halfcent county sales tax 10 cents on their ttd valorem property tax rate Instead of 33 cents per it would be 43 thats a Dawson met this past week with Lee Wiederhold the local representative of the Natural Resource Conserva tion Service and had been assured that the riverbed cleanup would be completed by May 8 A second contract for cleaning private property along the shoreline will take a little longer but work should be completed before May 30 Dawson said INSIDE TV Key Code 76   

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