Saturday, June 7, 2003

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 7, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS SATURDAY June 7 2003 14 pages in ERALDZEITUNG Vol 152 No 176 Serving New Braunfels and Coma County since 1852 50 cents Flulct Income Although a greater Income generator nates lax Is not as stable as rropcttyjax SUNDAY You get what you pay or NB lags other cities In tax rate but offers more services BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer In 1858 New Braunfels was one of the first Texas communi ties to implement taxation to support public schools accord ing to historians Almost 160 years later many residents support a increase which will fund needs other than education Responding to the prospect of losing services in already understaffed police and fire departments council members say constituents overwhelm ingly support a tax increase large enough to ensure appro priate emergency services Given a balanced budget by City Manager Chuck Pinto city council decided in May to raise taxes 6 cents to cents per assessed valuation They are in the process of finalizing the increase Monday and Tuesday council will hold public hearings on the proposed 19percent increase With the public seemingly behind it and the council unani mously supportive the ordinance should become law Tuesday The tax first came up ear lier this year When estimates of sales tax revenue came in flat council eliminated 28 city staff positions to create some breath ing room in the budget Pinto said for years the city seems to have overbudgeted relying on sales tax revenues to pull the city through Until recently there have been plenty of funds for that kind of planning From 1986 through 2000 sales tax revenue increased an average of 13 per cent per year In 2001 sales tax revenue only increased per cent In 2002 it increased percent and in 2003 an percent increase is expected Although recently flat sales tax is traditionally the highest revenue generator for the city In 2001 property taxes brought in million to the general fund while sales tax brought in million Last year was similar million of the general fund came from property taxes and million came from sales tax Some reliance on sales tax is natural for a tourism mccca but that income needs to be backed up by property taxes city officials say A strong dependence on sales tax also is more difficult to manage Sales tax receipts come in two months after the fact giving officials little notice of a drop or peek in income It also moans officials will have to wait sev eral months before they can See A home of her own K JESSIE Crystal Vela waits patiently for the paperwork to be completed and for the finishing touches to be put on the house she soon will call home New Braunfels offers to prospective homeowners BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer Crystal Vela 19 is ready to get out on her own She lives with her parents and younger brother but could be moving into her own house as early as next month After graduating from high school year Vela decided she wanted to move out I didnt want to rent I talked to my parents and they said that when they got married they rented forever and ever and that if they bought a house in the beginning they would have been better she said Vela took that advice and is buying her own twobedroom house She is taking advantage of a city down pay ment assistance program 6 didnt want to rent I talked to my parents and they said they rented forever and ever and that if they bought a house in the beginning they would have been better off CRYSTAL VELA 19yearold potential homeowner The City of New Braunfels offers up to for incomequalified residents looking to buy a homo in the city The program is aimed at lowto moderateincome families and grant applicants have to qualify for a home loan The grant helps pay the down payment and closing costs What were doing is helping HIOHO who can afford a houHo but dont have enough money to pay for a down pay Nancy Davison New Braunfels Community Development Block Grant manager Haid She Haid a typical applicant lives in an apartment and would rather to upend rent money on a mortgage but cant come up with the down payment Firsttime homebuyers are the ones coming Davison said She said most homeowners do not need assistance since they can usually use the home equity they have earned to buy a new home People who have owned homes in the past but who have not owned a home in the past three years also aro eligible Those who qualify for this See HOME CISD says fewer teachers wont equal fewer classes BYBBANDI GRISSOM Staff Writer No teachers in the Comal Independent School District are going to be sent packing During Thursday nights budget hearing trustees were told that 17 fewer teacher units wore allotted for the 200304 bud get than were allot ted for the 200203 budget A teacher unit in equal to one fulltime teacher or two part time teachers or paraprofoHHionulK Higher paid positions like assistant principals or counselors account for more than one teacher unit The term used NICHOLS for budgetary means based on the average salary of one fulltime teacher Were talking about 17 unite worth of District 3 Trustee Nick Nichols said A lot of teachers have retired some have left for other reasons Of those were jiiHt not going to be refill ing Were not losing indivicl Nichols explained that the teacher unit reduction in n deci sion the board mndo to wave money in the face of a to million bud got shortfall CISD will receive fewer See Hoffman Lane speed limit may be lowered BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Comal County sot a public hearing to consider lowering the Hpeed limit on Hoffman Lane and making the entire road a no passing The hearing will be con ducted at June 19 Hoffman Lano runs north east of New Braunfels from FarmtoMurkot Road 1102 to FM 306 It creates a short cut for travelers headed to the Canyon Lake area and has historically been used by truckers It HHO provides access to sev eral subdivisions and Hoffman Lane Elementary School which opened HUH pant school year County are becoming increasingly concerned about traffic safety IHHUOH on the road County Engineer Tom In other action In other agenda Items Thursday county commis sioners voted to table until after the July budget hear ings considering whether to hire an architect to plan courthouse renovations HornHuth said the road sees much more traffic than it once did Aw residential dovelopniont has increased along that road we have more of a mix of indi vidual and commercial traffic There are concerns about the mixed traffic We have safety concerns and were trying to address HornHuth said Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennndy said whos See HOFFMAN INSIDE Prince Solms Inns new owners make their dreams reality BY SEAN BOWUN Staff Writer New owners have taken over the historic downtown landmark Prince Solms Inn Doug Huston and his wife AllyBon just moved to New Braunfels from Bentonville where they worked at WalMart Corporation for a combined total of 25 years Doug was a store manager Allyson was a financial con troller and auditor Allyaon originally from Cor pus Chriati had been looking in Texas New Mexico Col orado and Arizona for a modi umsized bed and breakfast She said she always wanted one because its the business to be in to socialize Allyson came to New Braunfels to visit Schlitter bahn and to tube when she was growing up So she went to a real estate broker who told her the inn which liats John Travolta and Willkm P Hobby among its famous guests was for sale It Bounded perfect so Allyson drove from Arkansas to sue the landmark herself 1 shopped for months for the inn This one wasnt too small and wasnt too Allyson said Allyson wanted a place that had romantic Victorian furnishings Doug wanted rustic cabins which the Feed Store portion of the inn has With all those original pine floors theyre like little Doug said Allyson showed Doug pic tures of the inn He was sold on the idea Hed always want ed to own his own business Doug said he and Allyson would make no structural changes to the inn They plan See PRINCE DAVID Allyson and Doug Huston enjoy a quiet rainy afternoon on the front porch of the historic Prince Solms Inn The couple recently purchased the inn which was built in 1898