New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 6, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
Air pollution could stop work on 1-35
By Chris Crews
SAN ANTONIO — Construction on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels could come to a screeching halt if Greater San Antonio fails to meet federal clean air standards this summer.
“If we are judged as a non-attaining area, it could place the entire 1-35 corridor project in jeopardy” County Judge Danny Scheel said.
He was among area leaders attending a meeting Monday to discuss strategies to comply with new federal standards.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area, including Comal, Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson counties, is currently in attainment status. But officials said a bad ozone season
would put the area in the non-attainment category.
The government can suspend or even terminate transportation projects in MSAs judged to be non-attainment areas. The Environmental Protection Agency will make a final ruling on the status of the San Antonio area in July 2000.
The Environmental Protection Agency rates air standards in MSAs on the basis of ozone measurements in the three preceding years. The maximum allowable level of
ozone is 85 parts per billion each year averaged during a three-year period.
The ozone rating in 1997 was 84 parts per billion but jumped to 90 parts per billion in 1998. Officials said the smoke from the forest fires in Mexico and Central America this past year were taken into consideration when calculating the 1998 figure.
The figure for 1999 would have to be 80 or below for the three-year average to stay below 85.
Ozone is a reactive gas that forms natu
rally during lightning storms. It also forms naturally when organic compounds mix with heat and ultraviolet light to cause a complex chain of reactions. Manufactured sources of ozone include automobile and industrial emissions.
The summer months are the prime months for high formations of ozone in Texas.
At acceptable levels, ozone sometimesSee POLLUTION/3Preserving HistoryHerald-Zei
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Vol. 148, No. 98 12 pages in I section April 6, 1999 f i ^ a x r Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents*
CISD: We’ve done our homeworkTrustees behind both bond issues
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
Comal Independent School District trustees say they have learned from their mistakes and are offering voters a longterm solution to overcrowding.
Early voting in the May I bond election begins April 14. Patrons will get their chance to vote on a $141 million, two-proposition bond package.
The election marks the second attempt to pass a bond proposal to fund school construction in the past two years. Voters rejected a four-proposition $92 million package in November 1997.
Several CISD trustees said this package was not a repeat of past mistakes.
“We’ve done our homework, and I think what we’re putting out to voters represents more than a solid year of hard work and research and the district doing what the patrons have asked us to do,” trustee John Clay said.
Proposition I, at $89 million, includes:
• Three new pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary schools with an enrollment of 800 students each;
• Expansion of SVHS to 2,000 students;
• Expansion of Canyon High School to 1,750 students;
• Expansion of Canyon Middle School to 1,000 students;
• Expansion of Comal Elementary School to 800 students;
• District-wide facility renovations for health and safety code compliance;
• District-wide technology needs; and
• Fund-balance reimbursement for pending or in-progress projects.
Proposition 2, at $52 million, includes:
• Construction of a new high school for 2,000 students with construction to begin 2002 and open in 2004; and
• Phase two of technology needs
The school board approved the currentSee HOMEWORK/3
City backs hotel/motel legislation
By Margaret Edmonson
Proposed Astate legislation that could bring additional bed tax revenue to New Braunfels for cleaning and maintaining local rivers goes before a Senate committee Wednesday.
Senate Bill 1772, introduced by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), is on the agenda for the Senate intergovernmental relations committee meeting, which begins at 8:30 am Wednesday. The committee is chaired by Sen. Frank Madia (D-San Antonio).
New Braunfels City Council passed a resolution earlier this year asking the legislature to set aside 2 percent of the stated share of bed taxes and return it to the city for river maintenance and cleaning.
“The hotel/motel tax is 13 percent with 6 percent going to the state and 7 percent going to the city,” city manager Mike Shands said. “Of the state’s 6 percent, we would like 2 percent to come back.”
The 7 percent bed tax collected by the city currently brings in about $1.2 million annually, with 75 percent going to the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, 14 percent to arts and cultural activities and 11 percent (br civic center maintenance.
“This 2 percent could equate to about $200,000 or more,” Shands said.
Shands and other local leaders were interpreting the law to mean that some of that money could be set aside for security patrols on the river.
The bill reads, “A municipality (hat receives money under this section may use the money only to clean and maintain rivers located within the boundaries of the municipality.
Shands said, “When you say clean and maintain, that could be interpreted to mean security and river cleanup to maintain the river, keep it safe and keep it clean.”
The idea — and the bill — have won the support of at least one mayoral candidate. Robert Kendrick, a Greene Road resident, has circulated a number of petitions in support of SB 1772.
His opponent, Stoney Williams, could not be reached for comment Monday and reportedly was out of town until Thursday.
Kendrick said, “In speaking with (Zaffirini k) legislative assistant, she suggested the mote information and city support, the more likelySee LEGISLATION/3
Encapsulation keeps county documents ‘alive’ for future reference, use
By Chrn Crews
New Braunfels is known as an area that never loses touch with its heritage. The county clerk’s office has been working with a binding company so area residents can use documents representing more than 150 years of local history.
Comal County Clerk Joy Sweater said some of the county’s historic documents were in danger of being lost.
“Some of the old records were so brittle that you could touch them and they would literally turn to dust,” Streater said.
The county contracted R.D. Peeler Bookbinders of Bonham to perform an encapsulation process to preserve the documents. Streater said the process provided an airtight atmosphere for the document in a plastic cover sealed only around the edges.
No glue or other binding material contacted the document
Encapsulation was an improvement over past attempts at document preservation, Streater said. Early efforts included putting tape around the edges of documents.
ROMM CORNETT /Herald-Zertung
Above, Jeff Peeler, owner of Bookbinders, starts to cut off pages that have gone through the machine which performs the encapsulation process. Top, this book is a typical example of the detonation of many of the historic documents before being encapsulated.
One of the newer methods is lamination, a process that includes heating a plastic cover and binding it to a document.
"The lamination process uses a glue that eventually breaks down and could damage the document,” Streater said.
Another advantage of the encapsulation process was that the binder came to the courthouse to do the work. That eliminated the possibility of damaging or losing books and
Key Code 76
Herald-Zeitung seeking thoughts, stories from flood
From STAFF REPORTS
Nearly six months have passed since the October 1998 flood.
While much has been done to clean up and resume normal operations, theres still plenty of work left.
The Herald-Zeitung is interested in your stories and experiences as the six-month anniversary nears. What joys have
come along as a result of this disaster*? What struggles still remain?
Send your information to Margaret Edmonson or Tom Erickson at P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, TX 78131.
Information also can be faxed to 625-1224 or sent via e-mail to [email protected]
Submissions will be used in a special report on April 18.
Safeway employees Julio Riveria, left, and Richard Flores gently lower one of the planks connecting the scaffolding along the Comal County Courthouse gutter Monday. The scaffolding was put up so the roof and gutters could be repaired and cleaned.