New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 11, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149 No. 102
14 pages in 2 sections April ll, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Dealer moving to 35
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Ground has been broken on a new Jeep showroom near the Courtyard Plaza shopping center. Bluebonnet general manager Wes Studdard says the move will improve customer service and provide Jeep with “its own identity” in New Braunfels. Within two years of completing the Jeep store, Bluebonnet Ford will move out there as well — vacating the downtown property where it has operated since 1944.
Bluebonnet Motors takes first step with Jeep store
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
A new $1.5 million, “state-of-the-art” Jeep dealership on Interstate 35 is just the first step toward Bluebonnet Motors’ move to Interstate 35.
Bluebonnet’s cramped and nearly 60-year-old Ford dealership in the center of New Braunfels is planning to move to 1-35 — growing into a spacious and modem facility with parking for 1,000 to 1,200 new cars and trucks.
Bluebonnet owner and chief executive officer Clarence Kahlig is donating the current dealership property to the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. The gift will enable the expansion of the landlocked Saints Peter and Paul school and create new parking space. (See related story.)
Bluebonnet Motors General Manager Wes Studdard said tile first move — construction of the new, stand-alone Jeep dealership — is intended to allow his company to better serve its Jeep customers.
“It’ll give us a lot more room and will give Jeep its own identity out there,” Studdard explained. The new facility will have a two-vehicle showroom, eight service bays and will employ six salespeople, Studdard said.
Joe De Leon, general sales manager for Bluebonnet Motors, said the new Jeep facility would be built off the northbound 1-35 access road near Handy Andy and the Courtyard Plaza shopping center. The landscaped dealership lot will have room for 200-300 new Jeeps, De Leon said.
'Hie Jeep facility should be completed within one and a half to two years.
The projected larder Ford dealership will
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
This artist’s rendering shows how the new Jeep dealership will look when it is completed on the northbound Interstate 35 access road.
go beside it, on the lot in front of Granzin’s Meat Market, De Leon said.
“We aren’t taking any shortcuts on this facility,” De Leon said. “It’s going to be a state-of-the-art store with plenty of parking and canopies to keep our customers out of the weather. It’ll come complete with all its own service facilities.
De Leon said the new dealership had been designed with its community in mind with a historic “Hill Country” look — landscaped lots, cut limestone facades and metal roofs.
“It will be a beautiful facility that will look really nice in New Braunfels,” De Leon said.
The Jeep has come a long way from its humble, ugly duckling World War II beginnings as a lightweight, all-purpose U.S. Army truck, essentially creating the class of sport utility vehicles it builds today under the own-See DEALER/5ABluebonnet CEO gives cash, land worth $600,000 to church
By Ron Maloney
When Bluebonnet Motors moves from the center of New Braunfels to Interstate 35, a $600,000 gift will allow breathing and growing room for Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church — something the parish needed but didn’t have.
Monsignor Eugene O’Callaghan, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church, said Friday Bluebonnet Motors owner and chief executive officer Clarence Kahlig was “awfully generous” in negotiating with the church for the property his North Seguin dealership now occupies.
“We’ve had a tremendous need for parking space,” Msgr. O’Callaghan said, “and we’ve had our people praying for a solution. Because of his great generosity, Mr. Kahlig bought the property and donated it to the church.”
The terms of the arrangement under which Kahlig bought the land from the Bennie Bock family were outlined by Msgr. O’Callaghan in a Feb. 29 letter to parishioners.
“Recently, the dramatic announcement of a gift of land and money of approximately $600,000 from Clarence Kahlig ... illuminated a new light of faith from theSee CHURCH/5A
City eyes tax rate increaseHike could mean $4 more on NB tax bill
By Heather Todd
New Braunfels City Council proposed a tax rate increase Monday night that could raise the average tax bill about $4.
City council set April 24 as the date for a public hearing on a proposed tax rate of $.32 per $100 valuation.
Council also approved the first reading of a proposed $20 million budget that includes spending $50,000 on VANSTORY downtown i rn pro ve-ments and $25,000 on media equipment and improvements for council chambers.
Both the tax rate and the budget will go before council for final approval May 8.
The $.32 tax rate would result in a city tax bill of $203.47 for an $80,000 home; with the current $.31312 tax rate, the tax bill is $199.
With the 32-cent tax rate, the city could get about $165,000 more in revenue ($3,455,206) than the effective tax rate of $.30783 per $100 valuation ($3,289,720). The effective tax rate generates the same amount of property tax revenue as the previous year.
The maximum allowable tax rate possible without triggering a rollback election is $.33125 per $100 valuation — a rate that would generate a tax bill of $211 for an $80,000 home.
The proposed $20 million budget was based on the effective tax rate of $.30783 per $100 valuation.
District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory proposed raising the tax rate to $.32 per $100 valuation because he believed the city relied too heavily on revenue from sales tax.
“I firmly believe that you getIn other ACTION
Also Monday, New Braunfels City Council:
• Tabled a decision on a resolution approving submission of a grant application for funding assistance from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for development of a hike and bike trail from the H-E-B Soccer Fields at Grape Avenue to the Little League Fields at Loop 337.
• Approved a resolution allocating funds from hotel/motel tax revenue to various arts groups.
• Approved a request to close the Main Plaza on May 4 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. for World Day of Prayer.
• Voted down motion approving the third and final reading of an ordinance declaring the unreasonable directing of light at a residence a nuisance.
• Approved the second reading of an ordinance rezoning a lot in Mission Forest Subdivision from R-3 Multifamily District to C-1A Neighborhood Business District.
what you pay for,” he said. “As a city, we need to balance out our portfolio. A large part of our portfolio is in sales tax, which is a volatile source of revenue. If the economy turns south, it won’t be there.
“If we don’t keep up with increased values, we’re going to put ourselves in a hole. And we are not going to able to provide basic services to our community.”
District 6 councilwoman Juliet Watson disagreed, saying she wanted to keep the city’s tax rate one of the lowest in the state.
“The bottom line is you try to be as efficient as you can be withSee COUNCIL/5AInside
Voters have until 7 p.m. to cast ballots in runoff races
Key Code 76
From staff reports
Residents can cast their votes in several runoff elections today until 7 p.m.
In the Democratic U.S. Senate runoff race, former state Rep. Charles Gandy of Austin faces retired Air Force lawyer Gene Kelly of Universal City. The winner will face incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison in the November general elections.
Republican candidates for the Comal County Pct. 4 constable race and three races for the Court of Criminal Appeals also will be decided today.
In county precincts 3,4,5,18,19 and 24, Comal County voters will decide whether
constable candidate J. Ronald “Star” Carey, a former military police officer, or Ben Scroggin, a retired senior Army officer, will face Democratic opponent Jim Sutton in the Nov. 7 general election.
Scroggin and Carey were the top vote-getters in a five-way primary race March 14.
Pct. 4 constable Bd Mullins did not file for re-election. The Pct. 4 constable position represents the Canyon Lake area.
In a five-way primary election March 14, Scroggin garnered 964 votes, or 32 percent.
and Carey got 897 votes, or 30 percent.
In the Republican runoff for Place I on the Court of Criminal Appeals, Charles Holcomb of Jacksonville is running against Guy Williams of Corpus Christi.
In the race for Place 2, San Antonian Barbara Parker Hervey is running against state District Judge Jim Wallace of Houston. The winner will face Democrat William Barr of Dallas in the November general election.
Tom Price and Sharon Keller, both from Dallas and currently sitting jurists on the court, are vying for the vacancy for presiding judge.SherifTs race highlights Guadalupe runoff races
Guadalupe County residents can cast their votes in today’s runoff election from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Republican primary runoff candidates are: Tom Tannehill and Arnold S. Zwicke for sheriff'; Roger Baenziger and John T. Brannan for commissioner, Pct. I; and Lavem E. “Vem” Taft and Eugene (Gene) Mayes for constable, Pct. 4. Precinct polling locations can be found at http://www.co.guadalupe.tx.us or by calling the elections office at (830) 303-6363.