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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, April 11, 2001

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 11, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Council to ask 4B board for parkland funds By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council will ask the Infrastructure/Improvement Corp. to buy parkland and improve parts of Gruene Road. Council voted Monday night to ask the board for $500,000 to buy parkland when it becomes available. After a group of citizens described problems on Gruene Road, council also agreed to ask the board for $100,000 this year to begin the project and $500,000 next year. New Braunfels Infrastructure/Improvement Corp., known as the 4B board for its enabling legislation, oversees a portion of the city’s sales tax revenues. David Hochanadel, president of the Gruene Homeowners Association, presented a brief slideshow highlighting problems on Gruene Road. “Gruene Road from FairyOther Action In other action Monday, Council: • Accepted a bid for Camp Comal softball field lights for $177,400 from Heritage Lighting. • Approved a bid for downtown lighting in the amount of $22,754. • Approved a bid for the Sophienburg to buy the steel shelving at the Dittlinger Memorial Library for $3,000. •Approved a bid for resurfacing the airport runways and making several other improvements. The FAA and Texas Department of Transportation will pay 90 percent of the $1.3 million price tag. The city’s share is 10 percent. Lane to downtown Gruene has deteriorated badly,” Hochanadel said. “It is serious and in immediate needSee COUNCIL/3A _    WEDNESDAY New Braunfels    April    11,2001 "HHT"    16    pages    in    2    sectionsHerald-Zeitung I 7' '■ ;: V:-'1 .../A--?-;-’    1    %,.....-.............--Vol. ISO, No. 129    Serving    New    Braunfels    and    Comal    County    since    1852    SO    cents Unicom junior Jim Sells brushes his knee on the pole as he vaults Tuesday afternoon at the District 27-4A Track and Field Meet at New Braunfels High School. For more information on the meet, see the related story on Page 7A. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung NB searching for attorney, engineer By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer New Braunfels city staff is working to fill an empty desk and another one that will be vacated on Friday. The city of New Braunfels is searching for a city engineer weeks after firing CA Bolner, and Friday is City Attorney Floyd Akers’ last day on the job. He accepted a position in Bryan as the municipal court judge. City Manager Mike Shands said the city hoped to have both positions filled by the end of May. “We’ve received, oh, half a dozen applications (for city engineer),” he said Tuesday. “We haven’t even started going through them yet. We’ll probably be scheduling interviews next week, though.” Bolner was fired in March, and Shands declined to comment on the dismissal. He said it was similar to an “amicable” divorce. Bolner said he was frustrated because the city failed to plan for the drainage and street projects. He told the Herald-Zeitung he was asked to resign and refused. Several upcoming street and drainage projects will require a city engineer, and Shands said the city hoped to have someone on the job by the end of April. ‘We’re looking for someone who has municipal experience, someone who has a strong background in street and drainage projects,” See SEARCH/3A Inside Abby.......................... ......5A Classifieds................... ...5-8B Comics........................ ......2B Crossword.................. ......5A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro.................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......5A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports......................... ..7-8A Today........................... ......2A Stocks............................ 5A Key Code 76 Action on GBRA request clarified Track and field Snake bite safety K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung The Western Diamond Back rattlesnake, shown at the Snake Farm, can jump half its body length, making the longer snakes more dangerous. Jim Wetz, of the Snake Farm, said the best advice is just to “stay out of reach.” Girl, IO, has close encounter with snake in Landa Park By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer For Tiffany Villarreal, a fun picnic in Landa Park nearly turned into a scary trip to McKenna Memorial Hospital. The 10-year-old girl and her family visited Landa Park Tuesday during a trip from Corpus Christi to San Antonio. She was standing beside the water on the paddleboat dock when a snake slithered out of the water and struck at her twice. “It actually bit her twice,” said Rudy Villareal, the girl’s uncle. “There wasn’t really a puncture wound, but we called the ambulance to check her out just in case.” Ambulance crews and park officials crowded around the site, checking the banks for the snake. Shaun Heavey, superintendent of the park rangers at Landa Park, said the snake was harmless. “The boathouse manager said it was a harmless water snake,”Avoiding bites - How to avoid being bitten by a snake: • Be careful in high grass; use sticks to avoid stepping on snakes. • Keep all junk — such as rotten wood — out of the yard. • Keep lawn mowed. • Be careful around landscaped areas where there is mulch. • Use caution around riverbanks and under houses. • If a snake bites you, don’t reach down and get bitten again. Stay calm. Go directly to the hospital to be treated. Heavey said. In the springtime, snakes — many of which are poisonous — are crawling around, enjoying the sun and warm weather as much as the rest of the Landa Park visitors Close encounters with snakes at the park are rare, said Iris Nef-fendorf, director of parks and recreation for New Braunfels. In the IO years she has worked at the department, no one has ever been truly bitten. ‘People have seen them, of course,” she said. “Especially this time of year, you see them sunbathing all the time on the banks. But if you stay away from them, generally they leave you alone.” Tam Welch, one of the members of the ambulance crew who responded to the scene, said the family decided not to take her to the hospital. He said no puncture wound was found and the child was in no real danger. Villareal said, “We wanted her to be checked out, just to be safe. Ifs a long drive back to Corpus Christi, and we don’t want to be surprised on the way.”See SNAKE/3A By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council usually approves minutes from previous meetings without comment, but Monday night, the minutes sparked some of the heaviest debate. Council spent more than 20 minutes arguing about the March 26 minutes regarding a proposed Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority permit amendment District 5 Councilman Lee Rodriguez asked that the minutes be clarified because he did not mean to request a contested case hearing. He provided the second to a motion by District 6 Councilwoman Juliet Watson. Watson said the intent in her motion was “perfectly clear.” “I typed up the comments and questions,” she said. “You had them. I put a star by the contested case hearing. It was obvious that I wanted that included as part of the comments and questions at the GBRA public hearing.” GBRA conducted a public meeting on March 29 to discuss the proposed amendment to its permit. Watson strongly opposes the permit, which would take more water out of Canyon Lake. Some of the water — about 16,000 acre-feet — would be sold to Bexar County. An acre foot is about 325,000 gallons. The Texas Nat-u r a I Resource Conservation Corn in i s s i o n plans to WATSON vote on the amendment, or approve requests for a contested case hearing, on May 9. Watson said Monday, “I even used extra-large print. I am very disappointed that somehow you all changed your mind. There was nothing hidden on my part.” Rodriguez and Mayor Stoney Williams spoke at the GBRA hearing, saying the city did not intend to request a contested case hearing. Rodriguez told the GBRA that Watson was not speaking for the entire council. “When I seconded the motion, it was not my intent to ask for a contested case hearing,” Rodriguez said Monday night. “I wanted only the comments and questions, not the request. It was not part of my motion.” Other councilmembers — including District 2’s Larry Alexander and District l’s Juan Luis Martinez — also said they did not understandSee CLARIFIED/3A ;