New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 1, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
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AUGUST 1, 2004
Barry Shadrock brings vibrant landscapes and still lites to New Braunfels Art League Gallery for one-man show. Page IC
SPORTS READY TO RUM
Amorretta Crayton competes in Hershey's National Track and Field meet, hopes to make varsity as CHS freshman. Page IB
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 225 26 pages, 2 sections
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Toll roads pave way for areas future transportation
By Ron Maloney
It’s looking more and more like that new road that someday will whisk drivers around New Braunfels or into Bexar County from Bulverde will be a toll road.
Comal County officials,
faced with the realities of reduced state and federal funding for new highways — and unfrinded legislation that shifts much of the burden to local governments — are beginning to study the idea of creating a Regional Mobility Authority (RMA).
In recent public meetings
and a Texas Department of Transportation report on progress on the U.S. 281 reconstruction presented to commissioners a couple weeks ago, it is becoming clear motorists will be expected to pay more directly the costs of building additional highway capacity.
TxDOT Engineer Judy Friesenhahn, planning director for the U.S. 281 project, envisions an interstate-style road through Comal County. If the much-needed work is to be done within the next quarter century, Friesenhahn told commissioners the main lanes would have to be toll
roads offering through traffic a faster run into Bexar County for between 12 and 15 cents per mile.
This summer, commissioners are anxiously awaiting results of a preliminary TxDOT study of the feasibility of building an outer loop around New Braunfels. One
vision for that road is that it could speed traffic from Canyon Lake or the interior of the county south toward San Antonio — without driving down Texas 46 to Loop 337.
No funding exists for that See ROADS, Page 5A
City names 3 citizens to new river task force
By Scott Mahon
Hoping to find a permanent solution to overcapacity tubers on the Comal River, the New Braunfels City Council has appointed a task force of nine people to study the issue.
Mayor Adam Cork recommended appointing a task force triter council took stop-gap measures in June to control the number of tubers on the river.
For a few weekends this summer, the Guadalupe River was closed to most recreation, flooding the Comal with tubers and creating traffic problems.
“We feel comfortable with the way we handled things,” City Manager Chuck Pinto said. “It may not have been ideal, but it worked.”
Council agreed on measures to avoid overcapacity crowds on the Carnal River, but Cork recommended appointing a task force to consider permanent solutions.
“I wanted to propose a task force to aggressively review the policies and options on limiting the number of people that get into the Comal River,” Cork said.
Last week, council appointed three citizens, including Dr. Kathleen Rockwood, Kevin Webb and Wilton Warnecke Jr.
Council will also appoint a representative from the parks department, the police department, the sheriff’s office and an elected county official to the task force.
Webb, formerly general manager for Rockin’ R River Rides, said his experience would be beneficial to the task force.
“I grew here, and learned how to swim on the Comal River,” he said. “But crowd capacity on the river has to be addressed. I’d think we’d want to look at river management plans, because a lot of places have river management plans.”
Asked if he would support banning the use of alcohol on the river, Webb said
See RIVER, Page 5A
Firefighters educate children in community out-reach demonstrations.
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Raising a red flag
Residents say row of mailboxes causes safety hazard
Photos by MAMOY REARY / Herald-Zeitung
Residents along JDJ Ranch Road stand by their mailboxes, located at the intersection of Farm Road 2722. The postal service wants to replace the boxes with a ''cluster" box, but residents want individual boxes at the end of their driveways.
(Top) Sheri McCrory checks her mail on her way home from work. (Above) A UPS truck squeezes its way through JDJ Ranch Road as residents park along the sides of the street to check their mail.
By Ron Maloney
CANYON LAKE — Herodotus said it first when he described how King Xerxes sent a message home in 480 B.C., and everyone knows the saying adopted as a motto by the postal service and carved over the entrance to New York’s central post office.
“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
That might be true — as long as a postal patron doesn’t expect the mail to come to the door.
More and more, Americans are finding
the postal service wants them to pick up their mail at a centralized area — or even the post office — to reduce the number of stops mail carriers must make.
Residents of JDJ Ranch Estates off FM 2722 are finding that out, aren't happy about it and are trying to fight it, they say, on safety grounds.
Now, they use a haphazard collection of mailboxes alongside JDJ Drive, on a blind curve on a hill just off FM 2722, a situation they say—and county officials agree — is very unsafe.
They hired an engineer who studied the situation and concluded that the existing situation is unsafe.
See MAILBOXES Page 7A
NBU expects revunues, expenses to increase 6 percent
By Scott Mahon
Revenues for New Braunfels Utilities are projected to increase 6 percent in 2005, fueled in part by electric and water/sewer meta- growth that continues at annual pace of 3 percent The board of trustees of the city-owned utility approved
the fiscal year 2005 operating plan Thursday.
The budget includes total revenues of $81.8 million, 6 percent higher than 2004. Expenses for 2005 total $74.9 million, also 6 percent more than 2004.
“The increases for 2005 reflect necessary increases for additional staffing, administrative services and operating
costs related to growth,” said Paula DiFonzo, chief executive officer.
DiFonzo said the utility planned a capital budget of $12 million.
During fiscal year 2004, NBU issued $10 million in revenue bonds for electric, water and wastewater systems.
The 2005 financial operating plan included a debt
issuance strategy over the next three years.
“NBU plans are to issue $5 million in bonds in 2005, $5 million in 2006 and a $10 million bond issue in 2007,” she said.
DiFonzo said growth in and around New Braunfels remained steady.
Sea MDU. Page 5A