New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 8, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
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AUGUST 8, 2004
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Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 231 28 pages, 4 sections
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Property values rise 9.7 percent over 2003
By Scott Mahon and Ron Maloney
According to the Comal Appraisal District, the average appraised market value of residential homesteads in Comal County increased 9.7 percent, from $136,749 in 2003 to $150,053 this year.
After exemptions, the average taxable value of residential homesteads increased 9.4 percent, from $109,653 to $120,019.
“That includes everything from a mobile home to a
HOW TO FILE A PROTEST
■ File a written protest including owner s name, property to be protested, state merit of dissatisfaction with appraisal district's decision.
■ File protest by May 31 or no later than 30 days after the appraisal district mailed a notice of appraised value, whichever is later.
■ lf you don t file a notice of protest before the ARB approves the appraisal records, you lose your right to protest. You also lose the right to file a lawsuit.
$1 million home,” said Lynn Rodgers, CAD chief appraiser.
The market value of a homeowner’s residence on Oak Forest Drive was appraised at $160,280 this year, $1,790 more than its appraised value in 2003.
The market value of a homeowner’s residence on Cross Street was appraised at $54,140 this year, $2,650 more than its appraised value in 2003.
“For the past several years, most
homes in the district have increased in appraised value because of the appreciating residential market," Rodgers said.
Although the two homes are both within the New Braunfels city limits but geographically miles apart, tile difference in the amount the appraised values increased stemmed from a variety of factors, including the values of similar properties nearby.
“But you can’t necessarily compare your home to a neighbor’s home, because your neighbor’s home may be older or smaller,” Rodgers said. “In order to compare your appraised value to another home’s value, they have to be comparable properties.” Tile Comal Appraisal District is responsible for setting property values at IOO percent of market value.
Appraisals are based on demand, values of similar properties nearby, prices realized in recent sales and other factors.
See VALUES, Page 3A
study, more action on water quality
By Brandi Grissom
The grass in Ray Kottler’s lawn is that lush, vivid kelley green that invites visitors to kick off their shoes and feel the cool blades on the bottoms of their feet.
“I’ve been here, this is my lith year, and everybody who comes here from San Antonio says how green the grass is,” said Kottler. ‘“Do you use fertilizer?’ I say, ‘No.’ I, personally, know of no one who uses fertilizer on this part of the lake.”
Some years, when Kottler looks out the windows from his house on the banks of Lake Dunlap, he sees water almost as green as his lawn. That water, he said, is the not-so-secret ingredient for his
"When I moved here, I asked one of my neighbors, ‘What’s good along the river?’ lie said, ‘You don’t treed fertilizer. Just use the lake water.'”
Water in Lake Dunlap is rich in phosphorus, a chemical nutrient that encourages root growth in plants, like
Kottler’s grass and the algae that tunis the water a matching shade of green.
Kottler is a member of Preserve Lake Dunlap Association. While phosphorus is good for his lawn, Kottler, PLDA members and others downstream from New Braunfels Utilides' North and South Kuehler wastewater
Council considers aborting fairgrounds appraisal
By Scott Mahon
Because the Comal County Fairgrounds property will either be designated a city park, or donated to the Comal County Fair Association, New Braunfels Mayor Adam Cork said it would be pointless to appraise the property.
After a land-swap deal was proposed by Schlitterbahn President Gary Henry, council members hired the San Antonio real estate appraisal firm of Dugger, C^anaday, Grafe to appraise the fair
Henry wanted to swap a 41 -acre parcel for the city’s 30-acre fairgrounds property to guarantee off-site parking for Schlitterbahn patrons.
The city leases the fairgrounds property to the Comal County Fair Association, which in turn leases it to Schlitterbahn for parking.
On July 26, council members voted to put a petition to designate the property a city park on the November ballot and also to donate the property—with
See COUNCIL, Page 3A
AT A GLANCE
■ What: New
Braunfels City Council
■ When: 6 30 p.m., Aug. 9
■ Where: Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave
In other business, council will:
■ Convene the first public hearing relating to the proposed 2005 budget and proposed tax rate.
■ Hear the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the 2005 budget
■ Consider the first reading of an ordinance to levy taxes for the 2005 budget and debt service
■ Ratify action taken June 18 to place Proposition 13 on the Nov 2 ballot
■ Approve a resolution ordering a special election on Nov. 2 to vote on
designating the Comal County Fairgrounds a city park
■ Approve a resolution ordering a special election on Nov. 2 to vote on prohibiting aluminum beverage containers while on or in river, lakes and streams within the city limits
■ Discuss nonannex-aton agreements
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River just downstream from where New Braunfels Utilities discharges water from its treatment plants.
The Canyon Regional Water Authority provides water from Lake Dunlap to the following communities:
■ Green Valley
■ East Central
■ Spring Hill
■ Crystal Clear
■ County Line
A study by a Southwest Texas State University professor (now Texas State University - San Marcos) took samples from five sites along the Guadalupe River and Lake Dunlap (represented by the gray dots) it concluded that higher concentrations of phosphorus downstream of the New Braunfels Utilites wastewater treatment plant contributed to algae growth on the lake.
treatment plants say the phosphorus level is bad for the lake. They are demanding NBU take action to limit phosphorus discharged from its plants. Together, the two plants release about 5 million gallons of water into a Guadalupe River tributary just upstream from the lake.
BATTLE BREWING SINCE 2002
Since 2002, PLDA and others have been asking the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to amend NBU’s water quality permit renewal for the South Kuehler plant to include phosphorus limits.
Dr. Alan Groeger is an aquatic biologist at Texas State University in San Marcos. PLDA hired him to study nutrient levels in Lake Dunlap.
"Our research has shown that Lake Dunlap water is highly phosphorus limited,” Groeger said. “It means phosphorus is a primary limiting resource for plant growth. That’s what is controlling the
See LANE, Page 5A
LAKE DUNLAP WATER WOES
First in a fivegart series examining the fight between the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association and New Braunfels Utilities.
■ TODAY: The issue — What NBU opponents say is wrong with the water
■ TUESDAY: The
science — Studies examine amount of phosphorus and its significance
The defense — Plant upgrade costs too much and might not work
* THURSDAY: The
next steps — Litigation means solution isn t near
« FRIDAY: Final thoughts — Bod) sides lerteiate wfiat
Lake’s green nothing to envy
Ray Kottler tours the Guadalupe
Local law enforcement aflfkfoli ijfflt your help in tracking down