New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 22, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
Volleyball teams prepare for busy weekend — Page 1B
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26 pages in three sections ■ Friday, August 22,1997
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of
Vol. 145, No. 202
Birthday wishos from tho NorahUottung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Jim McDonald, Sonya Breda (Saturday), Terri Haygood (Saturday), Candice Mdone (Saturday), John Orazen (61 years), Kathy Barr (Saturday), Milda Schneider, Ernesto Boldo (76 years), Lionel Lopez Jr. (Saturday), Stephanie Salazar (Saturday), Sara Ann Smith (IO years), Usa Schossow, Dale Edward Bailey (CSS Duluth) and Laura Jane Gonzales (15 years Saturday).
Happy anniversary wishes go to: Paul and Lorraine Sjubon (50 years) and Bobby and Sally Yoga (IO years).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Molds — 835 Pigweed —12
Ragweed —28 Grass —8
(Rotan measured in parts per cube meter ct tit. Information provided by Dr Frank Hampel.)
Comal River — 304 cfs, down 4 from Thursday
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 625.53 feet above sea level, down .05 from Thursday
Canyon Dam discharge — 504 cfs Canyon Lake inflow —not available (332 cfs Thursday)
Canyon Lake level — 910.06 feet above
sea level (Abovtcoreer
NOU reports pumping 6 877 million gal-lons of surface war Thursday and 4 304 million gallons df well water were
hack into forecast
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Tonight — Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the mid 70s. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday — Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms High in the mid 90s South wind 5-10 mph.
Sunday — Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Highs mainly in the 90s.
Monday and Tuwsday ■ Partly cloudy Lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Highs in the 90s
The high Thursday reached IOO degrees, but it felt a lot hotter — the heat index was cal culated at 106 degrees The low was 72 degrees
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The days for enjoying loca recreation attractions are winding down Th# Olympic Bool In
anda Park will be closed after Labor Day for the year. The pool is open from 11 am. to 7 p.m.
Th# Spring Fad Pool is
open on weekends from 11 a.m to 7 p.m.
Th# Tube Chut# at Unco Selma Park will be
closed after Labor Day. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p m Th# miniature fell pour ae now is only open from IO a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, call the parks department at 608-2160
now is open from 10 a m. to 6 p.m. weekdays at the Surfen burg section. The entire park is open from 10 a m. to 8 p.m. on weekends until Sept. 14.
For more information, call 625-2351.
County adopts $19.7 million budget
Spending plan calls for I-cent tax rate hike
By DENISE DZIUK
Comal County Commissioners unanimously approved on Thursday a $19.7 million budget for 1998 that calls for increased spending and a proposed tax increase of about I cent.
The 1998 budget includes $19,771,737 in
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— Commissioner Danny Scheel
spending, up from $17,744,758 last year. Revenue projects increased ftopi $ 16,030,785 in 1997 to a
projected $18,495,769 in 1998. The budget will be balanced with the remaining funds coming from the general hind, or the county’s savings account.
Commissioners said the approved budget was “good” and “solid.”
Although a tax rate will not be adopted until Sept. 4, the budget calls for a tax rate increase from 29.218 cents to 30.591 cents.
That means the tax bill for a home valued at $100,000 would increase by $13.73.
Commissioner Jack Dawson said more funds could be taken from the general reserves to avoid
the tax rate increase.
However, he said he could support the higher tax rate if the budget included five more patrol deputies, an animal control officer and a possible environmental enforcement investigator. He moved to include those items in the 1998 budget, but the motion failed for lack of a second.
“I think this budget is beautiful, and I think it’s very responsible,” he said. “I just think there’s a better way to fund it.”
Commissioner Danny Scheel said he did not Turn to County, Page 2A
Jail board OKs Comal expansion
Commission recommends addition of 191 beds
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Loading half gallons of lea cream Into a Btua Bal retd ga rand truck la nato Ramirez. Blus Ball’s attribution office on Farm to Marks! Road 306 la now opsn and attributing lea cream and othsr products to Maw Braunfels and tbs surrounding area.
Rep. Rodriguez fields constituents’ questions
By ABE LEVY
Charlotte Boyd wanted to know whether she qualified for deductions or other tax relief in the federal budget that the U.S. Congress passed recently.
Now that her two daughters, ages 38 and 40, have long since completed college degrees, she knows she doesn’t qualify for much.
“My children have had an education in col
lege. I don’t have any little oms, and I have a low salary job so I can’t get any capital gains credit,” said Boyd, 64.
So she asked U.S. Rep Oro D. Rodriguez during a public forum Thursday night at Lone Star Primary whether the new budget plan would help her.
“We helped your children,” he told her, referring to an item in the budget that gives people with dependents an additional $400 deduction.
Rodriguez fielded questions from about 20 people who attended the forum.
Questions from the public ranged from whether the District 28 representative supported labor unions to federal health care issues.
Rodriguez, who is from San Antonio, filled the unexpired term of the late Congressman Frank Tejeda in April. His district includes a section of' east New flqginfels.
Turn to Rodriguez,
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards gave Comal County the green light to expand its nearly overcrowded jail.
Jail administrator Jim Middleton said the state commission recommended expanding the current 145-bed jail.
Middleton said he sent a facilities need assessment report to the state jail commission recently.
“Their recommendation is that we add 191 more beds to (the jail),” Middleton said.
The jail population fluctuates from day to day. he said.
“We have a pretty good amount of people right now,” he “It has been at capacity or near capacity for 10 to 12 months.”
Historically, the county has been below the state average of 2.06 inmates per 1,000 residents. Middleton said. But that changed this year. The county currently has 2.5 inmates per I .OOO residents.
The swelling jail population can be attributed to county growth, Middleton said.
“The more people you have coming rn, you have more need for jails,” he said. "They (jail commissioners) are predicting because of the growth in the county, we w ill need more growth space by the 2006 ”
Middleton said based on the jail commission report, Comal County currently has 68,000 people. By 2000, that will jump to 76,000 and will increase to 93,000 bv 2006.
Middleton said the county would collect data from architectural firms on how to expand the jail. He said he would report to commissioners court at its Sept. 4 meeting.
Jack Crump, executive director of the commission, said he had been talking to Comal County officials this month about the jail.
“We did a needs analysis for this year,” Crump said. “It was based on the growth of the general population and incarceration (rates).*’
Crump said the 191 more beds would make the jail capacity total 336 beds.
Commissioners give OK to pool report
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Comal County made its first splash toward getting an indoor swimming pool Thursday when commissioners court voted to accept the report by the indoor swimming pool committee.
The committee studied the feasibility of an indoor swimming pool for five months. It recommended in the report that an indoor pool was needed.
“There is only one swimming pool open to die public in the county,” said County Engineer Tom Homseth, referring to the Lamia Park Olympic Swimming Pool. Homseth served as committee chairman. “There are no other pools open to the public.”
Homseth said the indoor pool was needed for year-round instruction, fitness and competitions for youth, senior citizens and school children.
“There is no instructional swimming offered to any students within the county," Homseth said.
At the Lamia Park Olympic pool, the city of New Braunfels offers instructional programs and supports the Lamia Park Dolphins Swim Team. Approximately 300 youths participate in the l amia Park Dolphins and the New Braunfels Aquatic Club.
“The swim teams say they can expand and that they could handle more people,” Homseth said The committee report recommends that an indoor facility be able fp seat at least 300 spectators and accommodate temporary seating for 2,500 spectators. The
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Lift anis and lanrhai arara among tight vttdnp Mar h ara from Jtlsp*. Varacvuz Maiden, who partttpMad in a tsschsrs axe bange program with Comal Independent Behoot DMricL Teachers from OSO Witt be traveling Id Ma rim next school veer.
Homeowners benchmark rate going up 14.2 percent
AUSTIN (AP) — A key factor in determining how much Texas homeowners pay for insurance is going up by more than 14 percent next year.
Texas Insurance Commissioner Elton Bonier on Thursday said he w as reluctant to allow the statew ide homeowners insurance benchmark nse, but added that the 14.2 percent increase is justified. It takes effect Feb. I.
The statewide benchmark is an average of benchmarks set in 23 insurance rating territories across the state Insurance companies can set their rates from 30 percent below to 30 percent above the benchmark in the areas they cover.
A rise in the homeowners statewide benchmark likely signals insurance rate increases.
“Policyholders should remember that rates vary widely across the state and from company to company, and they should shop around for the best deals available,’* Bonner said.
TDI staff had recommended a 14.8 percent increase to the statewide homeowners benchmark.
That came after insurance companies and consumer advocates recommended rate increases from 4.4 percent up to 15.9 percent.
Jerry Johns, president of Southwestern Insurance Information Service, an industry group, said severe weather patterns continue to spark increases.
“Computer models indicate that rapid growth in home construction across Texas makes the potential for weather-related losses greater.... each year,” Johns said. “If insurers do not have rates sufficient to pay claims for those hit by severe weather, the market in Texas could constrict, creating a dramatic problem of insurance availability in this state” Dan Lambe, program director for Texas Citizen Action, a government watchdog group, said he doesn’t think the increases are justified.
“It’s a serious blow to Texas consumers,” he said. “They (insurance companies) know how to work the numbers.”
The news, however, was better for renters. Bomer approved a 7 percent cut to the statewide tenants insurance benchmark.Eagle Scout candidate helps restore state's oldest Lutheran church — Page 6A