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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 25, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas VIV NEWtBRA&BNFELS Mnnq v-o/22/qq 2033C mcwpuw-1 SI- Seuu BR EL PPI SO TX 7Herald-Zeitung Vol. 148, No. 199 ZZ pages in Z sections August 25, 1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 centsY2K forum reveals confidence in business, concern for residents By Heather Todd Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY — Local businesses and utility providers might be prepared for Jan. 1, 2000, but the majority of Comal County could be left in the dark, several local residents said Tuesday night. About 20 residents turned out for the Comal County Y2K Forum at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative auditorium to get answers to pressing questions about the year 2000 issue. Representatives from several utility providers and financial institutions, includ ing New Braunfels Utilities, the Lower Colorado River Authority and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, gave an overview of the steps being taken to prepare for the new millennium. Joane Rylander, Y2K coordinator for the LCRA, said the company had two plans, including testing and checking all computer and electronic equipment and developing a contingency plan. The LCRA is a wholesale provider of power to local companies, such as NBU and Pedemales Electric Cooperative Inc. “We will be ready. We expect to provide reliable service and don’t expect any major problems, but if there are, we will be ready to respond,” Rylander said. Resident Mary Dee said preparing businesses would only solve half of the problem. “I am encouraged by what you are saying, but we have a serious problem. Look at the crowd here tonight. Not that many people are interested. As citizens, we need to make people more aware of what they need to do to prepare, such as getting food and water,” she said. Christina Smith with the American Red Cross of Comal County said the organization was providing a free checklist brochure to residents to help them prepare for Y2K. “We are preparing for this as we would for any impending disaster,” she said. Recommended steps included: • Checking with manufacturers of any essential computer-controlled electronic equipment, such as fire and security alarms, appliances, and electronic locks; • Stocking disaster supplies to last several days or weeks; • Keeping extra cash or traveler’s checks on hand; • Keeping your car gas tank above half full; • Planing to use alternative cooking devices; and • Having extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves to keep warm. Robert Hunt with GVTC also advised residents to check with manufacturers or vendors of cordless telephones to make sure they will work. Smith said residents could contact the American Red Cross office at 606-1999 for more information.See Y2K/5A County wants public’s input on its budget By Heather Todd Staff Writer Comal County Commissioners could adopt a 2000 budget Thursday that includes a 6-cent tax rate increase and a 5 percent pay raise for elected officials. A public hearing on the proposed budget will - begin    IO    a.m.    at    the Public Hearing WHAT: Comal County 2000 budget WHERE: Commissioners’ Court meeting room, third floor, courthouse annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday Commissioners’ Court meeting room on the third floor of the court-house annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. Commissioners will not adopt the budget until after a second hearing at 5:15 p.m. Thursday. Comal County Judge Danny Scheel filed the proposed budget on Aug. 13. It is available for public inspection at the county clerk's office on the first floor of the courthouse, the county tax office, the Dittlinger Memorial Library. Bulverde Public Library and Tye Preston Library. Scheel proposed a 2000 tax rate of $.324 — up from $.318 this year. For the ow ner of an average home, taxes would increase by $9.90, or 4.4 percent, compared w ith the 1999 rate The average home in Comal County was valued at $88,438 in 1999, with a tax bill of $225. The average home in 2(XX) would have an estimated value of $90,567 and a county tax bill of $234, based on the proposed tax rate. lite 20(H) budget also reflects more than $700,000 more in total expenditures. Expenditure projections totaled $23,968,066 and revenues were projected at $24,353,476. Expenditures in 1999 totaled $23,253,946, with $21,432,731 in revenues. County Auditor David Renken said most of the increase in revenue came from a projected increase of $900,(RK) in property' taxes, $750,(KH) in revenue from leasing space in the newly expanded jail and a $500,(HX) increase in sales tax collections. The proposed budget would give county employees a 3 percent cost of living raise in January. Employees will be eligible for 4 percent merit raises in July. Commissioners also will consider giving themselves and other elected officials a 5 percent pay raise.See BUDGET/5A Inside Abby.......................... ......7 A Classifieds.................... .7-12B Comics........................ ......2B Crossword................... ......7A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro.................. ......4A Movies......................... ......7A Obituaries..................... ......3A Sports........................... .8-10A Today........................... ......2A Television..................... 2B Key Code 76 WA! Ll/Herakl-Zeitung Evelyn Coker displays newsletters from the World War ll Memorial Fund organization. The New Braunfels resident is a charter member of the memorial’s fund drive. Charter donor encourages others to support World War ll memorial By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer A local woman was one of the first in the country to give money to fund a World War ll memorial almost two years ago. New Braunfels resident Evelyn Coker, widow of a World War ll veteran, is anxious to see the fruits of her donations. The World War ll Memorial Society has raised more than half of the $100 million needed to build its memorial in Washington, D C., but time is running out, Coker said. “One thousand (World War ll) veterans are dying a day,” she said. “They’re afraid there won’t be any veterans left.” Coker’s husband, a World War ll veteran, died in 1985. “My husband was in World War ll and served in both fronts Europe and Japan,” she said. “And —  ...... I just felt like I should do something.” Others have joined her — 325,000 citizens have donated $19 million, according to the WW1I Memorial Society’s newsletter. Corporations have donated $28 million, and foundations, veterans groups and states, including Texas, have donated $ 12 million. About $40 million still is needed. See MEMORIAL/5A   JNBCA Above, New Braunfels Christian Academy senior Ben Engel applauds during Tuesday’s orientation session. Right, Tonja (left) and Tony Perez discuss curriculum with math teacher Karen Buchanan (right). WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung heads westChristian school begins classes at T Bar M today By Heather Todd Staff Writer High school students at New Braunfels Christian Academy will make history when they return to classes today. In a rustic log cabin surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Texas Hill Country, 32 students will begin the 1999-2000 school    year at I Bar M --Sportscamp. Don’t forget to The move slow down In helped accom-school zones    modate a boost in — Page2A    high school --enrollment — up from 21 students last year. The new campus also will accommodate a graduating senior class — the first in school history. Stefanie Powell, high school office administrator, said the campus would have two graduating seniors this year. “They’re our pioneers,” she said. Representing half the school’s new senior class, senior Ben Engel said changing history was both exciting and challenging. “It’s such a unique thing, but it also comes w ith a lot of responsibility. You’re plowing a path for others to follow,” he said. Engel spent the past two years at the Christian school after attending C anyon High School as a freshman. Engel said he was excited about the prospect of spending his senior year at the T Bar M campus. “I love the surroundings. I think all the students are excited about it. We have a lot of athletic students who are involved in sports, so I think it’ll help meet those needs. I think other students like it because it’s quiet. “So it really meets everyone’s needs.” T Bar M, 2459 Texas 46 West, is about five minutes west of the Christian school. All elementary and middle school students resumed classes this morning at the original campus at 995 Mission Hills Drive. The high school now occupies one existing cabin in a secluded area of the sportscamp. The cabin is divided into four classrooms and one office, w ith restroom facilities for boys and girls. The Christian school employs five teachers at the high school campus who will teach classes under a rotating block schedule this year. Powell said the classrooms were divided by subject, with students in different grade levels mixed according to their educational needs. “We try to place the students in classes according to what they need in order to graduate,” she said. “Sometimes students come from other schools with different educational backgrounds.” Karen Buchanan, a math teacher, said she believed the move would be beneficial to students and staff. “I think the natural setting is really motivating and good for the spirit,” she said. “I think the teachers are all very excited about the recreational and educational opportunities here.” Powell said the transition to T Bar M was a yearlong planning project. “In terms of the work, the last few weeks we have really been busy moving things over,” she said. Buchanan said the transition to the new campus was easy. “We didn't miss a beat. We just moved all our textbooks and supplies over w ithout a hitch,” she said. Administrator Marcia Wall said T Bar M would serve as an “interim” facility for the next one to three years until a larger site or land could be found. Powell said administrators then would buy land or another facility' to house a second campus. New Braunfels C hristian Academy enrolled more than 400 students this school year. The school has experienced steady growth since expanding its campus to the high school level in 1997. The school opened to ninth- and lOth-grade students in the 1997-98 school year and added 11 th grade the following year. ;