New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 26, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
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10 pages in one section ■ Tuesday, August 26,1997
Serving Comal County and surrounding
Vol. 145, No. 204
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more than 145 years ■ Home of Barbara Gray
Birthday wilful from ho HoraM Ztettunql
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Betty Council, David looney, Seferino Torres, Bar-Nura Gray, Gertrude Teinert (89 years), Ryan Stange (6 years), Matt Noble, Gene Alves ITO years). Isaiah Rosales (2 years belated), Arnold Fettner (belated), Domingo Padilla (80 years) and Isabel P. Rodriguez.
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here. call 625-9144.
Molds —1,752 Ragweed — 14 Pigweed —8 Grass—8
(PoNen measured m parts par cube meter of air. Information provided by Dr Frank Hampel)
Comal River — 304 cubic feet per second, same as Monday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon We* — 625.52 feet above sea level, down 03 from Monday.
Canyon Dam discharge — 465 cfs Canyon Lake inflow — not available Canyon Lake level — 909 4 feet above sea level. (Above conservation pool.)
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NBU reports pumping 7.345 mtfron gallons of surface water Monday and 1.712 muon gallons of well water.
to stay hot Tonight — Clear Low in the lower 70s. Southeast wind 5-10 mph.
Wadnosday — Partly cloudy and hot, High in the mid 90s Southeast wind 10-15 mph.
Thursday — Partly cloudy. High in the 90s Friday — Partly cloudy. Lows in the 70s Highs in the 90s to near 100.
Saturday — Partly cloudy with a chance of afternoon and evening showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the 70s. Highs in the 90s.
The high Monday reached 92 degrees with the low at 65 degrees.
Blatch for 1-35 worfc
Texas Department of Transportation work crews are continuing construction of additional lanes to Interstate 35 between New Braunfels and Schertz. Numerous exits will be closed, but traffic lanes should remain open.
Crews also will be applying a new overlay on 1-35. Northbound lanes through New Braunfels will be reduced to one lane.
Disaster sssistsnc# deadline approaches
The deadline for applying for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is quickly approaching. Comal County was declared a disaster area after flooding earlier this summer. Residents have until Sept. 5 to register for aid. For information, call 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
AO Moral** coming to sign THad pact
Texas Attorney General Dan Morales will be at the Senior Citizen Center Thursday at 3:15 p.m. to sign the Triad pact with Sheriff Bob Holder. Dignitaries from the county, city of New Braunfels and city of Garden Ridge will be on hand.
Things ars really tight out there. It’s Just a crowded
— Comal ISD Superintendent Jerry MSjor
OSD looks for room
The hells of Smithson Vs!ley High School between school hee exceeded its capacity of 1,500 students.
HerakJ-Zertung photos by Michael Damall
ie like being on s busy rush-hour freeway. The
As SVHS bursts at seams, trustees debate next step
By DENISE DZIUK
When the bell rings, more than a thousand students crowd the narrow hallways and commons area of Smithson Valley High School.
Portable buildings are strategically placed around the main building as school administrators try to make the most of limited space.
Enrollment at the west Comal County high school already has surpassed the building's capacity — as of Thursday, 1,541 students were enrolled on a campus built with a capacity of 1,500 students.
Comal Independent School District superintendent Jerry Major said nanow hallways and limited classroom space continue to become more cramped and the cafeteria, restrooms and library all are being taxed.
“Things are really nght out there,” he said. “It’s just a crowded place."
SVHS’s infrastructure was designed for about 1,200 to 1,300 students when classes started in 1988, SVHS principal Dan Gcroy said. However, the campus can
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accommodate up to 1,500 students.
The current enrollment has the school “bursting at the seams,” he said.
Walking the hallways between classes has turned into a game of “bumper bodies.” and faculty and administrators line the halls to make sure students pass with little incident.
“It’s annoying because some people will stand in the middle of the hall talking to friends and it makes it almost impossible to get by them.” said senior Ashley Kuhn.
Senior Justin Whitney said there needed to be a better route for students to get from one class to another, and that would take major renovations.
Geroy said school administrators already urge students via the school intercom to use different routes or
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Students at Smithson Valley High School think fast on their feet to make their way through the crowded halfway.
walk outside the building.
“It’s kind of like going to work,” said assistant principal Sandy Hancock. “We encourage them to take an alternate route.”
Class space also has become scarce. Classes are being conducted in conference rooms, the commons arca and in a room intended to be the attendance office.
CISD trustees appointed a Long-Range Planning Committee in January' to look at growth throughout the district. The committee recognized the crowding problem that has existed at SVHS for the past couple of years and recommended, among other things, that a new high school be built on the western side of the district. However, not everyone
Turn to SVHS, Page 2
County accepts jail report with little opposition
Commissioners say they want to be prepared for future
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Comal County officials, saying they did not want to be caught off guard when it came to expanding the county jail, accepted a jail expansion report Monday.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards has recommended the county expand the 145-bed jail by 191 beds within nine years. Under that recommendation. the county jail could have a total of 336 beds by 2006.
Commissioner Jack Dawson said it was time to start thinking about the jail’s expansion plans.
“I think we should go w ith w hat the jail commission recommended, because I trust its judgment explicitly,” Daw son said . “It is a future forecast, and it (expansion) will help the citizens of Comal County without having to put up with this expense for 20 years if we do it now
The county requested that architectural firms submit proposals for the jail expansion. Commissioners will hear architectural presentations at their meeting Sept. 4.
Jail administrator Jim Middleton said any expansion of the jail needed to meet long-term needs, not short-term.
“Any public facility, you need to look at 20 years down the road." Middleton said.
Middleton said preliminary estimates place the expansion at about S3 million.
County Judge Carter Casteel said final costs would depend on w hat commissioners hear from the architect's presentation Sept. 4.
“What they advise us in terms of costs will be the guiding light.” Casteel said “We are talking around the comer. we don't want to get behind the 8-ball.”
One hundred twenty-six inmates were being held in the county jail Monday. When 30 to 40 prisoners are allowed on weekends for weekend commitments and work release programs, the prison population increases to 156 to 166, greater than the maximum capacity of 145 beds.
The jail expansion w ill mean hiring more officers, Middleton said. The jail currently has 36 otficers on duty. The jail administrator said 12 more officers and one clerical position would be added and phased in over a nine-year period.
A projected $2 million would be required to operate the jail in 1998.
■ The Texae Commission on Jail Standard© has recommended to Comal County that it expand its jail capacity from 145 to 336 bads by 2006, which would be 191 more beds.
■ Preliminary estimates put the county jail expansion at $3 million.
■ Expanding the county jail would mean an additional $500,000 in expenses over a nine-year period for officers' salaries, utilities, food and medical costs.
■ The county would have to hire an additional 12 more officers and one more clerical person to the county jail staff. The county now has a staff of 36 officers at the county jail.
With expansion would come increased operational costs for officers' salaries, utilities, food and medical costs, which would mean an additional expense of about $500,000 during a nine-year period. Middleton said.
The county jail gets money from the federal government to house federal pnsoners when space is available. The county was projected to get S500.CMX) from the federal government this year.
Sheriff Bob Holder said every bit of the money from the federal government helped.
“What really is helpful is subsidies for (federal) pnsoners keep costs to taxpay ers down," Holder said.
Figures provided by Middleton showed the inmate population would increase dramatically over the next nine years. In 2000, the projected inmate population would be at 221: 247 in 2003: and 272 rn 2006.
Commissioner Cnstina Zamora said she believed the jail needed more than 191 additional beds to meet Comal County’s needs.
"The thing about it is at this point the cnme is increasing." Zamora said.
Commissioner Moe Schwab said the county originally had plans to expand by 150 beds before the state jail commission made its recommendation of 191 more beds.
Schwab said he favored financing the jail expansion through certificates of obligation, not a bond issue. Certificates of obligation would spread the indebtedness over seven years, not as long as 20 years as in a bond issue.
Regardless of how much county expands the jail, Schwab said the taxpayers would come out w inners.
“It will put us ahead of the curve," Schwab said.
Council approves zoning request despite concerns
By ABE LEVY
New Braunfels City Council approved a rezoning request Monday for development of about IO acres of land in north New Braunfels, despite objections from some neighboring residents.
Residents claimed that several condominiums planned for construction next to the River Acres Subdivision would invade their privacy and were not in an earlier development proposal.
The land sits between the River Acres and Summerwood subdiv isions off North Loop 337.
But in a 6-1 decision, council approved the second reading of the plan and stipulated that developers provide more details for the third and final reading in two weeks.
“I’m glad they finally made their decision," said Joe Veytia of August Partners, Inc. in San Antonio. “From a developer’s point of view, you have a certain amount of time to go with your Turn to Council, Page 3
Castles in the sand
H*rakj-Z*rtung photo by Michael Damall
Amezin’ Walter and Dannie Barrett of Son© of the Beach Sand Cacti© Wizard© stopped by Rockin' ‘R’ River Ride© Monday afternoon to create one of their sand masterpieces.
CISD trustees mull budget cuts
By DENISE DZIUK
Comal Independent School District trustee* w ill consider $1 million in budget cuts when they meet Wednesday.
Commissioners say they can’t accept veterans van
WHO: Comal ISD WHAT: Budget hearing, budget adoptions WHEN: 7 p m. Wednesday WHERE: Bill Brown Elementary, 20410 Texas 46 West
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Local veterans will have to keep looking for a way to continue veteran van services.
Comal County Commissioners Court rejected a proposal last week from veterans officer Gus Cul-
well to accept a donated van to be used to transport veterans to hospitals.
Commissioner Jack Dawson said under the Texas Constitution and laws adopted by the state legislature, Comal County could not use the van to transport veterans to medical facilities.
He said the county could accept the donated
van for other purposes.
“There are three areas the state allows us to transport — pnsoners to and from programs, road crews and the third use, probation departments both juvenile ami adult,” Dawson said.
But Dawson said the county has $1,500 set Turn to Van, Page 2
board will conduct a budget hearing and consider adopting the budget at 7 p.m.
Wednesday at Bill Brown Elementary at 20410 Texas 46 West.
A tax rate heanng is scheduled Sept. 15, and the tax rate is expected to be adopted Sept. 24.
Trustees are considering a $47.9 million budget. The 1996-97 budget was $42.65 million.
The current tax rate of $ 1.64 would gen-Tum to Budget, Page 2Children s Museum serves as example of what is good in New Braunfels — Page 4A