New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 9, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
aylor Communications Inc
cents December 9,1980
hic of lira Center; Comp. r t U, Box ^5 *+3 6
Vol. 89 - No. 119 16 Pages
(USPS 377 880) New Braunfels, TexasResidents' complaints sidetrack parks plan
f HENRY KRAUSSE :aff writer
Opposition from nearby residents was the ason given by City Council members for bling a parks management plan submitted by e Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Parks board members attending the meeting tought the plan was as good as dead, but the juncil decided after an executive session to iscuss the proposal again at its Jan. 12 leeting.
“I’ve had more people contact me regarding irks than any other issue including ansation,” council member Laverne Eberhard lid. ‘‘We’re making our local citizens very ihappy, and I’m becoming more and more sturbed. I thought this was the solution. Now rn not sure.”
Council member Joe Rogers called the jlling of the plan to the public a ‘‘losing
‘‘Like l^averne, I’ve found nobody very gung-ho about the proposals. I’m not sure they want anything done, or if they do, nobody has been able to put their finger on it,” he said.
The plan was the subject of controversy from the time it was first outlined by parks consultant Bob Frazer, vice president of Groves, Fernandez and Associates, the San Antonio engineering firm the city contracted for $12,000 to produce it.
Originally, it called for an end to auto traffic through luanda, Hinman Island, and Prince Solms Parks, a tram system linking the parks to take visitors around, an entrance fee collected at the gate, and construction of two large parking lots at both ends.
Two board meetings later, it had been significantly altered. A fee for use of the parks would only be charged to out-of-town tourists, and only on weekends during the summer
To accomplish this, luanda Park would be sealed off at all entrances save one, but Elizabeth Street would remain open to Landa Park Drive, and a by-pass road from California Blvd. to Fredericksburg Road was recommended to provide access to downtown from residents living on the hill behind the park.
But the changes were not enough to meet with the approval of a City Council sensitive to the outcry the plan had created.
Without the support of Eberhard and Rogers, who attended every parks board meeting from the beginning, the plan was tabled unanimously.
‘‘Now that the parks proposal is dying a slow death, I would hope the council will table any action on the parks until we get our act back together,” board member Sharon Phair said with obvious frustration.
‘‘After all this work, we seem to be standing
alone with our head in the guillotine. It was not the parks board that initiated this study. We’re kind of left with egg on our face,” she added.
‘‘Your work was not in vain,” assured Eberhard.
Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Tieken agreed, and indicated she did not believe the proposals were dead.
‘‘I feel certain something will come out of it,” she said, urging the council and the board to attend a presentation of student-created plans for the park produced by Dr H.C. land-phair’s architectural landscape class at Texas A&M University.
The students will present their work at 7 p.m. Friday at Dittlinger Memorial Library.
“About once a year for the last three years, we get people in here saying, ‘When are you going to do someing about the park?’ I wonder where they were this time,” council member O.A. Stratemann said.
“The only thing we did was spend $12,000,”
‘‘Yeah, now look who has egg on their face," added Tieken.
Despite ^hair’s request for a delay, the council approved authorization of bidding for construction of an 1,800 square-foot office and information center for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The building will be more centrally located, near the main parking lot iii luanda Park, than the present office behind the Circle Arts Theater, parks director Don Simon said.
"It’s dead,” Simon said of the parks proposal in an interview after the meeting, not knowing it would be placed on the Jan. 12 agenda.
"It’s going to come up again in other forms. Years ago, the parks board told the council to leave the park as is until you get a study on it. Well, we got the study, and now we’re back down to zero on it. We’ve gone a complete circle,” he said.
Bracks is appointed new chief appraiser
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
Come January the Comal County Appraisal District will not only have a new office, but a new chief appraiser to go with it.
Glenn Brucks was appointed to fill the position at the Monday meeting of the board of directors after much discussion in executive session. The eppointment is effective Dec. 31.
I rustees took the action after Gloria German, who has held the position since May, said she did not wish to be reappointed.
Brucks is the assistant chief appraiser for the district. His beginning salary will be $22,500.
The meeting was held in the freshly painted and newly carpeted office, which is one of the apartments in the
‘‘old Doeppenschinidt apartment building” on East Mill Street.
In announcing the decision. Chairman I^roy Goodson expressed on behalf of the board, his appreciation for the work that Clennan has done to make the central appraisal office possible. "I think we’ve come a long way,” he said. She has indicated to the board that when her term expires (Dec. 31) she has expressed a desire to relinquish her position, Goodson explained.
He assured Brucks that there were many "highly qualified and respected people" present at the meeting which would be able to help him in his future job.
In other business, next year’s budget of $253,268 was approved with little discussion by trustees. According to Clennan, board members .seemed
satisfied with the budget, although there was one member of the audience who disagreed with the amount budgeted for phone calls.
Trustees, who happened to be sitting in new chairs, heard a report from Clennan on the condition of the office and what was left to "get things into shape.”
She estimated that more than 50 percent of the renovation had been completed on the apartments to make them into a suitable condition for office facilites. Beyond a bit more cleaning, painting and buying of equipment (such as typewriters and calculators) there isn’t a "whole lot left to be done,” she said.
Clennan also said that she expects no problem having the office open and functioning by Jan. I, adding that at that time or before there will be an open house.Holiday gathering
Senior Citizens of Comal County held their annual Christmas luncheon Monday at the Senior Citizens Center. In addition to having a delicious meal, the
members played games afterward. Playing cards are, from left, Florence Haney, Rose Has, Ella Mae Botts, Adela Schmidt and Hilda Strackau.
Last-minute changes postpone passage of electric rates
The third reading of a new electrical ordinance was postponed by the City Council Monday until its next meeting to give members a chance to digest some last-minute recommendations from New Braunfels Utilities.
Utilities trustees were ready to recommend changing the way rate increases get passed on to power customers, but trustee Bill Brown warned the council would find it "an awful lot to chew on,” especially with an already crowded agenda.
"I’m always leary of having a big change on the third reading. I don’t think they’ll be receptive,” Brown said at a Utilities board meeting earlier Monday.
"We’re going to hurt ourselves if we don’t have an opportunity to explain it.
I really would like to have a meeting with them,” he said.
Trustee Bill Richter thought that was a good idea.
"A lot of people are going to think we pulled this up at the last minute,” he said.
The board is expecting an 8.18 percent rate increase from the Lower Colorado River Authority to take effect April 5, but the Public Utilities Commission has to approve it, first.
The ordinance now awaiting its third and final vote has a power cost adjustment clause that would average out the increase by kilowatt hour consumption of all customers.
In other words, by taking the amount of money paid LCRA for fiscal year 1979-1980 ($5,585,000, excluding fuel costs, which is a separate item on electric bills) and figuring 8.18 percent of it (which comes to $479,223) Utilities can figure the average cost of the increase per kilowatt hour consumed last year, and come up with a per-kwh average of $.001545.
Utilities wants to change that method to a simple per-customer increase of 8.18 percent, the amount of the total rate hike applied to each customer.
That would benefit customers that have a high load factor and thus use their power more efficiently. Mission Valley Mills, for example, would save $37,526 a year if the amendment to the ordinance is approved by council.
Smaller, less efficient users of electricity, such as residences and small commercial operations, stand to pay a higher percentage, however. But each rate classification has examples of both higher and lower increases, according to figures compiled by Utilities Manager Bob Sohn.
"There’s no equitable way of getting around this. I don’t want to hurt our industrial customers. But our industrial load has increased more and more. The minority will be the residential customers, the people.
"I realize we have to have them working. I can see both sides,” noted Brown.
Ends legal uncertainty
Herbrich named deputy constable
Comal County commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Al Herbrich as deputy constable for Precinct 2 at their regular meeting yesterday.
The vote came after the commissioners received a copy of a letter from the state attorney general’s office to County Attorney Paul R. Roberts Jr. concerning Herbrich’s status as deputy constable.
The attorney general’s office stated since questions existed concerning whether Herbrich was ever properly appointed as deputy constable for
Precinct 2, it could not issue an opinion on the matter.
The commissioners discussed how much mileage allowance Herbrich should be paid as deputy constable.
By law, constables and deputy constables must be paid not less than eight cents and not more than 15 cents per each mile traveled, and no regular salary for the performance of official duties of their office.
The commissioners had been allowing constables and their deputies 18 cents per mile not to exceed 800 miles per month, and voted to allow
Herbrich the same allowance instead of 15 cents per mile.
Cornin. Orville Heitkamp strongly urged the court to allow Herbrich the 18-cent per mile allowance.
"County policy is 18 cents a mile,” he argued. "It’s just the principle of the thing. You can’t pay one guy for driving his car 18 cents and the other 15 cents.”
“If we are in the law to go 18 cents, then that’s fine,” Comm. Charles "Tart” Mund said. "But my question, is it within the law?”
The commissioners also agreed that Herbrich and other deputy constables would be paid for any special work done for the county outside regular duties as deputy constable. Any special work would first be approved by Commissioners Court.
"I want our deputy constables to have the same opportunity to work,” Mund said.
Precinct 2 Constable Kermit Vetter said he was pleased with Herbrich’s appointment.
"We did that (opportunity for special work) to cover our bases,” he said.
Quarry proposal sinks annexation
Proposed changes in the city’s master plan for annexation failed to muster the four votes necessary for passage at Monday’s meeting of City Council, so the motion to accept the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations died automatically.
Although residents and farmers from the affected areas spoke against the proposal, council members who opposed it were swayed mainly by the inclusion of the "quarry area” west of the city among parcels scheduled for 1981 annexation.
That area contains, among other industries, the General Portland, Inc. cement plant and the U.S. Gypsum Co. facility. Both have been on record opposing annexation — and the accompanying city taxes — so soon, and top executives for both operations spoke forcefully against it Monday.
Fred Koester of General Portland called annexation of the quarry area "basically a move to increase tax revenue by grabbing the new man on the block.”
“I realize ifs just a plan, an outline, but I
thought it would stand the test of time. We’ve finished a $90 million investment that so far has not repaid us one dime,” Koester said.
The current plan calls for annexation of the industrial district sometime between 1982 and 1985.
"I know the master plan is just a guide, but I’d hate to see us vary from our plan in this instance. When a new industry moves to a town, they will go to this master plan first. If we vary it a great deal, we’re going to raise questions in other industries that are thinking about moving here,” said Councilman Donnie Seay.
The vote was a tie, with council members Gerald Schaefer, O.A. Stratemann, and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Tieken voting for the annexation changes, and council members Seay, I,averne Eberhard and Joe Rogers against.
Elliot Knox, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, pointed to the
See QUARRY, Page ISA
FRED KOESTER opposes plant inclusion