New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 10, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 140, No. 14Gas leak prompts evacuation
Gas pipeline leak causes evacuations within a half-mile of Santa Clara-Morningside intersection
Herald'Zeitung graphic by Mark Wamkan
December 10, 1991
One Section, 10 Pages
410 MO I 6 10/22/99
SO-WEST MICPOPUBLISHING c.6ti / H x ANDELL DR
DL DASO, TX 79903
Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAL COUNTY / Home of T. J. Aaron
When the relief valve on this Oasis Company gas pipeline blew this morning emergency crews went to work to evacuate the area.Gas leak sounds like ‘plane crash’
55-minute release, said Stanley Graham, district manager of Inter-texGas.
“It was really a proper function of that release valve — it was set just a little bit low probably which caused the release." Graham said. “Certainly there was no danger to the area there.
The pipeline is a transmission line that takes natural gas from El Paso to Houston and is owned by the Oasis Company of Houston. Local companies such as En tex in New Braunfels do not tap into the line, Graham said.
The relief valve that opened has
a capacity of 53,000 cubic feet per hour and Graham estimated that 20-30,000 cubic feet of gas was released.
“ll was really just a situation where the valve came open, as it’s supposed to," Graham said. "ll was not as dangerous as it was noisy. It might be that we overreacted out there, I don’t know, but it was certainly the normal operation of a pipeline system.”
Graham said the pipeline is suit operational and that it never completely shut down. There was no
Sa* GAS, Page 2
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writ*
New Braunfels residents were evacuated early Tuesday morning when a gas pipeline relief valve blew, releasing an estimated 30,000 cubic inches of natural gas in the area of Rueklc Road and Morningside Drive.
"It woke me up — I live about a half mile away and it was so loud you couldn’t talk to each other," said David Chi, criminal investigator with the Comal County Sheriffs Department. “There was a loud explosion — kind of like a plane crashed in the back yard, ll looked like a mist. It was pitch black and you could still see it shooting up."
Officers of the New Braunfels
Police Department, Comal County Sheriff’s Department and Guadalupe County Sheriffs Department sealed off the area and evacuated residents in the Santa Clara Avenue and Morningside Drive area. Seventeen fire personnel, including three engine companies and EMS units were dispatched to the scale. The incident command post was set up at Ruekle Road and Morningside Drive, said Elroy Friescnhahn, fire marshal for the city of New Braunfels.
Crews from Intertex Gas Company, operators of the tank, were able to stop the flow of gas after a
Hilda Zimmerman, left, is joined by other neighbors at the First Baptist Church shelter this morning after they were evacuated from their homes.
Mayor pro tem denies accusations of wrongdoing
(.oil ti iii i si . it |\ i sol \ < 11. iii iii. iii i os itti is. Sot I ’.im* 'JStammtischBest wishes
The New braun/els Herald-Ae nu rig sends birthday wishes today to Peggy Lynn Supulver,
Bm STAMMTISCH, Page 2
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It will be sunny and warm today j with a high temperature around 75 degrees. Tonight’! low will dip down to a temperature of about 40 degrees.
CROSSWORD ........... 3
SPORTS.................................7-0I KM/6 SANTA- LETTER WRITER'S - BLOCK.
IS shopping days to Christmas
By LARRY ROWE Staff Writer
Accused of improperly using city funds Monday. New Braunfels Mayor Pro Tem Ramon Chapa Jr. denied any serious wrongdoing and said he reimbursed the city that day.
The accusations ended the City Council’s regular meeting with a brief round of sparring, when Council Member Paul Fraser criticised Chapa for expenses incurred on a city phone and for his failure lo promptly return an unused $575 allowance "I didn’t receive an inter est-free loan in October, and as far as I’m concerned, dial’s what happened iii Uhs case," Fraser said.
"This is not the Marines and I’m not a private," (hapa retorted, sayuig lie had paid die money and rescaled Fraser scrutinizing his activities (ha-Cheer Fund drive mounts
The New Braunfels Herald-Zcituna’s Cheer Fund drive now has raised $3,493.19,
Hie goal of die drive ta to raise money U) provide (’hrlamias diluters to local residents who are less fortunate
Daily ululates of how much money lias been contributed will appear in the Herald until die delivery date, Dec 21.
Iratest conin bu tors are
Agr is and Rosa Stlpnleka. ........$50
Loyd and Elsie Fiesta..............$25
Alan and Betty Bartlett $20
pa later accused Fraser of intimidation and “making jabs" to cause trouble.
Fraser referred to a Dec. 5 memo from Acting City Manager Hector Tamayo to Chape. The memo notified him of a $352.52 Cellular One tele phone bill for the period between Oct. 21 and Nov. 20, ara! it directed him to identify city business calls so that the city could pay for them.
The memo also directed Chape to return the phone, which was assigned to him for the period in which he served as interim mayor.
Addiuonally, die memo soiled that he must return the $575 expense check provided for his attendance ut October of the Texas Municipal league Aiuiual Conference ut Fort
“Since you did not attend that conference. the check must be returned so thai it may be cancelled.'’ the memo stated, adding that the limners must be taken care of no later than Dec. 19.
Chapa said he paid the money and relumed the phone Monday.
He said he did not attend the conference because at the last minute, “I was going through some personal problems at home,” and he apologised for not ret ut lung the check promptly.
Chapa added dial the telephone bill was given to him on Dec. 5, and that he paid it os soon as possible. He said he hod planned on reimbursing any charges he incurred on the phone.
Fraser responded that any govern
ment official is “honor-bound to uphold the public trust.” particularly with funds.
Although he said he recognised that Chapa may not have felt he could react quickly to the Dec. 5 memo, the $575 should have been returned munedtaiely oiler realizing that he could not ductal the conference.
“I believe that Mr Fraser is just looking for ways to make trouble,” Chapa said Tuesday. “If he would pay atieriuon lo his business as much as he does to other people's business, he aught to a better job at being a council member."
“Name-calling isn t the purpose here and I will not get into thai type of thing," Fraser said this morning, “If
Mr. Chopa s comments are that I’m try mg to make trouble, I would just summarize by saying he's caused his own problems. ’
Actions taken by the council Monday included:
• Hie Dec. 23 regular council meeting was rescheduled for Dec. 16 at 6 pan.
• The council accepted on agreement with the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation to widen Texas 46 from the Coma] County line to the New Braunfels City Limits, toward Seguin.
I he city will [my for IO percent of the right-of-way acquisition, which amounts to $49,500 from the Capital improvemeiu Fund.
• The council accepted a giant from the Federal Aviauon Administration
Bm CHAPA, Pays 2
Board accepts administrator’s resignation
to fill Wails’ now*
By GRM MEFFORD
i feat Rftwjn
SATTLER - The board of directors for th# Conal County’s Wain Oriented Recreation District fomally accepted the mianauon of Administrator Barly Walls in a sandal main im nm hi
Walls resignation was prorajaed lait wa* by questions In administrative practices raffled during a recent audit of distort finances Walls, who was convinced to remain with the district after resigning bt October, was ashed to resubmit her resignation early Im waah by Dr. John Landry, (ba dis* aiel chairman.
Landry said the move came when County Auditor Bate Bond discovered alleged unauthorized expenditures by Wads and contacted county officials.
In a Dec. 2 meeting with County Judge Carter Casteel. District Attorney Bill Renner, Director fteu Moos and Bood, Landry said it was decided to ash for Walis' resignation, which she agreed to provide.
The amount of the expenditures has not bean disclosed, ss findings in the audit ars slid considered preliminary, according to Bond.
After meeting in executive session with Bond Monday night to
discuss the audit situation pertaining to Wads, Director Guy Anderson moved that the board accept the resignation, with details of a possible payment settlement with Wails to be negotiated at a later date.
Officials have suggested that Wads will reimburse the district for funds utilised with proper authorisation, pending agreement by both parties.
Director Harry Kenner seconded the motion* which was approved unanimously by the attending board members.
Discussion following tbs vote centered on what action the board
Landry said two resumes had Hxa submitted to the district since news of Wails resignation was publicized rn regional newspapers.
Tom Corbin, a Comal County resident who origmady applied for the position when it was formed, was also present rn tbs meeting Monday night to question board members about the job.
The board agreed to form a special committee headed by And*-son to study the issue of selecting a new administrator, following
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