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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, December 12, 1999

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 12, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas jBL    20332    ^"“fc^UBLlSHINe ‘    JOELL    BR Y x 7 9 9 ® ^ ' New (fitotoJFELs PRSCHerald-Zeitung ■BH Lion-hearted Christmas Big Kmart operation manager Edward Pacheco helps a participant of the Breakfast Lions Club’s annual Children's Christmas on Saturday. Twenty-four children participated. Each was given $30 to shop for Christmas gifts. The event was sponsored by Chase Bank, First State Bank and the Breakfast Lions Club. WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Home tour WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Cindy Williams, chair of this year's Christmas Tour of Homes, introduces the history and stories of the Prince Solms Inn to Arvella and Leslie Calder on Saturday. Hundreds of area residents braved drizzling rain and fog for Saturday morning’s MassMutual Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk at Landa Park./1B City bonds ► Santa’s Forest could triple tax rate This Comal County woman lives and breathes Christmas year-round and loves to share what she knows about Christmas trees with her favorite customers — children./! C Weather Ifs starting to feel a little bit like the holidays, and the nights are going to get cooler. For the complete forecast, see Page 2A. Wet weather puts cars on skids By Christina Minor Staff writer New Braunfels Police Department officers and EMS personnel stayed busy with numerous accidents around town Saturday. Sgt. John MacEachem of New Braunfels Police Department said most of the accidents were related to the rainy weather and reckless driving. “This is the prime holiday shopping season,” he said. “People need to use caution when driving.” MacEachem said the light rain brought oil and dust to the roadway surface, causing slick streets. “The speed limit might say 60 miles per hour, but people should drive slower when the road is wet’’ Sgt. John McEachern New Braunfels Police Injury accidents were reported at Hunter Road at Farm-to-Market Road 306 and Gruene Road at Hunter Road. The passengers were transported to McKenna Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. “A lot of the accidents have had injuries but nothing life-threatening,” MacEachem said. Comal County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers said it was reasonably quiet in the county and reported no major accidents. If you have to venture outdoors this weekend, MacEachem warns drivers to reduce speed and watch out for other drivers because accidents can occur anywhere. "The speed limit might say 60 miles per hour, but people should drive slower when the road is wet," he said. The National Weather Service said the rain will end by midnight bringing sunny skies on Monday with cool temperatures. Vol. 149, No. 17    46    pages    in    5    sections    December    12,    1999    Serving    GomaI    County    since    1852 ► Cheer Fund Have you given to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung’s Cheer Fund yet? lf not, time is running out! The newspaper staff and volunteers hope to deliver food baskets to the needy on Saturday. Drop off or mail donations to the Cheer Fund, 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, TX 78130. We’re behind on donations this year and could use your help!/4A Mayor: Council likely will cut some projects By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer See BONDS/11 AInside► Jingle Bell Run Brauntex group closes deal By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer A local nonprofit group closed on a deal Friday to buy the historic Brauntex Theatre. “It’s been a year and several months, and we finally got there,” said C.B. “Mac” McCoy, president of Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre Association, Inc. The association raised $190,000 to buy the building from David Roberts, who also owns the Starplex Theater in San Marcos. In the next six to eight months, BEATA hopes to raise about $3.3 million — $1 million locally — to renovate the theater, which will be used as a performing arts facility. The group hopes to secure other funding through grants and other sources. The theater, 209 W. San Antonio Street, first opened in downtown New Braunfels in January 1942, one month after the Pearl Harbor attack. It has been vacant since May 1998, but a group of concerned residents who believed New Braunfels needed a per forming arts theater met four months later to tour the facility with a local architect. When the October 1998 flood hit, that group’s efforts were put on hold to recover from the flood damage, but the group got together again in February and has been meeting since then. BPATA officially became a nonprofit in June and two months later signed an earnest money contract with Roberts. For the next six to eight months, BPATA will focus on raising money and then start renovation. New Braunfels’ tax rate could more than triple in the next four years if city council and ultimately the taxpayers approve the most updated list of possible bond projects. But Mayor Stoney Williams said council would pare down the list of projects after seeing how much the tax rate would be increased. “Otherwise, we’d go from having one of the lowest tax rates in the state to one of the highest,” he said. If the projects were approved, a resident owning a home with a taxable value of $100,000 could pay $1,110 a year in city taxes by 2004, according to city estimates. That same resident currently pays $313. City staff declined to release to the Herald-Zeitung information on the potential impact on taxpayers as well as new detailed cost estimates. City manager Mike Shands said Mat information could be released to the Herald-Zeitung Monday. “We want to give council a chance to see those numbers first,” he said. Williams agreed to provide the information, which will be reviewed during Monday’s meeting. Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers in the municipal building, 424 S. Castell Ave. Williams said council would work to pare down the $36.6 million list, which includes street and drainage, parks and recreation, and police and fire projects. Council is hoping to have a bond issue to present to voters by May. The total projected property tax rate could increase from 31 cents currently to 62 cents in 2001, $1.06 in 2002, $1.08 in 2003 and $1.11 in 2004. The tax rate would be affected by more than just the bond issue, lf taxpayers agree to raise taxes to build a fire station, for instance, the city needs to staff' and maintain that fire station. According to Williams’ agenda packet, the city would need a 23.7-cent increase each year from 2002 to 2004 to cover costs of staffing and maintenance for bond-approved Meeting ■ WHAT: New Braunfels City Council meeting ■ WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday ■ WHERE: City’s municipal building, 424 S. Castell Ave. Index Abby.............................................2C Business................................5B-6B Classified................................1-1    OD Crossword....................................2C Forum...........................................6A Local/Metro...................................4A Movies..........................................2C Obituaries.................................3A Sports....................................1-4B Today............................................2A Key cod* 77School district, TxDOT to talk Loop 337 solutions By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees will consider Tuesday a proposed plan to increase safety for students, parents and school staff traveling on Loop 337. Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Institute will present findings of a traffic study on Loop 337 when trustees meet 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Education Center, 430 W. Mill St. Russell Henk, program manager for TTI, also will present three phases of action to increase safety for motorists on Loop 337 in front of New Braunfels High School, 2551 Loop 337. Greg Malatek, resident engineer for the New Braunfels Tx DOI office, would not disclose details of the proposed plan until Tuesday’s board meeting. MALATEK But, Malatek said the preliminary plan discussed with school off icials would involve cooperation between TxDOT and the school district. “We will work together in finding the best solution to make tiffs area as safe as we possibly can for students and the traveling public,” he said. NBISD off icials said a district committee composed of school officials and parents would review the findings by TTI Wednesday morning and would work with See LOOP 337/11AMeeting ■ WHO: New Braunfels Independent School District ■ WHAT: Trustee meeting to consider solutions to traffic problems on Loop 337 in front of New Braunfels High School ■ WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday ■ WHERE: Education Center, 430 W. Mill St. ;