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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 15, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas New 'n    i I 5 FELS I p. ’OOOx x    r~w    __ I Inn A T T^v / 17T'TT TIV T/^ljiiRALD"/^lil I UJNCj Vol, 150 No. 30    18    pages    in    2    sections ZI; ;;-v December 15, 2000  _>.»»■■   .. Friday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 centsTexas Two-Step Dec. 13 — Bush steps into the role of president-elect after Vice President Al Gore concedes. Dec. 18 — Electoral college casts vote for president. Dec. 20 — Texas Senate convenes in caucus to ponder rules for its selection of It. Gov. Rick Perry’s replacement. Jan. 6 — Congress counts electoral college vote. Jan. 9 — Texas Legislature convenes in 77th session. Jan. 20 — Presidential inauguration. Once Bush resigns, Perry ascends to governor. The Texas Senate pro tempore then has 30 days in which to convene the Senate in a committee of the whole to elect Perry’s successor. Bush has not indicated when he will resign as governor. Bush transition begins Cheney collects keys for Washington office By Karen Gullo Associated Press Writer MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Vice Presidentelect Dick Cheney said Thursday that the incoming GOP administration is moving to build its Cabinet “as quickly as possible” and is shooting to have confirmations begin right after President-elect Bush is sworn into office Jan. 20. “We’re going to move as rapidly as we can,” Cheney said after accepting the keys to a government transition office. Asked about Al Gore’s concession speech/6A What happens in Austin/3A the possibility of announcing Bush’s Cabinet before the holidays, Cheney said, “I don’t want to set artificial deadlines.” “We are going to do everything we can to get everyone named as quickly as possible,” he said. Cheney, who is running the transition, said the new administration would try to name the Cabinet and forward their security clearances to Congress in enough time for lawmakers to begin holding confirmation hear ings in January and be ready to start voting after the inauguration. That’s how it usually works, said Cheney, who served under Presidents Ford and Bush, the president-elect’s father. Even though the new Bush administration has just five weeks — half the normal transition period — to carry out the appointments process, “We’re going to try to adhere to that schedule,” Cheney said. The Bush team will get extra help from the FBI, which will use additional resources to expedite security checks for Cabinet members, said Clay Johnson, executive director of the transition. See BUSH/3A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung President-elect George W. Bush and Texas First Lady Laura Bush enter the Capitol Wednesday evening. Make a joyful noise Trinity to play big role in new water rules CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Sue and Rolland Hoover, winter Texans from llinois, sing “Joy To The World” Thursday night at the Plaza in downtown New Braunfels for the nineteenth annual caroling on the plaza sponsored by the arts council. NBU looks to lower rates for largest customers From staff reports Electric rates for New Braunfels Utilities residential and small general service customers will not change as a result of a rate ordinance that city council is considering. On Monday, council approved a second reading of an ordinance relating to NBU electrical service charges. The ordinance must be approved once more before it is implemented. NBU conducted a rate study as part of its efforts to prepare for January 2002, when the electric industry in Texas will open to competition. By law, municipally owned utilities such as NBU do not have to enter into competition. NBU officials have said that for now the util ity has taken the position of “market preparedness.” The study showed that some inner-system subsidies and inner-class subsidies existed within NBU. That means, for instance, that rates paid by commercial electric customers historically have provided lower bills for residential customers. According to information from NBU, the study showed that residential rates should go up by 14.2 percent and small general service rates should increase by 2 percent. But NBU has proposed no changes in those rates. “NBU will forego those increases and absorb them at this time,” according to documents from NBU. However, the ordinance would decrease rates for a majority of NBU’s 12 very large power-dis-tribution customers: New Braunfels High School, Chemical Lime, Scemex Asphalt, Coleman, Colorado Materials, ADM Dittlinger Mill, PCCA Mission Valley Fabrics Division, Huck Jacobson, Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Wal-Mart Super-Center and Flextronics, including Palo Alto and Lighting Metals. “We’re trying to get to a more fair and equitable rate structure for everybody,” NBU spokeswoman Gretchen Reuwer said. See NBU/3A County committee studies Trinity Aquifer By Ron Maloney Staff Writer As Comal County looks at new subdivision rules requiring developers to prove water exists to serve the projects they create, officials also have to look at the Trinity Aquifer. In a future where the county hopes to have more control over growth, the conservation district that will oversee the Trinity Aquifer in this county will play a major role. But some things must happen first. The Edwards Aquifer Authority regulates pumpage from its aquifer. The Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District has no similar authority. In the legislative session two years ago, Comal County officials sought legislation that would give the STGCD full powers, but it didn’t happen. Now, another bill will seek the same authority. But in this session, which could be consumed by redistricting, it is anybody’s guess whether anything will happen with it this time around. Chris Dullnig is president of the board of the STGCD, which right now is a temporary group without full authority granted to groundwater conservation districts under the Texas Water Code. Dullnig and Comal County officials wanted to see that changed. “What we’re hoping is they’ll give us a full power district,” Dullnig said of legislation now in Austin that was drafted by the STGCD. Today’s Meeting ■ WHAT: Waterwise Growth Study Committee ■ WHERE: Commissioners’ Courtroom, 3rd floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. ■ WHEN: 1:30 p.m. today Among the powers the STGCD is looking for are the ability to elect a permanent board, the ability to levy taxes or sell bonds, the right to regulate wells and pumpage and the authority to pass rules to protect the aquifer from pollution. After a pre-session legislative conference recently, County Judge Danny Scheel was uneasy about the chances of gaining permanent authority for the STGCD. “I’d say it’s a coin-toss,” Scheel said this past week. “Hopefully, we’re granted full distnct authon-ty next year and we’ll have a relationship with the STGCD similar to the one we have with the Edwards Aquifer Authority.” Right now, STGCD can collect permit and well construction fees that amount to about $4,000 a month and defray some administrative costs. With full district authority, the STGCD could raise taxes and much more, Pct. 2 County Commissioner Jay Minikin said. The STGCD could establish and See WATER/3A Scrooge, NBTC take Brauntex stage tonight By Ron Maloney Staff Writer He’s the man we all grew up loving to hate, and tonight Ebenezer Scrooge gets his just desserts. The New Braunfels Theatre Company presents the 1843 Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol (A Christmas Ghost Story)” as its first production at 8 p.m. today in the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre. Performances also are scheduled Roy Hargrove reviews ‘Christmas CaroP/8A for 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Director Lois Roberds has been working on the production for about six weeks, and late Thursday she and others were putting the finishing touches to the stage sets. “We’re doing a very old, classic See BRAUNTEX/3A Inside Abby......................... .......5A Classifieds.................. ....5-8B Comics...................... .......9A Crossword................. .......5A Forum......................... .......6A Local/Metro................ .......4A Movies......................... ........5A Obituaries................... .......3A Sports........................ ....1-3B Today.......................... .......2A Stocks............................. 5A b> c I | com Key Code 76 Cheer Fund Contributing to the Herald-Zeitung Cheer Fund were: • K. Christian and Laurel Jensen — $75 • James and Alma z Wilder — $50 Cheer Fund food baskets will be delivered starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers are asked to arrive at that time. For questions or information, call Rosie at 625-9144. Canyon Lake residents ask for plan for school By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer About IO residents who live in the Canyon Lake area told the Comal Independent School board they want to hear a plan for a proposed high school before the district buys land. “Why are we thinking about buying property without a plan?” Melinda Shinn asked. The proposed high school is part of the bond package voters passed in May 1999. Board president John Clay said the distnct and trustees want to do what is best for the district, and accused the media and others of using scare tactics. “In my opinion, finding the land site is the No. I priority” Clay said. Starkville residents worry that the location being studied for the new school will limit class options and extra-curricular activity opportunities. The new' school would be the third in the distnct. ;