New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 16, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
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25 cents December 16, 980
Vol. 89 - No. 124 16 Pages (USPS 377-880)
New Braunfels. TexasCouncil gets electric rate charges briefing
City Council members won’t vote on a proposed electric ordinance until their Jan. 12 meeting, but they took the time Monday to absorb some technical information on a proposed change in the way rate increases are passed on to New Braunfels Utilities customers.
The third and final reading of the ordinance was tabled by the council Dec. 8 at the request of the Utilities Board of Trustees to create an opportunity for a detailed explanation of the change.
The board will consider endorsing the change at its Thursday meeting.
Instead of averaging the rate increase by kilowatt hours and then applying it to customers, the board is leaning toward another method: whatever percentage the Public Utilities Commission approves (and the Lower Colorado River Authority has asked for an 8.18 percent hike), that percentage would be applied to every customer’s energy bill regardless of the number of kwh’s used.
That works to the advantage of customers
who have a high “load factor,” and both Utilities Manager Bob Sohn and Westpoint Pepperell engineer Howard Morrison tried to explain what, exactly, load factor is.
“Ifs the way energy is used. Higher load factors tend to reduce energy costs." Morrison said.
A load factor for an industrial plant, small commercial operation, residence, or even a whole city can be arrived at by figuring the ratio of the average system load to the peak system load. The load factor roughly indicates
the excess generating capacity required to serve peak loads.
Electric utility companies lose money on customers with low load factors because they have to supply them with peak power even though the customer may only reach that level of use for a short period.
Industries served by New Braunfels Utilities are already conscious of load factor: they pay penalties if their load factor isn t high enough “Industries are forced into conservation. We actually end up investing capital to improve
our power factor just so we don’t get penalized," Fred Keester of General Portland Inc. told those present.
Under the percentage method, the 8.18 percent increase sought by LORA would be $37,526 less per year for West Point Pepperell than if paid by kwh consumption. West Point s load factor is high, Morrison explained.
“In 1979 we used one fourth of the energy sold by Utilities, but our demand was only one
See COUNCIL, Page 15AComcouncil
Three named to Hall of Honor
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
Many times people serve their community and never get the recognition they deserve.
But as a result of action taken yesterday by the board of directors of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, this cannot be said of at least three local citizens named to the chamber’s “Hall of Honor.”
Margaret Nowotny, Ray Allen and retired Col. Tinsley Ellis were honored during the noon meeting yesterday for their "sustaining participation in civic endeavors.”
In addition to having their photographs hung in the chamber office, all three will be “specially recognized” during the annual chamber banquet to
be held Jan. 16, H.E. Knox, president, said.
“Too many times we take one another for granted. These three are being recognized today for their service to the community as well as their sustaining outside service to mankind," Knox said.
Earlier, new officers were announced. They include Knox, immediate past president; Helmuth Salge, president; Mitch Sacco, president-elect; Donnie Seay, first vice president, and Robert Orr, second vice president. Each man “moved up a step," explained Tom Purdum, executive vice president, except for Orr who is newly elected.
Directors named to serve for three-year terms were John Chunn, Doug Miller, Jean Pfeuffer and Donnie Seay, all re-elected, and Rich Ritz, who is newly elected.
In addition to naming the new' directors mem
bers of the board also recognized Lydon Gilman, Gerald Free, Craig Sagebiel, Roxolm Krueger and Tommy Zipp for their past service as directors. Since their terms have expired, these five will now be recognized as “retired directors."
Newly appointed directors who will serve one-year terms are Ed Henkel, Everett Meyer, Jim Bingham and Don Gray.
In closing his last meeting as president, Knox expressed thanks and appreciation to all the directors, committee members and volunteers that made his job so enjoyable.
And although the year was an active one that would always be remembered. Knox said, “There has been one disadvantage to it. You meet and eat too many times. I don’t know about you. but I’ve gained about IO pounds.”
Smiling inductees are, from left, Ray Allen, Margaret Nowotny and retired Col. Tinsley Ellis with President H E. Knox
New Braunfels Independent School District trustees are not happy w ith the plans that the Central Board of the Community Council of South Central Texas has made to move its central offices to Atascosa County sometime next year.
Supt. O E. Hendricks said the council has requested NBISI) to permit a few "satellite” offices to remain in the old high school building on Mill Street. Hendricks said the council proposes leaving the family planning office and the CET A office (student work-study program) here.
The board decided during last night’s meeting that the council had until Sept. I, 1981 to get out of the old high school building.
A letter to that effect w ill be sent to them, Hendricks said. “It is the consensus of the board that if the office* are moved they all should go. And anything that is not their personal equipment, such as file cabinets, should not be taken without permission,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks told trustees that at the Community Council’s Dec. 3 meeting the Central Board decided to build a new building in Atascosa County
paying $1,700 a month in rent to do it.
What NBISI) had proposed to the council amounted to a five-year rent-free lease on continued use of the first two floors of the old high school on Mill Street. There was a two-year cancellation provision.
However, in order to stay in the building NBISI) required that the roof be repaired. The federal government required that an elevation be installed to assist the handicapped, he said.
Hendricks said the estimated cost of these repairs and additions would be $75,IKM). But, considering they’re willing to pay $1,700 a month there, that would add up to more than $80,000 in five years (the length of the lease NBISI) offered the council), he added.
“They’re better off financially to stay here," he commented. I’m upset because they can’t pay (rent) here, yet they can go and pay rent there i in Atascosa County),” Hendricks told the board. “They didn’t want to pay to fix the roof and install an elevator.”
He continued, “My recommendation to you is that if they move, they move all of it (their offices). We don’t let them do things like that to us," he said.
Holiday switch request droppedInside
For awhile during the Comal County Commissioners Court meeting yesterday, everyone’s eye was on the calender.
Thirty-eight county employees had signed a petition asking to switch their Nov. ll holdiay, which is Veterans Day for an extra day on Christmas Eve in 1981, County Judge Max Wommack explained.
And so the commissioners pondered
which holiday might be a suitable switch for Christmas Eve.
Sept. 25, the day set aside for Comal County Fair Day next year, was one of the most likely considered for a switch.
“You’re really not going to get a lot of people into work on that day anyway,” remarked one of the commissioners.
However, after considering all of the holidays set aside for next year —
which include Jan. I and 2, April 17 (Good Friday), May 25, July 3, Sept. 7 and 25, Nov. ll, 26 and 27 and Dec. 25 — commissioners decided to drop the whole thing.
“I.eave it the way it is,” said Comm. Orville Heitkamp.
“If they want the day before Christmas off, let them use one of their vacation days," seemed to be the general opinion.
Temporary buildings to remain put for now
Judging from tin* number of requests and inquiries received, trustees of New Braunfels Independent School District would have no trouble finding a “beneficial use" for temporary buildings used on the Carl Schurz Elementary School campus while it was tieing remodeled.
However, trustees decided Monday evening at their regular meeting the buildings will remain at the school until tile board determine what to do with them
Supt O E. Hendricks said many schools, individuals and even a soccer association from San Antonio indicated an interest in the buildings.
“We’ve had a lot of requests. We’d have no problem in renting or selling or iii some way finding a way to use them i the temporary buildings),” Hendricks told the board.
However, Hendricks said he felt he left with tile board at its meeting Dec.
2 was the impression after talking to an architect that there was a possibility the temporary buildings would be used as an addition to the NBISI) administration office.
Principals from New Braunfels Middle School, I Aine Star and Seele Elementary Schools have also indicated to Hendricks their desire to put the buildings to use on their campuses
as either temporary classrooms or to store equipment in the middle school.
Hendricks recommended the board consider future action concerning the building of permanent classrooms for Lone Star and Seele Elementary because both schools were reaching a “point where they were getting overcrowded.”
Ile said these two schools would be the “next ones needing additional classrooms." He said Ione Star had the “most critical" need since some classrooms have as many as 28 .students iii them. He said that was "just too many” for kmdergarten-age children.
To build new classrooms of 850 to 900 square feet would cost the district anywhere from $35,000 to $36,000 each, he estimated And to move the temporary buildings, which fie said had been moved at least three tunes before, would cost $2,(XX) to $2,500 each, plus the cost of remodeling them lo make them suitable classrooms.
Upon hearing the facts, one board member remarked, "Rather than use the money to move the temporary buildings I’d rather see the money used for new classrooms.” In any event, trustees took no action on selling or moving the buildings, opting instead to leave them for the time being.Tieken reveals some industries have not paid deposit
Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Tieken said Monday some industrial customers of New Braunfels Utilities did not pay their required deposits when they moved into the area and applied for electric service.
At a workshop session Monday of the City Council and the Utilities Board of Trustees, Tieken said she wanted the record to show some industries, including TXI Inc., did not pay a cash deposit of two-months estimated billing, as required by the electrical ordinance now in force.
In addition, some residential customers “were hooked up without supplying a deposit and without a letter of credit,” Tieken said in an interview following the workshop.
“I checked with (Utilities Manager Bob) Sohn. Some have paid, and some haven’t. Ifs very unfair. I do not know on what basis some have been exempted,” Tieken said.
“It’s hard to say who did it, but I wanted it written into the public record,” she added.
Sohn said the allegations were true, and resulted from the management practices of
Richard Sledge, the former Utilities manager who was convicted Nov. 26 for the 1976 theft $23,000 in Utilities funds.
“You can’t go back and rehash the management practices of someone else. And there’s no way the Board of Trustees can be held responsible,” Sohn said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
“It’s true, but I don’t know whether it even deserves an answer,” he said with some irritation.
Asked if the deposit exemptions were against
the law, Sohn replied, "I don’t know. In the strict sense of the ordinance, a deposit was required. Richard had full knowledge of policies and those ordinances.”
But, Sohn added, the revelation “doesn’t affect us now.” TXI is almost through its first year, when the deposit, if it had been made, would be returned.
Sohn said he was “sure" Sledge consulted the Dun and Bradstreet credit ratings of companies before waiving the deposit. However, he said he had “no idea how many” customers
"I had a meeting with industrial leaders about four months ago, and we discussed deposits, relative to the new ordinance. All but one declared that nowhere else in the country had any other utility requested a deposit,” Sohn said.
Tieken said the discovery would not hurt chances for passage of a new electrical ordinance, which includes deposit alternatives to the cash requirement of two-months estimated billing.