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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 17, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas ivUcoflim Center Comp, r# ut Box callas, liexai 75235CISD ponders economy, facility neecis Should the Comal Independent School District proceed with classroom construction to accommodate an expected increase in student enrollment? Or should the district sit tight and make minor building modifications when needed because an uncertain home market will mean fewer new students? These are only two of the many questions plaguing the Comal district planners as they enter 1981. And finding the answers is proving harder than predicting the economy — or the weather. Sprawled over 589 square miles of developing land, the district has to serve students in five counties. Most of its area is in Comal County. Students are divided into three distinct groupings. There are those who call New Braunfels home, there are the Bulverde area youngsters and there are those from Canyon I .ake. The large land area has already resulted in the district, with only 4,000 students, having nine school campuses, including two high schools. School plants are expensive to run and result is budget expenditures higher than most school districts in the 4,000-student category. But with 589 square miles of territory, the alternative to having fewer campuses would be to bus students unreasonably long distances to school. Expected growth patterns of the district may mean still more campuses, or expansion of those already in existence. Supt. James M. Richardson says the economy is the big factor in district planning for now. “Lower home interest rates in the near future could result in quite a bit more home building, bringing new students to our classrooms,” he explained. The district’s enrollment has not changed much since the fall of 1979, probably as a result of the economy and high interest rates for home construction. Complicating the picture is the fact the district’s nine facilities are now generally at capacity, in some cases slightly over capacity in growth areas. A sudden lowering in interest rates resulting in more home construction could bring new students in quicker than the district could build new schools. It takes about two years to get a school into service, taking into account planning, obtaining financing, construction and startup. The superintendent sees two main growth areas, one in northern New Braunfels and the other in the Bulverde area south to just north of San Antonio. Main area of future development is the Encino Park section, located just north of San Antonio’s Outer Loop, or EM 1604, in Bexar County. The newly named CISD Facilities Studies Committee recently toured the growing subdivision and found home building already going on in the district. Families are due to move into these homes beginning next spring, and the first student from the area will be entering CISD classrooms in September 1981. Encino Park has 1,900 acres in the Comal district being turned into homesites. Developers have told the district they expect 16,000 people to be living there within the next five years. Another approach, seen only as an extreme situation, would be to go on split-day school sessions. Part of the students would go to class in the morning and the rest in the afternoon, having existing facilities do double duty. Though not the best approach educationally, this could work for a short time and allow the district some time to have building catch up with needs. Part of this approach would be moving the fifth grade from Bulverde Elementary to Bulverde Middle School, using available space more efficiently. Wednesday Taylor Communications Inc 25 cents December 17,1980 Hcrald-Zeitung The district is now looking at building out to current tax receipts, a type of “pay as you go” building program. New legislation has made this alternative easier for school districts, allowing even long-term leasing of structures. Though not being considered now. another alternative would be having a bond election to build new buildings and improve those already in existence. This approach would require more study, however, and a better indication of what growth is coming. Developments of the next few months will decide what will happen, according to Richardson. The district will continue to grow, what is in question is how fast. Will the growth be slow, as in the past year and a half, or will it become explosive due to sudden decrease in interest rates and fast moving home construction? “We’re looking into this carefully, and hope to have some answers soon,” Richardson said. Vol. 89 - No. 125 32 Pages — 2 Sections (USPS 377-880) New Braunfels, TexasGas priority: tough choice New Braunfels Utilities employees work on the lines early on a chilly December morning By HENRY KRAUSSE Staff writer Texas railroad commissioners decided Monday to postpone a decision whether to change natural gas priorities. The issue is simple: who gets gas first in case of a heavy winter demand? And who gets it last? Currently, utilities that burn natural gas to produce electricity, such as the Lower Colorado River Authority i which supplies New Bruunieis Utilities), enjoy a higher curtailment priority than private industrial gas customers, including some prominent local industries. But that may change, depending on what the Railroad Commission decides. Since Nov. 5, an examiner from the commission's Gas Utilities Division has been conducting hearings on a proposal submitted by Valero Energy Corp., a major Texas gas supplier, that would alter priorities away from electric companies in favor of industrial customers, who at the moment are first to be cut off in case of shortage. That proposal has Bob Sohn worried. As New Braunfels Utilities general manager, he testified against the proposal Nov. 12. “If we lose this and go on a low priority and a gas curtailment occurs during the wintertime, LURA gets cut off," Sohn said in an interview. And that means falling back on fuel oil to turn LUR A’s generators an expensive proposition. “Fuel oil costs three times as much as natural gas, initially. It costs 20 times more in light of maintenance procedures. Since we’re paying for fuel, if we switch to oil. customers are going to get hit with very, very high fuel costs on their electric bills,” Sohn said. The RRC rejected a compromise worked out between Valero and its electric utility customers, including LCRA, according to an Austin Antiricin) Statesman, report Dec. 16. “That’s not exactly what happened,” corrected Billy Thompson of the RRC’s information services division Wednesday. “The examiner said she found a legal hitch in one part of the compromise. The commission did not a A little history helps to understand the gas battle. Back in 1973, the RRC required Valero (then called Ixivaca Gathering Co. I, along with other instate gas suppliers, to file a “curtailment priority” list for approval. Residents and small commercial customers have had the highest priority because they represent “human need,” and larger industries have had the lowest priority and occasionally suffered cutbacks in their See GAS, Page 16A U.S. must meet Soviet challenge is Haig's position Inside WASHINGTON (AP) - Retired Gen. Alexander M. Haig, named by President-elect Ronald Reagan to be the new secretary of state, says the United States must exercise firm but pragmatic world leadership and “cannot recoil from challenging blatant, illegal Soviet intervention wherever it occurs.” Haig, a former NATO commander-in-chief and Richard M. Nixon’s last White House chief of staff, comes to his new post after years of experience involved with issues closely tied to U.S. foreign policy. He has been outspoken in urging increased defense spending and other steps by the United States and its allies to deal with the “relentless growth” of Soviet military strength and Moscow’s increased activity in the Third World. Here is a sampling of his views: East-West competition Hatg says Soviet “proxy interventions” in Angola, Ethiopia and South Yemen as well in Afghanistan have demonstrated the failure of U.S. policies that sought to combine detente with the maintenance of basic Western security. In his speech at the COP convention, Haig called for “a new twin pillar policy involving reciprocity and strength.” NATO According to Haig, the United States needs to provide “assertive but sensitive leadership” within NATO. “Free of bullying insensitivity, Washington must inspire, persuade, urge and cajole the other NATO nations to make the hard decisions that will undoubtedly be required” to cope with Soviet power, Haig wrote Human Rights Haig told the GOP convention . “America must be the vanguard of the search for social justice not only here at home but globally as well.” But he criticized “policies under the rubric of human rights which have the practical consequence of driving authoritarian regimes, traditionally friendly to the West, into totalitarian models where they will remain in a state of permanent animosity to the American people and our interests.” Judge issues last resort charge HS™.    "is:    for Veverka    jury to reach verdict DEATHS..................16A GERONIMO CREEK ..........8A    SAN ANTONIO < AP) - Jurors    other officers connected in the case    was not known if the majority was for HOROSCOPE..............10A    deliberating the fate of former Florida    and was followed by the Miami riots.    acquittal or conviction. KALEIDOSCOPE.............IB    police 0fficer Charles Veverka Jr. in    U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler The Allen charge is generally a OPINIONS..................4A    his federal civil rights trial were told    of Miami today delivered the so-called judge’s last resort to avoid a hung PUBLIC RECORDS..........16A    today to try to agree on a verdict.    “Allen charge” or “dynamite charge”    jury. SPORTS..................6 7A    Veverka is charged in connection    to jurors after the panel sent hun a    Hoeveler called jurors into the STOCKS..................16A    with the beating death a year ago    note Tuesday afternoon saying it was    courtroom and said “no one should TV LISTINGS...............10A    today of a black man in Miami. A state    “hopelessly deadlocked ll to I. Other    stubbornly adhere to a position without WEATHER................16A    trial last May ended in acquittal of    deliberations would be fruitless.” It    listening to the view of other jurors.” Prime rate escalation Auto, housing industries hurt NEW YORK I AP) — The upward march of interest rates, now at record heights, is crushing any hope of recovery in the beleaguered auto and housing industries and is threatening to plunge the nation’s economy back into a recession, analysts say. Major banks nationwide, led by Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., the nation’s fifth-largest commercial bank, raised their prime lending rates to a record 21 percent on Tuesday. Wall Street analysts see little chance of rates peaking before year’s end. Some, in fact, predict the rates will continue rising early next year, breaking the economy’s sluggish revival and sending it into another J recession. “There is a reasonable possibility of the prime rate going up to 25 percent,” said Sung Won Son, chief economist at Northwestern National Bank in Minneapolis, the state’s largest. But even a 21 percent prime rate for a sustained period will put intense pressure on much of the economy, most notably the housing and auto industries, analysts said. Just last week, banks raised their rates a full percentage point to 20 percent, matching the peak reached in April when high rates and the Federal Reserve Board’s tight-money policies helped push the economy into a steep but quick recession. “I wonder how it could hurt worse,” said Gerald Meyers, chairman of American Motors Corp. “It’s almost ridiculous to say that 21 percent hurts more than 20 percent.” With interest rates this high, potential car buyers are finding it more difficult to get loans, and banks, limited in most cases by state law on the rates they can charge consumers, are shying away from loans because they often are unprofitable at permissible rates. The housing industry, after a minor recovery in late summer when mortgage rates dropped, also is suffering from the rising rates. Housing starts last month declined 0.4 percent, the first drop since May, the government reported Tuesday. With mortgage rates reaching 16 percent in some areas, single-family housing starts fell a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent last month after a 2.1 percent decline in October, the Commerce Department said. Only continued strength in multifamily housing starts kept the home industry from a greater setback last month, said Michael Sumichrast, chief economist of the National Association of Homebuilders. While many economists predict another recession, some think a weak recovery may continue, particularly if the Fed eases its policies in response to complaints by troubled businesses. The prime rate is the rate of interest banks charge on loans to their most creditworthy corporate customers. ;