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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEWS MAKING WAVES Schlitterbahn officials one step away from inking deal to build a new waterpark on Galveston Island. Pago 10A County to mull 4 tax break gamble Exemptions aimed at Toyota suppliers SUNDAY DECEMBER 21, 2003 Heralt SPORTS BIG DREAMS New Braunfels woman buys professional fastpitch softball franchise, the Armadillos. Page IB MXXKMKXKKKXMXX ah F OR ADC 780 xi i I lOOOSTl 05/16/05 SOUTHWEST IHC {^PUBLISHERS 2627 E YANDELL OREL PASO TX 79903 I! 1 n11 ii 1111111 ll 111 ii I i ii 11111 Vol. 153, No. 33 34 pages, 5 sections CLICK j $1.00 Tty since 1852. WWW. 56825 00002 BE Mostly cloudy High Low 69 56 Details .... 3B BUSINESS 4B DEAR ABBY SC CLASSIFIEDS 1-8D COMICS BC CROSSWORD BC FORUM 4A SPORTS 1-3B TV GRIDS 7-BC FRONTand Center With their jobs on the line, sanitation workers hope when city officials say ‘efficiency’ they’re just TALKING TRASH By Dylan Jimtnez Staff Writer Comal County commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to gamble $79,000 in tax revenue in hopes of creating new jobs and industry. Thursday, Michael Meek, Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. president, asked commissioners to exempt certain types of businesses from county taxes. A consultant the Michael Meek City of New Braunfels hired this fall suggested taxing entities should offer freeport exemptions to attract parts suppliers for the planned San Antonio Toyota plant. A free-port exemption is a tax break on finished goods that remain in Texas a short while before being shipped out of state. If approved, the county would lose $79,000 in revenue on taxable goods stored or produced by companies already operating here. Few companies currently in the county would qualify for the exemption, Meek said, but having it in place shows businesses that the area is industry-friendly. The free-port exemption would yield jobs and taxes worth hundreds of times the original tax revenue loss, he said. The county has felt the effects of manufacturers shutting down New Braunfels operations. Thousands of local jobs were shipped overseas in the past two years. “Anytime that our citizens lose jobs or their livelihood it impacts me especially," Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said. The county’s sales tax revenue was affected because unemployed residents have had less to spend. The county also is trying to manage fast residential growth and sluggish commercial development — a problem because homes bring in See TAX DOBAK, Page 5A DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung City of New Braunfels sanitation workers Carlos Gonzalez Jr., left, Joseph Lussier and Alex Benavides are worried about what will happen to their retirement plans if the city decides to privatize garbage pickup. (Below) Gonzalez, who has been with the city Tor 11 years, rides on the back of the garbage truck along a pick-up route Friday morning. Privatization debate still under way By Scott Mahon Staff Writer The word heard most in New Braunfels City Council meetings with San Antonio-based Waste Management is “efficiency.” Waste Management says it can operate the city’s sanitation service better than the city does. Company officials say they have bigger trucks and their employees work under a “performance system.” They say they can collect the city’s residential waste with five trucks. The city currently uses 11 trucks. While no final decision on privatizing waste service has been made, city officials say changes must be made within the department. The municipal waste department is an “enterprise” service, that is, its revenues must meet its expenses. Estimated revenues this year are $3.7 million. Expenses are estimated to be $4.2 million. Tile city intends to buy four new garbage collection trucks, which accounts for expenditures exceeding revenues. Otherwise, the department usually “breaks even,” said Mike Short, public works director. Waste Management has annual revenues of $12 billion and contracts with 3,800 municipalities in North America. Currently, it costs a single-family residence $12.70 a month to use the city’s trash collection. The city of Boerne charges about the same. Waste Management provides the service in Boerne. See WASTE, Page 9A UPDATES V Tracking the news 2004 ELECTIONS LAST BE KNEW: The filing period for the 2004 elections opened Dec. 3 LATEST: Ben Scroggin, Precinct 4 constable, filed his candidacy for the Precinct 1 constable position. Al Marin has filed for Precinct 4 constable. NEXT: The filing period runs through Jan. 3. Watch for updates here. RAC eyes new river fee collection method By Scott Mahon Staff Writer River users might wear wristbands next summer if the River Activities Committee gets city council to approve a new way of collecting the $1 river management fee. The committee will present its annual report and recommendations Jan. 12 to council in a continuing effort to improve and update management of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers in New Braunfels. Among many recommendations, the committee will recommend outfitters use wristbands as a means of collecting the river management fee. Project Manager Nathan Pence said outfitters would purchase die wristbands for $1 from the city and sell them to river users for $ I. “There will be no cost to the outfitters,” said Pence. “And if someone is on the river in a tube and not wearing a wristband, I guess the assumption will be that something’s not right.” Council appointed a River Activities Committee in 2000 in response to concerns relating to litter and behavior problems on the two rivers within the city limits. Subsequently, the committee developed a river management plan designed to maintain and improve conditions on both rivers. The plan’s goal is to ensure visitors and residents have the best experience possible on and near the rivers. At the end of each summer, the committee reviews the plan and makes recommendations to council. Recommendations put into operation during the summer of 2003 included evening trash patrols, preseason outfitter meetings and advertising campaigns. Pence was hired in July as the fulltime River Project manager. See BUMB, Page 5A Deck the aisles shoppers ut dashing through the stores. lew Rf ae eft Look in tho classified* Fri. A tun for our pre-ownod Specials! J V t ;