New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 26, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
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Banged-up Cowboys limp toward the post season. See Sports, Page 6A.
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14 pages in one section ■ Tuesday, December 26,1995
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of DEREK WOELFEL
Vol. 144, No.31
inside i Sharp drop in sales mystifies officials
Editorial...........................................4 By DENISE DZIUK
Sports..............................................6 | staff Writer
Stammtisc hBirthday wishes from the Herald-Zeftung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Derek Woelfel (eight years, belated), Debora Deason, Denise Jacob, Diana Schreefer.New Year's dance
Holy Family Church will hold its third annual New Year's Eve Dance, Sunday, Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Music by La Distancia. Advance tickets are $7, or $9 at the door. For more information, call 609-5320 or 620-7678 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.OOP filing party
The Republican Party of Comal County will have a filing party at New Braunfels Smokehouse Tuesday, Jan. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The candidates for the 1996 primary election will be introduced. Come meet and visit with the candidates. For more information, call Dona Bruns at 625-0872.City offices holiday schedule set
All city offices will be closed Dec. 25 and 26 and Jan. 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The Sanitation Department will not pick up garbage on Christmas day, but will be available for regular service on the 26th, and on New Years' Day. For more information or asistance, call 608-2140 from 8 a rn. to 5 p m. on any business day.LCRA sets workshop
The Lower Colorado River Authority will hold a workshop in New Braunfels on Thursday, Jan. 4, 1996, to inform area leaders and nonprofit groups about LCRA's new grant program to assist community development projects in its service area
The workshop will be at the New Braunfels Utilities board room, 263 E. Main Plaza, from 6 to 8 p.m. At the workshop, LCRA staff will be available to assist participants in filling out grant applications.
LCRA's Board of Directors recently approved establishing a $1 million fund to enable the LCRA to provide grants in the 58 counties serviced by LCRA's wholesale electric and water customers.
The program, called the Community Development Partnership program, was formed in conjunction with LCRA’s 44 wholesale electric customers. The program will provide grants for capital improvement projects Those eligible for grants include cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other non-profit economic and community development groups.
The New Braunfels workshop is one of seven scheduled to date in the region. Invited to the workshops are mayors, city managers, county judges and commissioners, school superintendents, volunteer fire chiefs, chamber of commerce representatives, and general managers of electric cooperatives and other LCRA customers.
For more information, contact Frank Morgan, LCRA, 1-800-776-5272, ext. 3340.
A report from the state comptroller’s office shows gross sales for Comal County were substantially lower during this year’s second quarter in both all industries and in retail trade, despite an increase in the number of businesses.
The report shows that the number of reporting outlets for all industries in Comal County increased from 1,747 in 1994 to 1,803 in 1995. However, during that time, the gross sales had a 21.7 percent decrease. Gross sales in the second quarter of 1995 were $797,062,078, compared to 1,018,595,253 in 1994.
The gross sales for retail trade saw an even larger decline. The number of outlets increased from 956 to 989,
Less activity at Wal-Mart warehouse, troubled Mexican economy, and adjustments last year among possible reasons cited
while gross sales decreased from $886,997,085 to $664,037,329. This was a 25.1 percent decrease.
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek said the decline in sales in April, May, and June is “worrisome.” He also pointed out that the figures are from before the new Target and HEB stores began operation. Meek said part of the answer may be that 1994 was a good year.
“It was a big year. The economy was really percolating,” he said.
Meek said another impact on the numbers may be from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. He said more cen
ters have opened up in the state, and the local wharehouse is likely servicing fewer of stores. He said this could account for the decrease.
County Treasurer Bart Bartholomew said it is also important to look at the numbers for the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes New Braunfels. The MSA had a decrease of over $82 million in manufacturing, over $23 million in transportation and utilities, and over $219 million in general merchandising. He said this totals about $300 million, and New Braunfels accounted for about two-thirds of that drop. The MSA consists of Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, and
“When you look at the whole MSA, it’s not that meaningful. But, when you pull it out of the MSA, you see two-thirds came out of New Braunfels, and suddenly it becomes more meaningful,” he said.
Bartholomew said he believes the major reason for the drop is the devaluation of the peso. He said people are not coming here to shop. He also said the Wal-Mart Distribution Center probably cut its shipment south because of it. He said this would account for the substantial drops in sales.
“They’re not here. People aren’t coming here to shop, and Wal-Mart
probably isn’t sending much south,’’ he said.
Sharon Day, Director of Finance for the city of New Braunfels, said she noticed the drop. However, she said sales tax revenue has continually increased. She said she has put a call into the state to see if she could get more information, but had not recei\ ed any as of yet. They did tell her it could be due to outlets making adjustments and larger payments during the second quarter of 1994.
The general manager of the local Wal-Mart Distribution Center said the company does not release information on the number of stores being serviced, and the effect of the peso devaluation.
County shows strong job growth
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
The Texas Employment Commission put good numbers in Comal County’s Christmas stocking an unemployment rate of 4.0 percent for Nov ember and an increase of 941 jobs since Nov. 1994.
“The unemployment rate has been fluctuating between 3.7 and 4.2 percent through the year, said Bob Bluhm. director of the local TEC. “It indicates a strong economy.”
The New Braunfels area has a fluid economy, Bluhm said. “We’re having companies open up and come into the community.” However, small businesses can be hard to sustain. Normally some are quietly laying off workers or closing w hile others celebrate ribbon cuttings, he said.
The total employment numbers say that Comal County’s economy is in good shape, said Alfred DeBarros, TEC labor market analyst, “lf you look at employment over the year up 941 from a year ago, it comes out to a 3.3 annual growth rate,” DeBarros said.
Comal County employment figures stack up well against Texas and the overall U.S. rates, DeBarros said. Unemployment in the U.S. for Nov. 1995 was 5.6 percent. Texas unemployment was 5.9 percent for the same period.
“When you get down to the individual basis, the people w ho show up on that report as being unemployed are the ones I think of,” Bluhm said. “I feel for them at this time of the year.**
“I hope we can think about those people during the holiday season and think of how to get them on the other side of the employment figures.”Building bums at Canyon Lake
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
A Canyon Lake building was destroyed by fire late Saturday night. The two-story building was located in a wooded area in the 1600 block of Mclver. It had already burnt to the ground when Comal County Sheriffs deputies arrived on the scene just after midnight, according to Comal County Arson Investigator Raylon Schlueder.
The Canyon Lake Fire Department responded to a 12:07 a.m. call and put out what was left of the fire, Schlueder said.
The Spnng Branch Fire Department and Schlueder also responded to the call.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Schlueder said
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
A car rolled over several times in a single car accident early this morning at northbound Interstate 35 between Sol ms and Engel Road. The driver was the only ocupant in the vehicle, and he waa thrown from the car. New Braunfels Police responded to the call. The black sport truck rolled down the grassy knoll at the side of the highway and came to met near the acoaae road. The driver was flown by AirLife to a San Antonio hospital. The identity and condition of the driver were unknown at proas time.
Herald-Zeitung photos by MICHAEL DARNALL
Cheer Fund comes through for local families
New Braunfels residents showed that this is a city that cares once again, donating more than $4,000 to the Cheer Fund. The money bought food baskets for 200 area families this year.
The baskets were delivered Saturday morning by more than 30 volunteers.
At left George Guidrozcarries a food basket to the back of his truck behind the HEB.
Above, Judith and Penny Prigyl deliver a basket to a local home.For advertising or subscription information, call the Herald-Zeitung at 625-9144.