New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 28, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
DECEMBER 28, 2003
lf it seems too daunting to put the lights and decorations back up, let the pros give some tips. Pago 1C
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Vol. 153, No. 39 26 pages, 4 sections
DEAR ABBY SC CLASSIFIEDS ID COMICS 6C CROSSWORD CC ORUM 4A OBITUARIES SA SPORTS 1B TV GRIDS 7*C
Details .... 3B
Herald-Zeitung sports staff names Comal County's best of the best on both sides of the football. Pogo IB
Redistricting forces changes in NB precincts
By Ron Malonoy
Comal County Commissioners Tuesday will decide whether to approve proposed new voting districts in New Braunfels created when new U.S. congressional districts divided the city between two representatives.
Elections Coordinator Linnell Hinojosa will present maps of four new voting districts and changed boundary lines in seven others. The districts affected are located in all four Comal County commissioner precihcts, Hinojosa said.
The new voting lines will address new state boundaries that divide New Braunfels between 21st Congressional District Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, and 28th Congressional District Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.
The new state lines — already pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice in accordance with the Voting Rights Act — are * now awaiting the outcome of a federal court case filed by Democrats who claimed the districts disenfranchised minority voters.
A three-judge panel that heard dosing arguments in the case this past Tuesday had issued no ruling late Saturday. Whichever way the court rules, the losing side is expected to appeal.
Hinojosa said Comal County could not wait for the outcome with the primary election coming
AT A GLANCE
■ Commissioners' Court
g 8:15 a.m. Tuesday
g 199 Main F4aza
Lead custodian Jackie Wiley cleans one of the crests hanging on the front of the New Braunfels Civic Center Friday. The civic center is used for everything from arts-and-crafts shows to stage productions and legislative conferences to wedding receptions.
City: Study that lead to expansion talk is outdated
, Page 3A
By Scott Mahon
New Braunfels and chamber of commerce officials agree a 1999 study for a new civic center is outdated and the city should commission a new study before making a decision on building a new facil-tty.
The 1999 study, which was completed by a Houston consulting firm for $60,000 and proposed a new civic center on Gruene Road, reported that “a convention center would potentially generate an increase in tourism, especially during the off-peak periods... and would attract over 100,000 people annually in the third year of operations.”
The study also reported San Antonio is becoming too expensive for some state
and regional association meetings and New Braunfels could attract groups displaced from San Antonio.
However, officials now say since 1999, a myriad of events have made the data in the 1999 study obsolete.
Since 1999, the city has held two elections regarding a new civic center, and council has discussed a number of proposals, including expanding the existing civic center, building a new $14 million civic center on the Comal River or building a new facility on South Castell Avenue.
Now, however, some officials say expanding the existing civic center "on a smaller scale” than previously proposed might be the city's best option.
Tm not talking about throwing the 1999 study out the window, but there have
been so many changes since 1999, we’d almost have to start from scratch,” said Cit/ Manager Chuck Pinto. “The 1999 study proposed a 50,000-square-foot facility in Gruene, but the city has since opted to keep the civic center downtown. And based on everything that’s happened since the 1999 study, I think we need to update the study.”
Michael Meek, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, said although the chamber funded the 1999 study, the chamber is now in favor of a smaller-scale expansion.
“The chamber paid for the 1999 study, which was intended to help get more year-round convention business to New Braunfels,” he said. "And some board
See CIVIC CENTER Page 3A
■ 1999 The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce conv missions a study that supports building a convention center in Gruene.
B May 2000 — In the wake of a proposal to build a convention center in Gruene. New Braunfels voters overwhelmingly pass Special Election proposition I. which required that hotel occupancy tax be used to support maintenance and improvement of the civic center in downtown New Braunfels — not to build a new one.
■ Spring 2002 — Adam Cork, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and candidate for mayor, throws back to the voters the question of whether Hotel Occupancy Tax money should be used to build, as well as maintain, a civic center in downtown New Braunfels.
* April 2002 -City council candidate Ken Valentine floats an idea for building a new civic center in the former H4E-6 building on West San Antonio Street
•ii May 2002 -Voters pass by a 2-1 margin a proposition that permits use of HOT money to either expand the existing civic center or build a new one downtown.
■ January 2003 — Architect Ken Rah tor creates a proposal for a glass and steel civic center to be built over the Comal River off San Antonio Street
■ October 2003 -Amid funding and permitting questions. the city backs away from Rehtor s proposal, which is one of four for expansion or building of a new civic center.
■ Today — The city is considering an update to the 1999 study.
Tracking the news 2004 ELECTIONS
Keep kids occupied during school break
By Dylan Jintonez
The children’s new toys might keep them occupied until they go back to school.
But on the off chance they don’t, there are a few other opportunities to engage community children.
The McKenna Children's Museum, 386 W. San Antonio St., will be open 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
Carolyn Day has a family membership that allows her to take her 2-year-old son, Dante, there as often as she’d like.
They come often, usually in the afternoons. Dante spends much of the time running around the museum playing in the many
See BUBAK, Page 3A
LAST BE KNEW: The filing period for the 2004 elections opened Dec. 3.
LATEST: Democrat Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamor filed for re-election to her post; Republican Alan Svobo-da filed for Precinct 4 Constable, and Republican Bob Wickman filed for Precinct 1 Commissioner.
NEXT: The filing period runs through Friday.
A family feeds the ducks and geese at Lands Park Saturday afternoon.
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MILLER A MILLER
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