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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 3, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas TF    TF TUESDAY, FE Iv TUESDAY, FEB!    n«    « s°un*Esr'(iffM6/'« fc'WfIL **«« ll iff I*, w'« "'""''"I'lnll II,,,/,,| :ITUNG SPORTS FAMILY AFFAIR New Braunfels High student Brynna Monk learned the game of basketball from her father, Kelly, who is a coach. Page SA DIGEST | CRUNCH TIME I President Bush proposed a I $2.4 trillion budget Monday | that would slice funding to I scores of programs. Page 2A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 72 10 pages, 1 section CLICK {    500 a "56825 00001 rtly cloudy High Low 60 42 Details .... 6A DEAR ABBY 8A CLASSIFIEDS 9A COMICS 7A CROSSWORD 7A FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 8A WW Citizens: Stop beating civic center issue to death; take action New study would cost city $60,000 By Scott Mahon Staff Writer A new study examining the pros and cons of a proposed civic center project would cost the city at least $60,000. But for some anxious residents and business owners, cost isn’t the most important factor. They want New Braunfels City Council members to take action on a project that has been talked about for years. “When you vote this time, you need to ask yourselves if you’re going to accept the study and move forward,’’ said Marian Benson, a local retailer who attended Monday night’s two-hour workshop on the city. “And if he [consultant] says there’s no demand (for a convention center), then you need to abide by that too.” Along with others, Benson pointed out to council that the proposal to build a new convention center or renovate the existing civic center has been an ongoing issue since 1999. “New Braunfels has been beating this question around for years,” said Bernie Boarnet, a business owner. “We’ve had two elections, and nothing has happened yet. You can study something to death, and it’s time for the council to make a decision.” City Manager Chuck Pinto’s opening remarks reminded council that a 1999 study was outdated. “The consensus was we had a market niche, but we missed that niche,” Pinto said. “Even PKF, who did the 1999 study, agrees. So we have to start from scratch, and take a fresh look at it. So this is an opportunity to ask some tough questions and hopefully develop a plan of action.” See CIVIC CINTER, Page 3A COMING WEDNESDAY FRONTand Center Community buys into $400 bargain Delinquent tax notices hit a nerve with payers DAVID INGRAM/Heraid-Zeitung Volunteer Laura Ochoa restocks books at the Garden Ridge Library. Small donation spawned action on Garden Ridge Library By Leigh Jones Staff Writer GARDEN RIDGE — I low much can a city do with $400? Here, they started a public library. “In the late 1980s, someone left the city $400 designated for library use only,’’ said Garden Ridge Mayor Jay Feibelman. “We didn’t even have a library then.” No problem. When something needs to be done in Garden Ridge, there are always volunteers ready to meet the challenge. In 1998, space was set aside in the courtroom, and book donations poured in. Eeibelman used the seed money to buy bookshelves from Wal-Mart. As the collection grew, it was moved from the jury room to the judge’s room. “One day, I got a call from Universal City,” Feibelman said. “They had some bookshelves they thought we might be interested in." Those bookshelves, which were from a Barnes & Noble store that had gone out of business, proved to be the catalyst for moving the library into its own building. Today, the 2,000 square-feet library contains 5,000 volumes and is staffed by 22 volunteers. The city budgets $500 per year for supplies and provides phone and electricity service. Everything else is donated. lack’s Furniture gave the lion’s Club a truckload of “scratch and dent” display furniture. The Lion’s Club in turn gave it to the library. Any items that could not be used were sold, generating funds for new books. “We continue to get donated books all die time,” said volunteer Nancy Black. Any duplicates of items already in the library are placed in the resale room. Individual books, including hardbacks, are only 25 cents. Shoppers with moYe than they can carry get an even better deal. “We only ask $1 for a bag of books,’’ Black said, “When summertime comes, See LIBRARY Page 3A 3 Garden Ridge council slots available for citizens willing to serve By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Garden Ridge is looking for a few good citizens to serve their city. In its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, city council will consider several ordinances, including one ordering a general election on May 15. Three council places — one, four and five — will be open for new aldermen. City officials hope the election will take place. “I .ast year, the election was cancelled," said city Administrator Nancy Cain. If only one person files for each available seat, there is no need lo open the polling places, lf only one seat has multiple candidates, the election will still take place. Although the city saves $600 to $800 when elections are cancelled, Mayor lay Feibelman hopes that a seat without an incumbent will encourage potential candidates to step up. “Georgia Buehler is stepping down after IO years of service," said Feibelman. “We’re hoping to see two or three people fill? for her place.” Feibelman also said that seats with incumbents tend to go unopposed when citizens are generally happy with die state of the city. ()penings in city government become an opportunity for new people to get involved in the political process, he said. Potential candidates must be Garden Ridge residents who are 18 years old and registered to vote. The term for council member is two years. Candidates may not file until after Wednesday night’s meeting. The deadline for filing is Feb. 17. Information packets are available from the city secretary. In other business, council will vote on adopting a new comprehensive water ordinance and repealing the one adopted in July 2002. Concluding an item from last month’s meeting, council will vote to adopt a resolution renaming Municipal Parkway as John T. Philips Municipal Parkway. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Property owners who got tax reminder notices and haven't been able to get through to the tax office should keep trying because today is the day that interest and penalties kick in on unpaid 2003 property taxes. Since Friday, phones at the tax office have been ringing off the hook because last week, Tax Assessor /Collector Sherman Krause sent out 38,000 of the reminders, which is what he does each January. But not quite all of them went to people who hadn't paid. Some — no one is sure how many — went to people who have already paid their property taxes or whose mortgage holders paid them. "It’s hard to say.” Krause explained. "We’ve had people call and say, ‘We’ve already PENALTIES KICK IN ■ Today is the day that interest and penalties kick in on unpaid 2003 property taxes. ■ lf you received a delinquent tax notice but you have a written receipt or proof taxes have been paid by mortgage holders, don't worry. But any one with questions should call 620 5521 just to make sure paid, why did we get this?’ But then we’ve also had people call and say, ‘We thought wed paid this,’ we looked them up and they in fact had not paid it.'" Krause said the reason the sternly worded reminder notices are sent is to help people resolve payment questions — or make payments — before interest and penalties begin. “For some reason, we haven’t quite figured it out to just send OHS. Page 3A Girls condition improves; no charges filed in accident By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO —As first-grade classmates prepared hand-drawn “get well" cards Monday, the condition of the girl struck by a car Friday was reported improved to “serious." Comal Independent School District spokeswoman Kari Hutchison said crisis counseling centers at Goodwin lYi- mary, Frazier Elementary and Canyon Intermediate schools had been staffed with additional therapists Monday in case students or staff needed support in coping with the incident. “That was our locus today, being available to those children and the stall to help them through this situation. I lutchison said. See ACCIDENT. Page 3A Hall monitors Administrators at Canyon High School found a tactful way to build school spirit and protect renovations at the school. MILLER & MILLER Insurance Agency Check us out on the web at: www.miller-millerinsurance.com625-3000186 S. Casten Ave. - Downtown New Braunfels ;