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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 6, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW (Braunfels / I i • : •’**( /•% A-1J 'J J 2    to iO ■!.!! 'Hi OB IP, J- ii / l'j j (*■ /••'{’} J.:i VRNM i II Ierald-Zeitung Vol. 149, No. 57 40 pages in 5 sections February 6, 2000 Sunday Serving Comal County since 1852 $1.00 Inside ► Baseball arrives Academy Award nominations will be announced Feb. 15. Herald-Zeitung columnist Roy Hargrove predicts who will race for the Oscars./! C Weather Mild temperatures and a brisk breeze are in store for today. Warmer days are ahead with temperatures in the 70s. For the complete forecast, see Page 2A. Index Abby.................................. ..........2C Business........................... ...5B-6B Classified........................... .....MOD Crossword......................... ..........2C Forum................................ ..........6A Local/Metro........................ ..........4A Movies................................ ..........2C Obituaries....................... .........3A Sports.............................. ......1-4B Today.................................. ..........2A Television............................ Montage Key code 77 Learning to fly Petition fights convention center idea Amanda Beck/Herald-Zeitung Russel Schroeder, 9, tries his hand at fly fishing Saturday morning during the City of New Braunfels’ 12th annual Troutfest at Aquatic Complex’s spring-fed pool in Landa Park. The event continues through Feb. 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. There were 1,000 trout and 1,500 pounds of catfish released into the pool for the Troutfest which began Feb. 3. Issue could go before voters By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer More than 30 registered New Braunfels voters have started a petition drive asking the city not to spend hotel/motel tax revenue on a convention center. Petition supporters began a public effort to collect signatures on Saturday outside the New Braunfels Public Library. The petition calls for the city to amend Section 122.31 of the Ordinance Code and require the city to spend a minimum of 45 percent of bed tax revenue on: • Funding a minimum of 14.286 percent for the enhancement of arts and cultural organizations and programs; and • Funding a minimum of 30.714 percent for maintenance and improvement of the civic center, historical restoration and preservation projects, arts, historic downtown and other historic buildings and/or city-operated promotional programs allowed by state law. With about 1,000 signatures on a petition — or 30 percent of the number of registered voters who voted in the last general election — council must consider the proposal, according to city code, Sec. 6.02. lf 1,000 signatures of registered voters are rounded up, council either could approve the amended ordinance as is or call a special election. If council votes against the ordinance, a special election is auto matically called. Council currently is considering whether to spend part of the ci,y's bed tax mw revenue on a ^    convention cen ter — a plan endorsed by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Currently, the chamber gets the largest portion of the city’s 7 percent bed tax revenue — 55 percent with no cap. Previously, the city paid the chamber 74.286 percent unless that exceeded a predetermined cap. On Jan. 24, the chamber asked the city to lower that percentage, hoping the leftover money would be used on a convention center. Chamar president Michael Meek said a convention center could bring an additional $153,000 in sales tax revenue and $210,000 in bed tax revenue a year to the city. It could offer the city a more steady source of sales tax revenue, which funds streets, drainage and various other infrastructure projects, he said. Currently, the city relies on a robust summer season for sales and bed tax revenue, Meek said. But a convention center would bring in people all year round, especially in New Braunfels’ slower seasons — fall and spring, Meek said. According to a chamber-funded study by PKE Consulting of Houston, a convention center would be used at least 228 days a year and See PETITION/5A ETJ residents seek notification of zoning changes By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer A proposed open-air market sparked residents living outside New Braunfels’ city limits to question a policy of notifying only city residents of zoning change requests. Property owners near the proposed market site said residents and nonresidents would be a free ted equally by the development. They say the city should send letters to everyone living within a 200-foot radius of the subject property, not just city residents. City officials argue sending personal notification letters to nonresidents — who don’t pay city property taxes — would be a poor use of taxpayers’ money. In the case of Yvonne Crouch, the policy meant she wasn’t notified of a zoning change request that would allow the open-air market across the street from her home on Doeppenschmidt Road. “Just because you live a few feet outside the city limits, doesn’t mean it won’t affect us,” she said. City planning director Harry Bennett agreed. “That’s why I put zoning signs up,” he said. But the signs aren’t good enough. Crouch said. “We are deserving of fair representation,” she said. S.D. David, who owns an industrial park that abuts the proposed market site, said a letter would ensure everyone involved could take part in the planning process. David said he didn’t find out about the open-air market in time to do that. “We could have been in on the planning,” he said. “Then we could have talked about our problems with drainage and sewer.” New Braunfels Planning Commission considered the zoning change in December; city council has to consider one more reading of the ordinance approving the zoning change. David said he doesn't oppose the market, just the city’s policy excluding nonresidents. “I think that’s a poor way to do business,” he said. Crouch, who opposes the market, said the city had a responsibility to anyone with a New Braunfels address. Bennett said the city would continue See ZONING/5 A Water district meets with drillers By Erin Magruder Staff Writer BULVERDE — The newly formed Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District conducted a workshop for about 20 local well drillers. Saturday at the Bulverde Fire Station, Farm-to-Mar-ket Road 1863 and Cougar Bend. file five temporary board members sought input from seasoned drillers as the district creates well regulations for western Comal County, member Jill Sondeen said. The primary objectives of the district are conservation, management and quality of the Trinity Aquifer, board members said. President Chris Dullnig said, “The residents, businesses, agricultural interests, tourists, and visitors who live, work and enjoy this beautiful area of Texas depend on the avail ability of quality water.” The Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District was authorized in the 1999 legislative session by Senate Bill 1911. The temporary board members Dullnig, Sondeen, Larry Hull, Ernie Lee and Star C arey — were appointed by commissioners in November and will serve until the next legislative session in 2001. Guest speakers at Saturday’s workshop were Russell Persyn of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, which is helping the district in its planning, and volunteer consultant Edward Miller, a senior geologist with Pape-Dawson Engineers. Persyn discussed water management and the powers and authority the temporary district will have. The legislation that created the temporary districts gave board members limited authority to regulate the aquifer. The district will not be allowed to conduct elections, have eminent domain, make long-term management plans, assess taxes, issue bonds or annex and consolidate districts. Because the district has the authority to permit wells, application fees for drilling new wells probably will be a main source of the district’s revenue. The revenue would be used for the basic the operational costs of the district, such as staff, rent and telephone service. The application fee would probably be about $175, which Comal County landowners with wells on the Trinity Aquifer would be required to pay prior to drilling. See WATER/3 A SWT lecture series presents Sally K. Ride From Staff Reports SAN MARCOS — After making a couple of round trips on the Challenger shuttle and spending more than 343 hours in the space, former astronaut Sally K. Ride will dock at Southwest Texas State University Monday evening to lecture on “The View From Space.” Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, will deliver the second annual James Lovell Lecture at 7:30 p.m. to a packed house at SWT’s Evans Auditorium. The sold-out lecture is sponsored by the James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research in the university’s department of geography. Although tickets for the lecture are no longer available, residents can buy a ticket to the preceding fund-rais- See LECTURE/5A RIDE Area high school baseball, teams are gearing up for the 2000 season. Coaches offer their thoughts on what lies ahead. /1B ► Americana sound For the fourth consecutive year, a local radio station has been nominated for the Gavin Americana Award./5B ► Golden race ;