New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 10, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149 No. 60 14 pgs, in 2 sections February IO, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
NTSB investigates plane crash
By Erin Magruder
Friends and relatives of 36-year-old New Braunfels resident Michael “Shawn” Sooter prepared Wednesday to say good-bye while the National Transportation Safety Board began what will be a six-month investigation into the plane crash that took his life.
Sooter’s single-engine airplane plummeted to the earth Tuesday afternoon near Farm-to-Market Road 306.
He was headed back to New Braunfels Municipal Airport about 1:40 p.m. when witnesses said his fourseater, 1968 Beechcraft Muskateer suddenly nose-dived into a cluster of cedar trees in a vacant lot on River Chase Drive.
Witnesses said the aircraft was flying at a very low altitude moments before the crash. Sooter was killed instantly.
NTSB air safety investigator Doug Wiginton, who arrived at the crash
site Wednesday morning, will head the investigation with the help of a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and representatives from the manufacturers of the airplane’s engine and airframe, Wiginton said.
Wiginton and party completed the accident site part of the investigation Wednesday, he said.
“Upon arrival, we examined the accident site and got the airplane into a position where we could look at it,” Wiginton said.
NTSB next will examine the airplane’s engine, which was moved from the plane to a nearby airfield, he said.
Wigington said he had not ruled out the possibility that the plane ran out of fuel — as one witness had speculated — but he did confirm Sooter put 29 gallons of fuel in the tank before his departure and fuel was detected in the wreckage.See CRASH/3A
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board check out the plane in which a New Braunfels man was killed Tuesday afternoon.
City, TxDOT make plans for extending Loop 337
From Staff Reports
Several members of New Braunfels City Council met with officials from the Texas Department of Transportation, the Guadalupe County Road Department and other city officials
Tuesday evening at New Braunfels City Hall to discuss plans for Loop 337 in New Braunfels.
The group discussed council’s previous plans for the extension of Loop 337 and decided the re
alignment of Farm-to-Market Road 1044 probably would be a more feasible alternative.
The group decided to begin looking at re-aligning F.M. 1044 to connect with Ruekle Road and extending the loop across Inter
state 35, said city councilman Larry Alexander, who called the meeting.
The next step would be to extend the loop to cross the Guadalupe River and connect to Texas 46.
Key Code 76
Bulverde opposes Bulks annexation
By Ron Maloney
BULVERDE — Bulverde City Council Tuesday night unanimously went on record in a strongly-worded resolution opposing a San Antonio proposal to annex the eastern edge of Camp Bulbs.
The action came five days after Comal County Commissioners passed a similar resolution in response to recently-announced consideration by San Antonio to annex the uninhabited, 1,000 foot-wide strip along the eastern edge of the military training area. The proposal was part of a package of anticipated annexations of areas north of San Antonio.
Bulverde Mayor Bob Barton said he would present the two-page resolution to U.S. Army officials
at Ft. Sam Houston for forwarding to federal and Department of Defense authorities.
“It appears San Antonio is continuing its match northward,” Barton said. “I think it might be time we start fighting them on it.”
Barton said the resolution would notify federal officials about local opposition to the annexation.
“Nobody lives on that land in Camp Bulbs, and I don’t think the annexation benefits the U.S. Army. This annexation would serve the interests of nobody but the city of San Antonio,” Barton said. “Hopefully, Comal County and the Bulverde City Council pointing that out — along with the concerns of others who live nearby — will convince them to drop this action.”
Drainage proposals nearly ready
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
New Braunfels City Council likely will start this month reviewing two drainage ordinances and a technical drainage manual — all designed to protect residents from future flooding.
While the programs and standards outlined in the ordinances and manual won’t necessarily prevent the devastation of the 1998 flood, they could help the city control water runoff from future development and start addressing problems in the city.
On Tuesday, the city’s drainage advisory committee took no action on the two ordinances but agreed to submit any revisions to the city by Friday. Once revisions are made, another draft will be sent to committee members.
Committee president Hal Herbebn will take a phone poll of the members, and if everyone approves of the drafts, they will be forwarded to council for its Feb. 28 meeting. If everyone doesn’t approve, the committee will call another meeting.
But members still hope to get the drafts to council by Feb. 28.
“We want to get this through with this council, which appointed us,” Herbebn said.
Council appointed the committee about a year ago; the panel started meeting in June.
Now, eight months later, the committee and staff have two proposed ordinances to show for their work.
One establishes the city’s right to administer four fees to fund drainage projects. Exact fee amounts, however, are not included in the ordinance draft.
A public utility fee likely would be developed and approved later — after the bond election in May. The other fees could be years away.
The second ordinance being considered sets up the process developers must follow to control flooding and erosion.
The specific standards are not included in this document but would be outlined in a Drainage and Erosion Control Design Manual, which could be considered by council at the same time as the third reading of the ordinances.
“lf council doesn’t like the manual, it won’t approve the ordinance,” city engineer-in-training Richard Radner said.
The fee ordinance outlines four potential funding mechanisms to pay for drainage projects. Two directly affect the general public — those
The appointed drainage advisory committee is preparing:
• an ordinance establishing fees to fund drainage projects;
• an ordinance establishing the process for developers to control flooding and erosion; and
• a technical drainage manual.
Drainage advisory committee members hope to have the two ordinance ready for council by Feb.
who live in the city limits and in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.
Property owners of every developed lot or parcel of land would pay a utility fee, which likely would be billed yearly by the Comal Appraisal District.
The committee hasn’t determined how much this fee would be but has discussed charging commercial owners more than residential owners.
Revenue generated from this fee would be used to pay for the operation, maintenance, administration and routine functions of the existing and future storm drainage and flood protection facilities.
The committee said Tuesday it would work on establishing a fee in May after the bond election, which includes $ 18 million worth of street and drainage projects.
“We could do a lot better job setting a fee then,” Herbelin said.
The city could need to generate more money with the utility fee if the street projects don’t pass, Radner said.
A special assessment fee is the second fee that could affect the general public.
This fee could be levied against existing property owners to remedy current problems in their watershed area.
While the utility fee would affect the entire city, the assessment fee would be for problem areas.
“This would give (the city) the right to go to a certain area with a major drainage problem and collect a higher fee to pay for projects there,” Herbelin said.
Revenue generated would fund
See DRAINAGE/3 A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
New Braunfels Fire and Rescue personnel tend to one of the victims of Wednesday night’s accident in front of the post office on Seguin Avenue.
Two vehicles collide in front of post office
From staff reports
Two juveniles and a 17-year-old woman were transported to McKenna Memorial Hospital Wednesday evening by New Braunfels Fire and Rescue personnel after a two-car collision in front of the post office.
The accident occurred about 6:30 p.m. when a green minivan attempted to turn left from a street adjacent to the Post Office marked “No Left Turn.”
As the minivan pulled out, it was broadsided by a blue Blazer headed toward Interstate 35 on Seguin Avenue.
The driver and a passenger in the blazer
and an occupant of the mini van appeared not to have received serious injuries in the collision, but were transported by ambulance as a precautionary measure, New Braunfels Fire and Rescue personnel said.
New Braunfels Police Department officers also responded to the collision and routed traff ic around the accident site.
Accident sends 3 to hospital