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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 3, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels FRIDAY January 3, 2003 IO pages in 2 sections MMM    IU    pages    in    I    sectuHerald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. 45Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsEthics complaint targets city council member By Michael Cary Staff Writer The New Braunfels Ethics Commission might convene soon to consider a complaint filed against District 3 Councilwoman Debbie Flume after she voted to postpone council action on flood recovery maps in late October. James N. Patrick, a former ethics commission member who resigned before being appointed to the Infrastructure/Improvement Corp. (4B) Board, filed a complaint Dec. 2 charging that Flume violated city ordinance by voting in the matter despite a conflict of interest. His complaint concedes while “no direct harm was done to the process, one must FLUME One dead, five injured in wreck south of Bulverde From Staff Reports SAN ANTONIO — A 27-year-old San Antonio woman died Thursday morning in a coUision on U.S. 281 south of Bulverde. Elizabeth C. Rowe was pronounced dead at the scene of the 8:20 a.m. accident, which occurred at the Borgfeld Drive intersection, about three-fourths of a mile south of the Bexar/Comal county line. Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy William K. Lohrke reported that the accident occurred when Rowe, driving consider the appearance of improprieties and the undermining of the public’s trust.” Flume did not participate in discussion on the city’s adoption of flood recovery maps approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but voted to postpone the matter. She also abstained from the vote to adopt the maps. The city would use the maps to regulate building permits in flood-plains and flood ways along the Guadalupe River. Flume signed an affidavit July 22 that stated she has a substantial interest in a firm owned by her husband, Michael Flume. She checked boxes that said “funds received from the business entity exceed IO percent of income for the previous year; real property is involved and she has an equitable or legal ownership with a fair market value of at least $2,500; and a relative has a sub stantial interest in the business entity or property that would be affected by a decision of the public body of which I am a member.” The Flumes had obtained a building permit and were about two-thirds of the way complete on building a home at 212 Rio Drive, when the structure washed away in July. The Flumes began rebuilding, as they already had a building permit from the city. City Attorney Charles Zech contracted with San Antonio attorney Mayo Galindo to represent the Ethics Commission. Galindo said no firm date has been set for the hearing, which likely would be conducted in executive session after public notice is given. Mayor Adam Cork said he advised Patrick not to file the complaint. “I think he knew what my See ETH ICS/3 A EAA rep. pushes for more efficiency By Tony Cantu Staff Writer In a New Year’s resolution of sorts, local Edwards Aquifer Authority represen-t a t i v e Cheryl Gilpin vowed to push for more decisive rules on under-ground storage tanks and abandoned wells. Gilpin was elected iii November to represent District 8 on the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) board. She was sworn in Dec. IO, 2002. Gilpin suggested the aquifer should cut bureaucracy by working closely with city and county government agencies that also oversee water issues. “EAA has been given a real broad problem to deal with (but) its the whole system, with several layers of government,” she said. Toward the end of better aquifer efficiency, Gilpin forged a dialogue with Peter Ward of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Ward authored the book “Colonias and Public Policy in Texas and Mexico." Gilpin likened the issue of Colonias — substandard housing built around maquiladora factories along the Mexican border — to that of water. “In Texas, groundwater issues are much like the Colonia issues" Gilpin said, quoting a passage from the tome categorizing both issues as “relegated to a public policy See EFFICIENCY^ GILPIN Inside I City to start yard waste recycling program a 2000 Saturn four-door, pulled into southbound U.S. 281 in front of a 2000 Dodge Neon four-door driven by Estelle S. Anderson, 47, of Spring Branch. Anderson’s car struck the Rowe vehicle in the driver’s side door, Lohrke reported. Rowe’s three sons, ages 8, 6 and 2, Anderson and a 3-year-old girl in her car were all taken to University Hospital. An official at the hospital said all were in stable condition late Thursday afternoon. No one was cited in the accident. Abby..................... Classifieds............. ...............6A ............2-4B Comics................. ...............5A Crossword........... ...............6A Forum.................. ...............4A Movies................. ...............6A Obituaries............ ...............3A Sports.................. ...........1-2B Today................... ...............2A Key Code 76 e 56825 00001    1 Special to the Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels residents soon will be able to leave their yard waste at the curb to be recycled. The city will launch a new weekly curbside green-waste recycling program this month. Green waste is made up of grass clippings, brush, tree trimmings and other yard debris. “Under the program, residents will be able to place their green waste at the curb on their normal recycling collection day and city garbage crews will collect the waste and recycle it,” Assistant City Manager Don Ferguson said. ‘Tree trimmings and brush must be bundled and no longer than four feet in length while all leaves, plant materials and grass cuppings must be in biodegradable paper bags weighing no more than 50 pounds each.” The program is designed to divert the city’s collected green waste from the Comal County Landfill so it can be processed at the Comal County Rural Recycling Center. It would then be returned at no cost to residents in the form of compost or mulch. The green waste program is available only to those residences currently on the city recycling service. The nonoptional monthly fee for the program is $1.75, which will be added to utility bills beginning this month. “Estimates show green waste represents as much as 30 percent of the waste stream in New Braunfels,” Ferguson said. “Removing this one type of material from the loads headed to the landfill Is a relatively simple way to significantly reduce landfill tonnage.” Also, green waste can be environmentally helpful instead of harmful, so it makes little sense to place it in an expensive landfill, See WASTE/3A ■■■■I ■n * ___I I Bam fire might have been caused by fireworks Fire marshal: Boys played in shed before it burned down K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung (Left) New Braunfels Fire Department’s Lt. Bud Cessna, left, supervises a crew from different fire stations as they work to put out what is left of a small bam that caught fire late Wednesday afternoon off Klein Road. (Above) New Braunfels firefighter Chad Holladay uses the force of the water to work through the smoldering hay late Wednesday afternoon after the primary fire on a bam is put out. “Thank goodness there were no animals or anything else in there. It took about 20 minutes to control. We stayed there for -about three hours to make sure the fire was fully extinguished,” Brinkkoeter said. Witnesses told firefighters that three boys, ages ll, 13 and 15, had been shooting fireworks in the area. “There were several witnesses. These young men had been popping fireworks all afternoon. They were seen leaving the area just before the barn was seen on fire,” Brinkkoeter said. “They were playing with fireworks in the building and accidentally caught it on fire.” The boys live in the nearby Ranch Estates subdivision, Brinkkoeter said. All three have been interviewed, and the investigation is continuing. The fire marshal was uncertain what charges might be brought, but they range from criminal trespass or criminal mischief to violation of the city’s fireworks ordinance and of state fireworks laws. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The fire that destroyed a century-old shed Wednesday afternoon is believed to have been caused by boys playing with fireworks. New Braun-f e I s Fire Marshal Darren Brinkkoeter said BRINKKOETER fir,®' fight- e r s were dispatched to the 500 block of West Klein Road just after 4 p.m. for a reported structure fire. They arrived to find the 900 sq. ft. structure engulfed in flames. “It took about five minutes to get on scene when they got the call,” Brinkkoeter said. “It was fully involved when they arrived.” Firefighters had to protect a new home being built about 75 feet away from blowing hot embers. The shed was used to store hay, Brinkkoeter said. ;