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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 19, 2007

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 19, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas FRIDAY, JANUARY 19,2007 Zeitung Newspaper of the Year SPORTS NEW COACH Texas State's Bailiff to take over Rice football; Bobcats name Wright interim coach. Page 6A mmmm^M "w flu NEWS BIRD DEATHS Officials say parasites, cold weather killed the dozens of birds that littered Austin streets last week. Page 2A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 54 16 pages, 2 sections CLICK www: f$\,................................ 5O0 40% chance of rain High Low 42 38 Details____1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS SB COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6A TV GRIDS 3B Commissioners OK Creekside complex By Jessica Sanders Staff Writer Comal County commissioners said they like the look of a proposed Creekside retail complex, but they're not ready to make a financial commitment to the project. Commissioners voted 3-0 Thursday to approve a resolution in support of the proposed Creekside devel- Officials not ready to enter specific agreements opment, to be located at the intersection of Farm-to-Market 306 and Interstate 35. Jack Dawson, precinct 1 commissioner, was absent. However, the county officials said they are not yet ready to enter into any specific agreements with the developers. "Everything I've heard about the project leads me to believe it is going to be a huge benefit to the community and the surrounding area," said Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Ken-nady. "But until the drainage prob- lems are solved, that land can't be used at all." The $500 million retail and commercial development would be located within the New Braunfels city limits. However, the 400-acre property also would be a source of revenue for the county through sales tax and property tax proceeds. The city of New Braunfels is negotiating terms of a geographic zone for tax increment financing. Assistant District Attorney Geoffrey Barr said that the tax increment financing would allow a percentage See CREEKSIDE, Page 3A No free rides How they voted MicrOSOlt ! to build a �.Here's how city council members cast their votes on the idea of allowing only nondisposable containers on the Comal River. FILE PHOTO/Herald-Zeitung Crowds of tubers float down the Comal River in this June photo. According to statistics released by the city of New Braunfels, more than 200,000 people tubed on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers in 2006. Officials question whether outfitters pay enough in fees Gale Pospisil Dlstrict3 By Mauri Elbel StaffWriter River management fees paid to the city of New Braunfels in 2006 indicate more than 200,000 people tubed on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers here. But, according to documents provided by city officials Thursday, some river outfitters paid fees for more than 40,000 while two outfitters paid fees for only 15 people. "People are paying the money," said Nathan Pence, river project manager for city of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department. "Everybody is paying the fees. The question is: Are they paying the correct amount?" The parks department collected $260,040.50 in river management fees from Comal and Guadalupe river outfitters operating or using facilities within the city limits . last summer. The river management fee is a $1.25 charge for each person who rents water recreation equipment or purchases a shuttle ride from an outfitter that operates or uses facilities within the city limits. "The $1.25 is for anyone who rents equipment like a tube or a raft or walks up to an outfitter with their own tube but gets charged for the shut-tie ride," Pence said. "They are See FEE, Page 8A Ken Valentine District 6 FILE PHOTO/Herald-Zeitung City officials are working to develop plans to correct litter and bad behavior on the city's rivers before this summer's tubing season begins. WHAT'S NEXT H The council will meet Monday to discuss the creating these ordinances: ffl Prohibit open containers at Cypress Bend, Prince . Solms and Hinman Island parks. H Limit the size of contain-ers and coolers on rivers. H Require life jackets and . restrict certain flotation , deviceson.the rivers. Council speaks out on nondisposable container mandate � Members explain how they voted on proposed ordinance By Suzanne Ashe StaffWriter When the New Braunfels City Council met on Jan. 11 to hear the River Activities Committee's recommendations for curbing river row- diness, it approved 15 of the 16 proposals for further discussion. The only measure council members voted down, by a vote of 4-3, would have mandated, nondisposable beverage containers on the Comal River within the city limits. The nondisposable container the RAC proposed was a one-liter sports bottle with a city seal on it and straps with zipper compartments. The estimated cost of the containers is $3 to $4. Mayor Bruce Boyer and city council members Sonia Munoz-Gill, District 1; Gayle Pospisil, District 3; Pat Wiggins, District 4; voted against the proposal. Council members Beth Sokolyk, District 2; Kathleen Krueger, District 5; and Ken Valentine, District 6; voted ! See COUNCIL, Page 3A j local center � $550 million data facility will call San Antonio home SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Microsoft Corp. announced Thursday that will build a $550 million data center in San Antonio to house its growing online services. The 400,000-square-foot facility will be the software giant's first major data center in Texas. The data center will house tens of thousands of computers for Internet services like Microsoft's Windows Live offerings, which include everything from instant messaging to e-mail, said Mike Manos, Microsoft senior director of data centers. To entice Microsoft, which will eventually employ about 75 people at the site, the city approved a tax abatement package that will run over the next 10 years. Mayor Phil Hardberger said the incentive will help turn vacant land within the city into a revenue-producer, bringing more tax dollars to the city and the schools. The data center will also use electricity from the municipal power company, generating roughly $1.4 million extra annually for San Antonio. Once Microsoft closes on the 40-acre See MICROSOFT, Page 3A Preparation kept Comal running during ice storm By Mauri Elbel StaffWriter Local residents braced themselves for the wintry blast that brought freezing rain and icy roads to this normally temperate area. Officials said it was this kind of precaution that kept them from having to open emergency shelters in Comal County. The local American Red Cross branch was not any busier than usual during this week's foul weather, said Sharon McAllister, manager for the New Braunfels branch of the American Red Cross, which assists people in Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe and Gonzales counties during disasters and emergencies. "We have not been any more busy, but we have been on standby and we are prepared," McAllister said. The local Red Cross branch did not receive requests to open shelters in any of the four counties it serves, she said. "Mainly, I think it is because the local media got the word out well in advance so See STORM, Page 8A Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn THe Uptown Piano Bar is the place for ..... 0856825000011 ;