New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 3, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
p o l11® Ce*ter, inc P.O. Box 45)36 railes Tx 7; •: t •
:■ . rn.
Vol. 89 - No. 27 July 3.1980 132 Pages - 25 Cents
New Braunfels, TexasSteady flow: Park survey counts 38,000
By Robert Johnson
Until last weekend, no one in City Hall had any idea how many people use the banda Park complex on a typical summer weekend.
Last weekend’s survey of the complex helped fill in that information void, and the figures it produced were nothing short of shocking.
Survey results show an estimated 15,109 vehicles carrying 37,924 people entered banda, Hinman Island and Prince Solms Parks between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. last weekend. Judging from the responses, the figures took everyone by surprise—from City Council members to the sunburned officers who took the survey in blistering 102-degree heat.
“That’s a host of folks,’’ Mayor Donnie Seay s&id as he examined the figures at Monday’s council meeting.
“I thought we were having a gasoline
shortage,” Councilman Joe Rogers joked.
Councilman Gerald Schaefer made reference to a recent comment from state Rep. Bennie Bock, who said last week he felt tourism locally was nearing the saturation point.
“Maybe Mr. Bock was right,” Schaefer said. “Maybe we have reached the saturation point.”
Figures also indicated that 45 percent of the people counted were local residents.
After digesting the figures, council agreed not to conduct the survey this weekend, since it was felt Fourth of July traffic would not give an accurate picture of usage on a typical weekend.
Council also agreed to have Parks and Recreation Advisory Board discuss the figures and decide whether or not to hold the survey on another weekend. Originally, the survey was to have been held the weekend of June 21-22 as well, but heavy rain on June 21 and a forecast
of more rain the next day resulted in the survey being canceled that weekend.
Uniformed officers stationed at three of six park entrances counted cars and noted how many people were in each one. They also asked whether or not the occupants were local and if they planned to use park facilities.
Traffic counters were used to estimate traffic flow at the remaining three entrances.
The busiest entrance turned out to be the intersection of banda Street and luanda Park Drive. A total of 4,790 cars entered the park there, backing up traffic to Zink Street during peak hours.
Traffic was so heavy at that intersection, Detective Mario Guerrero (who volunteered for duty and wound up working all 24 hours of the survey) said he had to abandon his relief role and help out there.
Originally, Guerrero was to roam from post
to post, giving officers on duty a chance to rest. But traffic at the I .anda entrance was so tad, he ended up spending almost all 24 hours helping out there.
“It was just too much for one officer,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park Saturday, pale Detective Jim Buntyn was working on an involuntary suntan counting heads and cars going into Hinman island Park near its intersection with Liberty Street.
At Monday’s council meeting, City Manager E.N. Delashmutt described Buntyn as “burnt like a lobster.” Contacted at his office Tuesday, Buntyn said that was an accurate description.
One person took pity on him and handed him a soft drink, he said.
Delashmutt said a few cars made a hasty exit when they saw the officers. Buntyn said
several people handed him their driver’s licenses. Guerrero noted he didn’t have a chance to eat the entire time.
Guerrero said he and his partner at the luanda entrance did their best to follow the shade as the heat intensified. They started the survey fairly close to the intersection, but finally wound up near the miniature golf course as the day wore on.
The survey had been touted as an information tool to determine the feasibility of a future park entrance fee. Delashmutt said some drivers saw the officers, thought a fee was already in effect, and parked outside the park as a result.
Both Buntyn and Guerrero said most people were cooperative. However, because of the heat, Guerrero said he wasn’t anxious to do it again.
Hospital authority creation approved
By Wanda Irater
McKenna Memorial Hospital moved one step closer to getting the funds for expansion this week when Comal County commissioners approved the creation of a hospital authority.
The Comal County Hospital Authority will have the power to sell revenue bonds (but no taxing power) to fund construction of facilities or equipment purchase for the hospital. The funds, however, could not be used for the operation of the hospital.
Bonded indebtedness will be repaid from the revenue at the hospital.
Commissioners also appointed a seven-person board of directors for the authority. Directors are Jesse C.
Garcia Sr. of 756 N. Central, Mrs. Pat b. Hernandez of P.O. Box 502, Caille L. Meeks of P.O. Box 2006, Canyon l,ake, Margaret Naegelin of 681 Cross, Jack R. Remke of 163 Kentucky, Mitchell J. Sacco, D.D.S. of 457 luanda, and Stanley M. Woodward M.D. of 457 luanda.
“This is not to be confused with a
hospital district (which does have taxing powers),” said attorney and board member J.C. Reagan.
He said the hospital board hopes the authority can sell the revenue bonds to fund improvements now needed at the hospital—an addition of 30 beds, expansion of ancillary services, and addition of a surigcal suite.
Reagan said selling the revenue bonds through the hospital authority is the least expensive way to finance the construction.
Hospital financial adviser Floyd Westerman of M.E. Allison & Co. of San Antonio told commissioners the tax-exempt bonds will have a higher percentage rate than general obligation bonds which are repaid from taxes but a lower rate than bonds sold by a private corporation.
He added it is still too early to “put a dollar amount” on a possible bond issue since a “very sophisticated financing" will have to be designed after the feasibility study is completed.
A firm was hired last week by the hospital board to complete the
feasibility study on the expansion which could involve a multi story tower between the wings of the hospital.
Hospital board president Elliot Knox said ti a? long-range plan was adopted
by the hospital in 1969 and there is now a tentative fioorplan for tile expansion which could be changed after the feasibility study is completed.
The next step in the process will be for the authority to hire a bond underwriter.
Knox said the preliminary application for a certificate of need for the expansion has been filed with El Camino Real Health Systems Agency which will then forward it to Alamo Area Council of Governments and the state for approval. After the “team” is pulled together the application will be submitted.
Putting together the team of financial consultants, architects, contractors and others, said Knox, to complete the needed work “is a job that will take many hours and many months."
Sohn, Zipp must build Utilities budget bridge
Bob Sohn and Karl Zipp are going to have to build a bridge, but it won’t be the kind that carries cars over a river.
Sohn and Zipp, manager and assistant manager of New Braunfels Utilities (respectively), found out Tuesday they will have to build a bridge between the company’s 1979-80 and 1980-81 budgets to ease the concerns of Utilities trustees.
Trustees expressed those concerns during a budgetary „ worksiiop Tuesday. A second workshop has been scheduled for next Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Under former manager Richard Sledge, the budget was broken down into three departments-electric, water and sewer. Indicating he wanted to include each department head in the budgetary process (which he said hadn’t been done before), Sohn listed proposed expenditures for each of the Utilities’ ll departments.
To make each department head responsible for his portion of the budget, Sohn felt he had to break the budget down along those lines.
However, trustees were concerned that the new budget made comparing 1980-81 with 1979-80 difficult.
“I’m not real pleased with this,” trustee Bill Richter said. “I’m gonna have to go home and go through this a little bit more.”
“This may all be excellent, Bob,” he added. “But I’ve got to have time with it.”
One item which trustees were concerned about came on a sheet recapping electric, water and sewer expenditures. The sheet listed water expenditures for 1980-61 at $1,077,096- almost double the $540,874 spent in 1979-80.
Another could be found in the next column under sewer expenditures. A total of $955,979 was penciled rn for 1980-81, compared to $332,409 for the current year.
Trustee Delbert George said he liked the new approach, but added these two figures concerned him. Sohn felt the difference was simply the result of funds being allocated differently than in previous years.
Zipp felt some of the difference could be explained by the
manner in which labor is figured Before, it was charged in a separate capital account, he said. In the prelmunary budget, it lias been charged to each department instead.
“I know this is new to y’all,” Sohn said. “But we’ve got to make the jump somewhere.”
He said the information trustees want “is not readily available.” But he said later he felt it could be supplied.
Trustee John Kuppei pointed out some of the differences could be due to the fact that Sohn was trying to build up the Utilities. Sledge relied more on outside help, he pointed out.
The budget itself, which Sohn described as “zero-based,” will be dependent on sale of an additional $2 million worth of bonds by trustees and City Council to make ends meet. With bond proceeds, which were approved by the voters in 1974, Sohn estimated the Utilities would end the next fiscal year with a net revenue of $1,340,946.
However, without the proceeds, the Utilities would wii d up $659,054 in the hole.
The reason behind this is the large number of capital projects either under way or planned for the coming fiscal year, Sohn indicated. A total of 36 were listed in the budget, not including contingencies and miscellaneous items.
Sohn said he felt good about revenue figures, the most notable of which is a projected 81.5 percent increase in industrial electric revenue. Increased consumption at the Texas Industries Inc. cement plant and beginning of operations at the General Portland Inc. cement plant are the main factors in tile increase, he said.
He projected a 6.6 percent increase ui residential electric revenue; a 5.4 percent increase in commercial electric; a 9 percent increase in water; and a four percent jump in sewer.
Both Sohn and trustees have expressed concern that water and sewer weren’t generating enough revenue Sohn said an increase in these departments was progranmied for the current fiscal year, but added, “It didn’t happen.”
“I do think we should be thinking about a water and sewer increase,” Sohn said.
Roger Brinkkoeter, New Braunfels firefighter, quenches his thirst after extinguishing a grass fire. Although people can revitalize themselves after being in the sun, the ground continues to crack and corn is ruined by the desicating heat.
Staff photos by John Santtn
Too cool to fry egg
It wasn’t hot enough to fry an egg in the street this week, as Elizabeth Podgurski discovered when she tried it when the mercury hit 103 Friday afternoon.
But it was hot enough for most Comal County residents trapped in a record heat wave which has blistered Texas for two weeks. Temperatures exceeded IOO degrees each day, with a high for the week of 104 being recorded Saturday.
But Elizabeth’s egg still wouldn’t fry on the hot pavement of Marigold Drive, despite the fact that she and two friends kept a close eye on it from the curb and surrounded it with shoes so motorists would know not to run over it.
Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Podgurski, Elizabeth became enthralled with the idea after hearing her mother remark one day, “Ifs hot enough to fry an egg in the street.”
l^ist Friday, after calling the time and temperature telephone number and finding out the temperature had risen to 103, Mrs. Podgurski gave her an egg and told her to give it a try. Nothing. Not even a little sizzle.
See TOO COOL, Page 3A