New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 15, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
Woman keeps folklorica dance group thriving /IC
LEISURE This Week
Circle Arts production of ‘Once on this Island’/lnside
Band of Ages/Inside
SUNDAY July 15, 2001
44 pages in 5 sections
44 pages in 5 sectK
Vol. 150 No. 210
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
$1.00River dispute hearings to decide who sinks, swims
By Martin Malacara Staff Writer
The first administrative hearing to resolve a dispute between a trout fishing organization and a state water purveyor over drawing more water from Canyon Lake will
take place Thursday.
Guadalupe Trout Unlimited and the Guadalupe-Blan-co River Authority will argue their cases before a judge at IO a.m. Thursday at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins, in San Marcos.
The Texas Natural
Resource Conservation Commission granted the trout group the hearing on June 20 in response to concerns over GBRA’s request to take an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water out of Canyon Lake.
Currently, the water purveyor is permitted to draw
50,000 acre-feet of water, but it says it needs 90,000 acre-feet to meet future water demand across the region.
Canyon Lake is a key component of regional water planning for the next 50 years, mandated by Senate Bill I, the state’s omnibus
Trout Unlimited contends the additional draw on the lake will affect its efforts to stock the Guadalupe River with non-native rainbow trout for recreational fishing.
The group wanted an agreement with GBRA to
maintain outflow from the lake and into the lower Guadalupe between 160- and 250-cubic feet per second. This flow rate would keep the river cold enough for the trout to survive during theSee RIVER/5A
Slow growth reflects trend in national economy
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
New Braunfels might experience the slowest growth in sales tax revenue in a decade if current trends continue, Finance Officer Chet Lewis said.
While New Braunfels retail sales tax revenue is on the rise, the rate of growth is the lowest it has been since 1991.
City sales taxes reported for April and delivered to the city in June show a 2.49 percent increase for the same period this past year. The slower growth rate reflects the slowing national economy, he said.
“We’re still experiencing growth,” Lewis said. “I hoped for higher numbers, but it is just one month. But from what we’ve received so far, we’ll have the smallest increase since 1991.”
Lewis said the increase — while small — was still positive news for New Braunfels. The city has not had a decrease in sales tax revenues annually since 1987.
Income from the sales tax rose steadily during the economic boom of the 1990s, increasing from just more than $2.6 million at the beginning of the decade to more than $6.4 million so far this year. CITY BUDGET
New Braunfels relies on income from sales tax for a large part of its revenue. Nearly 30 percent of the city’s budgeted revenues comes from sales taxes, Lewis said. The rest of the revenue is based on property taxes and other fees, he said.
The revenue won’t affect the city’s budget, Lewis said.
“Sales tax is a volatile source of revenue,” he said. “So we are pretty conservative when we’re putting it in the budget. We go by the past two years and plan conservatively. The revenue we’ve gotten in is 6.6 percent higher than what I budgeted.”
Lewis said determining why the sales tax revenue goes up and down from month to month — or why its higher in other cities — would be difficult.
To tell, he said he would have to get information from the state — which isn’t available for specific businesses, just for types of businesses — to see where the growth was occurring and which areas
See GROWTH/9 A
Border Patrol to deploy search and rescue teams
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Border Patrol says it will deploy squads of agents equipped with survival skills and medical training along the Texas border to help find and treat undocumented immigrants who become lost or injured in the sometimes deadly South Texas heat.
“Our mission remains the same, but due to the number of deaths, we want to do it in a more humane manner,” Border Patrol Chief Gus
De La Vina told the San Antonio Express-News.
The Border Patrol’s Search Trauma and Rescue Teams, called BORSTAR, already exist in Arizona and California, De La Vina said.
The more than 50 agents that will serve on the search and rescue squads will be equipped to hike for up to a week and trained to treat snake bites, broken bonesSee BORDER/5A
Key Code 77
Homeowners have more chances to air their annexation complaints
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Annexation foes have another chance to convince New Braunfels City Council to remove their homes from consideration.
Residents in Mission Valley Estates, T Bar M Ranch Estates and Preiss Heights filed petitions against annexation within the deadline set by state law, City Attorney
Charlie Zech said. The law requires council to conduct public hearings in those two areas, he said.
Public hearings for these areas have been set for set for July 24, Zech said.
Neighborhoods opposing annexation could file petitions with at least 20 names with the city secretary within IO days after notices of annexation are made public, according to state law. That
period ended this past week.
The meetings will be public, Zech noted, and anyone interested in annexation is welcome to attend. But the council will only hear comments from residents who five in the two areas.
The first meeting is set for 6 p.m. July 24, at New Life Fellowship Church, 1600 River Road. That meeting is for residents of area ll, includ-See CHANCES/5A
Rodeo’s high wire act
Linemen vie for top prize at annual competition
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
These cowboys work more than 40 feet in the air, using tools instead of ropes and fighting gravity instead of livestock.
Working at electric companies around the state, these cowboys are the ones responsible for keeping the lights on in Texas.
And more than IOO of these cowboys gathered in Seguin Saturday to compete for the ultimate prize: the best overall team at the sixth annual Lineman Rodeo.
With a fish-fry celebration Friday night, the two-day competition started early Saturday morning as crews from all around the state climbed poles to begin their work.
“Most of the work is off the ground,” organizer Larry Baker said. “The apprentices take a written exam, but everyone else is at the poles — doing what they are supposed to be doing everyday.”
From rescuing hurt linemen to tying knots and splicing wires, the contest is designed to test the mettle of each lineman and the entire team, organizers say. Pole climbing, hurt-man rescue and a dozen other events make up the team competition.
While the “hurt man” event focuses on rescuing an unconscious lineman — actually a mannequin — the competitors had to deal
Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
(Above) Racing the clock, one man climbs the utility pole to rescue the 185-pound dummy. (Right) A team assembles at the bottom of the pole, assembling their tools and their plans before ascending the 42-foot utility pole in the Hurt Man Rescue. (Below) Medical personnel prepare to transport an unidentified man after he fell from a utility pole. Details of the accident were unavailable at press time.