New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 16, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Hazardous fumes force evacuation
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities urged thousands of residents to stay away from home today after a dense cloud of choking, foul-smelling fumes from a smoldering plastics fire spread over the southern part of the city.
Police had no figures immediately available on the number of people who left their homes, but said there were no reports of serious injuries.
The evacuation area extended about five miles south of the fire at the disused Cedar Rapids Water
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Road than usual this weekend, even though the numbers were as high as they have been most weekends this summer.
Chief Deputy Brian John said that several tow companies had been put on alert and asked to keep tow trucks available, but none of the extra companies were used.
“That’s good news for us, but probably not real good news for those companies,” John commented. “I suppose we had no more than three or four towings the whole weekend.” The one river outfitter to protest the no-parking signs in front of their property, Abbott’s Rentals owned by Jane and Steve Abbott, was the only dissatisfied merchant along River Road to be found. But Jane Abbott felt that many merchants were affected.
“There is no public access to the river at all now,” Abbott said. “And most of the camps and outfitters can’t allow them (visitors) to use their facilities or they wouldn’t have room for their own customers.
“Comal County and New Braunfels are getting a bad name,” she added. “About every other person in Houston has bad things to say about coming here, and some come anyway. But we are hurting our image with this. I feel a lot of businesses will be hurt, and several I know opposed this.”
Why they had not come to the public hearings, Abbott speculated, had been because they were too busy or did not know.
Several groups such as canoe clubs use the river, but have their own equipment and do not camp out. At least one of these clubs has talked about suing the county, Abbott said.
The rivers oversight committee, a group formed to address problems along the rivers, has been seeking a solution to this, Abbott said. County commissioners' move to create a noparking zone usurped the group’s efforts.
“People are off-loading their canoes and tubes in the middle of the 4*oad now, so nothing is solved.” Abbott said. “I feel a parking lot is needed at either end of River Road Other merchants, however, indicated they felt differently about the new no-parking regulation.
“The situation this past weekend was tremendously better,” said Sue Litton, manager of Camp Hueco Springs. “Emergency vehicles could have gotten through. We have been trying to find a solution for the past four or five years, and now we have one.”
Litton remembered seeing a pedestrian-car accident several years ago, but traffic was so blocked that no ambulance could get through.
“There may be a need for parking lots or a shuttle service like we tried to start two or three years ago,” said Betty Walls, owner of Texas Canoe Trails. “Sierra Club members feel it is a public waterway and they ought to have egress and access to it. Until something is created though, I feel this has improved things.”
Walls said there was public access along FM 306, but no public parking.
Both Litton and Walls said their camps allowed people to put in canoes and tubes that they had not rented from them for a fee and allowed people to park for $5 a day.
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review the terms of the lease and asked Moos to find out if there will be an escalation clause in the lease.
“Seventy-five cents per square foot to me is a lot more attractive than the 91.25 per square foot that was originally mentioned,” David said. “I think perhaps we ought to meet with them again and see how far we can go with negotiating the lease.” Lewis opposed a move into the county building, saying, “If we’re going to pay $41,000 per year, I personally think it’s foolish.
“For that, you could buy land and build an office and in 15 years, that would be ours,” he said.
But the other Directors agreed to ask Commissioners to put the offer in writing, noting the actual square footage, along with the price and the lease term.
Directors then will compare the cost ot the move to the cost of buying a new building.
The next Appraisal District meeting is Aug. 19-
Pollution Control plant, said police Capt. Ron Hansen.
“Then we’re talking about, I would guess, another five miles east and west in width in some areas,” Hansen said.
Those areas evacuated included a Hawthorn Hills elderly housing complex, a children’s home and a mobile home park near Highway 30.
At least seven people were treated and discharged from city hospitals after complaining of scratchy throats and burning eyes.
The fumes apparently were created when firefighters sprayed water on a burning plastic dome at
the plant shortly after it began about 2:30 p.m. Monday, authorities said.
About 4:30 p.m., authorities
decided that the fumes were sufficiently hazardous to warrant an evacuation, authorities said
At least IOO people took shelter at Taft Junior High School, some of them relocated from two other schools — Wilson Junior High and Grant School — when spreading fumes threatened the area.
Many evacuees were staying with friends or relatives and “some of them are just driving around,” Hansen said.
Ruling party wins in elections
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Federal Electoral Commission announced a near sweep of congressional seats Monday for the long dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party.
In the first official results from the July 7 voting, the ruling party won 235 seats, the opposition National Action Party four and the tiny, conservative Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution one.
An additional 60 seats of the 300 directly elected to the lower house
of Congress remained to be determined. An additional IOO seats will be apportioned later to the minority parties according to their relative strength.
The congressional voting — the first national election since President Miguel de la Madrid was inaugurated in 1982 for a six-year term — accompany a sweep of state and local races for the ruling party, known as the PRI. The opposition has charged repeatedly that the outcome was determined by fraud.
The PRI was declared the official winner of six of the seven governor’s offices at stake and was expected to take the seventh when the final tally was revealed today. The wins included the hotly contested races in the prosperous border states of Sonora and Nuevo Leon.
In Sonora, which is south of Arizona, the state electoral commission declared PRI the winner of all 69 municipal races and the 18-seat state legislature.
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