New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 18, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
JULY 18, 2004
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LIFE IN STITCHES
Texas quilters to gather in New Braunfels for annual Quiltfest silent auction and vendor sale. Page IC
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 213 28 pages, 4 sections
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City certifies can ban, park, CVB petitions
By Scott Mahon
Petitions seeking a ban of aluminum cans on rivers and lakes, making the fairgrounds a city park and establishing the Convention and Visitors
Bureau as a city department have been certified.
New Braunfels City Council members accepted the petitions Friday that were certified by the city secretary.
District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine spearheaded the
The petition to designate the fairgrounds a city park was filed Monday. It had 1,277 signatures certified as valid by City Secretary Michael Resendez.
Resendez said the petition
to ban aluminum containers had 1,088 valid signatures, and the convention and visitors bureau petition had 1,140 valid signatures.
Each petition required 1,055 valid signatures, Resendez said.
City Manager Chuck Pinto said council would have IO days, beginning July 17, to either adopt the language on the petitions or to set an election.
“The end of the 10-day period is July 26, which is when
council’s next regular meeting is,” he said. “Council can either wait and take action on July 26, or it could call a special meeting before then.” Council has already set a
See PETITIONS, Page 8A
Extra staff, funding inked out of budget
By Ron Maloney
The likelihood of raises for Comal County employees next year appeared still more remote at the end of budget hearings this week.
During two days of meetings, county commissioners called in elected officials and department heads who had requested either additional
Scouts build Panther Canyon up, vandals tear it down
By Ron Malonay
In 1974, a local Eagle Scout aspirant mapped out a trail in Panther Canyon.
I Ie learned about its flora and fauna, marked a trail and handcrafted little signs explaining to hikers what the trees were.
Then, someone trashed the trail and stole the signs.
I Ie replaced them twice.
The scout knew a certain young motorcyclist had done the deeds, even if he couldn’t legally prove it.
So, with a scout’s resourcefulness, he dealt with the problem himself, stringing a wire across the trail as a blunt warning.
Snagging the wire and being knocked off his motorcycle, the offender got the message — and the vandalism ended.
Times change, and some things change with them.
A scout in today’s politically correct environment could never take the law into his own hands—or publicly advocate it.
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is vandalism in Panther Canyon.
The trail up the canyon offers a 110-foot increase in altitude as it winds between two residential areas for more than a mile, creating a wilderness hiking experience in the middle of New Braunfels that runs from Landa Park up past New Braunfels I Ugh School.
This past year, a $25,000 grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor — many from Boy Scouts who have built several footbridges across the creekbed
See VANDALISM, Page 7A
Photos by DAVID IWGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
(Top) Zack Salesman sits on what is left of the bridge he built in Panther Canyon as part of his Eagle Scout project. (Above) Salesman and his father, Charles, pass by one of several destroyed benches he and members of his Boy Scout troop worked on. The work of vandals, the damage has not been reported to New Braunfels police.
staff or additional funding in their 2005 budget proposals and marked out what items they could.
At the end of the process, they were faced with a $25 million proposed general fund budget that would not allow even cost-of-living raises next year without a tax increase.
“I don’t envision any possibility of raises happening unless we can uncover additional revenue we haven't spotted yet,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Mil-likin. “We’ve had to make some tough decisions on expenditures. But we’re still working on it. We have a couple of weeks.”
Minikin said he would like to see at
least cost-of-living raises to keep employees current with inflation.
“I’m just not sure we’re going to be able to get there,” Minikin said. "There isn’t much to work with.”
County employees have gotten at least 2 percent raises and merit raises during every year of Danny Scheel’s administration, although in 2004 they came because commissioners overruled his
See BUDD ET Page 8A
Comal County 2005
B Monday through Friday — County finalizes budget plans.
■ Aug. 1 — Publication of effective tax rate
■ Aug 5 — County Judge presents recommended budget to commissioners and files it with the county clerk
■ Aug 9 — Discuss tax rate, take record vote; schedule public hearing
■ Aug 26 — Budget hearing, adoption of 2005 budget set salaries for elected officials; hold public heahng on tax increase
■ Sept 9 — Levy taxes; set tax rate.
■ Sept 16 — Adopted budget filed with county cleric
Council to hear first part of civic center expansion study
AT A GLANCE
Braunfels City Council special meeting
Whan: 6 p.m., Monday
Where Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave,
By Scott Mahon
Consultants will present Monday their first report to the New Braunfels City Council on whether the civic center should be expanded to meet the needs of the city's convention industry.
A Minneapolis consulting firm, Conventions, Sports
and Leisure, was hired in February to study New Braunfels’ convention industry after council agreed to do a feasibility study before expanding the existing civic center or building a new facility.
The first phase of the study will cost $60,000. The second phase will cost an additional $25,000.
A 1999 study completed by a Houston consulting firm proposed a new civic center on Gruene Road. However, earlier this year, officials said the study was obsolete.
Since 1999, the city has held two elections regarding a new civic center, and council has discussed a number of proposals, including
expanding the existing civic center, building a new $14 million civic center on the Comal River or building a new facility on South Casten Avenue.
Bill Krueger, Conventions, Sports and Leisure International president, said his company had completed feasibility
See CIVIC CUTI Page 8A
‘Undesirables’ have defaced
troop’s hard -
work; now at ^QIl the least one parent
rangers to get
DID YOU KNOW?
CL,C* and print-
able maps and information about hiking opportunities in the state
B It rates the Panther Canyon trail as a 2.16 on a 1-5 difficulty scale, and gives it a 3.83 for solitude — even though it is located in the city limits. It also mentions vandalism
■ See information at www.texashikmg com /hiking/HikeDetail.as p?HikelD=315