New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 20, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
NBISD tax rate could go down, not up
By Heather Todd
New Braunfels Independent School District patrons might actually hear some good news tonight when trustees set the tax rate for the next budget year.
Thanks to recent legislative changes, the school district's tax rate might be lowered. instead of raised, when trustees meet at 7 p.m. at the Education Center. 430 W. Mill St.
School officials said they previously thought recent legislative changes would not affect the district until next year because NBISD is the only school district in Texas operating under a different tax year. NBISD trustees will set the 1998 tax rate, rather than the 1999 rate, for the upcoming school year. Every other school district is setting the 1999 tax rate.
Based on the recent changes, business manager David Rastellini said the administration was proposing a one-cent tax rate cut from the current $ 1.65 per $100 valuation.
Trustees adopted a $38.5 million budget for the 1999-2000 school year on July 12. At that time, the administration proposed a 6-cent increase on the tax rate, or $ 1.71 per $ I OO valuation, to balance the budget.
The $1.64 rate proposed Monday represents a 7-cent decrease on the proposed $1.71 tax rate.
Rastellini said new information from the state required the district to apply a tax relief provision this year by directing $1.2 million previously budgeted into the district’s general fund into the debt service fund.
As a result of the transfer, the debt serv ice portion of the tax rate could be reduced.
The proposed $1.64 tax rate also includes an
New Braunfels Independent School District trustees will set a tax rate when they meet at 7 p.m. today at the Education Center, 430 W. Mill St.
‘One small step’ blacked out by storm for some NB residents
By Christina Minor Staff Writer
When Neil Armstrong made his “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” at 10:56 p.m. July 20, 1969, people all across the United States tuned in their televisions to view this extraordinary event.
But for some in New Braunfels, the viewing wasn’t as exciting.
The Apollo 11 moon walk was interrupted that evening by an electrical storm, causing 15 percent of homes
and businesses to lose power. New Braunfels Utilities crews worked all evening and into the next day to repair damage.
“I had been sitting there all day watching the coverage and just as they were going to show it, the electricity went out,” said Margaret Wamcke of
Apollo 11 log highlights
— Page 5
New Braunfels. “It was so disappointing. We watched the reruns the next day.”
The voyage to the moon began July 16 with the Saturn V rocket launching astronauts Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space. After 24 hours of orbiting the moon, Aldrin andSee APOLLO/3
2627 E YANDEL D.
FELS el. paso, tx 79903'Herald-Zeitung
’rf1 —TTT* ................ r---
. ___Vol. 148, No. 173 12 pages in I section July 20, 1999 Tuesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Chute access limited
Flood damage leads to park closing; tempers flare over change
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
The tube chute is open and free this season, but lifeguards aren’t on duty there and access is limited to the Comal River attraction, now lined with an orange plastic fence and foreboding signs.
October s flood, which dumped more than 20 inches of rain on New Braunfels, did its damage here, too, forcing the city to close operations on Lieb-scher Drive and off East Mill Street.
Now, the concession stand on the south bank and the ticket booth on the north bank are closed, as is the park on the south bank, which provided passage to the tube chute’s entrance.
But the chute itself, a channel that winds along the river’s south bank, is open.
“We couldn’t close the chute,” city manager Mike Shands said. “We can’t restrict who goes in upstream.”
And because of the dam, the chute is the only way for tubers to continue their journey downstream in the water.
So tubers who get in upstream can enjoy the chute as always.
However, those accustomed to going through the chute, getting out and walking through the south bank park to go back through the chute again and again have experienced a rude awakening this summer.
They still can go through the chute as much as they want — and at no cost this summer because the city closed its operations (previously $5 a day) — but tubers must walk a little farther upstream along the north bank and get in the river at Prince Solms Park.
“There really has been no disruption of river activity,” Shands said.
But some don’t like the change and have made their opinions known to city
Brad Herbin, owner of Tube-Chute Bar and Grill, stands near the tube chute where he said some tubers have become angry because the city no longer allows them access on the south bank park as they try to access the tube chute. Below, tubers float past a sign letting river recreationists know no lifeguard is on duty at the tube chute.
“Tempers flare,” said Brad Herbin, owner of the Tube-Chute Bar and Grill. “There’s been one actual slugging and a fight in the parking lot.”
Mostly, however, people criticize the city when they try to cross through the parte only to have rangers stop them, he said.
“People are just used to doing it that way,” Herbin said. “It’s not the rangers’ faults, but they get all the complaints.”
The rangers will be removed this week, Shands said, but the property is still off limits.
“Because of the damage, our insurance carrier has said the park must be closed and no one can be on the property,” Shands said.
Tile only exception to the “no trespassing” policy is for those wanting to avoid the chute.
These people can get out of the river, walk through the park and get back in where the chute ends.
A sign alerting tubers of the chute is downstream from the public exit though, a few feet from the chute’s
entrance. The sign also warns tubers that because of flood damage, no lifeguard is on duty.
“Look where you are,” Herbin said, pointing to the sign. “When you’re there, you can’t get out.”
Before this week, park rangers were on duty during the day in case of an emergency.
But Shands said the city decided to remove the park rangers for a variety of reasons.
“We’ve done what the insurance company wants by notifying the public of the park’s closing,” Shands said. “The ranger presence is apparently aggravating some of the public.”
Key code 78
Alan Walker, a local police officer candidate, drags a dummy during the New Braunfels Police Department agility test Friday at Unicom Stadium. The department is looking to hire four officers from about 50 applicants recruited during the past three weeks.
/Herald-ZeitungPlaying with the big boys
Richard Hidalgo, Paul Bako and Glen Barker are joined by newest team member and Canyon graduate Lance Berkman during batting practice Sunday at the Astrodome. For more on Berkman’s call up, see page 8.
NBPD officer hiring goes high-tech
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
When Police Chief Ray Douglas signed on with the New Braunfels Police more than 20 years ago, the hiring procedure wasn't very formal.
“They would throw you the keys and say, ‘Theres the car,”* Douglas said.
Douglas admitted he had to pass a written test and a physical examination, but it was nothing like the high-tech B-PAD test the NBPD’s most recent group of applicants went through.
B-PAD, short for Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device, is an interactive video test developed by a California company to aid in hiring of police officers. Candidates sit in a room where a videotape is played and their responses to different situations are taped and later graded by trained evaluators.
Candidates watch eight short scenes ranging from irate drivers to rape victims and must respond to the situations within 45 seconds.
Lt. Doug Dunlap said the role playing the candidates did and how they
reacted to stressful situations gave an indication of what kind of police officers they would make.
Douglas said the program, which cost about $11,000, was paid for by donations from the Citizens' Police Academy and drug seizure money. He said the addition of B-PAD would help the agency move into the 21st century.
“A few years ago, people were hired because they looked good on paper or because they were local and you knew them,” Douglas said. “But as we keep growing, we're looking for the best officers we can get.”