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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, July 24, 1980

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 24, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas ?.0. Box Dallas ?'IncCensus error gives city less inhabitants The U.S. Bureau of the Census goofed when it tried to figure New Braunfels’ population, city officials discovered Wednesday. The census bureau apparently included residents of a large area to the north and east of the city when it compiled census data locally. That area, which extends to Hays County north of town and to Bear and Jacobs creeks on the east side, is entirely out of the city limits, city planner Debra Goodwin said. That area includes 766 housing units occupied by an estimated 1,565 people, according to census figures. As a result, the mistake lowers the preliminary estimate of New Braunfels’ population from 23,138 to 21,573. That still represents a 20.8 percent increase over the 1970 census figure of 17,859. At press time Wednesday, city officials were attempting to get in touch with the Austin census office to find out what caused the error. That total will be higher when the final figures are released, since preliminary figures do not include people living rn areas annexed since Jan. I, 1978. The city annexed Gruene, Sleepy Hollow and two strips along Highway 46 North and South in March, 1979. Preliminary data also does not include figures from 122 unclassified units, which are defined as units from which the census bureau has received no information from as yet. Census figures estimate that 2.79 people live in each city housing unit. When applied to the unclassified units, the preliminary figure is raised to 21,913. Preliminary figures also show the number of houses in New Braunfels is growing faster than the population. While population increased 20.8 percent, housing units jumped from 6,144 to 8,387—an increase of 36.5 percent. As a result, the population per unit dropped from 3.13 in 1970 to 2.79 in 1980. Figures also listed 647 (7.7 percent) of those units as vacant. Some of those units may have become occupied since the preliminary census count and would not be reflected in preliminary figures. The city has not yet received word concerning when final data will be released. Final data will be based on the city’s boundaries as of Jan. I. 1980. the bureau had indicated. /IV JJ—LL New Braunfels, Texas Vol. 89 - No. 30 July 24,1980 106 Pages — 25 Cents w Sharon Phair makes a point to an attentive audience concerning entrance fees to city parks Staff photo Lands Park Non-resident fee ruled legal Citing a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court case to back him up, City Attorney Irvin Boamet said Monday it would be legal to charge an entrance fee to nonresidents who use luanda Park while allowing locals to use it free. Boamet read his three-page opinion on the issue at Monday’s joint workshop between City Council and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The case Boarnet based his opinion upon—Arlington County, Va., et a1 v. Rudolph A. Richards, et a1—was decided on Oct. ll, 1977. It arose from Arlington County’s attempt to stem the flow of commercial and industrial traffic into adjoining residential neighborhoods. Several residential neighborhoods in the county had a problem—they were being clogged with cars parked by nonresidents who worked nearby. One particular area was located adjacent to a large commercial and office complex. As a result, the county passed a zoning ordinance directing its county manager to pinpoint these residential areas especially crowded with parked cars from outside the neighborhood. Acting under the ordinance, the manager then designated restricted parking areas and issued free parking permits to residents of these areas, to persons doing business with residents and to some visitors. No others were allowed to park there between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. Violating the statute was made a misdemeanor offense. Commuters who regularly parked in the residential area near the commercial and office complex sued to enjoin the ordinance, and the Virginia Supreme Court sided with them, See NON-RESIDENT, Page 4A Parks termed Utilities bonds sale approvedgold ‘‘There’s nothing wrong with charging a fee for what will be a rewarding experience (for a visitor).” After hearing their assessments, council and advisory board members seemed to agree with Mayor Donnie Seay and Councilman Gerald Schaefer, who suggested the city hire a consultant to help find the answers. Responding to a question from City Manager E.N. Delashmutt, Groves said he could provide a preliminary proposal for City Council to consider at its next meeting Monday. He envisioned the proposal as being in two phases, with the first dealing with immediate needs t luanda and Hinman Island) and the second, with the entire parks system. Although the philosophy may be undetermined, the fee proposal has one main objective generating revenue to run the parks. Councilman Max Winkler said. ' The citizens have been underwriting the park for years,” he said. “It’s time to stop this.” Advisory board chairman Carter Casteel agreed, and added a second objective—to avoid inconveniencing New Braunfels residents, whatever option is chosen. Councilman Joe Rogers tossed in See PARKS, Page 4A Utilities Manager Bob Sohn has been saying all along he needs $2 million in additional revenue bonds to make ends meet in fiscal 1980-81. Monday after being grilled by City Council on a variety of topics, he received the approval to advertise for bids to sell the bonds—the Utilities’ second $2 million sale this year. Bids will be opened at a special council meeting Aug. 13. Voters in 1974 approved the sale of $4 million worth of Utilities bonds. The first $2 million was sold for an effective interest rate of 6.88254 at a special council meeting Feb. 5,1980. That first issue channeled $1,000,000 to the electric department and $500,000 each to water and sewer. The latest sale will earmark $1,000,000 each to electric and sewer. Utilities fiscal agent Floyd Westerman said he hoped the bonds would come in near a 7 percent interest rate. However, he said that hope may be “a little ambitious.” Since no city of New Braunfels’ size sold bonds last week, he said he had no basis for comparison on interest rates. According to preliminary budget figures for 1980-81, without the add-tional $2 million, the Utilities would be $246,346 in the red. With the bonds, the Utilities would be $1,753,654 in the black, although that figure becomes $1,330,334 when the $423,320 reserve and contingencies fund is subtracted. Noting the last sale was only six months ago, councilman Max Winkler asked when the next one might be forthcoming. ‘‘We’re going to need some more revenue bonds the way this community is growing,” Sohn said He didn’t say when the next one might come, but pots Banda and Hinman Island parks are potential pots of gold, but first the city-must decide what it wants to do with them. That was the message land planning engineers Al Groves and Bob Frazer (of the San Antonio finn of Groves, Fernandez, Frazer and Associates) brought to Monday’s joint workshop of City Council and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The engineering firm designed the tube chute in Prince Solms Park and is currently doing engineering work for the Wurstfest Association's riverbank improvement project along the Comal River. The workshop was called to discuss the possibility of instituting an entrance charge to Lauda and Hinman Island parks. Before a fee proposal can be considered, the city needs to settle on some park goals, policies and philosophies. Groves said. One question which the advisory board posed at its last meeting concerned the purpose of the fee. Should it be to generate revenue or to reduce park usage, they asked. These are things that need to be decided first, Groves said. “You need to decide what you’re looking for. What is the intent of the parks system?” "I think your chances for revenue are just tremendous,” Frazer said. said it wouldn’t be as hurried as this issue. Another election would be required before the Utilities can issue additional bonds, City Manager E.N. Delashmutt pointed out. Sohn presented council with a list of at least three dozen capital projects planned for the next few years. The projects were listed in order of priority. Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Tieken was concerned that extending sewer service to the upper portion of Jentsch Acres wasn’t one of the high-priority projects. Extending sewer service to the lower portion (along Cedar-Elm and the lower portion of Madeline Street) is under contract, but no plans have been developed for the remaining portion. Jentsch Acres was annexed in early 1974, Delashmutt recalled. Tieken said this concerned her, since service had been extended to areas outside the city limits. Sohn pledged to look into the project, which he said would cost at least $500,000. He said he agreed with Tieken’s assessment, adding he had uncovered several neglected areas within the city limits. Is the Utilities operating at full efficiency, councilman Gerald Schaefer asked. ‘‘Seventy-five to 80 percent of my time is spent worrying about that," Sohn said. “We’re doing our best and we’re going to be doing better.” Councilman Joe Rogers felt the Utilities would soon be receiving income which would eliminate the need for additional bonds. “I think when I pay my July bill, you won’t need to sell any bonds,” Rogers joked. High flying puddle jumper John Stevens and Jon Tillman (right) show how to avoid the large puddles left in the gutters by the much needed rains that graced the area Tuesday. The boys, both from New Braunfels, were shopping downtown with their parents when the showers arrived. County tax rate 30 cents The Comal County Commissioner’s Court set the 1981 tax rate at 30 cents per $100 assessed property valuation. Hie new rate is down from the 1980 rate of $1, but because the court raised the assessment ratio June 20 (from 27 percent of market value to IOO percent), the rate actually constitutes an increase of 2.5 cents. The commissioners finished budget hearings last week, and passed the tax rate with a minimum of discussion and a unanimous vote at their regular meeting Monday. County Judge Max Wonunack broke down the rate into its component parts. Five cents will go for the upkeep of fann-to-market lateral roads, .5 cents is for the flood control fund, 1.5 cents for flood control operating costs, 1.3 cents for the jury fund, and 21.7 cents for the general fund. Expected revenues from the new rate are $1,335,959, compared to $1,057,857 for 1980, County Auditor H, Bate Barnes said. Wommack credited increased construction and the resultant new industry on the tax rolls with keeping the increase low. “Two and one-half percent is below the point where we would liave to hold a public hearing,” he observed. In other action, the court voted unanimously to approve purchase of a high-band radio with seamier for Constable Werner W. Kiesling of Precinct I. The radio will cost $1,352. * ;