New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 8, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Residents have different takes on tubers. Third in a series/1 C
Chili’s brings familiar fare to New Braunfels locationsNew Braunfels
Summer Strength Camp continues atNBHS/1B
SUNDAY June 8, 2003
32 pages in 4 sections
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Vol. 152, No. 177
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
■ New Braunfels lags other cities in tax rate but offers more services.
■ Related editorial^
By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer
Property taxes in New Braunfels remain relatively low, despite a 6-cent increase to 37.11 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
The ordinance to raise taxes is on its
way to becoming law Tuesday.
Although the ordinance must go through two more public hearings and readings, there has been virtually no public opposition to the tax hike, and council members say they and many of their constituents favor the increase.
City leaders say it’s a question of dollars versus services.
The tax increase would give the city an additional $800,000 in revenue. The money would fund three new police officers and six new firefighters in departments that have experienced personnel
NB property taxes low, even with increase
cuts this year. An additional $100,000 will be spent on street repair in each of the city’s six districts.
Excluding homestead exemptions, residents will pay $18 more per year for a
‘Garden homes’ issue goes to voters
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
GARDEN RIDGE —City officials are still debating whether to allow garden homes — single-story residences on smaller lots — to be built within the city limits.
Mayor Jay Feibelman said Friday that, contrary to rumor, no decisions have been made on whether to initiate zoning changes necessary for garden homes.
Feibelman said the city will study the matter more fully then throw the question to the city’s voters.
“My big problem has been people are passing around rumors it’s a done deal. It’s not. We’re going to obey the wishes of the people in this thing. I have no cat to skin on this. Majority rule will decide,” he said.
Feibelman said the issue could come to a ballot in Garden Ridge this fall.
So-called garden homes have been controversial in Garden Ridge for some years. In the 1980s, citizens told the city they didn’t want them.
This year, after a developer proposed building them, city officials began examining the issue again.
One problem has been misconceptions about what a garden home is. That has been exacerbated by some developers building multi-unit apartment complexes and marketing individual units as “garden homes.”
• Garden Ridge appointed a committee to develop a definition for a garden home.
See GARDEN HOMES/9A
In other action City cites safety in move to close River Acres
In other action Monday night, New Braunfels City Council will;
■ Consider a resolution to allow New Braunfels Utilities to charge a fee to accept credit card payments.
■ Accept a bid for removal of brush and debris within Dry Comal Creek, lf accepted, the project would be completed by August.
■ Accept a bid for demolition of flooded homes bought by the Hazardous Mitigation Program.
■ Hear bids for the purchase of 64 protective vests for the New Braunfels Police Department. The soft body armor would cost about $44,000.
■ Hear the second reading of an ordinance allowing park rangers to write citations in some park areas.
By Dylan Jimenez
Armando Mena takes his kids to River Acres Park.
They tube or play in the shallow water of the Guadalupe River just south of a 2-foot, manmade waterfall.
He prefers the park to the public pool, which, he said, charges too much money.
He’s one of several New Braunfels residents who use the park and its river frontage to bask in the sun, play in the water and barbecue outdoors.
But some residents who live in the River Acres neigh
borhood would like to reclaim that park space from outsiders.
New Braunfels City Council will consider temporarily closing the one-acre neighborhood park at its regular meeting Monday night.
The park would be fenced to prohibit access from the road and the water. Parking would be prohibited in front of the park.
“We have some health and safety issues,” City Manager Chuck Pinto said.
Weekend and holiday crowds are accessing flood-damaged homes across the
street and endangering themselves, he said. Weeds and grass have grown up around the lots, and debris litters the insides of houses and garages accessible through collapsed walls and doors.
The park would be closed until three flood-damaged homes are demolished. No official timeline for this process has been set.
District 4 City Councilwoman Valerie Hull said residents support the temporary closure.
She said many tubers are using the small park as a free river outlet or access point
just north of Cypress Bend Park.
“The property owners’ park is being violated,” Hull said.
On weekends, the park is full, and visitors park on the streets around the park, sometimes blocking driveways and leaving behind Utter, said Charles Cook. He has Uved on River Acres Drive since 1981.
“Traffic is a problem. They park all the way up on our driveways,” Cook said. “They close the road, because you can’t drive on it. The people who live here can’t even use (the park),” Cook said.Inside
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At Comal County Sheriffs Office, Garland does a little bit of everything
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Every organization has at least one or two of those people who aren’t very flashy and don’t say much, but do a lot of the work that allows the organization to operate.
The Comal County Sheriff’s office has Sgt. Clay Garland.
He’s a mechanic.
He's a firearms instructor.
He’s a sniper and a member of the SWAT team.
He’s an armorer — the military equivalent of a gunsmith.
He runs the sheriff’s shooting range.
He maintains the sheriff’s safety equipment —
including the patrol boat, two personal watercraft, a Zodiac rubber raft, four-wheeler all-terrain vehicle and emergency generators.
He operates the patrol boat on weekends at Canyon Lake.
He can shoot like almost no one else can.
Garland, a patrol deputy and then patrol corporal for about a dozen years, wears a lot of hats.
He’s always been interested in mechanics — particularly motorcycles — and he’s always been interested in firearms.
Garland was raised in Glen Rose, 60 miles or so from Fort Worth.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
(Above) Comal County Sheriff’s Sgt. Clay Garland, who runs the firing range, goes over instructions with Baylea Taylor before handing off the weapon to the criminal law student. (Right) Garland demonstrates to officers different penetrations from various weapons and bullets on an out-of-date bullet-proof vest.