New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 15, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels june is, 2001
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Vol. 150, No. 185 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents
CHRIS PACE/Herald-ZeitungA worker in this shopping center discovered Wednesday the body of a New Braunfels man in the back of a car. Investigators say the body had been there several days.County seeks economic study of lake permit
By Ron Maloney
Comal County and Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority are renegotiating their 1999 agreement on the river authority’s plans to take more water from Canyon Lake.
Comal County Commissioners’ Court meets at 8:30 a.m. Monday to consider amendments to its existing contract with GBRA.
Local officials say these changes to the 1999 agreement will address the concerns of Canyon Lake area residents — and act as a backstop to protect economic and recreational interests.
The discussions come days before the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will decide whether to allow GBRA to draw an additional 40,000 acre-feet per year from the lake.
The GBRA’s Western Canyon pipeline project, which will bring water to Boerne, Bulverde and a parched western Comal County, depends on the permit amendment.
If approved, the amendment will increase the lake’s sustainable yield to 90,000 acre-feet.
TNRCC will consider the amendment application on Wednesday.
GBRA also is negotiating with Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited, which sought party status in the amendment application.
A group of lake area residents and business people called the Friends of Canyon Lake has raised concerns about what the GBRA’s plans will do to Canyon Lake.
The Friends of Canyon Lake asked GBRA to suspend its permit amendment to conduct an economic impact study on the lake.
GBRA, which has been in the process of pursuing the amendment for half a decade, has declined to stop the process.
Comal County is seeking a
What’s Up -
■ WHAT: Special meeting of Comal County Commissioners’ Court
■ WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Monday
■ WHY: To consider an amendment to the contract between GBRA and Comal County
■ WHERE: Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex
series of promises from GBRA that, while the}' fall short of the Friends’ demands, address many of the group’s other issues.
Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said Comal County was comfortable with the GBRA’s permit amendment.
However, he said Thursday that not everyone was as comfortable as the county was.
“I recognize it’s important to everyone to keep the lake full as much as possible. But if we have a drought of record, everyone will be affected,” Scheel said.
“Even though I’m comfortable with the situation as it is, many of my constituents are not. I feel that as county judge, it’s my responsibility to tiy to educate them. I want them to be able to hear the same things we’ve learned and be as comfortable as I am. I’m taking steps to initiate action with the GBRA to make them feel comfortable.”
Scheel said he was talking to GBRA about conducting economic and recreation impact studies if TNRCC approves the permit — but before GBRA is allowed to draw all the water.
Scheel said he was seeking an arrangement where work could begin on the pipeline project but GBRA pulled no additional water until the studies were completed.
See COUNTY/5 A
Man’s body found in parking lotLawmen list cause as ‘suspicious’
By Ron Maloney
New Braunfels police are investigating the suspicious death of a New Braunfels man found Wednesday evening in a car left on a Walnut Avenue parking lot.
Jesse Medina Espinoza, 50, was found in the back of a car about 7 p.m. on the parking lot of the H-E-B shopping cen
ter in the 600 block of Walnut Avenue.
The woman who found the body said she parked her car outside her place of employment about lunchtime Wednesday.
Her car was next to the automobile in which Espinoza’s body was found.
When she went back to work at 2 p.m., she said, she saw the car, but noticed nothing unusual.
Five hours later, with temperatures in the mid-90s, it was a much different story, she said, when she and a coworker locked up to leave for the night.
“We noticed the flies and the smell,”
Flies were collecting on the car, which she said was an older model and gray.
Police have not reported the make and model.
The woman and the other employee looked inside and saw the man lying in the car.
“We never expected to find what we saw,” she said. “It was scary. It was a shock that someone was dead in the car next to me.”
Other employees in the shopping cen-See BODY/5ATNRCC-
■ WHO: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
■ WHAT: meeting to decide fate of permit amendment to take more water from Canyon Lake
■ WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday
■ WHERE: Building E, second floor conference room in TNRCC offices in Austin.
■ DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 35 North through Austin. Take the Yager Lane Exit and go to the light. Turn left and go over Interstate 35 to the southbound access road. Park 35 is the main building to the TNRCC. Take a right into the main road and go down to the parking lot.
Lining up on the lake
As state meeting nears, sides on permit request become clear
By Amy Clarkson
For residents in Bulverde, Fair Oaks Ranch and Boerne, a proposed amendment to take more water from Canyon Lake represents a solution to their limited water supplies.
For others, the permit request by the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority only promises harm to the economy, the lake itself and property values.
In a few days, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will decide if they are going to allow the GBRA permit to increase the firm yield of the lake to 90,000 acre-feet.
Currently, the GBRA is permitted to sell 50,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.
The amendment is on TNRCC’s agenda for the second time at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The June 20 meeting represents the second time the permit amendment will be considered by the commissioners. On May 9, the commissioners met to hear requests for a contested case hearing. They allowed no public com-
Waging War Over Water A Series Today
GBRA permit request/1 A What is subordination?^ Saturday Thirsty in West Comal Trout Unlimited Sunday Friends of Canyon Lake Lawmakers on the issue
ment and granted no contested case hearings. Instead, they requested that the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited and the GBRA try to reach a compromise. No other parties were recognized by the TNRCC.
GBRA started the process nearly four years ago, when it first filed an amendment request with the TNRCC. Th GBRA officials, the permit request is a major part of the state’s future waterSee LAKE/5A
Gabriel Ojeda, left, from Houston, watches his sister Helena swim Thursday at the Canyon Park beach on Canyon Lake while his dad Joey and sister Eli sit nearby.
at landfill expansion plan
By RCW MALONEY Stall Writer
Comal County commissioners will get a firsthand look Saturday at a proposal to increase the capacity of Comal County Landfill.
Landfill General Manager Xirk Harrison said commissioners were invited to the andfill on Kohlenberg Road it IO a.m. Saturday to
review a proposal to vertically increase landfill capacity.
Commissioners have posted a workshop agenda for the meeting.
Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said the purpose of the meeting was to give commissioners a look at the operation of the dump and
Key Code 76
Hooray for the Red, White and Blue
Gary Mathis, with the Kiwanis Club, is reflected in a truck window hanging a flag Thursday morning in the Landa Shopping Center. Local groups paid tribute to the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day. See Page 11A for a look at the activities.