New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 20, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 139, No. 153
Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAl. COUNTY / Home of Jeff
June 20, 1991 25 Cents
One Section, 10 Pages
IF tNDKNOeR® m DANTER AND
[COS SALAMANDER US TO TVC COMAI
Partly cloudy conditions with highs in the mid 90s, lows in the mid-70s and southeast winds at 10-12 mph arc forecast, along with a 20 percent chance of isolated thundershowers. High in New Braunfels Wednesday was 91 and the overnight low was 67. For more weather information, please see Page 2.
The New Braunfels llerald-Zeitung wishes “happy birthday” today to Rick Accvcdo, Doris Veiler, Ray Bryan, Steve Gill, Donna Gilmore, Johnny Gilmore, Vera Schmidt, Denise Schubert, Ruben Espinosa Jr.. Rebecca Rosales, Chris Douglas, Lab Martinez and Carmen B. Pina.
Belated birthday wishes to Pablo Rosales Jr.
“Happy anniversary” today to Herman and Lillian Stoeplcr, Ros and Bob Dc Pasqual, Paul and Stc-fanie Schwab, Helen and Robert Braunc, Tom and Emily Fink and Larry and Kyra Brandt.
Know of a birthday or anniversary? Give our receptionist a call the day before at 625-9144 — we’d like to share in the greetings.Street closings
Closed until 5 p.m. today for street construction will be Mesquite Avenue from San Antonio to Katy Streets and Mill, Bridge and Katy streets from Hackl>erry to Chestnut avenues.Benefit car wash
The Runners Softball Team will wash cars Saturday, June 22 from IO a.m.-2 p.m. at Barry’s Underpass Saloon, 9(>4 S. Seguin Ave. to raise money for a team trip to Denver, Colo.Cops and robbers
The Cops and Robbers softball tournament to benefit the Emergency Children’s Shelter for Abused and Neglected Children is slated for June 22 at the Camp Comal Softball Field, located on Kuchlcr Street. Activities start around 9 a.m. The event is organized by the New Braunfels Police Officer’s Association. Raffle tickets arc on sale at the Police Department. A baseball card show also is planned for Ute day of the tournament. Everyone is encouraged to come out and support their favorite teams and britig lawn chairs. Food and drinks will be sold as part of the benefit. New Braunfels Police Department Auxillary will sponsor a bake sale at the event.Fish fry and dance
SCHERTZ — VFW Post 8315, located at UKK) Highway 78 in Schertz., will sponsor an oldfashioned fish fry and dance, Saturday, June 22 from 5-9:30 p.m. The Country Creek band will provide live music in the post canteen between 9 p.m.-1 ant. For more information call 512/658-6325.Water festival
The sixth annual Hot Dam Cold Water Festival is slated for this weekend at Farm to Market 306 and the Guadalupe River next to the Maricopa Lodge. Grounds open at 5 p.m. Friday and remain open until after the dance at midnight. On Saturday, the grounds will be open from 11 a.m. to I a.m. For more information call Wade Russell at 512/964-2929.Story time
Were you aware dial at lite Du-tlingcr Memorial Library you can register your 3 lo 5 year old for storyline? Each Tuesday morning at IO a.m., children are introduced to books through a variety of activities including stories, filmstrips, music and fingerplays. For more information visit the library al 373 Magazine Ave. or call 625-8919.Vaccines available
Comal County Health Dcpan-8h STAMMTISCH, Pag* 2Good Day
70 miles of road repaired annually
City enters water plan’s ‘first phase’Outfitters file lawsuit over WORD’S function
By ROBERT STEWART Slit ti Writer
A group of about 25 outfitters along the Guadalupe River has filed suit in federal district court in San Antonio against the Water Oriented Recreation District for allegedly overstepping their original purpose and function.
"We feel that the district was illegally formed and that they have no right to put rules and regulations on individual private businesses.” said June Abbott of Abbott’* River Outfitters.
The distr id was created al ler the Texas legislature in 1987 passed a bill to form WORD and the voters of Comal County approved. The basic intent of the creation of lite district was to levy a system of user fees on the visitors lo lite county lo address issues associated with tourism. User fees (ray for litter dean up and law enforcement.
Abbott said that out of a $1(16,(KH) annual budget, only $10,(HK) goes to river clean up while 45 J lei cent of the money collected goes toward administrative costs.
"We've been to the (WORD) board of directors and to the Commissioners Court," Abbott said. “What else should we do aller that? We were treated like step children."
Abbott said she worked for IO
years to help form the district but switched sides when she saw ^lineal infighting and had problems w uh how the legislation was wntien.
The lawsuit challenges the legality of the formation of WORD and alleges that sortie of the board members never filed for die required bonds with Comal County to properly certify them as board members. Die suit contends this would make many actions taken by the hoard invalid due to lack of a quorum of legitimate members.
The rules deal with identification of equipment, requiring customers to sign release statements, posting WORD signs on private property, insurance requirements, and requiring outfitters to clean segments of the river.
Die suit asks the court to void the 1987 election establishing the district, dissolve the district, define rights of the plaintiffs and (lowers of the district, reimburse legal expenses and gram any other relief lo which the plaintiff may be entitled.
WORD administrator Hetty Walls expressed confidence in the actions WORD has taken SIH* said that she would be surmised if the district was found to be illegal aller the intense scrutiny it lias been through
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer
Several years ago Comal County began us annual street resurfacing program rn which about TO miles of the 685 nu Se county road system receives a new surface treatment each year. according to Mac McCoy, county engineer
Some roads get an asphaltic concrete overlay while most receive a seal coat — otherwise known as a chip seal, according to McCoy,
A chip seal is applied to provide a moisture barrier and to economically prolong the life of an existing (lavement. McCoy said.
"The treatment is a rehabilitative and prolonging application. An oil coating seals the road and the limestone chips hold tires out of the oil. he said."
McCoy says that the name “chip seal" conics from the fact that the gravel applied is actually chips of limctone. Dsesc chips are used instead of graded gravel to make all the chips as close to the same size as possible.
I'here are two surges to the seal coat process, according to McCoy. First, the road must he prepared by scraping, (latching and leveling Dos preparation effort is sometimes interpreted by citizens to be
By MARK WARNKEN SteH Writer
The city of New Braunfels Wednesday initialed the first stage of its water conservation plan. triggered by the dropping level of the Edwards Aquifer.
The plan’s first stage, called water awareness, was invoked by City Manager Paul Grohman on Wednesday because the aquifer level has been ranging between 649 feet and 647 feet the last few days. According to city ordinances, water awareness can be put into effect when the aquifer drops below 650 feet above mean sea level, as recorded at the Edwards Underground Water District index well at Fort Sam Houston in Bexar County
The city’s year-round restriction on watering landscape plants and veget able gardens with individual sprinklers on hoses or with sprinkler systems remains in effect unchanged during the water awareness stage Landscapes and gardens can be watered by sprinkler only between 7 p m. and 9 a.m., but watering by hand using hoses or buckets is not restricted.
"The primary focus there is to prevent loss through evaporation There’s so much water lost to evaporation during that part of the day," Grohman said “It’s better for our ratepayers because not so much is lost to evaporation and because we’re not wasting water from the aquifer "
Additional water-use restrictions imposed Wednesday prohibit the filling of new swimming pools, hot tubs and similar facilities, but not the filing of existing facilities Washing of vehicles is now permitted only on Monday through Thursday with a hand-held hose or bucket.
As another condition of the water awareness stage, the city will reduce fire hydrant flushing and New Braunfels Utilities will reduce sewer line flushing, Grohman said Industrial and commercial users also are asked to reduce water use as much as possible. Restaurants will serve water only upon request, although most follow this practice voluntarily year-round, Grohman said.
“Water awareness basically is a gauge to remind the public, Hey, we’re entering that critical period of time ’ The water you save today may be the life of the Comal Springs tomorrow," Grohman said.
Violators are guilty of a misdemeanor offense and subject to a fine between $50 and $200. The police department enforces the ordinance.
“Since we’ve gone into mandatory conservation measures, the public bas
been tremendous in responding." Grohman said. “We’ve issued a very limned number of citations, mainly because the public is keenly aware of our plight. We are not in the business of enforcing this for monetary gain. We’re in the business of trying to enforce it for the public good
"There’s always going to be a few folks you’re going to have set the rules for. and we will enforce it.” he said.
The City Council in July 1990 approved the water conservation plan to:
• Reduce the rate of drop of the Edwards Aquifer by decreasing the long term water consumption of New Braunfels water consumers
• Protect the Comal Springs in New Braunfels The springs stop flowing when the Bexas County Edwards Aquifer index well drops to 618 feet
• Ensure that ail water consumers rn the region have adequate resources to maintain public health, safety .md welfare
Water watch, the second stage, will go into effect when the aquifer level drops below 630 feet. Landscape plants and vegetable gardens can be watered with a sprinkler system once a week — even-numbered houses from 7 pm. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday and odd-numbered houses from 7 p.m. Sunday to 9 a.m. Monday Exist mg landscaping and vegetable gar dens can be watered by band daily only between 7 pm. and 9 a.m. Sprinkler watering of new landscape plants is prohibited Filling of existing swimming pools, hot tubs and similar factliues also becomes prohibited. Vehicle washing is permuted «inly vin Monday through Thursday with a band-held hose or bucket.
The third stage, water warning, further tightens restrictions on water ase when the aquifer level drops below 621) feet. Landscape and garden watering s prohibited except by hand between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. Vehicle washing is prohibited.
The fourth stage, called water emergency, involves restrictions on miasmal and commercial users. Dur • mg the first three stages, businesses are encouraged a) voluntarily reduce ase by any means avaiiame
To conserve water year-round, an ordinance passed March 25 bans residents and businesses from watering andscapes asing sprinklers between 4 a.m. and ” p m. Watering with und-heid hoses, buckets and drip tm gauon systems is not limited. This restriction is rn effect 365 days a year — except when the mayor or city manager invokes stricter restrictions through the city ’s water conservation plan.
Chips of limestone are sifted onto a roadway already prepared anc coated with an asphalt emulsion (File Photo)
the final maintenance work because it is followed by a curing period of three to six weeks After that period, the chip seal is applied.
“First we clean the ro<*J and prepare the surface,” McCoy said, “Next we spread the oil with a distributor, then the chip spreader and two or three or more rollings." The rollings pack the chips into the road
The final outcome of a chip seal
application is influenced by a number of factor? including weather, existing surface condition. type of material, method of handling, application rate, adjustment and operation of equipment, rolling, brooming, and quality control, McCoy said.
He added that people should be careful and drive slowly in areas where road work is being done.
8m ROADS, Page 2
So far, rainfall keeping aquifer at higher levels
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
Recent rainfalls have left the level of the bedwards Aquifer about three feet higher than this time last year, based on measurements at a local index well.
This morning, the aquifer level was 624.24 lect, said New Braunfels Utilities Engineering Assistant Bill Tcpc, who records the level each morning al NBU’s Panther Canyon water well in Lamia Park.
“We’re six inches above normal rainfall through May — that has a whole bunch to do with it,’’ Tcpc said “The last couple months of last year we also had a whole lot of rain.
“We’re doing a lot better than we were last year, and it looks like the rain’s going to continue for a while. We got about 2'/i inches over the weekend. So far, so good. All we can do is hope it keeps up.”
The lowest measurement so far this year was 624.1 feet in January, and the highest was about 625 feet in late May, Tcpc said.
San Antonio media report the aquifer level based on the Edwards Underground Water District’s Bexar County index well at Fort Sam Houston, which measures higher than the Panther Canyon well because of the cities’ different elevations. For example, the Bexar County reading on Tuesday was 649.4 feet, compared to Panther Canyon’s 624.35 feet. The city of New Braunfels implement? the various stages of its water conservation plan based on the
Bexar County reading.
The Panther Canyon well drops roughly onc-tcnth of a foot for every one Exit drop recorded at the Bexar County well, Tcpc said. Die Herald /eiiun% reports the Panther Canyon reading Tuesday through Friday.
“People think clavation-wise that we should be higher because we’re in the Hill Country, but our Courthouse is about 620 feet above mean sea level, and if you go to San Antonio, it’s about 710 feet,” Tcpc said.
“Elevation-wise, they’re about 90 feet higher than we arc. lf we had a 670 or 639 reading, something like that, you can sec we’d be under water here,” he said Local spring flow begins to slow when the Panther Canyon well reading drops to 622.7 feet and completely slops at 619,2 feet. When the springs stop. Lamia Park Lake empties as it begins to recharge the aquifer, reversing nature’s ordinary arrangement, Tcpc said
Spring flow slowed considerably in 1984 when the aquifer level was measured locally at 619.58 feet, the lowest reading in the last few years, Tcpe said. Spring flow has slowed twice since then, in 1989 and 1990, Tepe said.
The lowest aquiler level ever recorded at Panther Canyon was 613.34 feel on Aug. 21. 1956, after about 216 years of drought. That year, the springs stopped flowing on June 3 at 619.2 feet and started again on Nov. 4 at 619.11 feet, Tcpe said
At the Bexar County Edwards Aquifer index *ell, the local springs stop flowing at 618 feet. Tepe said
New Braunfels Utilities Engineering Assistant Bill Tepe, above, takes measurements at NBU’s Panther Canyon water well in Landa Park and, left, posts them as a public reminder. So far, higher than normal rainfall for the year is keeping the aquifer about three feet above last year's levels.
(Photos by Mark Warnken)