New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 20, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
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14 pages in two sections ■ Thursday, June 19,1997
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of Rtaxln* Montagu*
Vol. 145, No. 156
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Maxine Montague, Jason Miller, Raul Chape, Brenda Spriggs, Melinda Smith, Nicholas Kuhl (8 years), Paul Rosales Jr., Erie Jordan Lopez (5 years), Pedro Gonzales Jr., Julia M. UUoa, Amanda Cervantes, Mary Ann Hummel, Jason Feitner (16 years), Juan Alvarez, Jesse Garcia and Missy Medrano.
Happy anniversary wishes go to Buster and Elsie Bowers (4 years).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Mold— 1,806 Grass —22
(Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River — 294 cubic feet per second, same as Wednesday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 625.60 feet above sea level, same as Wednesday
Canyon Dam discharge — 5,080 cfs Canyon Lake inflow — 910 cfs Canyon Lake level — 911.23 feet above sea level. (Above conservation pool.)
New Braunfels Utilities
NSU reports pumping 4.843 million gallons of surface water Wednesday, and 1.409 million gallons of well water were used
Expect more of same: partly cloudy and hot
The weather is getting a little bit predictable, so if you read yesterday’s forecast, you may dispense with reading today’s.
For our new visitors, today will be partly cloudy with southerly winds at about 10 mph. The afternoon high will be in the mid-90's with the overnight low around 75. There is a less than 20 percent chance of rain.
Friday will begin mostly cloudy and becoming partly cloudy by the afternoon. Temperatures will again range from the mid-90s to the mid-70s with a slight chance of showers.
Omens Bridge still closed today
High Guadalupe River flows continue to keep Gruene Bridge underwater and closed to travelers.
The release from Canyon Dam was 5,080 cubic feet per second this morning. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials reported that the release will be re-evaluated Friday at 11 a.m. to determine whether it can be reduced for the weekend.
ACS issues last call for gala seats
Time is running out to make reservations for Friday’s Starlight Gala in Red, White and Blue at the New Braunfels Civic Center. This event is the only fund-raising event for ACS, which provides services to those whose lives are impacted by cancer.
Also Friday, ACS will announce the winner of the 1997 Chevrolet Malibu donated by Don Maxwell Chevrolet.
lf you have not made reservations yet, see Page 3A for a handy form. For more information about the gala, call 620-4115.
Zaffirini named one of
state’s best lawmakers
Firefighters rescue 5 rafters
From staff reports
From staff reports
Texas Monthly magazine has published its list of IO best and IO worst Texas state legislators, and the publication named Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, as one of the favored IO.
To make the IO best, the maga
zine used the criteria of “integrity, fairness, a desire to solve problems ... a commitment to put policy ahead of partisanship.”
This year marks the first time Zaffirini, whose 21st senatorial district includes a portion of Comal County, has been selected.
Also on the list were Sen. Teel
Toby Goodman, Rep.
Hugo Berlan- Judith Zaffirini ga and Rep.
Steve Wolens. Among die “worst” were Sen. Drew Nixon, Rep. Kent Grusendorf, Sen. Eddie Lucio and Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth.
Canyon Lake Volunteer Fire Department rescued five people from a stranded raff near Little Ponderosa Drive Wednesday afternoon.
Fire Chief Les Wyatt said rescue personnel were able to get all five people out of the Guadalupe River safely on River Road. No injuries were reported.
Rescuers were called out at about 4:15 p.m., Wyatt said.
“They had five in a raft, two of those peo
ple were guides,” Wyatt said. “They had like a 10-man raff and they said they didn’t have enough people to row it and it wrapped around a rock.”
Wyatt said two people were able to swim to shore. When rescuers arrived, three people were still in the water.
“They were hanging on to a tree in the middle of the river,” Wyatt said.
He said fire department personnel threw a rope to the stranded rafters and were able to pull them to shore.
County plans for jail growth
Comal commissioners give tentative OK for expansion
HerakJ-Zettung photo by Michael Damall
Sergeant Kermit Vetter and Deputy Shane Billings work inside the Comal County Jail control
expanslon for the jail would add 100 bede, which would allow for bitore population expanaion.
Addition would bring IOO more beds to 10-year-old facility
By DENISE DZIUK
Comal County Commissioners Court gave informal approval Wednesday for the jail administrator to pursue plans to expand the jail.
Chief Jail Administrator Jim Middleton told the court that the county jail, built about IO years ago, can house 145 inmates. The jail was not at capacity but was on the fringe of overcrowding. He said in one to three years, the jail would be at capacity.
rn Middleton said it was important that the county stay ahead of the game, because Bexar County recently failed its jail inspection because of overcrowding. Waiting until Comal County reached that point would be costly, he commented.
“Basically, we need to look not only one to three years down the road, but IO to 15 years because of growth in the county,” Middleton said. “I think we want to be ahead of that and stay in front of the jail population.”
The onginal jail plans included the option for expansion. Middleton said he wanted to petition the state jail commission for approval to add IOO beds at the south end of the facility, with an alternate proposal to add additional space at the north side, when the need arises. The 100-bed addition would be an increase of approximately 26,224 square feet.
COMAL COUNTY PROPOSED JAIL EXPANSION
Existing Comal County Jail
• Currently houses up • Would add IOO
to 145 bads bads
• Built 10 years ago
• Coct $3 mutton
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•• ' -
The jail commission should take about four weeks to approve the plans, Middleton said. After that, plans would have to be amended to meet new jail standards, bids would be sought and construction would begin. The entire project could be complete in about 18 months, he predicted.
The preliminary figures for the expansion show a cost of about $3 million. The county’s financial advisors said the county could fund the expansion with tax notes, certificates of obligation or a bond
issue. They said depending on the payment method used, it could increase the tax rate by a penny or less.
"Incidentally, the market remains strong right now. This would not be a bad time,” said financial advisor Floyd Western tan of Southwest Securities. “You’re not by yourself looking at (jail expansions).”
The court pointed out that the jail provides Turn to Jail, Page2A
Effort could replace contract with BFI
By ABE LEVY
New Braunfels is looking into the possibility of launching its own curbside recycling program that would replace its current contract with Browning Ferris Industries.
BFI is six months away from the end of a three-year contract with the city in a program that charges residents a $1.85 monthly fee.
City officials said they were pleased with the program thus far, which had a citywide participation rate of more than 50 percent for most of the past three years for a total of 2,300 tons of recyclable materials.
Still, city officials said they were exploring the idea as a way to keep residential costs down while maintaining or improving current services.
“We're in the job of the public interest,” said Don Ferguson, assistant to the city manager. "We may find that the costs don’t fit and contracting is the better option. We may find we can do it cheaper.”
City officials said they would have to solicit proposals for the service again if a city-run program proved infeasible.
The city would buy two to three trucks, hire drivers and enter into an agreement of some type to dispose of the waste with a goal of staying lower than the current monthly fee, officials said.
City officials said they would reveal their recommendation, which would include cost estimate,s to the recycling committee at its next meeting on July 2.
The recycling committee is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council, which then will make a final decision, city officials said.
BFI’s current contract gives the nationwide company 50 percent of the profits of the materials that two drivers and trucks pick up throughout the week in the city.
The recycling committee discussed the matter at its regular Wednesday meeting where Gabe Garcia, municipal marketing representative for BFl’s San Antonio district, presented arguments to extend the contract.
“I would like for this committee to not put this out for bids. We know the routes. We have the facility,” Garcia said. “Our relationship with city and staff is one we’re very proud of. Some of the people know our drivers and the drivers know them. We feel we’ve done a good job ”
Garcia said if BFI had to submit a proposal in an open-bidding process, the fee would be an estimated $2.25 per month.
WORD sets public hearing on personal watercraft rules
By DAVID DEKUNDER
CANYON LAKE — Comal County Water Oriented Recreation District board Wednesday approved holding a public hearing to consider a ordinance which would stop people from speeding on personal watercraft in the Guadalupe River.
Board member Charles Stephens said WORD needed to get more public input on any ordinance before presenting it to County Commissioners Court.
“We can get people’s input on it, propose an ordinance or ask the county to propose a parallel
*We ar* sitting hare on a major part of the river whore most people sit at with nothing to protect them from those kinds of folks. ’
— WORD manager Jim Inman
ordinance and ask them to listen to us,” Stephens said.
Manager Jim Inman brought up the issue because of a personal watercraft incident that
occurred on the river more than a week ago.
"It probably boiled ahead when two boats ran from the Second Crossing up,” Inman said. “Apparently they almost took out a raft of people.”
Inman said sheriffs deputies and game wardens from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department were called out to stop the two jet skiers.
A loophole in the rule in the water safety act allowed the jet skiers to get away with a slap on the wnst, Inman said.
“The way the Texas Water Safety Act works if a river is IOO feet wide a personal watercraft can’t be within 50 feet of a bank,” he said. “For
rivers IOO feet wide or less that law doesn’t apply.”
Since the Guadalupe River is 40 feet in some sections, the law would be hard to enforce, he said.. Inman added that he was worried about the problem.
“We are sitting here on a major part of the river where most people sit at with nothing to protect them from these kinds of folks,” Inman said.
An ordinance on Wednesday’s agenda would have restricted the use of gasoline powered watercraft on the river from Guadalupe River State Park to Rebecca Crossing, northwest of the lake, Turn to WORD, Page 2ABaptists boycott Disney, Page 2A; Texas executes another convicted killer, Page 7A