New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 20, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
KST AVAILABLE COPYNew Braunfels
WEDNESDAY June 20, 2001
14 pages in 2 sections
14 pages in 2 seemHERALD-7 EITUNG
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Vol. 150, No. 189
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Water wars heat up
County seeks lake agreement, but GBRA says no way
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Comal County commissioners learned Tuesday their relationship with the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority was not what they thought it was.
Local officials worked more than a week with GBRA staffers on an amended understanding of a 1999 contract regarding GBRA’s plans to take more water out of Canyon Lake.
Officials thought they had one late Monday afternoon — after six drafts. Comal County Judge Danny Scheel, believing a new deal had been reached, even set a Tuesday morning meeting to vote on it.
GBRA General Manager Bill West, board chairman Pamela Hodges and Hays County director Anne Cooper told Scheel before the scheduled 9 a.m. meeting that there would be no deal.
‘The sentiment was they were not interested in having any commissioners’ court dictating to them where this water will go,” Scheel said.
Scheel and other officials said they were angry.
“It really upsets me that the directors of the GBRA do not respect our commissioners’ court enough to give us the authority to work with them in addressing the concerns of our constituents who live around that lake,” Scheel said.
Hodges and West said Tuesday that what Comal County wanted GBRA to do was cede its authority to a local government, which the state agency legally cannot do.
Under the 1999 contract, Comal County agreed not to seek a contested case hearing before the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission on the GBRA’s application to amend its permit to withdraw water from Canyon Lake.
That permit is the subject of a TNR-CC hearing at 9:30 a.m. today in Austin.
The amendment, if approved, will increase the sustained yield of Canyon Reservoir from 76,000 acre-feet per year to 90,000 acre-feet, and increase GBRA’s pumpage from the lake from 50,000 acre-feet to 90,000-acre feet.
GBRA so far has commitments for
Infrastructure board takes up parkland funds
Doug Haskin, left, from San Antonio, checks out the sail of a boat for sale by George Garcia, right, Tuesday at Canyon Lake Marina. Recreationists and residents are concerned about the future of the lake if the state approves a permit today to take more water out of the lake.
about 67,000 acre-feet of that water — contingent upon the TNRCC issuing the amended permit today.
As part of the GBRA’s Western Canyon Project, 24,000-acre feet will be dedicated to western Comal, Bexar,
Kendall and Blanco county customers.
The bulk of that water, 16,000 acre-feet, would go to Bulverde and Comal County.
Comal County sought added safeguards from the GBRA.
GBRA agreed publicly to a study of the economic and recreational impacts
See WATE RMA
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission meets at 9:30 a.m. today in Building E, second floor conference room in the TNRCC offices in Austin. 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 and go down to the parking lot.
By Amy Clarkson
The five and half acres of land New Braunfels City Council wants to buy for a park is not one of the areas targeted for a new neighborhood park, according to a preliminary study of park needs in the city.
The land deal in question is at 776 Torrey Street and 2136 Gruene Road. The tree-lined lot is at the center of a possible violation of the Open Meetings Act, when council authorized the city manager to sign a contract and pay $1,000 earnest money for the property — all without public debate or notification.
The city entered a contract with Howard Wimberley, current owner of the land on June 4, then met in closed session June ll to discuss sending the agreement to the 4B Board.
The 4B board will consider paying for the land at its 7 p.m. meeting today at the municipal building, 424 S. Castell Ave.
While a final park plan has not been presented to council, the city paid $30,000 to Carter and Burgess, a consulting firm, to come up with a long-range plan for parks and recreation. The plan divides the city into IO districts and lists proposed neighborhood parks for each district.
The plan highlights areas where parks are needed, and the area of Torrey Street and Gruene Road is not one of them.
“No particular site is designated,” Parks Director Iris Neffendorf said. “But the plan fists areas where parks are needed. Typically, those areas are in parts of town where there is new development, new homes — but no parks.”
No neighborhood parks exist in several areas of town, she said. She pointed to the
Chamber seeks 4B funding
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Funding to market the city for economic development tops the list of public hearings for the Infrastructure/Improvem ent Corp. board of directors meeting at 7 p.m. today.
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce will ask the board to renew its contract to bring economic development to New Braunfels, chamber president Michael Meek said.
The chamber is asking for $90,183 for fiscal year
2001-2002 and $86,997 in
“We’ve had four consecutive contracts,” Meek said. “This will be our first renewal since the 4A funds combined with 4B.”
The city previously had a separate sales tax for economic development, called the 4A tax. New Braunfels residents combined the 4A and 4B taxes in an election this past year. Now, the 4B sales tax revenues can be used for a variety of projects, including economic development.
area outside Loop 337 and Texas 46 as examples.
“There is a serious need for parks in the city,” she said. “That’s what the study shows. I don’t have the final version yet, but the maps show what we should shoot for in the next seven to IO years.”
Neighborhood parks were recommended based on development and locale, she said.
“If you design community See PARKLANDMANBISD considers attaching price tag to extracurricular activities
By Martin Malacara
Students in the New Braunfels Independent School District might have to pay a little extra to participate in extracurricular activities this coming school year.
District administration recommended to board trustees on Tuesday to consider assessing annual student participation fees for transportation to participate in extracurricular activities, use of district owned music instruments and athletic participation.
Superintendent Ron Reaves presented the proposal to the board at its Tuesday meeting.
Reaves said the fees would help offset rising costs for fuel, equipment and insurance and repair of band instruments.
Under the original proposal, students whoProposed Fees
The proposed per student, annual fees are:
• $50 for athletics
• $20 for using district owned band instruments
• $15 for transportation to extracurricular events
• Board Vice President Lee Edwards proposes an alternative — a $25 fee for all activities with a $75 cap for families.
• District officials will review the proposal at a July 2 meeting.
wish to participate in extracurricular activities would be charged a $15 transportation fee, a $20 fee for using district owned band
instruments and a $50 fee for athletic participation.
“There’s quite a bit of out of pocket expenses right now. We either throw it back to the taxpayers or provide some sort of partnership,” Reaves said.
The district’s current maintenance and operation tax rate is $1.48 per $100 valuation. That rate cannot exceed $1.50, according to state law.
According to the proposal, the fees would be a one-time charge each school year and allow students to participate in as many activities as they wish during the school year.
Fees would not be refunded if students leave the district, are injured, fail a class, voluntarily quit or are dismissed from an activity for any reason.
The transportation fee would not guarantee students would be allowed to accompany a group to all activities or events.
Any student who does not pay the fee or fees would not be allowed to participate in any event, activity or contest, according to the proposal.
Students who qualify for free or reduced lunches under the National School Lunch program would have their fetes waived.
The option for a payment plan exists, but campus principals would have to approve the plan.
Board Secretary Bette Spain said, “This is not something I want to do, but I feel Uke we’ve got to do something and be fair all the way around.”See ACTIVITIESMATNRCC sets meeting in Bulverde
From staff reports
BULVERDE — Environmen-tahsts and concerned residents of Comal County wiU get their chance Thursday to speak out about a permit to discharge wastewater into Rebecca Creek.
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will conduct a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bulverde Community Center, 1747 E. Amman Road in Bulverde, concerning a wastewater permit for Rebecca Lake UtiUties.
If the permit gets TNRCC approval, the utility company would treat wastewater for a planned subdivision near Rebecca Creek.
Northwest Comal County Environmental Coalition, a grass-roots organization, has opposed the wastewater permit.
The group is concerned the discharge from the wastewater treatment plant could harm the creek, which drains into the Guadalupe River and flows into Canyon Lake.
Key Code 76
A group of 250 Comal County YMCA children toured Natural Bridge Caverns Tuesday and then had their picture taken with “Elvis.”