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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 26, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels TUESDAY June 26, 2001 12 pages in 2 sections ■W*    pages    in    2    sectnHer ALD-Z EITUNG L - ■ r .......It Vol. 150, No. 194 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Main Street director going to Gainesville Fountain fourth city worker to leave in past three months By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Main Street Director Lynn Fountain is bidding farewell to New Braunfels after five and a half years. Fountain accepted a position in Gainesville, where she will lead its fledgling Main Street program. She leaves at a difficult time for the program, as it has come under fire for decisions in recent months. “I don’t really know what will happen, of course,” she said. “But my hope is that the city will move cautiously and replace me and continue the program. I hope that with me gone — and the lightning rod removed — that the city will see what we’ve done here and continue it.” The Gainesville board courted her and invited her to apply for the job, she said. Her last day in New Braunfels is July ll. “They called me, and at first I said I wasn’t interested,” she said. “But they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They paid for me to go and interview — I was just blown away by their program.” Gainesville is a smaller city but has big plans for the city using the Main Street program, she said. “They have a very ambitious program,” she said. “They’re just starting up the program, and that’s always an exciting time. They’ve done wonderful things with their preservation and have a really positive start.” With her resignation, See FOUNTAIN/3 A AMY CLARKSON/Herald-Zeitung Main Street Director Lynn Fountain is leaving New Braunfels for Gainesville. Justices mum on affirmative action suit By Larry Margasak Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court remained silent Monday on race-conscious admissions policies in higher education, refusing to hear Texas’ challenge to a ruling that its law school affirmative action program discriminated against whites. Without comment, the decision not to take the case showed the justices are not yet ready to break years of silence on preferential admissions in public colleges. This might not be the last word, however, because challenges to the University of Michigan’s preferential policies could reach the court in the October term. The high court hasn’t spoken definitively on the issue since the divided 1978 Bakke decision, when the majority said universities can take race into account in admissions. States across the country are wrestling with ways to keep up minority enrollment in public colleges, and several are operating under court orders or negotiated agreements to end discrimination in higher education. While the Texas case involved the law school policy, it had a much broader effect in the state. Once the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the policy, the state devised a new system for all its public colleges. “Today’s order resolves nothing,” University of Texas law professor Douglas Haycock said. “We are disappointed, but sooner or later the court will decide this issue. In the meantime, we will explore our remaining legal options....” Look out below! CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Vincent Castillo, 13, from San Antonio, jumps from the rope swing Monday afternoon at the Landa Park spring-fed pool. Landa Park pools are hopping with activity this summer as visitors and residents alike seek respite from the hot temperatures. NBISD debates student participation fees By Ron Maloney Staff Writer New Braunfels school trustees will consider today assessing a $20 participation fee for students who take part in extracurricular activities. The fee would be reduced to $5 annually for students whose families qualify for free or reduced meals. The school board meets at 5 p.m. on the second floor of The Education Center, 430 W. Mill St. Superintendent Ron Reaves said, “During budgetary talks, the board asked us to look for additional revenue sources to help supple- See NBISD/3A Trinity board mulls conservation From staff reports BULVERDE — Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District will conduct a workshop on conservation fees on Wednesday. The workshop will be part of the district’s regular meeting, at 5:45 p.m. at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, 36101 Farm to Market Road 3159 in Smithson Valley. The district wants to collect conservation fees by Sept. I...  I I, district manager Ray Lax-on said. Laxon said the district would seek input from water purveyors to set up a system to monitor high volume wells. The fee applies to nonexempt production wells capable of pumping more than 25,000 gallons a day. The fee the district will charge is 17 cents per 1,000 gallons. The district also will conduct a public hearing at the beginning of the meeting to ■■■■■ listen to comments on its proposed rule changes concerning well drilling or modification permits and well production permit applications. Anyone wishing to review the proposed rules and rule changes can contact Laxon at (830) 980-8656. The rules also are available at District offices are inside the Justice of the Peace Court No. 3, 2350 Bulverde Road. Inside Abby......................... .....5A Classifieds.................... ...4-6B Comics........................ ......3B Crossword.................. .....5A Forum........................... ......6A Local/Metro.................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......5A Obituaries..................... ......3A Sports...........................1 -2, 4B Today........................... .....2A Key Code 76 Council splits on contract with chamber By Ron Maloney Staff Writer New Braunfels city council voted Monday to renew for two years its contract for economic development services with the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. But the 4-3 vote along familiar lines did not happen before chamber President Michael Meek spent nearly an hour under questioning from two council members. Members Sonia Munoz and Larry Alexander, Mayor Pro Tem Lee Rodriguez and Mayor Stoney Williams cast the “aye” votes. Councilmembers Juliet Watson, Robert Kendrick and Debbie Flume cast the dissenting votes. The vote also came after another part of the 4B board resolution calhng for spending $170,000 to buy a piece of parkland was split off for separate action. On the chamber contract, Watson said she was concerned that the city was not getting the best possible bang for its economic development buck. In a deal in which the chamber through its public/private partnership matches the city’s expenditure dollar for dollar, Watson questioned why the services had not been put out to bid. Flume questioned an old direct mail flyer that she said offered tax incentives and bragged on a good work ethic and low area wages as an incentive for businesses to locate here. She also questioned whether 4B board money could be used to fund economic development. City Attorney Charlie Zech said it most assuredly could. The directors of the city’s Infrastructure/Improvement Corporation, also known as the 4B board for its enabling legislation, voted unanimously June 20 to recommend allocating $91,183 in sales tax money to the chamber in 2002 and $86,897 in 2003. The money will pay the chamber to promote New Braunfels and provide economic development services to the city. Watson asked whether the services in the contract had been offered out to bid. She was told that they had not. Watson said that construction jobs, consultations and other work were put out for bid, and she thought economic development services should be, as well. Zech said there was no legal reason why the city had to request proposals. Watson said the available 4B board money should be used to fix streets, drainage City votes to buy parkland By Ron Maloney Staff Writer In its first public discussion on the issue, New Braunfels City Council Monday night approved a controversial parkland proposal that is not on the city’s parks plan. Supporting a recommendation by the Infrastructure/ Improvement Board, council voted 4-3 to spend $170,000 for five acres of land in Robert Kendrick’s district for a future park site. Mayor Stoney Williams voted with Kendrick, Debbie Flume and Juliet Watson to buy property. The parcel, a pecan orchard at Torrey Street and Gruene Road, became controversial more than a week ago when City Manager Mike Shands signed an earnest money contract proposal — before it was ever mentioned or voted on publicly. Monday, Mayor Pro Tem Lee Rodriguez agreed the land was an attractive piece of property, but he didn’t know whether it was worth the asking price. and sidewalks. She noted that most of the big ticket industrial employers attracted to the area were located in the Comal Independent School District rather than New Braunfels ISD. She suggested that tax abatements that brought them there were in part responsible for that district’s higher tax rate. Meek blamed that on the homestead exemption, which he said is only offered by a few districts, and the district’s building programs. Monroe Miller, a 4B board director, said the $90,000 was about three-tenths of I percent of the $14 million the I nfrastructure/I mprovement Corp spent on “quality of life” in New Braunfels in 2000. The chamber’s services couldn’t really go out to bid, he said, because no other organization does all the things the chamber does in terms of marketing, promotion, interest in education or attracting businesses to the community. “The chamber does it all," Miller said. “I’d ask you all recognize what was a very considered vote by the members of the 4B board who you’ve selected because of their business acumen.” ;