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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 28, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas Scrap . —ids Utilities budget cut to the bone, Sohn says By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer “Can we do better?” That was the main question asked at Thursday’s board meeting, dominated by discussion on the proposed 1985-86 budget for the New Braunfels Utilities. Trustee Al Kosko posed the question about the proposed budget, which shows $30.5 million in expenses, representing less than a 7 percent increase over last year’s amended budget expenses. The proposal also reflects $56.1 million in total funds available, compared to $42.8 million last year. But the $18.1 million Utilities bond issue, which was put on hold last week “until some future date,” is still included in that $56.1 million figure. The proposed budget also shows an ending balance for cash and shortterm investments at $841,677. The same column was projected for 1984-85 at $1,249,667. Trustee Robert Orr asked what type of rate increases were reflected in the proposed budget. Utilities Manager Bob Sohn said the budget contains a 13 percent increase in the electric base rate, effective Aug. I. A 25-percent increase in water rates, and a 20 percent increase in sewer rates would not be effective until Jan. 1,1986. The last time Utilities went to City Council asking for rate increases in water and sewer was in October-November 1984. “We had a $19,000 loss this month in the water department,” Sohn said. “We requested more than we got (from council), and we’re seeing the results of that now. “The sewer was pretty much left alone, and ifs coming close to breakeven,” he added. “This 20 and 25 percent will get us back up to the level to start funding projects again.” Adjustments were made in electric rates in 1980 and 1981. Effective July I, Sohn said Utilities would see a maximum increase of 9.4 percent in its base rate costs from its power supplier, the Ixiwer Colorado See UTILITIES, Page 12A Resigning prison official blasts White,, backs Loeffler AUSTIN (AP) - Robert Gunn, alleging Gov. Mark White interfered in the selection of a new prison director, said he will quit as chairman of the Texas Board of Corrections, according to reports published today. Gunn, a Republican, also said that after resigning he will support U.S. Rep. Tom Ixieffler, who is considering a run for Texas governor next year. A majority of the nine-member board was believed to have favored Steve Martin, the Texas Department of Corrections’ former general counsel, to succeed Raymond Procumer es director, the Houston Chronicle reported. Procunier resigned earlier this month to retire But the panel voted unanimously last week to promote Lane McCotter, Texas Department of Corrections deputy director for operations. “I feel that prisons and politics don’t mix,” Gunn told the Chronicle. Sports Weekend Swim meet Saturday, Sunday at (.anda, Page 8A New Braunfels Herald-Zeituno New Braunfels. Texas    ..    .    ..    W Vol. 94-No. 127 Friday June 28,1985 25 Cents 24 Pages —2 Sections Hostages may move to Syria BEIRUT, lebanon (AP) — An authoritative government source said today Syria has agreed in principle to take charge of the 39 American hostages within 48 hours if a deal is worked out for release of the 735 Arab prisoners held in Israel. The source said the Syrians agreed to take the hostages on condition they are flown to Damascus under U.N. supervision. The authoritative source, speaking on condition he was not identified, told The Associated Press that the arrangement was worked out by a special envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. The source said the emissary, Jean-Claude Aime, has been mediating for several days in the 15-day-old hijack crisis in a shuttle involving Beirut, Damascus and Jersualem. The Shine Moslem hijackers seized TWA Flight 847 on June 14. They have released more than IOO passengers and are holding 39 Americans while demanding the release of the 735 Lebanese, most of them Shiites, held in Israel. The source said Aime flew from Damascus to Beirut Thursday night and met with Shiite Amal militia leader Nabih Bern, the key mediator who has taken responsibility for the hostages. Israel has consistently said it would gradually release the prisoners according to its own timetable. Some of the prisoners had been released before the hijacking and the taking of American hostages. Berri said Thursday night, after an effort to free the hostages through the French government fell through, that it might be best if the Americans were taken to Damascus to be held until Israel frees the Adit prisoners. Syria, the main power broker in lebanon, has said it was “concerned about finding a suitable solution” to the hostage drama. A leader of Berri’s Amal militia, which holds the 39 Americans, urged the United States today to formally request its help in freeing seven Americans kidnapped in Beirut. Asked if the seven might be included in any agreement to free the See BEIRUT, Page 12AInsideWater Watch Comal Riv«i    270ldown12) Canyon inflow  .........610 (down 82l Canyon Dam outflow    800 (up 116) Edwards Aquifer ......... 624 98 (same) Canyon Lake (aval . •■    911 IO (same)Today's Weather Comal County forecast calls for partly cloudy skies through Saturday with a 20 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Winds will be from northeast at 15 miles per hour. Highs today and Saturday will be in the upper 80s with a low tonight in the high 60s. This morning’s low was 70, andNetworks fuss over coverage NEW YORK (AP) - Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “exclusive” as “given or belonging to no other,” and, as it turned out, ABC had an exclusive among the three major networks with its first-run interview with three American hostages in Beirut, Lebanon. ABC said correspondent Charles Glass’ interview with Allyn Conwell, Ralf Traugott and the Rev. James McLoughlin on Thursday was the result of aggressive journalism, but the network was alone in that contention. CBS and NBC said it wasn’t a coup at all, but jumping the gun on what was supposed to be shared material among the three television news giants. I^ast week, ABC beat its rivals with an exclusive interview with the crew of TWA Flight 847. It may not have been a coincidence that ABC’s “World News Tonight” finished second in the Nielsen ratings, ahead of the “NBC Nightly News” last week for the first time in a while. And then who should appear in Beirut Wednesday night, cutting short his African vacation, but Tom Brokaw, anchor of the “NBC Nightly News.” On Thursday, Glass and an ABC camera crew met with the three hostages, selected by the Shiite Amal militia, at a seaside restaurant in Beirut. Robert Murphy, ABC’s vice president for news coverage, said the interviews came after ABC’s bureau in lebanon made persistent requests to the Amal. NBC and CBS officials said the Amal allowed ABC to conduct the interview only because it assumed ABC’s interview was to be immediately shared with all broadcasters. yesterday’s high was 86. CLASSIFIED 3-12B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 3B DEAR ABBY 3B ENTERTAINMENT 1B HOROSCOPE 3B OPINIONS 4A RELIGIOUS FOCUS 5.6A SPORTS 8.9A STOCKS 2A TV LISTINGS 2B WEATHER 3A Places in the heat This scene of hay bundled up in a field near off Texas 46 South looks like the perfect setting for a movie. It may be a perfect setting for rain instead - scattered showers have fallen this week, and there s a chance for more in the forecast today. Where has that infamous summer heat gone? Water plans GBRA eyes treatment plant; board gets hydro update A new water treatment plant between New Braunfels and Seguin is a step closer toward becoming a reality in the wake of a recent decision by Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority directors. At their recent meeting in Seguin, GBRA board members approved a contract for engineering services to design the proposed plant. They hired the engineering firm of Garcia and Wright, Incorporated, of San Antonio to assist in designing the project. The water treatment plant is being constructed under contract with the Green Valley Water Supply Cor poration. Under the terms of the contract, Green Valley will have an ultimate use of 2 million gallons of treated water from the plant per day. The plant has the potential to serve other areas while it is still in the design phase, GBRA General Manager John Specht said. The plant has been considered a necessary' improvement by Green Valley, which now relies solely on ground water. The new plant will provide an alternate source of surface water to augment groundwater particularly during drought conditions, Specht indicated Directors also received a detailed report on the status of permit ap plications and engineering design for the Canyon Hydroelectric Project. The project involves the construction of a 6-megawatt generating unit in the outfall of Canyon Reservoir. Specht said three major permits are required for the project, and added that one — a water permit from the Texas Water Commission — has been issued The other two include a 404 permit from Army Corps of Engineers and a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license. Federal permits require periods for public comment, and Specht said that time period has been completed on the 404 permit, which he said is ready for issue The comment period for the FERC license application has been completed, and GBRA is providing responses to comments received. Specht anticipates that the FERC license will be issued by the end of the year Project design is reviewed by the Corps of Engineers under an agreement with the Federal Regulatory' Commission The Corps See GBRA, Page 12A County stuck with higher probation costs By ULLIAN THOMAS Staff! writer Starting in September, the cost of misdemeanor probation will begin shifting to the counties, and by 1987 the county will foot the entire bill. “If the state cuts the funding for misdemeanor probation entirely and caseloads stay the same, we will lose $3,375 per month or $40,500 per year,” said Jack Williamson, supervisor of Comal County Probation Department. This year the probation department will not have to ask com missioners for more money, but next year it will if the department is going to keep the same number of employees. This change comes only one session after the Texas Legislature increased the required supervision in driving while intoxicated cases (the majority of which are misdemeanors >, Williamson said. None of this should come as any surprise to those who have been following the current fad in legislation: passing bills that raise the standards but pushing the cost of those changes back on the local agency. As of 1983 the state required screening for problem drinkers on all DWI offenders and alcohol education classes. Even though the law was for counties over 50,000, Comal County complied because, as Williamson put it, “we wanted to provide what would be effective intervention in these cases so that the first time offender would not become a second time offender. Th«s protects the public as well.” Right now the state matches what the probationers pay — $15 a month which is 50 cents a day, Williamson explained. “In September it will be cut to 40 cents a day for misdemeanor probationers,” the probation supervisor said. "Then down to 25 cents a day in September 1986, and then down to nothing in by September 1987.” The amount the state pays for felony probation is 75 cents a day. But the majority of probations are for misdemeanors, Williamson explained. See PROBATION, Page UA ;