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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 28, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDAYNEW Braunfels    june    28,2001 ^ pages in 2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung I— -------------------- ■ ■ ..... .............. ............................._...... ....................- -ll Vol, ISO, No. 196 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 SO cents Fed cuts interest rate again WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the sixth time this year on Wednesday, but by just a quarter-point, sending a signal that its most aggressive recession-fighting effort in nearly two decades might be coming to an end. Analysts said they still expected at least one more quarter-point move at the Fed’s August meeting, but they also said the country has probably seen the last of the bolder half-point rate reductions the Fed had been using to keep the record, 10-year economic expansion alive. “The Fed left the door open to doing whatever it needs to do to get the economy moving again, but the dosage will be smaller,” said Allen Sinai, chief econ-omist at Decision Economics in New York. Wall Street investors, who had hoped for another half-point cut, took the smaller one in stride. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been up about 25 points before the Fed’s mid-afternoon f announcement, Finished the day down 37.64 at 10,434.84. The Nasdaq composite index, however, rose a modest 10.12 to close at 2,074.74. The quarter-point rate cut pushed the Fed’s target for the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, to 3.75 percent, down from 6.5 per- * cent where it stood before the Fed began cutting rates on Jan. 3. The Fed action was immediately followed by a quarter-point cut in commercial banks’ prime lending rate, sending the benchmark for millions of business and consumer loans down to 6.75 percent, the lowest level in seven years. Analysts suggested the Federal Reserve’s quarter-point rate cut represented a compromise between Fed officials still concerned that the economy could tumble into a recession and an opposing Fed camp that is growing worried about overdoing the rate relief and sowing the seeds of higher inflation next year. As evidence of the internal debate, analysts noted the Fed’s brief statement announcing its decision. The statement provided no explanation for why the central bank had decided to switch from “The Fed left the door open to doing whatever it needs to do to get the economy moving again, but the dosage will be smaller. ” — Allen Sinai Economist See RATE/5APatriotic puzzlement: Which weekend will bring most holiday traffic? By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, and outfitters and lawmen are trying to predict when the big “holiday” weekend will be. Will it be this coming weekend — or the days after Independence Day? “It’s hard to anticipate. I wish I had a crystal ball and just knew, but it’s all guesswork,” said George Cushanick, general manager of the Comal County Water-Oriented Recreation District. The Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority has promised a flow of 200 cubic feet per second from Canyon Lake, Cushanick said. “There’s plenty of water to float, and at 200 cfs, that’s a pretty comfortable ride,” Cushanick said. “The word seems to be going around, and everybody’s got bookings both weekends. Theres some who say their big weekend is this one, some others who say the other way around.” Comal County Sheriff’s Office will patrol Canyon Lake and the Guadalupe River, where more than 50 deputies and reserve officers will patrol both weekends and on Wednesday. Patrol Lt. Brent Paullus said deputies asked tubers and campers which weekend they expected to visit, and the answers came across the board. “We’ll be working the next IO days, basically,” Paullus said. “We just want everybody to be safe so they can have a good time.” New Braunfels Police Lt. Doug Dunlap said officers would patrol rivers and parks within the city limits. “We’re ready just like we have been so far this summer,” he said. NBPD is preparing for both the weekends to be big ones, but Dunlap said he was not sure which would be biggest. “You just never know. We’re kiqd of planning on the second weekend being the busier of the two. Being that the Fourth is in the middle of the week, our thinking is See HOLIDAY/3 Aplea fore changeGolf pro teeing up for opposition to fee proposals “Its a gentlemen’s game. And the mantra has always been leave the course better than you found it. We’ve seemed to lost that here. ” — Ward Watson Landa Park Golf Course manager By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Ward Watson is not the most popular man on the Landa Park Golf Course these days. And the golf course manager knows that once he makes a proposal to change greens fees, he will face the wrath of regular customers, friends and neighbors. Watson is preparing a proposal that is nearly guaranteed to create a cloud of controversy over the golf course. But, he says, changing fees is the only way to create a quality golf course. “The cost of running the golf course is skyrocketing,” he said. “Fuel prices have increased, and keeping a nice golf course costs money. Its overbearing to try to manage.” City Finance Officer Chet Lewis said the course spent more money than it made this year, and some of the costs were not included in the budget. “Their expenditures are more than their revenues,” he said. “And that doesn’t include things like the maintenance crew the city sends to help clean the building at night or insurance on the property. Those things aren’t included in their budget.” Lewis said the course did not meet its budget this past year either but was very close. This year, he said, the difference will be much higher, and the city will have to make up the difference from the general fund. Most rounds, lowest fees Watson points to a survey from the National Golf Association ranking expenses, revenues and players from municipal golf courses all overSee GOLF/3A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Above, a new sign at the Landa Park Golf Course is about as far down on the list of needed repairs as it can get for Golf Course Manager Ward Watson. Watson said his budget goes to keeping the greens up to his patron’s expectations, with little to no money left over. Below, with no money in the budget for extras, golfers soon will have to do without the grill service currently available at the Landa Park Golf Course.Grill to close inface of high operating costs By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer the cost anywhere.” Watson told New Braunfels City Council Monday night that closing the grill “embarrassed” him and that it sends the wrong signal. “We’re moving backward, and that’s the wrong direction,” he said. “We shouldn’t be closing the grill. We should be thinking about saving money to buy land for another golf course. We’re going to need one if we keep growing at See GRILL73A Golfers wanting to grab a hamburger, have a few drinks and swap stories about the ninth hole will have to go somewhere else. The Landa Golf Course is closing its grill Sunday. Blaming high operating costs and a bad season, golf pro Ward Watson said he had no choice but to close the grill. “During the weekend, we make a lot of money,” he said. “People come in to play, then want to grab a hamburger or soda. But during the week, we don’t make any money at all.” Watson said the course was operating as “slim and trim” as he could make it — with fewer employees than other municipal golf courses the same size. The cost of having an employee, food, utilities and maintenance made the grill unprofitable, Watson said. The result is the loss of another golf course amenity. “People who come from out of town like to know that theres a place to eat. If we don’t have one, they might decide to go somewhere else, to another municipal course,” he said. “Most grills at municipal golf courses don’t make money, but they make it up with their greens fees. We aren’t even making money on greens fees, so we can’t make up Inside Abby.......................... ......7 A Classifieds................... ...4-6B Comics....................... ......8A Crossword.................. ......7 A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......5A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports......................... ...1-3B Today........................... 2A Key Code 76 Comal school trustees award teacher, administrator pay raises Teacher Salaries- By Martin Malacara Staff Writer An adjustment in property values for next year is giving Comal Independent School District teachers a minimum $2,000 pay raise. Trustees approved the pay hikes Tuesday, along with raises for other employees. Administrators and classified employees will get a 5 percent increase based on the mid-point salary in their employee category. Maintenance, mechanics, custodial staff and paraprofessionals will move up one step on their salary schedules. Food service employees have a new salary schedule that includes pay raises. The teacher pay raises will cost the district $2 million, district finance director Abel Campos said. To fund the teacher pay increase, budget cuts of more than $800,000 were made, including administrative staff reductions in the central office. CISD’s current budget is about $60 million dollars. Its tax rate is $1.85 per $100 valuation. The average home in CISD is worth $104,677, which means the average tax bill is $1,271.73. Starting salary for teachers will be $31,000. For the 2000-2001 school year, beginning teachers made $27,500. Years of experience 2000-01 salary 2001-02 salary 0 $27,000 $31,000 1 $27,700 $31,125 2 $28,000 $31,250 3 $28,450 $28,700 4 $28,700 $31,500 5 $29,200 $31,625 6 $29,810 $31,750 7 $30,960 $31,900 CISD spokeswoman Kari Hutchison said updated local value projections from the See RAISES/5A _ _ it ;