New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 30, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Birthday wlshas from tho Herald-Zettung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends the following birthday wishes to: Clayton Rapp, Tammy Pfouffer (30 years Monday), Janet Williams (Monday), Brenda De Stefano, Chria Page (12 years), Bart Farias, Sr., Sarah Ritchie, Kim Hartman, Adon Koehler (July 1), Sean Anthony Fitzsimmons (4 ysars) and Clarence Noster (belated—94 years June 27).
Happy anniversary wishes to: Betty and Jerome Tlmmer* mann (47 years), Art and Many Brinkkoeter (Monday), Jamas and Valetta Orth (40 ysars),
Leo and Nancy Chalta (40 years), Manuel and Helen Martinez, Mark and Lena Cole, Clarence and Ena Noster (belated—67 years June 27), Kart and Avis Mlttwede (40 years), Larry and Evle Taft, SII-verio and Lupe Gonzales (49 years) and Johnnie and Jovita Aguirre (21 years).
Vttarans groups Join togothor to mis# flag
The veterans organizations of New Braunfels will hold a flag-raising at the Veterans Monument in Prince Solms Park at 9 a.m. on Thursday to commemorate Independence Day. The public is invited to attend.
July 4 activities include parads
A Fourth of July Celebration on the Plaza is scheduled for Thursday. Members and special guests of the Sophienburg Museum and Archives win meet for refreshments at the City Han Sophienburg Archives parking tot at 200 N. Seguin Ave. at 9 a.m. At 9:20 a.m., Barron Schlameus will lead the playing of the bells at the courthouse, and a band concert will follow at 9:30 a.m. on the Plaza. The parade begins from City Hall Sophienburg Archives parking tot at 9:45 a.m., and the Plaza program begins at 10 a.m., with Don Ferguson presiding.
I Mtwcomirs Club to mast Tuesday
I The Newcomers Club will meet Tuesday at the Senior Citizens Center, 655 Landa St. Coffee and donuts at 9:30 arn.; meeting at 10 a m. Al Dreumont, director of the National Radar and Forecasting Service of the Southwest, will give a slide presentation and talk on “Heavy Rain." Public is invited.
tov Mfizl fireworks
The use of aerial fireworks is prohibited in Comal County, except in the Jumbo Evans Sports Park, which is a desig-nated'safe area. The park, located approximately two miles north of Spring Branch Road on Highway 281, will be open Monday through Thursday 6 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 6 to 9 p.m.
On Thursday, July 4, the hours of operation will be 6 p.m. to rrfldnight. Violation of this order could result in a maximum fine of $500.
Lunch Bunch to maat
The Mission Valley Lunch Bunch meets at 11:15 a m. Tuesday at the Senior Citizens Center.
Conservation Society to hold yard sale
The New Braunfels Conservation Society will hold a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The sale will be located at 521 W. San Antonio St.
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See Page SA.
See Sports, Page 1B.
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AQ Pages in three sections B Sunday, June 30, 1996
Serving the Comal County area for more than 1 AA years B Home of CLAYTON
Vol. 144, No. 164
Comal County’s dust bowl
Regulations on pumping likely
Justices uphold constitutionality of Edwards Aquifer Authority
By ABE LEVY
Hsrald-Zattung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Despite —veal plantings, ytokh at Buddy Zlmmscmann’a farm have bren next lo nothing.
Drought devastates crop at Zimmermann farm
The Texas Supreme Court upheld Friday the Edwards Aquifer Authority in a long-anticipated decision that will effectively regulate underground water pumping along the 175-mile long Edwards Aquifer.
In a unanimous opinion issued from the nine-member court in Austin, justices ruled the Edwards Aquifer Act of 1993 is in keeping with the Texas Constitution. The ruling immediately abolishes the Edwards Underground Water District and gives power to the 15-member authority.
“Up until today there hasn’t been an entity that had enough powers to optimize springflow for species and people downstream,” the authority’s lead counsel Stephan Rogers said.
The 36 staff members of the EUWD, which the Texas Legislature created in 1959, will undergo a transition to the authority.
New Braunfels Utilities General Manager Paula Difonzo and Doug Miller are board members of die EAA.
Current board members for die new authority were appointed, but they are up for election in November.
The new board’s first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday in San Antonio.
The authority will issue permits for wells that pump from the aquifer not to exceed 147 billion gallons par year.
Existing users must file a claim to report how much of the aquifer they used between 1972 and 1993.
The authority will add up the claims to see whether the total is below die 147-billion-gallon cap.
Existing users will have seniority, and new pumpers will only be allowed to apply for a permit if the total is below the cap.
If the total exceeds the limit, the authority will prorate a discounted amount until the total is under die cap.
The cap is scheduled to be reduced SM EAA, Page 2A
By ROBER CROTEAU
Times on the farm are worse than any Buddy Zimmermann can remember.
“I’ve got a bumper crop of nothing,” Zimmermann said as he scooped a handful of dust-dry topsoil from an empty field where nothing but the mesquite saplings will grow. “That’s 43 acres of nothing right there. It’s a damn shame.”
As the drought of 19% drags on, Zimmermann, 62, can only try to scrape by, as his family has done for generations. His family has farmed and ranched the land
around New Braunfels since the 1870s. His farm is located east of town off Ruckle Road.
“This is the worst year I’ve seen, including the 50s,” he said. “Even when I came back on leave from the military in the 1950s, it looked bad, but not this bad. Even in 1956 my dad did make some crop —
'I’ve got a bumper crop of nothing.’
more than I’ll make this year.
“If I didn’t have it all paid for already. I’d be gone,” Zimmermann said, “lf I had a mortgage, the bank would have taken it already.”
Last year he planted winter wheat, but with no rain, the crop didn’t “make,” and Zimmermann plowed it under. Next he planted Sudan grass for hay. It cost $11 an acre for seed, about $20 an acre for fertilizer, plus gas and wear Md tear on his tractor, plus his time.
See CROP, Page 9A
Don’t look for nutfor changes from authority board just yet
By DENISE DZIUK
City balks on purchasing old H-E-B building after three offers spurned
By DENISE DZIUK
After making several offers on the old H-E-B Building, the city council voted Saturday to end negotiation on that land and begin looking elsewhere for expansion space.
Mayor Jan Kennady said all three offers were refused, but no counter-offer was given.
“It’s more money than we could afford, and they’re not real eager to sell it obviously,” she said.
Kennady said the council was looking at the building located on San Antonio Street as a possible new home for the library or police department.
She said the library board has suggested relocating to the Common Street site. The little league teams currently using the land will still have 43 acres for their use that the city set aside for them, she said. As for the police department, Kennady said it is back to the drawing board, but the city still has time to find an appropriate location.
“That is not an urgent need,” said Kennady. “It’s something we know we will need in the near future, though, because the current facility is just about full.”
The council also discussed the need to review and update the city’s master plan. Discussion was held on what individuals need to be involved in that plan, and how to go about updating it. Kennady said the next step is to have the council approve setting up a steering committee to begin work.
“One thing we all agree on is it has to be done,” she said.
The City of New Braunfels Master Plan was published in 1977.
In 1984, a review of it was held, but none of the recommendations were approved, and it has not beni reviewed
After years of waiting for the legislation to be rewritten and a lawsuit to be decided, the Edwards Aquifer Authority can begin work following a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court Friday.
Comal County EAA representative Doug Miller said he is glad the case has finally reached a conclusion. He said the original legislation was passed in 1993, but the move to replace the Edwards Underground Water District was held up do to questions regarding voting rights and property rights.
“I’m very elated to have a decision,” said Miller. “I’m ready to go to work now.”
The majority of that work will involve utilizing powers the EUWD did not possess. Miller said the EAA will be able to impose fines and penalties for excessive or illegal use of aquifer water.
It will also be able to regulate withdrawal by issuing permits, mandating that wells be registered, and metering withdrawals. The EUWD could not do any of these.
However, Miller said the most significant difference is the EAA will encompass the five counties over the aquifer, plus part of Caldwell, Atascosa, and Guadalupe counties. This allows more regional and central control over the aquifer compared to three individual districts.
“That’s the most significant difference,” said Miller. “That coupled with the enforcement powers make the EAA the right board to move forward
‘Basically It m*ans
lire INI UMI B Iii
Madina County have to stop pumping New Braunfels’ water.'
— Doug Miller _EAA board member
The first actions of the authority will be to “move forward with regulation,” Miller said. This means enforcing the policies the EUWD had in place but could not enforce.
“All we can do now is amplify and extend what they are doing,” said Miller. “I don’t think we have enough time right now. because of the'water crisis, to go in and start writing policies.”
The new EAA board will mean little change for local homeowners relying on aquifer water. The board will first focus on large users, and try to reduce their usage, Miller said. The pumpers that will be hardest hit by the change in powers will be the western counties, where huge quantities of pumping has occurred.
“Basically it means the farmers in Medina County have to stop pumping New Braunfels’ water,” said Miller. “What it is going to mean down the road is that your supply, whether a public or private source, will have to find an alternate source of water.”
The EAA board of directors is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Nations Bank Plaza Building, 300 Convent, Ste. 1472 in San Antonio.Recollections from the great drought of the 1950s. See Opinion, Page 4A