New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 16, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Gartenfest a bountiful harvest of gardening information/1 C
SA man brings love of theater to Brauntex with “Annie’Vlnside
Lufkin beats Smithson Valley 10-3 at Wolff Stadium/1 B
SUNDAY March 16, 2003
42 pages in 5 sections
42 pages in 5 sectic
Vol. 152, No. 106Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
$1.00City pushes residents to clean up flood damage
By Dylan Jim&nez Staff Writer
New Braunfels is cracking down on private property owners who have failed to restore land and structures hit by flood damage.
Similar to the aftermath of the flood of 1998, the city has allowed property owners time to clean up and rebuild since the July 2002 flood.
The city has not enforced lawn and structural maintenance and also has “fast-tracked” and waived the fee for permits on flood-damaged properties.
But the emergency is long past, said Frank Robbins, city planning and community development director.
All ordinances will now be enforced, and by the summer, permit fees will no longer be waived.
“Property owners have had several months to complete the substantial task of flood recovery,” Robbins said. “In the interests of public health and safety, as well as the restoration of normalcy, we are resuming full enforcement of various city ordinances in the flood-damaged areas.”
Specifically, city personnel will enforce ordinances-prohibiting the accumula
tion of weeds, rubbish, junk, trash, waste products, brush and refuse, Robbins said. The ordinances also will affect the outside storage of vehicles, trash and other debris in yards or open-air porches.
“Most of the folks in the community have done a really good job,” Robbins said. Others have done nothing.
The city has about 170 damaged See DAMAGE/3A
Bills aim to give county control over development
By Sean Bowlin
AUSTIN — In an effort to give counties control over development in unincorporated areas, Rep. Carter Casteel filed two bills Friday — the 78th Texas Legislatures deadline for filing all bills.
The first bill is House Bill 2486. If it passes, it will allow counties — upon approval in a county election — to regulate the water and wastewater systems of subdivisions and to ensure there are adequate fire suppression systems and roadway improvements for subdivisions.
And if the voters approve, the bill will also let counties set minimum requirements for open space as well as collecting impact fees.
“It would give the counties the authority to deal with fast growth. But it’s still up to the public,” Casteel said. “If the county voters say, ‘Heck, no,’ then it won’t happen.”
Casteel said the second bill, House Bill 2506, will give commissioners courts the authority to regulate the size of residential lots, and the authority to demand adequate roadways and right-of-way widths leading into subdivisions.
Finally, developers must, if the bill becomes law, tell land purchasers when sewer, water, gas and electricity will be hooked up to the subdivision.
“I think it’s a very important tool for county government,” Casteel said of that bill.
A press release from Casteel’s office said that in the
SAGE advice: Kids produce ozone video
By Sean Bowlin
BULVERDE — If you were at Friday’s health fair and a second-grader told you ozone might hurt you, or that you should drive a hybrid car, chances are you heard some “SAGE” wisdom.
That wisdom came from a
group of gifted and talented kids at Rahe Primary School.
Their video, wall charts, graphs and posters at the fair were done through the SAGE, or “Significant Activities for Generating Excellence” program. Rahe Primary second-grade teacher Nancy Stamatakos runs it.
Stamatakos saw Peter Bella with the Alamo Area Coun
cil of Governments. Bella told her of the continuous-air monitoring station, which monitors ozone levels in the air. Ifs located behind Bulverde Elementary School.
Stamatakos said she was interested in learning more about the station and the ozone, so BeUa showed her Web sites.
“The kids could find out what the ozone levels in the air were,” Stamatakos said. She thought a study of the ozone would be a good project for her SAGE students, who must do special projects throughout the year.
So from Sept. ll, 2002, through the end of February, the SAGE kids monitored the ozone levels at the station.
They went to Web sites, gath-ered information, made posters explaining what ozone levels were, what the dangers to the levels were, what causes those dangers, and what the possible remedies are.
Then they created a video documentary.
In it, they interviewed Dorothy Birch of the Alamo Council of Governments about ozone dangers. And they explained how the computers at the air* monitoring station tracked ozone levels.
And the kids got file cabinet boxes and designed cardboard “cars” for a commercial.See OZONE/3 A
DAVID INGRAM/Herald Zeitung
Rahe Primary second-graders (from left) Ashlyn Chambers, Kaeleigh Elmendorf and Hanna Curry take the hybrid “car” that they built for a spin at the Health Fair conducted at Bulverde Elementary Friday. Kaeleigh said the hybrid cars were better than gas burning vehicles because “they suck up less gas and spit out less pollution.”
next few weeks, the bills will be referred to a House committee and a hearing will be held for each bill.
Precinct I County Commissioner Jack Dawson said that Comal County’s “Growth Management Package” covers many of the items both bills address. In fact, Dawson said, the package sets the standard for managing growth in unincorporated areas among the state’s 254 counties.
But Dawson said he really appreciates that House Bill 2486 would collect impact fees from developers.
If the bill passes, it will make developers pay those fees up front to counties for EMS, fire services, hydrants, drainage and roads in subdivisions, Dawson said.
Those services and items cost money that the county doesn’t see for up to the first 18 months the properties are in existence — it takes that much time for the developments to generate county tax revenues.
Dawson said having Casteel in Austin would mean much to the citizens of District 73.
“She’s hit the floor of the Capitol running. We’re so proud of her,” Dawson said.
Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said he was pleat**! about House Bill 2486 goes a long way in trying to do
See BILLS/3 AInside
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K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Madonna and Gary Anderson Sr. and their son, Gary Jr., check out a 1939 Ford coupe at Saturday’s Kruse International car auction at Wursthalle. The family comes from Houston each year to enjoy the show.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungAs the auctioneer calls for higher bids, buyers and browsers check out the fine details of the vehicles up for auction Saturday in Wursthalle.Turnout for semi-annual Kruse car auction ‘lowest in seven years'
By Sean Bowlin
With a down economy, turnout was low at Saturday’s Kruse International car auction at Wursthalle.
And there weren’t as many cars there as in previous years.
But for hundreds of people looking at and bidding on collector cars, jewelry, pianos, car memorabilia and other items, there was a lot of smiling, eating, peering at the antique autos and just plain fun.
Part of the fun was watching a white-shirted man holding aloft a 1920s miniature toy pedal car. Fittingly, it was German-made.
He walked on a red carpet in front of the seated crowd as company owner and auctioneer Dan Kruse was trying to sell it — at a mile a minute.
The bidding opened at $500.
People raised their hands quickly. Assistants pointed them out to Kruse, who See KRUSE/3A