New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 17, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung □ Sunday, March 17, 1996 □ 3 A
Minikin upbeat about latest sales tax rebates
By DENISE DZIUK
The State Comptroller’s office has issued the latest sales tax rebates, and the Mayor of Garden Ridge said the numbers are encouraging, despite the fact that they are still below last year’s figures.
State Comptroller John Sharp delivered a total of $144.1 million in March sales tax rebates to 1,077 Texas cities and 115 counties. The payments were for taxes collected in January and reported by monthly filings in February.
Garden Ridge received a rebate of $2,140.79, which was 26.73 percent below last year’s rebate of $2,921.91. Despite the decrease in the size of the payment, there has been improvement. Last month’s rebate was 49.04 percent below the payment for the same period last year, and previous payments have been even lower.
Garden Ridge Mayor Jay P. Million said the decrease remains a result of two business that left town some time back. However, he said, the city is starting to see an improvement. Two new businesses have replaced the previous ones, and one is already starting to show up on the sale tax rebates.
The city of New Braunfels continued to see an increase in the size of its sales tax return. The city received a rebate of $414,786.54 for this period, which is 78.86 percent higher than last year’s rebate of $231,898.16. Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek said if the sales tax increase in October is accounted for, there is still an increase of 19 percent.
“It’s still a very healthy increase,’’ said Meek.
Meek said the increase in the sales tax being spent for economic development will prove to be a big factor in future rebates. He said the extra money will be spent on attracting new businesses to the city, which will benefit the sale tax rebates.Child advocates target Guadalupe County
By DAVID DEKUNDER
A district judge has asked that a children’s advocacy group expand its services into Guadalupe County, CASA Executive Director Cindy Stauffer said at a news conference held on Thursday afternoon.
(District) Judge (Bill) Bender approached us in providing our services in Guadalupe County,” Stauffer said.
“It is not cost effective for counties to get programs of their own for these services because they would have to go through the process of getting state and federal funding.”
CASA, which stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates, is a non-profit organization which serves 153 children in three counties — Comal, Hays and Caldwell. CASA has its offices in the Comal County Courthouse and has 58 trained advocates serving the needs of the children.
Stauffer said a lot of details need to be worked out before CASA can provide services into
CASA hoping to bring services to wider area
“We are in the process of getting names from Judge Bender of people who will serve on our
‘Advocates work quickly to get the cases resolved quickly. With an advocate, a case can be resolved in 12 to 14 months. Without an advocate, a child can be in the system up to three years.’
— Cindy Stauffer CASA executive director
advisory board (in Guadalupe County),” Stauffer said. “Those people on that board will be
able serve on our board of directors.”
Expansion of services woulH mean training more child advocates to serve the needs of the children.
The child advocates undergo 40 hours of intensive training before they are assigned to a case and sworn in by a judge. The duties of a CASA advocate are talking to children, parents, family members, social workers, school officials, healthcare providers and others who have knowledge about the child’s welfare.
Advocates search for the children’s school and medical records and caseworker reports before making a recommendation to a court on whether or not a parent should retain parental rights of their children.
Advocates, Stauffer pointed out, are very important for getting child welfare cases resolved “Advocates work quickly to get the cases resolved quickly,” Stauffer said. “With an advocate a case can be resolved in 12 to 14 months.
Without an advocate, a child can be in the system up to three years.”
Stauffer also announced that CASA was going to have its fund-raiser in April. The fundraising campaign, Casas for CASAS, will kickoff at the Chamber of Commerce Honors Hall on April ll.
Three home builders — Steve Golden of Golden Homes and brothers Greg Chafin of Live Oak Homes and Jeff Chafin of Mission Homes — will build three 3,600 square feet play houses that will be displayed at the Honors Hall before being hauled off to HEB where they will be raffled off from April 12-22.
Tickets will be sold at the April 11 reception at the Honors Hall and at HEB for $2 each or three tickets for $5.
“The reception will be a thank you to builders for doing this,” fundraising event chairman Larry Kunkel said “I think this is a really good project.”
CASA plans to raise $7,500 from the event. The proceeds raised from the raffle will fund all CASA services in all three counties.
Community Council funding transit project
From staff reports
Recently, the Community Council of South Central Texas, Inc. of Seguin signed a one-year contract with the City of New Braunfels for the N«BUS public transportation service for New Braunfels.
According to Cristina Zamora, Comal County Commissioner and chairman of the Community Council Central Board of Directors, the agency will fund the experimental project to determine the need and cost effectiveness of a public transportation system in New Braunfels.
The N»BUS project was a joint effort. Community Council Executive Director Louis R. Ramirez, Sr. said, between the city, Community Council
Transportation Program Director James Garcia, the Alamo Area Council of Governments (Al Notzon, executive director), the Texas Department of Transportation (Carolyn Goodall, transportation specialist), and former Community Council board members Lorenzo “Yankee” Camarillo and Hortensia B. Hernandez.
Zamora said she was pleased about the relationship formed between the Community Council and the City of New Braunfels, noting that the beginning of the transportation service is a historic moment for the city.
The Community Council, a nonprofit corporation, was founded in May, 1965 by the Office of Economic Opportunity and provides five services for area residents.
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