New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 23, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAYDistrict executive committee clears Canyon for playoffs, P. 6
The Plaza bandstand
IO pages in one section ■ Thursday, March 23,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of WINK KELSO
Vol. 143, No.94
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends the following birthday wishes to; Otto Zim-mermann (90 years!), Richard Torres, Rosins Flores (15th), Adam Martinez, Ricardo Jaime Cantu (14 years), Resail Martinez, Sr., Maria Gomez, Patty Nevitt, Becky Krueger.
Tonight, partly cloudy Low in the lower 60s Wind light and variable Friday, partly cloudy High in the upper 80s Southeast wind 10-15 mph.
$4 million jackpot
First founders invited to participate in parade
The Comal County Genealogy Society extends an invitation to the “First Founders" descendants to participate in the Sesquicentennial Parade on April 22, 1995 in New Braunfels The Society is trying to reach the families by mail; however, we do not have addresses and names of all the descendants, lf your ancestor arrived by July 31, 1845, to what is now New Braunfels, we would like for you to be in the parade or have somebody to carry a sign with your family name on it We would prefer that you dress in clothing of that period or you may wear casual clothing, lf you want to ride a horse or ride in a horse-pulled wagon or buggy, you are welcome to do so Family groups are also welcome Forms can be picked up at the Comal County Genealogy Society at 200 N Seguin St , New Braunfels. 78130 or call 210-629-1900 for more information These forms must be filled in and returned no later than April 10
FUMC Community Lonton Lune boons continuo Friday
Rev. David Griffin of Bracken United Methodist Church will be the guest speaker at the First United Methodist Church's Community Lenten Luncheon tomorrow, March 24 from 12:15 p m to 12:45 pm.
The luncheon will be held in FUMC's Wesley Hall, located on Mill Street Side of FUMC.
Special music will be provided by Susan Deschner on the flute Everyone is asked to bring a sack lunch Beverages will be provided For more information, call 625-4513.
SPECIAL REPORTThe rise of NAFTA, tai of the pesoWhat NAFTA helped local industries do, the peso is undoing
By ROGER CROTEAU
The collapse in the value of the Mexican peso in December has claimed one local company, and put a crimp in the revenue of at least two other local companies.
Hill PHOENIX Refrigeration, which employed 70 people until recently, will halt production at its New Braunfels plant April It and consolidate its operations at a plant near Atlanta, Georgia.
“The peso is definitely the biggest culprit,” said General Manager Bob Chapman. He said 90 percent of the plant’s production was exported to Mexico, and the devaluation of the peso has made American products much more expensive in Mexico.
The closure will leave a 50,000-square-foot building on Industrial Drive empty. Chapman said there were 67 employees when the closing was announced. About IO will go to Georgia to work for Hill PHOENIX there.
“We are down to 48 employees now. The others have found other jobs. Every other day we lose one or two.”
He said that the North American Free Trade Agreement had been helping the company achieve slow, steady growth in its business in Mexico.
NAFTA gave United States’ companies exciting new opportunities to enter the Mexican market, and a few New Braunfels businessmen jumped right in, and got a taste of the possibilities that exist south of the border.
But then the collapse of the peso abruptly brought those sales to a grinding halt. With the value of the peso depressed, it takes a lot more of them to buy U.S. goods, making it impossible for American goods to compete south of the border.
Barkel, a small furniture manufacturing
spot and we are going to take advantage of that when it does.”
Mission Valley Textiles was also just cracking the door to Mexico open when the peso plunge hit.
“It was just beginning to take off,” said Mission Valley President and CEO Bill Morton. “I think it will come back as soon as their economy settles down.
“We are still showing fabrics through our representatives in Mexico City, but no one can afford them,” he said.
The company had only sold about $250,000 worth of fabric ' ■■
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Barkel, Inc., is one of many local industries which began pursuing business in Mexico but has seen their efforts become fruitless because of the sudden decline of the Mexican peso.
company on Loop 337, was one company that was expanding its business in Mexico.
In the past year Barkel saw its exports to Mexico go from zero to about six percent of its business, but the devaluation of the peso stopped that business cold.
“Before December 20th (the day of the devaluation) we shipped a ton of stuff down there. We were going great guns," said Barkel Chief Executive Officer Allen Stnckland “Our products were a good buy with the reduced tantfs, and they would get even better as tanffs gradually decrease over the next few
“NAFTA was supposed to stimulate exports to Mexico ... and it was working,” Stnckland said. “We wanted to send IO to 15 percent of our production down there and it seemed do-able .. But now it’s back to zero.
“This is not going to be better in 90 days. I’ll tell you that.” he said. “But we are still keeping our contacts down there. We arc going to spend a certain amount of our resources keeping in touch with them because when the situation does improve, we want to be the first ones back in. We are in the nght
in Mexico, a drop in the bucket when compared to its annual sales of about $60 million.
But Morton expected it to keep growing.
The tariff on textile exports to Mexico was 14 percent before NAFTA.
Now it stands at 10 percent, and it will drop to zero in four
more years. “We are in it for the long term,” Morton said. “When the Mexican economy turns, we will take advantage of it.”
Tom Purdum, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, said “We are feeling an impact from NAFTA, but its is hard to quantify it. Mission Valley Textiles had started some doing some business down there.
“We are in about as strategic a geographic location as you could want and we are seeing more companies looking in this region to get access to that market.”
’NAFTA was supposed to stimulate exports to Mexico ... and it was working. We wanted to send toto 15 percent of our production down there and it seemed do-able.
.. But now it’s back to zero.’
- Allen Strickland CEO of Barkel, Inc.
Michael Meek named president of chamber
Board decides to forego search process
From staff reports
This newspaper « painted on recycled newsprint
The Chamber of Commerce named Michael Meek the new president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, foregoing the search process, said Carter Casteel, Chair of the Board. Meek will begin as president July I,
“Upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, along with retiring President Tom Purdum, the Board decided it would be more beneficial for the Chamber to forego the involved process of a search for a Chamber president, and therefore authorized the Executive Committee to negotiate an agreement with Meek,” Casteel said.
The Chamber Executive Committee met at noon yesterday with Meek and arrived at an agreement.
“I think we all agree that Meek has the performance skills, the training and experience to keep the Chamber moving in the right direction,” Casteel said.
Meek is a Rockport native. He moved to New Braunfels in October of 1988 when he became director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Purdum then promoted Meek to Executive Vice President of the Chamber in 1991 and assigned Industrial Development to his portfolio.
Meek s wife, Debbie, is a native of Aransas Pass and a school teacher at Lamar Primary
The Meeks have two children, Andy, who attends Baylor University, and Natalie, a sopho-
more at New Braunfels High School.
Meek was formerly president of die Rockport-Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce and a real estate broker. He was named to the Outstanding Young Men of America organization in 1986. He is an elder-member of the New Braunfels Pres-
Incorporation becoming real issue at Canyon Lake
By ROBERT STEWART
Special to the Herald-Zeitung
bytenan Church anti a member of the Wurstfest Association, New Braunfels Rotary Club, and Conservation Society.
Meek holds a BBA in management and marketing from Texas A&l University and was a member and officer of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He is a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management at SMU where he currently serves on the Board of Regents.
“I’m very grateful to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the confidence and support,” Meek said.
“With this decision at this time, we can all concentrate more keenly on the many challenges and opportunities that our community faces.”
“The Chamber will continue to serve the membership and community in its accustomed outstanding manner,” Meek said. “I’d like to thank Tom Purdum for all the guidance, training and perspective given me over the last seven years. These experiences will be very helpful to the Chamber as we move forward in the future,” he said.
As San Antonio continues to set its sights on Canyon Lake’s tempting water supply and tax base, a group of local citizens are touting the benefits of incorporation of Canyon Lake.
“When our tax base is just nght, New Braunfels will move in from one direction and San Antonio will move in from the other,” said Don Avery, vice president of 5ouihem Newspapers Inc., and former publisher of the Canyon Lake Times Guardian. “Incorporation will enhance property and enhance value at Canyon Lake.”
Avery, who is spearheading the effort, said the overall quality of life will improve at Canyon Lake once the area is incorporated as a city, including improvements to EMS, tire protection and law enforcement.
“If we do it nght, we can do it initially without any property tax,” said Richard Smith, a local businessman also involved in the movement. “And if it doesn’t work, after three years we can have another petition and vote to trash it.”
Most funding for the new city would come from sales taxes. Other revenue sources include franchise taxes, permits, fines, and eventually, property tax.
“Just remember that all of the absentee owners of the vacant lots and land would also be required to pay taxes,” Avery said. “For the first year there should not be any property taxes assessed to anyone. The council will need a full year just to settle in and work up a budget that will start towards self-containment.”
Avery said Comal County officials have assured him the county would continue to maintain roads and law enforcement until the city was financially able to assume these roles. He cited the assistance Comal County afforded Garden Ridge when that city incorporated.
A mass mailing will take place in about a month to further inform area residents of the facts regarding incorporation.
“We need to protect our investments in our homes and businesses,” Avery said. “Right now we don’t have any say as to what happens to the Canyon Lake area ” Smith added that insurance rates would be lower and that the savings would likely offset any future property tax.
The General Law incorporation effort would establish a government with a city council and mayor. Proponents are hoping to have the item on the ballot in August 1995. A petition with 50 signatures is needed to put the item up for a vote. An interim council would be seated until council elections would be held in May 1996 The incorporation effort is being undertaken with donated funds The committee is not spending future tax money. The boundaries of the proposed city of Canyon Lake would be FM 306 on the north and east and FM 2673 on the south and west. One-half to one mile outside the road would be included with a wider swing so some subdivisions would not be broken up. Cfanes Mill Road would be the western boundary.
Avery stated the group that started the incorporation drive has no political motives and does not expect any monetary gain.
"They have good intentions and are hard-working, honest people,” he said. “Our goal is to try to protect the beautiful area that God has created for all of us. Remember, the past is the past and the future is ours forever.”
For more information on incorporation, call: Don Avery, 964-3885; Richard Smith, 935-2735; or Bruce Jones, 907-7901.For more information on subscriptions, news or advertising, call 625-9144