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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, March 30, 2004

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 30, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2004 SPORTS ACE OF DIAMONDS Chelsea Klar returns to mound for CHS Cougarettes. Fag jrtas *Dc » EL PASO TX 7991)3 FORUM PUBLIC INPUT Mayor Adam Cork discusses the importance of public input at meetings, as long as city -..loc arp followed. Page 4A Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 120 10 pages, 1 section CLICK 500 WWW. 56825 00001' Mostly Sunny High Low 80 50 Details .... 6A DEAR ABBY 8A CLASSIFIEDS 8A COMICS 7A CROSSWORD 7A FORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 8A No action un VUllii acts by NBISD board Trustees delay decision on changing tax year By Ron Maloney Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees postponed action Monday on changing the tax year and contracting for tax collections with Comal County Tax Assessor/Collector Sherman Krause. Trustees delayed action on the tax issues at a constituent’s request and then retired to a 3 hour, 20 minutes long executive session to discuss “personnel matters including contract renewals and extensions.” The board adjourned without action just before 11:30 p.m. Board President Jorge Maldonado made a brief statement. “Let me just say we will not take any action tonight,” Maldonado said. “We’ll take action at the next meeting, which is Monday, April 5.” In addition to the tax year and tax office questions, left on the agenda without action was the annual contract renewal for administrators, including principals, and professional staff. Maldonado said action items from the agenda would be placed on the April 5 agenda. On the tax issues, trustees heard presentations from district staff, Krause, a district contractor and a concerned former employee. Krause, who has met with school district staff, collects tax es for the 18 other taxing entities in the Comal Appraisal District. Under state law, he said, his office could do the same for NBISD — but not at a profit. It would only be allowed to charge for the postage and additional costs his office incurs strictly for collecting NBISD taxes, which he estimated at about $11,000. Under the plan, the NBISD would save about $80,000 each year in overhead for its own tax See NBISD. Page 3A Tax Assessor/ Collector Sherman Krause DID YOUKNOW? ■ CALL BEFORE YOU START A BURN ■ Always call the sheriffs office to log a controlled burn or ensure conditions are safe for a burn. The numbers are (830) 620-3400, or 885-4883. ■ HOW TO GET TIPS, BURNING RULES B Information about fire safety or burning rules in the City of New Braunfels can be obtained by calling the fire marshal's office at 608-2120. For information about the green waste recycling program, call 608-2100. ext. 224 DAVID INGRAM/Haratd-Zartung Bulverde volunteer firefighter Nick Villarreal extinguishes an unattended controlled burn that got out of control and crossed a property line on Beck Road.Stiff fines can scorch pockets of residents who ignore safety when burning debris By Ron Maloney Staff Writer It’s spring and folks around the county are clearing brush and deep dead grass to make way for new growth or landscaping. County officials recently lifted a months-long burn ban to give residents an opportunity to get this needed work done before the hot, dry months of summer set in. But firefighters and county officials want those who need to burn debris to follow safety standards and regulations to reduce the risk of wildfire. Lire Marshal Un Manford said large, devastating wildland fires are a possibility here — and could cause tremendous loss of property and even life if people who burn brush or other debris outside don’t exercise caution. Manford said the state provides guidelines for allowable outdoor burning — and possible heavy penalties for those who break the rules — under Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code, section 111.219. Those rules supersede local rules and set out possible fines between $1,000 and $50,000 and up to six months in jail. Tor corporations or other than individuals, the fine ceiling rises to $100,000. See FIRES. Page 3AGRUN WASTE DISPOSAL OFFERS ALTERNATIVE By Ron Maloney Staff Writer It is illegal to burn brush and yard debris in New Braunfels, hut the city offers a good — and convenient — alternative in its green waste disposal program. New Braunfels Fire Marshal Darren Brinkkoeter said the city has long outlawed burning within city limits. See DISPOSAL Page 3A Garden Ridge reconsiders permanent burn ban in city Mayor Jay Feibelman By Leigh Jones Staff Writer GARDEN RIDGE — Mayor Jay Feibelman said his city has been plagued by controlled burn fires for the last two years. Residents call city hall regularly to complain about smoke drifting across their backyards making their eyes water and dirtying their swimming pools, In 2002, Feibelman and council considered enacting a permanent burn ban within city limits. Citizen response ran two-to-one against such a measure. “People basically said, ‘Don’t you dare take away my right to burn,”' Feibelman said. “But as we get more crowded, with more houses, it s much more dangerous.” Prompted by continued complaints and the temporary bum ban in Comal County in recent months, Feibelman is revisiting the idea of a citywide ban. New questionnaires likely will go out with the next monthly city newsletter, “The Grapevine.” The decision is up to council, but Feibelman refuses to do anything without broad citizen support. Before long, he thinks authority over burning will be removed from local jurisdictions. “With the EPA and Clean Air Act, I expect burning will be probably be outlawed (in the future),” he said. Because the city limits contain more residential development than ranches, Feibelman thinks a burn ban for property smaller than five acres would be a good solution. “We have a contract with Waste Management to pick up brush that’s bundled correctly at the curb. Residents can also dump brush at the Waste Management plant for free.CSL to hold on-site visits around NB By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Consultants hired to study New Braunfels’ potential as a convention center destination arrive today for a three-day on-site visit with city and chamber officials, restaurant operators and other key individuals. Representatives from Conventions, Sports & leisure, a Minneapolis company, intend to get a first-hand look at the city’s tourist industry. In June, CSL will submit a report, based on this weeks site visit and other statistical data, that will recommend which direction New Braunfels should go in regard to a convention center. “One of the things we expect from this is whether they think New Braunfels is an end destination for convention business,” City Manager Chuck Pinto said. “Also, what makes us different from other cities." The New Braunfels City Council approved the $60,000 phase I study with CSL in February. Phase 2, if approved by council, will cost an additional $25,000. “The substance of Phase I will be should we be See CSL. Page 3ARiver management fee to be collected beginning Thursday By Scott Mahon Staff Writer After the River Activities Committee recommended replacing the river management fee system with a wristband system, the New Braunfels City Council said it wanted a more detailed plan before implementing a change. While it waits for that plan, the city will collect die $1 river management fee starling Thursday. The committee will meet tonight to approve a detailed plan, said Nathan Pence, project manager for the River Activities Committee. “Time is a concern,” Pence said. “People are already tubing down the river, but council wanted a more detailed plan for a wristband system. We’re going to start collecting the river management fee April I.” Pence gave council the committee’s annual river management plan March 17, including a recommendation to change the river management fee collection method by requiring outfitters to purchase wristbands. “Currently, the city collects $1 from outfitters for each tuber on a monthly basis,” he said. “It s based on an honor system, but we think a new See RIVER. Page 3A FRONTand Center Nature's paintbrush People from all over come to Hill Country to see the bluebonnets and other wildflowers in bloom. ;