New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 3, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 12 — Hera id-Zeitung — Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Maintenance is what matters.
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crowd of 100 at the Garden Ridge Community Center.
Blasting at the nearby Hanson Aggregates-Servtex rock quarry, the city’s decision to go with water out of thelYini-ty Aquifer and the accusation of stray bullets coming out of the Bracken Rifle and Pistol Range were the lead items for the six candidates.
Facing off for mayor is seven-term incumbent Jay Feibel-man, Ed Ford and Gary Wolfe. Incumbent Bobby Roberts and Andrew Dalton are vying for Place 2 on the city council, with incumbent Jim Young and Ron Heller competing in Place 3. Young was unable to attend the forum.
Feibelman, who was First elected to the city council in 1995 and became mayor in 1997, said Ford is exploiting the water issue for the election. He doesn’t regret that the city chose to go with Trinity water back in 2003, and blast-
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It contained 28 separate "squares" showing different pieces of the drainage program puzzle.
"The flow chart is an attempt to make it easier to understand how the various elements of the stormwatcr program tie together," Public Works Director Steve Ramsey told the council.
Goodner said the flow chart was helpful for dealing with a program with "so many moving pieces.”
Councilor Mike Ybarra also acknowledged the difficulty of the undertaking.
Following a somewhat technical explanation of drainage calculations used by developers, Ramsey apol -ogized. "It’s sometimes difficult to try to explain,’’ he said.
Ybarra told him no apology was necessary.
"It’s tough stuff,” Ybarra said. "It’s extTemcly difficult if you’re not from an engineering or hydrology background."
For approximately an hour, the council and Ramsay worked their way through the flow chart, discussing such things as proposed stormwater utility fees under which residents and businesses would pump some $2.3 million annually into the drainage program for maintenance and operations, a proposed impact fee that would be assessed to devel
opers whose projects would strain the city's drainage sys-tem, funding options (including a possible 11.7-cent tax rate bump) for a $56-plus million list of drainage projects that have been identified as priorities, and the possibility of revisions to the city's current drainage and floodplain regulations.
After the workshop, Ramsey said the counc il has been very deliberate in listening to and digesting the presented information.
"It’s very technical, very complicated. Councilor Goodner’s request for the flow diagram was right on target,” Ramsey said.
"That’s going to assist them in making the longterm decisions that they’ll be making.”
I le said revisions to such complex municipal programs can take time.
During the workshop, Ramsey offered possible timetables for making proposed changes into city law. For instance, the impact fee could take some 18 months to enact, he said.
After the devastating 1998 flood in San Antonio, the Alamo City took four or five years to make revisions to its ordinances, he said.
“By the time you factor in public participation, developer interests, environmentalist interests, it does take some time,” Ramsey said. “Really, we’re on a pretty fast track with what we’ve accomplished so far.”
ARMY CORPS TO BLOW UP MISSOURI LEVEE
SIKESTON, Mo. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers planned to blow a nearly two-mile-wide hole in an earthen levee late Monday, unleashing a muddy torrent into empty farm fields in a desperate bid to save an Illinois town from rising floodwaters.
Engineers announced their intention to carry out the blast after spending hours pumping liquid explosives into the Birds Point levee near tiny Cairo, 111. The first explosion was to happen not long after
But doubts persisted about whether breaking open the levee would provide the relief needed.
How much water would the blast really divert from the Mississippi River? And will authorities have to do the same thing at other trouble spots downstream?
Time was running short to find answers. Five more inches of rain fell overnight, further straining the flood-wall protecting tiny Cairo, 111. And still more was in the forecast.
We’re just blowing smoke.
NBU is conducting a smoke test of its sanitary sewer system.
NBU crews will be conducting sewer line smoke testing in the area of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone starting in May and continuing through July 2011. Door hanger notices will be placed at specific addresses a week before testing begins.
A “smoke test” survey will assist our inspection crews in locating breaks and defects in our sewer system. The smoke you see from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground is NON-STAINING, HAS NO ODOR, WHITE TO GREY IN COLOR AND CREATES NO FIRE HAZARD.
NBU recommends you pour a gallon of water into each of your drains prior to our testing. If, during our testing, you notice smoke in your home, you could also have dangerous sewer gases also entering your home.
In this case, leave your home and contact our crews immediately at 830-608-8831. If someone in your home has respiratory problems and is immobile, please notify us at 830-608-8831 prior to our testing.If you have questions about our “smoke tests” please contact us at 830-629-4628 (4NBU).
TURNING LABELS INTO TRANSPORTATION
Staff and residents at St. Jude's Ranch for Children venture out into the cool and wet weather Monday to check out the center's new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, which was made possible by the Campbell's Labels for Education program. Under the program, participants needed to collect 1,600,000 labels to earn the van. The van will be used to transport residents to appointments, school and other outings.
If so, you may qualify for a research study of an investigational medication to treat asthma. Qualified candidates must be at least 12 years
if you qualify for this study, you may receive at no cost to you:
Study related physical exams and laboratory tests + Investigational medication or placebo + Compensation for your time and travel up to $800.00
For more information, please call:(830) 609-0900CENTRAL TEXAS HEALTH RESEARCH
DEADLINE: MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
Vi I Heraldt&eitung
School acceleration testing dates set
Acceleration tests will be given for Comal ISD students in June and August, at Arlon Seay, Specht, and Freiheit elementary schools.
The deadline for parents to request acceleration testing is Thursday, May 12. Applications are available at your child’s home campus or at http: / / www.comalisd.org/ Cur-riculumJnstruction/Account-ability_Assessment.asp.
Comal ISD testing dates and locations for summer 2011 are Arlon Seay Elementary (lune 6 and 7), Specht Elementary (June 7 and 8), Freiheit Elementary (Wednesday, June 8 and 9), Arlon Seay Elementary (Monday, Aug. 1 and 2), Specht Elementary (Tuesday, Aug. 2 and 3) and Freiheit Elementary (Wednesday, Aug. 3 and 4).
All tests begin at 8 a.m. For more information, contact your student’s home campus or the district testing office at 830-221-2612.
Middle school credit-by-exam acceleration tests will be given for C ISD students in June and August, at Spring Branch and Canyon middle schools.
The deadline for parents to request acceleration testing is Thursday, May 12. Applications for acceleration testing are available at your child’s home campus and at http: / / www.comalisd.org/Cur-riculumjnstruction / Account-ability_Assessment.asp.
Students must score a 90 percent on each subject area tested in order to receive credit by exam. Credit-by-exam for middle school is available for the following subjects: math, science, English/language arts and social studies.
Any student scoring 90 percent on all four, subject area tests will be accelerated one grade level.
Comal ISD testing dates and locations for summer 2011 are: Spring Branch Middle School (June 6 and 7); Canyon Middle School (June 7 and 8); Spring Branch Middle School (Aug. 1 and 2) and Canyon Middle School (Aug. 2 and 3).
All tests begin at 8 a.m. For more information, contact your student’s home campus or the district testing office at (830) 221-2612.
ed Ford, who favors joining a coalition of cities wanting to join the Carrizo Aquifer system.
"We’ve got a lot of water, and a lot of good water," Feibelman said. “It’s the best thing to happen to Garden Ridge since incorporation. This isn’t an issue — it just became one during the course of this campaign.”
Ford said going the Carrizo route would save money.
"It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,’’ he said. “My water bill would’ve been $40 cheaper if we were to go with them, like some of the other cities in area.”
Candidates were split on the gun range case, which is currently under litigation. In early April, the city council postponed filing an injunction against Bracken Rifle and Pistol, the defendant in a lawsuit filed by a Garden Ridge couple in Comal County District Court. That suit contends stray bullets from the range have damaged the couple’s property and endangered their safety.
“I’ve never seen proof that the bullets came from the range,’’ Feibelman said. “Many people have used that range for many years, and I know they have made thousands of dollars in improvements to make sure that no bullets
come out of the range.”
Wolfe agreed with Feibelman, saying that because the range isn’t within Garden Ridge jurisdiction, the city should mediate a solution. However, Ford was livid.
"I’m appalled at what I'm hearing,’’ he said. "Why aren’t we doing something about this?... Are we going to sit until a bullet hits one of our residents? This has been going on for over two years now.’’
Ihe Jan. 25 quarry blast that rattled homes and businesses was also discussed, as were issues involving drainage and infrastructure. Alderman candidates Roberts and Dalton addressed those and other topics during their part of the forum.
Dalton criticized city officials for their lack of planning and foresight, with Roberts - a 12-year-incumbent responding with a list of accomplishments that included digging a well into the Trinity Aquifer, a new city hall and public library and the purchase of right-of-way for the expansion of FM 3009.
Early voting began Monday, and polls will be open daily through May 10 (except Sunday), at the Garden Ridge City Hall, 9400 Municipal Parkway. The election will be held at the same site from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 14.
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