New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 6, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
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SUNDAY May 6, 2001
34 pages in 4 sections
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Vol. 150 No. 151Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
GB RA proposal to take more water from Canyon Lake divides county
District attorney says council violated Open Meetings Act /See below.
Bill Womack leads a Canyon Lake group opposed to taking more water from the lake.
What: TNRCC meeting When: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday Where: 12105 N. Interstate 35, Building E, room 201-S, Austin • A group of Canyon Lake residents and businesspeople have chartered buses to go to the TNRCC hearing. Seats on the bus cost $12 a person, and they plan to leave from Canyon Lake Youth Recreation Center at 7 a.m. Sign up by calling Eileen Campbell at (830) 899-6642.
TNRCC to discuss request to take more water from Canyon Lake
By Amy Clarkson
People in favor of a proposed permit to take more water from Canyon Lake say it will save money and deliver water to areas that need it desperately. Those opposed to it say it will drain the lake, wreak both environmental and economic havoc on the area and leave the lower Guadalupe River completely dry.
The controversy surrounding the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority’s request for a permit amendment might end Wednesday when the Texas
Natural Resource Conservation Commission meets to consider approving the permit or sending it to a contested case hearing.
During the meeting, the TNRCC will review documents both from the GBRA and the 17 requests for a contested case hearing on the issue. The commissioners meet at 9:30 a.m. in Austin.
In Comal County, the permit amendment has sparked debate, led groups to organize in opposition and sharply divided the New Braunfels City Council.
Essentially, the proposed amend-
GBRA buys full-page ad to dis-cuss issues/6B
ment would allow GBRA to take more water from Canyon Lake.
Currently, the organization is authorized to take 50,000 acre-feet of water from the lake. A single acre-foot is roughly 325,000 gallons. Although they organization is not currently taking that amount of water from the lake, GBRA officials say the water is almost completely contracted out to cities, counties, school districts, for irrigation and industrial purposes —
Supporters: Project provides water for thirsty parts of Comal County
By Amy Clarkson
People in Bulverde say they desperately need the pipeline and water that come from the Guadalupe -Blanco River Authority’s Western Comal project. And that project hinges on approval of the GBRA’s requested permit amendment that would allow the organization to sell more water from Canyon Lake.
‘There is a subdivision in Bulverde where they are still trucking in water,”
Local residents listen to a presentation about the plan at a recent meeting.
Mayor Bob Barton said. “Last summer, they were
Opponents: Proposal presents economic, environmental concerns
By Martin Malacara
Some area residents remain steadfast in opposition to the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s permit request to draw 40,000 acre-feet more out of Canyon Lake, with three days left until the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission gives its decision on the issue.
Residents have voiced concerns in the past few months about declining lake levels, environmental
GBRA officials answer questions from people opposed to the plan.
concerns and San Antonio seeking a share of lake water.
Incumbent Alexander wins re-election
By Amy Clarkson
Overcome with emotion, Larry Alexander hugged and kissed his wife Annette when the news came in at the Comal County Courthouse — he won the District 2 election for New Braunfels City Council.
Alexan-d e r received a total of 581 votes, including 250 from early voting totals. His opponent, Walter Sears, received 469 votes, including 245 from early voting.
‘‘I feel relieved,” Alexander said, speaking just minutes after the votes were totaled Saturday. “I have worked hard since February on this campaign. I had a wonderful group of people working for me, and I want to thank them and the voters of District 2.”
Alexander won a second term on the New Braunfels City Council, with 18 percent of the registered voters in District 2 casting ballots in the race. It was the only race
before voters in the city of New Braunfels.
“The people in District 2 were satisfied with my progress on meeting their needs and growth in the city,” Alexander said. “I campaigned on the issues — managing growth, keeping streets up to standards. It was a close vote.”
Minutes later, an elated Alexander headed out for a victory party. His opponent spoke of his disappointment from his home, where a group of supporters gathered to wait for the results.
“I’m disappointed,” Sears said. “It was a close race, but close only counts in horseshoes. It’s more of a loss for District 2 and the community of New Braunfels than it is for me.”
Sears said he won’t run for council again but plans to remain active in city government.
“The citizens asked me to run, and I will still speak for the citizens.” he said. ‘Til con-
County elections attract light turnout
Bulverde re-elects two aldermen
By Martin Malacara and Ron Maloney
BULVERDE — Voters in this western Comal County community returned two incumbent aldermen to Bulverde City Hall Saturday, reelecting Warren Alston and Rick Gravens.
Comal Independent School District voters in District 6 chose Charles Burt over former CISD trustee Doug Nail in that contest.
Election officials reported a generally light turnout in Comal County and elsewhere.
In Bulverde, Alston
received 170 votes, while Gravens counted 127. Former Balcones Heights city councilman Charles Baetz, who has lived in Bulverde for just more than a year, garnered 101 votes.
Gravens and Alston ran on a platform calling on Comal County’s newest city to continue the work of providing the services and infrastructure that a city must. Both men said they wanted to stay on long enough to see the two-year-old city through its early growth.
Gravens said Saturday night he has a lot work waiting for him.
“We have about three or four issues to deal with,” he said. “Setting up a municipal court is priority one.”
See COUNTY/5 ADA: Council violated open meetings law, but not when Watson thought
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
The New Braunfels City Council violated the state’s Open Meetings Act — but not on April 23.
Instead, District Attorney Dib Waldrip said the violation came during a March 26 meeting when council voted to ask for a contested case hearing regarding the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s permit amendment request. The GBRA is asking the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission for permission to take more water from Canyon Lake.
That’s the ruling from Waldrip, who was asked by the two council members to look into the action taken by the city council concerning the GBRA’s requested permit amendment. Both Juliet Watson and Lee Rodriguez asked the district attorney to review the actions taken by council on June 26, 2000, March 26, 2001, and April 23, 2001.
On those three dates, the council discussed and took action on the permit amendment. On June 26, the council voted against sending a letter to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission opposing the
proposed GBRA permit amendment.
“Any discussion, vote or action taken by the council must comply with the agenda,” Waldrip said. “They were fine on June 26 when they discussed and voted on writing a letter of opposition. They were fine on March 26 as far as discussing and voting on sending questions and comments to the TNRCC at
the public meeting. They were not fine when they sent the letter for the contested case hearing (on March 26) because that wasn’t properly on the agenda.”
Watson charged that the contested case hearing request was part of her questions and comments. Councilman Lee Rodriguez said he did not intend to second a motion to request a contested case hearing in the GBRA matter and attempted on April 9 and April 23 to clarify his intent. On April 9, the council voted to amend the minutes to reflect his intent — only toSee DA/5A
Key Code 77