New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 11, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Experimental Aircraft event flies into airport next weekend /IC
Partners are cleaning up with their franchise business/4B
Putting some color and fun into important messages/9A
SUNDAY May ll, 2003
36 pages in 4 sections
pages in 4 settle
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Vol. 152, No. 153
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Feasibility study to look
at civic center over the river
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald Zeitung
1-3B .. 2A
By Dylan JimenezStaff Writer
Several civic groups* are scheduled to make pitches for thousands of dollars of Hotel Occupancy Tax funds when New Braunfels City Council meets Monday night.
They’re likely to go away empty handl'd, at least until the city can figure out how much a new civic center spanning the Comal River would cost.
Why would that delay action on other requests? Because the city plans to use HOT funds to pay for a new or renovated civic center.
Voters decided May 3 to allow the use of hotel occupancy funds for the construction of a new civic center in the downtown area.
After swearing in two new members, council will conduct a public hearing on the possible uses of HOT funds.
Several projects, such as the restorat ion of the Main Plaza handstand to advertising for Wurstfest, will he on the table.
Mayor Adam Cork, former chairman of the Hotel Occupancy Committee, said the committee recoinmend«*d last February that the city offer unallocated funds to projects that would promote tourism. The remainder would be used as down payment on the renovation of the existing civic center.
ALSO ON THE AGENDA:
■ Third and final readings of ordinances that would increase fees related to city services.
■ Third and final readings of an ordinance regarding acceptable levels of noise on the over
■ Recognition of council members Debbie Flume and Robert Kendrick, who are stepping down
■ Swearing in of newly elected councilwomen Gale Posptsil and Valerie Hull.
But also on f lu* table is a feasibility study that would tell council how much money a new civic conter that would span Comal River at the Prince Selma Park Location would cost.
Having the civic center feasibility study and the requests for HOT funds on the same agenda presents council with a dilemma, the mayor said.
"We need to now know how much (t he civic center) is going to cost before we can logically say we have enough money to give* out V number of dollars to these organizations,'’ he said. “"We don't know how much we have available until we get our feasibility study done.”
If approved, the study could take (id to IM) days to complete.
For $24,01 id Hellier, Vaughn and Koone, Inc., a firm that
See HOT FUNDS/5A
Wildfire danger nears bum ban level
By Ron Maloney
Comal County Fire Marshal Ijn Manford warned that hot, dry weather is raising the risk of wildfires.
While he has not asked Com-niLHsioners’ Court to declare a burn ban, Manford says he could he asking for one at virtually any time.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index is usixl by the State of Tbxaa to compute the risk of wildfire. The acale goes from 0 to HOO with a rating of below 2tM) being considered "low risk” and a rating of over OOO being considered “extreme risk.”
A rating between 400 and WK) is considered “high risk "
In Comal County this past week, the risk was nudging 450 and going up by 9 to 12 points |>er day, Manford said.
The 14-day outlook puts the local drought index well above
“It’s already high risk here. Win •ii it reaches 500, we’re looking at a burn hail," Manford said.
The misty morning rains of recent days have done nothing to lower the risk, Manford said Friday.
“A reduction in drought and wildfire risk occurs only when rainfall exceeds two-tenths of an
inch,” Manford said. “And in a ample of hot, dry days, you’re right back where you started.”
Manford said the winter’s rains, which have left the Edwards Aquifer in good shape this season, are a two-edged sword when it comes to fire risk.
"What that rain did whenever we had it is grow plenty of fuel t o burn if we have a fire now,” Manford said.
"We want to get the word out and warn against complacency when it comes to fire risk particularly in controlled burns,’’ Manford said. "People can still
See FIRE RISK/9A
I oi a comptoir list of rtto county'!* Ulm mlo:>, and IU) loxua Commission on Environmental Quality's General Requirements tor Allowable Outdoor Burning, log on to www co comal tx us, (Ack on 'Senrtc*Mr and then dick on I ire Marshal
County readopts economic development policy
By Ron Maloney
Comal County Commissioners unanimously readopted the county's economic development policy.
Comal County, like the City of New Braunfels and the City of Schertz in this area, offer incentives to businesses considering locating here. Those incentives usually consist of tax breaks called abatements.
Comal County offers a three-tiered series of abatements that are calculated on the basis of how many jobs a prospective firm would create here and what kind of jobs they are.
Also to be considered is how much value the company would create.
“'I'wo years ago, we passed a resolution expressing our desire for economic development and what we’re willing to do to bring it here,” Acting
County Judge Jack Dawson said.
The main criteria in the county, Dawson said, is to target fabrication, research and development, and technically related education and training.
Some industries are not welcome in Comal County, Dawson said. The county does not offer breaks for them.
"We’re not interested in Industrie* that require exces
sive use of environmentally unsafe materials and we’re not interested in those that produce air emissions or waste that would he detrimental to the community or its environment," Dawson said.
Another thing the county is careful to do, Dawson said, is not offer abatements to businesses that would compete with businesses already
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Stamping out hungerLetter carriers collect food to help SOS
By Ron MaloneyStaff Writer
It would he hard to tell it today because Don McBroom is a pretty big man, but he knows a little bit about hunger.
When he was three, his father took sick and was hospitalized for 12 years before he died when his son was 15 years old.
“My mother had two jobs. My older brother and sister both had jobs. I got a job when I was nine,” McBroom said.
“We didn’t starve, but there were times when we didn’t have too much food to eat.”
That’s why a dozen or so years ago, McBroom, a letter carrier whoso route includes Morningside Drive and County Line Road, became the local coordinator for the annual National Association of I netter Carriers Food Drive in New Braunfels.
“I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said Saturday, although he plans to retire from the postal service in three years and then work in small construction.
McBroom said he hoped Saturday’s local drive would collect 20,000 pounds of fixid.
Mc Broom said the food collected Saturday will he distributed to needy individuals through the help of the SOS Food Bank in
See FOOD DRIVE/5A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/HERALD-ZEITUNG
Boy Scout Senior Patrol Leader Todd Mueller, 13, of Bracken helps carry boxes of food from a mail truck to a waiting vehicle going to the SOS Food Bank Saturday afternoon. The Scouts were lending local letter carriers a hand after the postal workers spent the day collecting nonperishable food items while delivering their mail.