New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 15, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2004
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
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Jim Fitzgerald gives reasons 'ie US should get out of J and give the tax savings ◦ Americans. Page
Vol. 153, No. 160 14 pages, 2 sections
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 3-8B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A
OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3BSchool funding plan won’t get Senate vote
By Natalie Gott
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Friday state senators won’t be voting on a school funding bill in the current special legislative session.
His declaration ended prospects for legislative approval this session of a new school funding plan to replace the state’s unpopular share -the-wealth system, known as Robin Hood, and to provide Texans with property tax relief.
The Texas Senate, after days of meetings to try to agree on a funding plan, has run out of time to find a solution during the current 30-day session, Dewhurst said. Senators would have had to approve a plan by Friday night to give the House
time to consider it and vote.
“We need some more time in order to do a good job,” Dewhurst, a Republican, said at a news conference in front of the Capitol.
The special session ends Wednesday.
Final bell rings soon for 4 NBISD principals
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels Independent School District is losing four of its 11 principals at the end of this school year.
TVvo are retiring, and two have resigned.
Doug Recio, Learning Center principal, is retiring after a 29-year teaching career.
He has been a principal for six years.
“I’m just ready for other
adventures,’’ Recio said. “I’m really excited about it.”
Recio said he was partially motivated by the teacher retirement system, which allows him to draw full benefits once the combination of his age and years of experience total 80.
But, Recio was quick to point out retirement did not mean a lack of activity on his part.
“For the last IO years, I’ve
had this entrepreneurial dream,” he said. “I’m only retiring from education."
For several years, Recio has published “Texas High School Baseball” magazine. After retirement, he plans to devote more time to making it more successful.
Recio also plans to open New Braunfels Baseball Acad-emy, a sports clinic with indoor batting cages and offseason league teams.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers to Austin for the special session to change the funding system, which relies heavily on local property taxes. Lawmakers had promised to cut those taxes and give more money to the
state’s 1,037 school districts.
They struggled, however, to find a mix of new revenue sources that legislators could agree on. Among the proposals they considered were an
See SENATE, Page 3A
Although he is anxious to begin his new jobs, Recio said he would miss being a teacher.
‘Tm a teacher at heart," he said. “Education has been very good to me, and I hope I’ve done some good along the way as well.”
Tony Dominguez, OakRun Sixth Grade Center principal, is resigning to return to school full-time.
See PRINCIPAL. Page 3A
New property appraisals bring good, bad news
By Ron Maloney
It’s that time of year.
About 48,500 area property owners will get some good and bad news next week.
The good news is the value of their property is going up.
The bad news is unless local governments manage to cut budgets during a time of heavy growth — which doesn’t commonly happen — their taxes will go up, too.
Curtis Koehler, deputy chief appraiser for the Comal Appraisal District said Friday appraisal notices were at the printer’s.
“They’ll go out Wednesday,’’ Koehler said. “By Tuesday, our Web site will be updated with the current values.”
The preliminary market value of the district, which includes all of Comal County and parts of Guadalupe, Bexar, Hays and Kendall counties, is $4.8 billion — up 4.9 percent from 2003’s certified value of $4.5 billion.
Those figures will be adjusted downward over the course of the summer as appraisal appeals are heard.
By July 20, appraisals must be certified for taxing enti-
AT A GLANCE
How to dispute an appraisal:
■ Appeal within 30 days of the notice s mail date (June 21) by calling the Comal Appraisal District at 625-8597 to request an appointment with an appraiser or the Appraisal Review Board
■ Formal requests can be mailed to the Comal Appraisal District at 178 E Mill St
■ On the Web — wwwcomalad.org
ties. Along with with the school districts and the City of New Braunfels, the CAD has about 19 taxing entities.
Notices are mailed for each piece of taxable property that increases in value, changes hands or when an owner requests one.
By statute, the entire district must receive appraisal notices every three years.
The Comal Appraisal District is a political subdivision of the state — not the city or the county as commonly perceived. The purpose of an appraisal district is to have an unbiased third party outside of local politics setting property values.
The appniisal review board consists of district residents.
Project has ‘lofty’ economic impact
By Ron Maloney
The developer who hopes to begin converting the historic Lower Colorado River Authority power plant to loft apartments said many units would rent at rates competitive with the local market.
Larry Peel, the Austin-based builder known for his environmentally friendly projects, is recycling the LCRA plant and 23 acres around it into a nearly 300-unit apartment community designed for mature adult “empty nesters.”
Peel and Frank Morgan of ITRA spoke Thursday night at a constituents meeting conducted by. District 3 City Councilwoman Gale IY>spisil.
The project will initially
LOOKING FOR AN APARTMENT?
• Get on the Landmark Lofts waiting list by calling (512) 327-3333 Construction is scheduled to be completed in July 2006
create more than 430 jobs, and its construction will contribute $14.5 million to the local economy.
When completed, more than 200 jobs will remain, and it will add $22 million in value to local tax rolls — raising between $560,000 and $600,000 in taxes each year for the city, county and New Braunfels Independent School District.
“It takes quite a factory to have this kind of impact,” Morgan said. “This is a very
See LOFTS. Page 3A
FORGET TO VOTE
■ CMO. Bulverde and Cardon Ridge elections will be conducted today
■ In CISD 6, incumbent Charles Burt faces Cindy Kelly.
■ In CISD 7, incumbent Bill Swim faces Klaus Weiswurm.
■ In Garden Ridge. Phyllis Kay Noynaert and Joseph Britan vie for Place 4 on the city council. Places 1 and 5 incumbents. John McCaw and Russ Sanders, respectively, are unopposed.
■ In Bulverde. Bob Barton. Cindy Cross. Richard ’ Parker, Sarah Stevick and Michael Sorbera are running for three at-large posts on council. Mayor Bill Cole is running unopposed.
S New Braunfels City Council, Bulverde/Spring Branch Library and Tye Preston Memorial Library elections were canceled.
■ CISD 6 - Bulverde Community Center, 1747 E. Ammann Road, and Bexar-Bulverde Fire Station. 1126 E. Borgfeld Drive.
■ CISD 7 -Municipal Court Building. Garden Ridge Municipal Complex 9357 Schoenthal Road, and Comal Elementary. 6720 FM 482
■ Bulverde City Council: Bulverde City Hall. 30070 U.S. 281 N., Suite 236
■ Garden Ridge City Council: Municipal Court Building. Municipal Complex.
9357 Schoenthal Road
B All polls are open 7 a rn. to 7 p.m.
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
Aircraft aficionados watch as planes arrive and depart at the Southwest Region Fly-In Friday at New Braunfels Municipal Airport. Only a handful of planes had arrived prior to the start of the event due to severe weather around the region. As skies cleared early in the afternoon, planes began arriving by the dozens.
Storms, threatening skies delayed fly-in arrivals
By Ron Malonoy
A “wild blue yonder” so stormy it delayed the arrival of hundreds of fliers for this weekend’s Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In dumped heavy rain on New Braunfels but caused few other problems.
Southwest Regional Fly-in President Stan Shannon said Friday afternoon a few hundred aircraft were delayed by storms late Thursday and early Friday, but aircraft were steadily landing at New Braunfels Municipal airport by late morning.
“We probably have 150 airplanes on the ground new,” Shannon said.
“We have some wind, but it’s not bad. It helps keep things cool.”
By this morning, Shannon said, fly-in visitors could expect to see many more airplanes and the lull program.
“We'll probably have 400 or 500 more Saturday," he said.
New Braunfels Utilities Com-
Experimental, home-built and factory-built aircraft of all sizes and shapes began arriving at the Southwest Regional Fly-In Friday afternoon as skies cleared and rain left the area.
munications Manager Gretchen Reuwer said a problem at the Comal substation off Landa Street shut off power in parts of the city.
“We saw outages throughout the system due to wind, lightning and tree limbs,” Reuwer said. "Overall, it held up pretty well.”
The storm affected the utility’s phone system, making it difficult
for some to report outages, Reuwer said.
NBU Executive Director of Electric Services Ai Kaufmann said there would be additional phone lines and advanced backup systems at NBU’s new service center off EM 306.
See WEATHER. Page 3A
Blue yonder goes wild