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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels WEDNESDAY May 21, 2003 16 pages in 2 sections mmmmmm    in    pages    iii    i.    secHerald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. 161Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsTax hike would fund police, fire, street repair By Dylan JimEnez Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council decided Tuesday to raise property taxes by about 20 percent to pay for street repair and personnel in the police and fire depart ments. Council unanimously voted to raise taxes 6 cents per $100 assessed valuation — from 31.9 cents to 37.9 cents. The tax now needs to pass three readings slated for .June 9, ll and 12. Though only one resident showed up to weigh in on the issue, homeowners will have another chance at hearings set for May 27 and .June 2. lf approved, the increase would bring in about $1,080,(KIO. Council directed staff to use* the money to hire three positions in the police department and three? positions in the fire department. The money also would be used to fund $100,000 in street repair in each of the city’s six districts. District 2 Councilman I^ar-ry Alexander made the motion on the intent to raise taxes, which District 3 Councilwoman Gale Pospisil seconded. District I Councilwoman Sonia Munoz-Gill was absent. See TAX/3A Taxes going up New Braunfels City Council wants to raise property taxes almost 20 percent. The current rate Is 31.9 cents per $100 assessed valuation lf the new rate passes, homeowners could expect the approximate increases to break down as follows: home value: $30,000 wl'th 20 % exemption $75,000 with 20 % exemption $100,000 I New tax rate: 37 9c per $100 valuation: $114 $91.40 $284 $227 $379 | $303 annual Increase: $18 $14.40 $45 $36 $60 | $48 monthly increase: $1.50 $1.20 $3.75 $3 $5 $4 dally increase. $0.05 $0.04 $0.12 $0.10 $0 16 J $0.13 Note: Data supplied by City of New Braunfels DARE class says goodbye By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Bittersweet feelings permeated the cafeteria Tues-day at Seek* Elementary — as the final class of fifth-graders graduated from the I Mig Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. “This is pretty nostalgic," said Seek? Principal Chs Vasquez, as she watched about 200 smiling, chattering students ready themselves to be called up to receive DARE diplomas. Vasquez told her students they’d be the last class going through program. Because of budget shortfalls, the New Braunfels Police Department is discontinuing DARE and shifting its oft lei th to patrol duty. “It’s pretty sad,” Vasquez said of the decision. Vasquez said DARE officer .Justin Broussard had a very close relationship with some of the students, and the program scored significant successes. Broussard was able to meet with children and successfully intervene in issues in their homes. Police officers said they were also sad to see the program cut. “I think they’re going to have the bittersweet privilege of saying maybe they’re one of the last graduating classis of DARE, because we’re cutting it,” said Police IX. .John Villarreal. “I feel its a shame. I don’t have tin* proper words to describe it without putting my foot in my mouth.” Hi? lamented the fact that the current economic state of the city has forced the school to lose a program that has been around since* 1990. Villarreal said he’s seen several officers dedicate a lot of time and effort, See DARE/3A Inside Abby Classifieds 5A . 5-8B Comics................. 3B Crossword 3B Forum 6A Movies................. ..............5A Obituaries 3A Sports ...........7-8A Today ...............2A TV Grid............... 4B Key Code 78 56825 00001 (Above) New Braunfels Police Department’s Lt. John Villarreal (left) congratulates one Seele student, as DARE officer Justin Broussard waits to hand out the next certificate. (Left) Seele Elementary students read over the diplomas they received Tuesday, as they graduated from the DARE program. Because the police department is facing budget cutbacks, this year is the final one for the DARE program in New Braunfels schools. Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Horald Zori ting County deputies might patrol water on Wave Runners Proposal from WORD would ‘make officers more effective’ By Dylan JimEnez Staff Writer Comal County Sheriffs deputies amid In* gut t ing two new Wave Runnera, or jet akia, to help patrol Canyon I .ake. A pro|x>aal to buy the equip-rnent aimea before the Comal (kiunty Wator-Onentod Recre-ation District Ixmrd trxlay. WORD Preaident William N. Mayo aaid the need for the equipment haa lx**n discussed for aa many aa three yeara. "With more and more pimple being able to rent jet akia, it’a hard to maintain coverage,” Mayo aaid. If the Ixmrd approves the purchaae, it would In* the aec-ond year running that W( Jiff) haa helped out the aheriff’a department. “Ijiat year, WORD funded getting the boat for Canyon I .ake," aaid Sait! Watson, who heads up the I^aw Enforcement Committee for WORD. “Now we’ll fill in with the Wave Runnera.” Comal County Sheriff’a (Mike Et. Mark Reynolds aaa! he waa excited about the jxjh-aihility of getting the new watercraft. He aaid deputies l>at rolling Canyon I .ake need fast water vehicles mo they can outrun lawbreaker if news* aary. Reynolds aaid tho aheriff’a office haa had a aeriea of boats that wen* inappropriate for law enforcement nae. .Some of them were gas-guz-zlera, arid aorne were 9x» alow Pi effectively patrol the lake. The department now haa a true patrol Ixia! that Reynolds culled HI iudsumi" “It, ia a fast little boat, hut there arc still parts of Canyon I .ake and the Guadalupe River that you can’t access in a Ixiat that you can access in a jet ski,” Reynolds aaid. “And the quickest way to catch a jet ski is with another jet ski .’’ The Wave Runners alan would help deputies tow their patrol boat into the upper Guadalupe River, which Reynolds said ia difficult to aat*aa Ix•cause of debris. Wave Runnera also would make shorelines, swimming bunches and the dam mon* accessible. Moat importantly, the oqui|>-ment would make deputies more visible in mon- an*aa on “... now you 're going to have three people out there who can ... do a lot more” — Lt. Mark Reynolds Comal Sheriff’s Office the water. ‘Instead of one boat in one cove that may get a call to Canyon Park, now you’re going to have throe |x-epic owl there who can combine their n*soura,s and their efforts and do a lot mon?,” Reynolds aaid. “It's going to lx* wonderful.” Using a jet ski im mon* <xx>-nomieal than using a boat, Reynolds aaid. But the Ixmt is still mx*dod as a diving platform and for towing, Ituynolds said. “They an* just two different tails,” bi* saal. 'I’lie Wave Runners would lx* especially effective during holidays when the lake and the river an* over-flowing with enthusiasts, In* aaid.Southwest Regional Fly-In has multiple benefits for city Event makes New Braunfels airport 3rd busiest in U.S. By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer The South west. Regional Fly-In showcase New Braunfels to 4, HK) people. Officials say it waa great advertising for both the city and its airjxirt. Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. Preaident Michael Meek said the success of the event depends on how it is measured. ‘The airport was exposed to hundreds and hundreds of pilots who now know how to get here and can utilize this airjxrrt from time to time,” he said. “Many of them, I’m told, had not been here before." The city haa a five-year contract to hoHt the event, with an option to renew with the Experimental Aircraft Association. “It s going hi put UM on the* map,” airport Manager Darrell Phillips said. “I think it’s going 9j Im* a great economic boost for the community. I don’t know the* numlxTs yet, but I hear we filled over six hotels.” The event was advertised nationally in airplane magazines and was one of the biggest fly-ins ever hosU?d by the EAA, officials said. “Ifs a g<xxl advertisement for our airport. Plus, it will probably generate some business for the New Braunfels airport. People will amu* here and s<H? the facility and what we have 9i offer and maybe move their company here. Hopefully, we’ll pick up some busint?sseH that way, because they'll want 9> be close 9) (the event),” Phillips said. 'The fly-in brought people from across the country. According 9) EAA air traffic control statistics, the airport had more than 1,800 operations (landings and takeoffs), which made it the third busiest airport in the nation on Saturday.See FLY-IN/3A K. JESSIE SLATEN/!took! /tutting John Benham taxies down the runway at the New Braunfels Municipal Airport Thursday during the Southwest Regional Fly-In sponsored by the Expenmental Aircraft Association. The event brought more than 4,100 visitors to the city. ;