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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, May 25, 2003

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 25, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Lifestyle The allure of the river. First of a series of feature articles/1 C Special section The Herald-Zeitung’s annual visitors guide to New Braunfels and Comal County/Inside New Braunfels Special Section Graduation section commemorates a special week for high school seniors/inside SUNDAY May 25, 2003 32 pages in 4 sections ■hmm mb    oc    pages    in    scent Herald-Zeitung .........................- .....„........— ------------- :..............:.......:............V,- - ~ --- - -■ — : - -..........-........ Vol. 152, No. 165 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 $1.00 City Council to hold public hearing on tax increase By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer New Braunfels residents have the chance Tuesday to weigh in on the proposed property tax increase. The tax hike would be less than 6 cents — from 31.85 cents per $100 in valuation to 37.1) cents. Since property values in the city have increased, under the proposed rate the average homeowner in New Braunfels would pay 31.27 percent more in city property taxes in 2004 than paid this year. Before homestead exemptions, the bill would equate to about: ■ $18 more per year on a $30,000 home; ■ $30 more per year on a $50,000 home; ■ $45 more per year on a $75,000 home; ■ $60 more per year on a $100,000 home. The tax hike would bring in an estimated $1.1 million At a glance — ■ WHAT: Neft Braunfels City Council ■ WHEN: 6:30 p,m. Tuesday ■ WHERE: Council Chamers, Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave. in revenue to the city. Council has already directed staff to spend the money on fire and police and roads. About $100,000 would go to each city district for street repair. Tuesday’s public hearing will be one of two more opportunities for residents to tell council how they feel about the property tax hike. The next public hearing is set for June 2. Although only one public hearing is required, city officials opted to give residents two chances to offer comments on the tax hike. See TAX HIKE/8A NBISD plans not to raise property taxes Divers, volunteers to scour city’s river bottoms By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer There’s a treasure chest of litter on the bottom of the city’s rivers, and everyone is invited to share in the bounty. The first of five summer dive parties to be sponsored by the city of New Braunfels is Thursday. Divers and the general public are invited. Food and drink will be supplied to those1 willing to work to keep the Comal and Guadalupe rivers clean. Participants also could win prizes. Summer Dive Parties ■ May 29 — 4 to 7 p.m. ■ June 19 — 4 to 7 p.m. ■ July 17 —4 to 7 p.m. ■ Aug. 21 — 4 to 7 p.m. ■ Sept. 6 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scuba divers and snorkelers can dive for fitter on the bottom of the rivers. Others are invited to assist the divers and help pick up trash on the banks. Divers will be provided with mesh bags and oxygen. Others will be provided with rafts they can use to collect trash. The goal: Pick up as much trash as possible from the bottom of the rivers, Assistant City Manager Don Ferguson said. Scooping out the trash on the river bottom as the summer tubing season goes on will prevent the city from getting behind with river cleanup. "We’re trying to get the citizens involved during the season, as well as after season,” Ferguson said. See DIVE PARTIES/8 A By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees are expected to hold the line on property taxes when they adopt the district’s 2(X)3-04 budget Tuesday. The current school district tax rate is $1.85 per $100 valuation. The budget and tax rate hearing for NBISD begins at 6 p.m. at the Education Center at 430 W. Mill St. The 2003-04 budget that trustees will approve fists $42.4 million in revenues and $44.3 million in expenditures. Superintendent Hon Reaves asked trustees to use part of the district’s $8.7 million in reserves to cover the $1.58 million shortfall. The money to be taken from reserves would be used to give teachers raises and cover shortfalls in other priorities, Heaves said. "This is a one-time option that removes the need to raise the district’s Dix rate,” he said. The $44.3 million in expenditures includes $35.6 million in general fund expenses, with $21.59 million to be spent on instruction. The district would spend $6.79 million on debt service, and $1.9 million on food service. Reaves said when the budgetary review process started in the spring, district staff' See NBISD BUDGET/8A Inside Abby.............. PC Classifieds............ MOD Comics............ 60 Lifestyle........... . 1-50 Forum........ 6A Local/State.......... 4A Movies............ PC Records......... 7A Sports.............. 1-3B Today.............. PA Stocks............. 4B I I c 3 (O com s 56825 00002    8 Officials warn of dry conditions, urge extreme caution around fire For a complete list of the county’s bum rules, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's General Requirements for Allowable Outdoor Burning, log on to, dick on “Services" and then dick on "Fire Marshal * By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Those using campground and picnic facilities over the Memorial Day holiday should exercise extreme caution. A burn ban remains in effect throughout Comal County, and officials said Friday that dry conditions are worse than they were a week ago. Burning is prohibited in New Braunfels and Comal County, except for cooking purposes. That means holiday revelers should follow burning rules implemented by campground facilities they are using. Texas Forest Service reports indicate that most of the state has received just 50 percent of its nor mal precipitation. “It’s extremely dry,” Darren Bnnkkoeter, New Braunfels file marshal, said. "In fact, ifs getting worse than it was May 15 when we implemented the burn ban.” The public seems to understand the dangerous conditions that exist, he said. “People do realize that it is dry, and they’re not burning. They also are following the order of the burn ban,” Brinkkoeter said. But acts of carelessness can spark big problems and ruin holiday celebrations, officials warned. "We had five grass fires just this week — small in nature, nothing big,” See FIRE RISK/9A After a long night of partying at Huaco Springs Camp, George Rider catches a nap while waiting for the dinner fire to get just right. Friends were close by to keep watch on the fire. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herakl-Zeitung Splashing into summer Season’s first holiday brings thousands to the Hill Country By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Mike and Linda Reimer spent the better part of Saturday morning watching shuttles cart tubes and tubers from the Comal River exit on West Lincoln Street to the chutes upstream. The Reimers were trying to sell off inventory in front of Good Pickins Antique Shop on East San Antonio Street downtown. Shuttles passed the shop windows every minute or so, sometimes one right after another. "You can’t get another tube on that river,” Mike Reimer said. Parking lots at Schlitter-bahn and at the chutes were a good indication of how packed rivers were for the weekend. Michael Meek, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc., spot-checked parking lots of a number of attractions on Saturday. ‘I went up to Gruene, and I haven’t seen Gruene that busy since last Labor Day. Theres not a parking place to be had,” he said. The lots of Schfitterbahn and river outfitters were the same, he said. Meek does his parking lot tour in the summer to get a handle on how well months of advertising are paying off. This year it appears to have worked, he said. See MEMORIAL DAY/9A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung A group of tubers starts down the chute at Prince Solms Park Saturday afternoon. Although the rivers were packed, police reported few major incidents. ;