New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 3, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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..............—.......... ,-.,.....^.4'.v.i..,^I.......................................................................... ,.:......I.I ,: -v;:: :Vol. 148, No. 249 26 pgs. in 3 sections November 3, 1999 tit J T_ x a x j Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
SAN ANTONIO — Proponents of a tourist tax to pay for a new $175 million arena for the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs claimed victory Tuesday evening in a referendum election.
With 31 percent of the votes counted, 66,811 or 60 percent of Bexar County residents who voted approved a hike in hotel and rental car taxes to pay for the proposed basketball arena while 44,745 or 40 percent voted against the referendum.
The vote on increasing hotel taxes from 15 percent to 16.75 percent and car rental taxes from IO percent to 15 percent coincided with the Spurs’ opening game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Spurs won their first title in the 26-year history of the franchise by defeating the New York Knicks4-1 in June.
Arena backers and the Spurs, who could leave town if the new arena is not built, hoped excitement about San Antonio’s championship would generate support for a new center.
Spurs chairman Peter Holt was pleasantly surprised by the early returns.
“Our expectation is that we would win by I percent or less and that’s how we put together the campaign,” he said during the Spurs game. “Obviously we feel great about the early returns. I’m skeptical right now. We need to see what the other 90,000 votes do.”
The proposed state-of-the-art 18,500-seat arena is to be shared w ith the San Antonio Livestock Exposition three weeks a year, with the Spurs hoping to play in it by 2002 and controlling most of the revenue generated there.
Supporters said the Spurs need a modem arena with more lucrative luxury suites to produce revenue crucial to remaining competitive in the expensive world of pro basketball.
The Spurs plan to manage the building and oversee construction of the county-owned arena and lease it from Bexar County for 25 years.
Antonio 1-0, Philadelphia 0-1 More on the Spurs’ season opener, ring ceremony — 8-9A
Sue Hahn will replace trustee Steve Weaver on the New Braunfels Independent School District board after she won 61 percent of District 5 votes in Tuesday’s election.
About 15 percent of registered voters in District 5 — 762 of 5,045 — cast ballots for the trustee election.
Hahn, with 464 votes, beat opponent Jim Gabbard, who had
About the same number of voters went to the polls as turned out for early voting Oct. 18-29.
On Tuesday, 389 voters went to the polls, with 224 voting for Hahn and 165 for Gabbard. During early voting, 373 voters cast their ballots, with 240 votes for Hahn and 133 for Gabbard.
District 5 extends west of Texas 46, including the Hunter’s Creek subdivisions and the area around Hue-co Springs Loop Road.
Hahn, who was spending election night at Wurstfest, said by phone she was delighted with the results.
“There are four new board member training sessions coming up, and I’m ready to go to work,” she said. “I want to thank the voters and a terrific campaign committee.”
Hahn owns CruiseOne in New Braunfels and previously served as president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. She has one child in NBISD schools and three of her children graduated from New Braunfels High School.
Gabbard said he did not know if he would mn for the trustee position in the future.
“I want to thank the voters who came and voted and I’m disappointed with the ones that didn’t,” he said.
Gabbard is a high school assistance program counselor for the North East Independent School District in San Antonio. He has a daughter at Seele Elementary, and has lived in New Braunfels since 1986.
Lee Edwards, unopposed for the District 3 seat, also will take his place on the board, succeeding Carlos Campos.
Weaver and Campos were elected in August 1996 and each served one three-year term. They both said Sept. I they would not seek re-election.
Hahn cited 23 years of business background and community involvement as qualities that would serve the board well.
Precinct 5 Results
464 — 61 percent
298 — 39 percent
10O percent of precinct reporting
NBISD seat belongs to Hahn
Former chamber president Bexar County
joins Edwards as trustee, J
succeeding Weaver. Campos rippi'OVeS arena
for Spurs, rodeo
By Heather Todd
New Braunfels resident Bud Dallmann casts his vote in the Texas Constitutional Amendment election Tuesday at the Precinct 1 polling place inside the Comal County Senior Citizen Center, 655 Landa St. Voters across turned out sparingly both locally and statewide for the election. See page 3A for more election day coverage.
See NBISD SEAT/3A
By Madeline Baro Diaz
Associated Press Writer
GSD begins work on new SVHS entrance
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Comal Independent School District is moving forward on building a second entrance to Smithson Valley High School.
Roy Linnartz, director of maintenance, said a ocal engineering firm was working on bid doc-iments for construction of the side entrance to JVHS on Smithson Valley Road (Farm-to-Mar-:et Road 3159, just south of Texas 46).
The second entrance is the district’s part of an derail plan involving county and state officials o reduce traffic congestion along Texas 46 near lie high school.
CISD and Comal County officials met with Texas Department of Transportation engineers in July to discuss ways to create a safer environment near SVHS, where about 1,900 students attend
TxDOT district engineer John Kelly outlined a plan that would divide traffic to the high school between the school’s main entrance off Texas 46 and a side entrance on Smithson Valley Road.
The plan also involves major improvements to the main entrance and at Texas 46 and FM 3159.
TxDOT officials said they would handle all highway projects, but the county would be asked to complete work on Smithson Valley Road.
The district is responsible for completing the new driveway. CISD had to consider buying property near the Smithson Valley Road entrance to complete the project.
On Oct. 14, CISD trustees approved buying 16 acres near the school for about $272,000.
Linnartz said the district bought the land contiguous to the school’s northwest side for expansion projects. The owner of the property donated an additional 6 acres, five of which will be used to build the side entrance. One acre was donated to the district for improvement projects.
Linnartz said he did not know when workSee SVHS ENTRANCED
Comal County Sheriff’s Deputy Pat O’Conner directs traffic Tuesday afternoon at the entrance to Smithson Valley High School on Texas 46. This is his second year on duty at SVHS.
Porum will discuss possible airline service to Texas cities
By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer
Local residents wishing to fly to Dallas r Houston without having to drive to San mtomo or Austin might want to attend a abbe meeting on the issue on Thursday. As part of a study sponsored by the ixas Department of Transportation, Avi-ion Division, a consultant team is com-g to New Braunfels to seek public input I possible commuter service in and out of e city. The forum is scheduled for 9 rn. in the city’s municipal building, 424
S. Castell Ave.
“We’re looking to see what the market is,” New Braunfels Municipal Airport manager Darrell Phillips said.
Service to Houston was one possibility, he said, but service to cities such as Austin or San Antonio was notSee FORUM/5A
Key Code 76
Hummel foreclosure sale postponed for 30 days
From staff reports
A foreclosure sale scheduled Tuesday on the Hummel Museum was postponed 30 days to give officials more time to negotiate with the note’s holder.
John Lovett, Hummel Museum president, said several individuals were negotiating with Chase Bank of Texas, the lender for the mortgage on the museum, to buy the note.
The museum, 19*1 Main Plaza, has housed one of the world’s largest collections of his
torical Hummel figurines on public display since 1992.
The more than 1,500 figurines are based on the drawings of Sister M.I. Hummel, a Franciscan nun. The museum has been plagued with financial difficulties this past year.
In December 1998, officials said the museum had a long-term debt of $350,000 and might be forced to close its doors.
The museum fought to stay open throughSee HUMMELL