New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 11, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
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Dallas, IVxes ?5?T5County dilemma — cut budget or raise taxes
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
Comal Commissioners began trimming the fat from the proposed 1983 county budget Wednesday, but discovered — as one commissioner noted — there wasn’t a lot of fat to trim.
Just when they thought they’d found a category in one county department which could possibly be cut, a need for more funds cropped up in another department.
Wednesday’s budget workshop, however, was but the first in a series. Between now and whenever the court approves next year's
budget, there will undoubtedly be many changes made in the proposed budget, County Judge Max Wommack reminded the court Wednesday.
Holding the line on expenses requested from the new budget is the goal of Commissioners Court in order to keep county taxes at a minimum while still allowing for a cost-of-living salary increase for most county employees.
As was allowed last year, most county employees are set to receive an 8 percent pay increase over last year’s salary “in order to keep up with inflation,” commissioners indicated.
Providing for this pay raise (which in a few instances will be more than 8 percent), as well as meeting all the demands made for the new budget would mean, however, that the county would have to come up with approximately $320,000 in additional funds.
“The budget has either got to be cut (by $320,000) or you have to raise taxes,” one commissioner noted.
Expenditure requests made by county departments in the 1983 budget exceed the county’s expected revenue next year by approximately $320,000, County Auditor Bate Bond told the court.
Approximately $3,380,000 in requests has been made for the 1983 budget, he added.
The court discussed the county tax rate but did not arrive at any final figures. Bond said that a 17-cent general tax rate would be needed “just to generate the same revenue” as last year.
This 17-cent figure, however, did not include the taxes for the jury, flood-control or farm-to-market lateral road funds, which are all taxes collected by the county.
And this figure would not bring in the extra revenue needed to meet the proposed salary increase for county employees. Nor would it provide financial backing for the additional
($320,000) requests made for the 1983 budget
A majority of these additional requests were due to the county’s growing population and the services required to meet this growth.
As an example of this growth. County Judge Max Wommack pointed out that “the Sheriff’s Department budget in 1983 will be more than the general and jury fund was 12 years ago.”
According to the proposed 1983 budget, approximately $235,625 has been requested for the operation of the jail alone.
“In 1975 the total (Sheriff Department) budget was $90,000 and that included the jail," Comm. Monroe Wetz noted.A New iJ—LL BraunfelsHerald-Zrituno
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November 11,1982 25 cents
New Braunfels, Texas Vol. 91 - No. 219 16 Pages (USPS 377 880)
dead at 75
MOSCOW (AP) - Leonid I. Brezhnev, who ruled the Soviet Union for 18 years, pursued detente with the West and raised his country to nuclear parity with the United States, has died of an apparent heart attack He was 75.
Brezhnev died Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. 112:30 a m. EST), but the official announcement was withheld until ll am. today (3 a.rn ESTi while maneuvering for a successor began behind the towering, red walls of the Kremlin
Tass said doctors concluded Brezhnev suffered “arteriosclerosis of the aorta with the development of aneurism of its abdominal part ... heart disease with heart rhythm trouble ... after he suffered infarctions."
No new party chief or president was immediately named to fill Brezhnev’s posts But Western experts believe the power vacuum may be filled in the short run by a collective leadership including former KUB chief Yuri V Andropov and long-time Brezhnev associate Konstantin Chernenko, the two men most often touted as likely successors.
Andropov was named chairman of the high-level committee responsible for funeral details, a move that put him immediately in the limelight The official Tass news agency said Brezhnev will lie in state in the downtown House of Soviets for three days starting Friday and he will be buried Monday in Bed Square In Washington, President Keagan — awakened in the early hours with the news — wrote a letter of condolence to the Soviet leadership calling Brezhnev ‘one of the world’s most important figures for nearly two decades."
White House spokesman l.arry Speakes said a high-level U.S. delegation would attend memorial ceremonies in Moscow, but it was highly unlikely it would include Keagan
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who dealt with the Soviets during the Nixon and Ford administrations, expects no fundamental change in East-West
relations. He said in Paris that the Kremlin will be preoccupied for “the next months and maybe years by leadership problems.”
Other foreign governments and their leaders began sending condolences and issuing tributes, many hailing Brezhnev as a man of peace.
Vatican sources said the pope "prayed for his soul."
Pieter Dankert. the Dutch president of the 10-nation European Common Market’s parliament, said despite fundamental differences. Europe must acknowledge Brezhnev “as a person devoted to peace" who '“tried to achieve better understanding between the two superpowers.”
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, one of the Soviets' leading Third World allies, said: The world has lost an outstanding statesman of our time, the Soviet Union a great architect and the people of India a valued friend."
In Warsaw, a spokesman for Poland’s hard-pressed Communist government, termed Brezhnev "a great friend of Poland iwhoi understood our problems.”
During his 18 years in power, Brezhnev saw his doctrine of swiftly meeting threats to Soviet-bloc governments challenged in Czechoslovakia and Poland. The Kremlin also has become embroiled in a Moslem rebellion in Afghanistan to support that nation's Marxist regime.
The official Tass news agency said today that the president and party secretary general had died a ‘sudden death” at 8:30 a m. (12:30 a.m. EST) Wednesday. An official obituary came in a state news bulletin at ll a m. i3 a.m. EST»today.
While no successor was immediately named. Western experts believe the power vacuum will be filled in the short run by a collective leadership including former KUB chief Yuri V. Andropov and long-time Brezhnev associate, Konstantin Chernenko, the two men most often touted as likely successors to Brezhnev.Columbia in orbitCargo delivery planned in shuttle's fifth mission
Stat! (that ti t>v John Se filet
Cadet Gunnery Sgt. Howard Phelan bows his head in prayer as the Veterans' Day ceremony opens on Main Plaza. Music, flags
and speeches were the order of the day, as local citizens gathered to pay tribute to America's war veterans Thursday morning
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla IAP) The shuttle Columbia, an American “space truck" carrying four men and two communications satellites rocketed flawlessly through deep blue skies today en route to its first cargo delivery. 184 miles above the Earth “Columbia now in space for the fifth time," said Mission Control.
The astronauts were in orbit, moving at 17.4(H) miles an hour on a mission that is to inaugurate an era of space commerce. The initial test was set tor late this afternoon when the astronauts are to depio) the first satellite.
Columbia’s Veterans Day launch began in a blinding burst of flame and spreading billow of smoke as Columbia's three main engines and two solid fuel rockets flashed to life at 7 19 a.m. ES I Liftoff climaxed a near-perfect countdow n. It was Columbia’s second straight on-time launching, something NASA needs to achieve routinely to show paying customers that the shuttle can meet a timetable.
Because of the need to have Columbia in the relit place at the right time to eject the payloads, the launch team had only a 33-minute period in which to it the delivery truck off the ground today Cheers and shouts of encouragement erupted from several hundred thousand people who crowded viewing sites for Columbia s blazing sendoff The roar of the engines sent a thunderclap rolling across the Cape, shaking the ground and vibrating buildings at Kennedy Space Center offices several miles from launch pad 39A.
It was the shuttle’s fifth perfect liftoff in as many tries; the shuttle's April 1981 flight was the first of four test missions Vance Brand, 51, who returned unconscious from the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975. is commanding the mission. Others making up the largest crew ever assigned to one spaceship are pilot Robert Over-myer, 46, and two members of a new breeil of astronauts named mission specialists scientists William Lenoir, 43, and Joseph Allen, 45 Brand, Overmyer and I Ainoir rode in the ct < kpit Allen rode in a seat installed in a mid-deck irea beneath the main cabin They wore NASA blue cotton coveralls that replaced the awkward brown pressure suits required on America's 35 previous man-m-spaee missions After about 50 seconds, the space freighter, moving ever more swiftly on its towering pillar of smoke, pierced through the most dangerous p int iii the ascent - an area where the craft is buffeted by maximum aerodynamic forces The ship rose into a clear sky and vs as still in sight when it shed its two 149-toot solid bowsie •>. two
See SHUTTLE. Rage 16
County officials facing 55 percent insurance hikeInside
Due to an “‘increased loss ratio,” county employee health insurance rates will be going up approximately 55 percent in 1983
During a specially-called meeting Wednesday afternoon, a distressed Commissioners Court learned of this increase from representatives of Schriewer and Associates. This local agency handles GIC, the national insurance company which carries the county’s insurance policy.
Currently there are 143 county employees insured under GIC’s coverage, County Auditor Bate Bond said
“Every time I meet with ya’ll, I’m the bearer of bad news,” said Alan Schriewer, in explaining the reasoning behind the increase. “But this (increase) is warranted.”
From May to October of this year GIC has received approximately $37,000 rn premiums from the county, Schriewer noted. During that same time period, however, the company has “paid out” approximately $50,500 in claims.
“That's a 136 percent loss ratio,” he told the court.
In the last 12 months, the county’s loss-ratio is was not quite that bad, but the insurance company is still paying out more in claims than it is receiving, he said.
During the last year, GIC has paid out ap
proximately $95,390 in claims, but has only received approximately $76,150 in premiums, Schriewer added. “That’s about a 125 percent loss ratio,” he noted.
Upon hearing these figures, the court reluctantly accepted GIC’s cost increase proposal
“We almost have to go ahead with it and go along here until our contract expires (in May of 1983), don’t we?” Comm. Charles “ Tart” Mund quizzed his peers.
Well, we don’t have to — but it’d probably be wise," he added
The court did not accept GIC’s proposal, however without asking GIC Chairman of the Board Mike Keough what his firm would do if the county’s loss-ratio dropped.
“If you have a reversal of claims versus premiums, do you lower your premiums again,” Collun. J.L. “Jumbo” Evans asked
“Usually we come back in and negotiate for higher benefits,” Keough responded. “It’s seldom done (that rates come back down). GIC has never done it in the six years that we’ve been in business.’' he added
Had they not accepted GIC’s price hike, County See INSURANCE. Page 16
Comal County forecast calls for mostly cloudy and humid this afternoon, cloudy tonight, then partly cloudy and turning a little cooler by Friday. Winds will be from the southeast at 10-15 mph today, shifting to the south at IO mph tonight. Probability of showers is 50 percent this afternoon, and 30 percent tonight. Sunset will be at 5:38 p.m., and sunrise Friday w ill bt* at 6:53 p m.
Smithson Valley’s Tonya Hartman and Dawn Davis have been named to the first-team, all-district volleyball squad for District 26-AAA Hartman and Davis were the only two
Rangerettes on the first team, but five other
SVHS players made second team or honorable
mention See Sports, Page 8
Planning panel approves rezonings, plat proposals
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
A proposed zoning change in the HOO block of Gruene Road took up some 45 minutes of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s time Tuesday night. Eventually, a bare majority recommended that City Council grant the change.
Rezoning, resubdivision and plat proposals submitted by other concerns were approved unanimously, w ith comparatively little discussion
The list included another Gruene-area zone change championed by William Gallagher, the same man who wants to build a 12-unit condominium complex at HOO Gruene Road.
On the condo issue, Gallagher was representing Bayside Petroleum Corporation. For his second request, he represented Pierce McGrath, who owns the Gruene Mansion property at 1275 Gruene Road
That property is zoned CM, which allows for rental of the mansion to
weekend groups and the like. Now, McGrath wants to renovate five or six buildings on the two acres behind the big house and make individual hotel cottages of them Some will have kitchen facilities, which will require C-3 zoning.
“We’re trying to st a} with the feeling of what’s going on out there, with the Winery, three restaurants and the dance hall," Gallagher said Some driveways and parking space will be required The property doesn’t go down to the Guadalupe River, hut McGrath has a foot-traffic easement from the owner of the bank duet th behind it, he added The eommisson voted in favor ot that change, as well as one creating C-3 zoning at 1064 Texas 46 South The present zoning is R-2, and no one but applicant A J. Cadded had anything to say for or against that change A P&Z member said tin Caddells wanted to put mini-storage units behind an existing plant nursers
See PLANNING, Page 16