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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 13, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas Tf WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13,2004 erald-Zeitung VOLLEYBALL Canyon beats New Braunfels in volleyball for second time this season. Page 8A FORUM GUEST COLUMN Writer Pierre Schmitz writes about why we should prepare children for the world by learning a language. Page 4A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 287 16 pages, 2 sections CLICK    50$ '56825 00001 I AY cloudy High Low 83 54 Details ... 10A DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 48 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES SA SPORTS 8A TV GRIDS SBSales tax revenues top $1M in August By Scott Mahon Staff Writer New Braunfels’ sales tax revenues topped $1 million in August, the second time this summer revenues have hit that mark. August’s revenues of $1,043,989 were just short of June’s record of $1,081,893, which was the first time monthly revenues topped the $1 million mark. August’s sales tax revenues were also 31 percent above August 2003. Texas State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn reported the state collected 10.2 percent more in sales tax than in August 2003. “Nine of my IO economic indicators are positive and we have enjoyed an increase in sales tax collections for 13 months running,” she said. While the city’s sales tax revenues are hitting record highs, the U.S. Senate passed a wide-ranging tax package Monday that would allow Texans who itemize their federal tax returns to deduct the state’s sales tax. See SALES, Page 7 A Shuttle seats could be limited to 1,200 By Scott Mahon Staff Writer The River Task Force will recommend to the New Braunfels City Council that the city limit the number of permitted shuttle seats for the Comal River to 1,200 seats. The task force was appointed to solve overcrowding on the Comal River when the Guadalupe River is closed, and members agreed Tuesday that allocating 1,200 permitted seats annually to river outfitters for the Comal River would prevent the kind of overcrowding that occurred this summer when Guadalupe outfitters were allowed to shuttle tubers to the Comal River. Permitted seats would be allocated based on the percentage each outfitter’s river management fees was in relation to the total amount of river management fees collected the previous year. For instance, Rockin' R River Riders paid $83,048 in river management fees in 2003, which represented 45 percent of the total river management fees paid to the city. Therefore, Rockin’ R would be allocated 504 permitted shuttle seats, or 184 less than the number of permitted shuttle seats it paid for this year. The city would issue separate shuttle permits for the Guadalupe River, but would not limit the number of permits for the Guadalupe River. The city would award 1,100 shuttle permit seats for the Comal River based on the new system, and the remaining IOO would be awarded and sold through a lottery system. See RIVER, Page 3A REPAIR WORK Sports Koundup Local volleyball, football teams compete in district. rn | - ^ I - A DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels High School tennis players Elisa Vasquez, left, Charlotte Hull and Candace Crittenden take a break from practice on the cracked and pitted tennis court at the school Tuesday afternoon. Repairing the tennis court is one of nine facility needs listed Monday by Facilities Manager Daryl Stoker. NBISD to seek bids for repair projects at 3 facilities, money to come from surplus By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Before New Braunfels Independent School District trustees rejected a proposal to spend money for teacher bonuses, they agreed to seek bids for three facilities projects. Facilities Manager Daryl Stoker estimated repair work at New Braunfels High School — a new base and surface for the tennis courts and new Hoofing for two wings of classrooms — and new road surfaces and a bridge at Memorial Primary and Elementary schools could cost as much as $401,000. Superintendent Ron Reaves (estimated teacher bonuses would have cost $335,000. Funds for the facility repair needs will likely come from a $1.2 million surplus remaining from the 1999 Bond projects. The surplus is a combination of money saved from other projects and interest earned. Trustees selected the three projects based on their potential for safety problems. Parent and tennis player Winky Smith pulled her hamstring after stepping on a piece of loose court surface last month. She told trustees the courts were dangerous and embarrassing. “When you walk to the courts, they show no part of Unicom pride,” Smith said. “Our students are highly trained athletes, and we have the potential for a really bad injury here.” Thanks to their age and the tenacious weeds growing up through the base structure, the courts’ surfaces are riddled with cracks and holes. Stoker recommended a complete overhaul costing as little as $ 107,500 for an asphalt base or as much as $146,000 for a post-tensioned concrete base. No matter which option is selected, standard resurfacing will still need to be done every 5 to 6 years. In 2001, the district spent $20,000 for a new surface but did not have any work done on the base. Trustee Lee Edwards reminded fellow board members regular resurfacing would have to come from budget money. "We need to reserve funds for this work if this is going to be a recurring expense,” he said. While the tennis court situation See NBISD, Page 7A DIO YOU KNOW? FACILITY NEEDS Facilities Manager Daryl Stoker gave trustees a list of nine facility needs Monday. The potential price tag came in at $900,000. Projects included: B Roof repair and air conditioning for the high school field house B New flooring for two wings of the high school B High school tennis court repair ■ High school track repair or replacement B Development of Memorial Plaza at the high school B Asphalt bus lane at Memorial Primary ■ Asphalt bus lane at Memorial Elementary B Bridge between Memorial Primary and Elementary schools ■ Agriculture barn150 international students participate in Schlitterbahn summer program By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Like many European students, Alex Armenean and his girlfriend, Julia, decided to work in America this past summer. Last February, the two university students from Romania decided to work for Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels. It was their first experience in America. Although many theme parks recruit international students for seasonal employment, it was also Schlitter-bahn’s first experience. One hundred fifty Eastern European college students were recruited by the local water park to work this summer. “It was a pilot program we started this year,” said Stacey Smith, Schlitterbahn’s director of human resources. Smith said she and Toni Degutis, staff services manager, Hew to Eastern Europe in January to recruit college students from Russia, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. "Hiring international students is a popular phenomenon for the amusement indus try,” Degutis said. “We thought about it for a long time before we decided to do the pilot program. But we like a diversified workforce, and we needed more seasonal help.” Armenean attended the job fair in February and signed a contract with Schlitterbahn. “It was in Bucharest," Armenean said. “I think there were 400 to 500 students at the fair. We interviewed with an employer from Colorado, but we decided to come to See PROGRAM, Page 3ACarat .    $0Q DiamondM^igs<Pyy 651 N. Hi sinKs.s LH. 35 240 Ntw Bkai'nhls MAKKI TKAlfc ‘factory <**» ms-jmj ;