New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 15, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Moving Waters Powwow to celebrate American Indian culture with food, music and dancing. Page IB
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2003
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SPORTS THEY'RE IN
New Braunfels Unicorns volleyball team steps over Lake Travis for a post in the state playoffs. Page BA
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Vol. 152, No. 287 14 pages, 2 sections
Details .... 2B
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TV GRIDS 4B
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Federal cash stalls
For city and county officials, TA T *|_
where there’s a VV € D>theres away. new dams
By Ron Maloney
Comal County Webmaster Jeff Collins and Karen Patrick, a computer help desk employee for the county, look over the design of the
county's Web site. New Braunfels and Comal County have invested time and money to provide more services via the World Wide Web.
Foray onto Internet makes government accessible
By Dylan Jimdnez and Ron Malonay
In days gone by, governments posted proclamations and important • information the public needed to know on bulletin boards in the square, on the main plaza or on the main street.
Today, they often as not post it on the World Wide Web.
From Comal County’s site, www.co.comal.tx.us or www.comal-county.net, a Web surfer can get to any of the others.
Comal County has had a Web site since 1998. Computer Services Director John Dumas said the county began to really emphasize Web presence in 2000.
“Prior to 2000, it was very basic,”
Dumas said. “It wasn't until then that we really started pushing it. In 2002, we had someone with the creative juices and graphic abilities to really enhance it. We think it’s pretty distinctive.”
Today, it gets between 14,000 and 20,000 hits per month and offers a huge amount of information and access to services.
A related “intranet" site not accessible to the public provides information to county employees.
“It’s a fully functional Web site with all the bells and whistles,” Dumas said. “It’s not as extensive or flamboyant as our Internet site, but it’s critical to our employees.”
County Webmaster and computer trainer Jeff Collins operates the county site. A separate site for County F.i»gineer Tom Hornseth’s office,
www.cceo.org, is operated by Erie Gibson.
Both sites provide information about the county and its services, links to biographical information about elected or appointed officials, and e-mail links to departments and employees.
The sites also link to weather, news and other information, and both provide access to photos of natural resources, flood information and historic scenes of Comal County.
' One unique service the county Web site offers is the ability to search for information from the county's court records on the “Judicial Records Search” link.
Included are convictions, lawsuit filings and the outcomes of cases.
. Page 3A
■ Comal County's Internet Web site averages between
20.000 "hits" each month.
•it costs $30,000 per year to operate and maintain.
■The city budgets $60,000 for its Web site manager
wwwcomakxHjnty.net Now Braunfels
Five years after the flood of 1998, Comal County is still wrapped up in federal red tape that is delaying construction of a network of flood control dams that would protect downtown New Braunfels.
County Judge Danny Scheel expressed frustration that the job isn’t already done — although he said Tuesday the county has done everything it can to push the projects along.
A similar network of flood impoundment dams on the Dry Comal and Blieders creeks built after the 1972 flood are credited with reducing water levels in New Braunfels by 30 percent in 1998.
Scheel said shortly after he took office that he wanted to build more flood control structures on the Dry Comal and in the Guadalupe River watershed.
A flood control dam is different from Canyon Dam in that it is not designed to per-manendy hold water — but only to slow it down.
I vocations have been chosen for the first two of perhaps five of the dams — one in Solms and one in the Elm Creek area.
On the Solms property,
Scheel said, environmental and archeological studies ordered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been completed. So far, the county is still waiting on federal money for the project — up to $5.5 million.
“We’ve been working with a corporation out of Michigan,” Scheel said of the Solms site. “That’s been put on hold. We can’t move forward until the funding’s been released by the federal government or we forfeit the money.”
A study in 2001 estimated a network of five anticipated dams would cost from $40 to $60 million.
County Engineer Tom Hornseth, who has managed the effort to develop the dam sites, said the federal government has the information it needs to proceed.
Scheel said the county would not let its flood control needs pass unnoticed at the state or federal levels.
“We’re continually working. There’s not a week that goes by that we don’t work toward construction of these projects,” Scheel said. “But trying to deal with the federal government and regulations — that’s so frustrating.’’
Scheel isn’t bashful about telling someone —■ including U.S. senators — what he wants and how he wants it delivered.
“I had Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office through here a little bit ago and they asked, ‘What can we do to help you?’ I say, ‘You can help us free up federal funding. We’re still waiting.’”
• One. off Krueger Canyon Road, would slow the Dry Comal Creek floodwa-ters that devastated Landa Street, Live Oak and other West End areas
• The other is on land located of Hueco Springs Loop Road in the Elm Creek watershed.
^Projected total cost is $11 million for the two dams
County could pare charities, fire, EMS from budget
By Ron Malonoy
•* Comal County Commissioners Thursday will discuss whether to continue funding charities or outside agencies — referred to as “contract services” — in future budgets.
Commissioners’ Court meets at 8:15 a.m. in the courtroom at 199 Main Plaza.
The outcome of that discussion could affect whether the county continues to provide par
tial funding to rural fire departments.
Included in the county budget under "contract services” are the Bulverde Senior Center, Communities in Schools, MUMR, the Salvation Army and the Community Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake and other agencies, which received $120,000 in 2003.
Another $120,000 was paid to support fire and EMS service in the county.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay
Commissioner Jay Minikin
Minikin has long argued that the county should not be supporting other taxing agencies — and should not be spending tax money to support charities.
Millikin's concern is that county taxpayers in one part of the county should not subsidize serv
ices they do not benefit from in another.
“Those people who draw the service should be paying for the service, not everyone across the board," Millikin said.
Even though he serves on the United Way board, Millikin is set against using tax dollars to support non-profit agencies like the United Way. He supports their work, but taxpayers should decide individually what to
See BUDGET, Page 3A
Smithson Valley wide receivers Jay Warlike and Rowdy Francis have between them 43 receptions and 663 yards and four touchdowns.
Randall Morris & Associates Real Estate