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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 30, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas THE SUNDAY ************** ALL FOK RDI HW *01 1(10(1571 12/30/05 SOUTHWEST HICKOfmiSieS 2627 E YUDELL DR EL PASO TX 79903 111111111111111 • 11111111 i 11 • 1111 OCTOBER 30,2005 Herald - Zeitung INSIDE FUN FOR ALL Look for special sections highlighting Wurstfest, events throughout the fall, winter. INSIDE COUPONS SAVE BIG Look for money-saving coupons from Alzafar Shrine Circus, SmartSource, CVS, Walgreens, JCPenney. Inside Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 293 32 pages, 5 sections CLICK | $1.00 WWW. j 00002 rattly Cloudy High Low I 80 65 8 i Details .... 3B DEAR ABBY 3E CLASSIFIEDS ID COMICS 4C CROSSWORD 4C FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 1B TV GRIDS 2,3EMayor: This council won’t assess utility fee By Leigh Jones Staff Writer The New Braunfels drainage ordinance became a touchy subject as soon as it was adopted. Its detractors protested that it was illegal while its supporters clung to their belief it was a step toward improving the city’s water woes. But while the debate over the stormwater connection fee raged, the other half of the ordinance went unnoticed. The drainage utility fee, assessed to every improved lot or parcel of land within the city limits, has the ability to bring in roughly $1.5 million yearly to make improvements to the drainage system and maintain existing ditches. Although the city has had the ability to charge the fee since 2000, city council has avoided setting an amount and directing New Braunfels Utilities to add the fee to its bills. Why is council hesitant to pick up one weapon in the fight against the city’s flooding problems? Mayor Bruce Boyer said while he was aware of the utility fee’s potential to make drainage system improvements, it was not his first tool of choice for fixing the city’s drainage problems. “When you weigh the amount of money that can be collected on it versus some of the other issues that are going to be coming into play, like the school districts having to pay it, which is going to be another burden on the taxpayers, and some other See FEE Page 7A “I don’t necessarily think it’s the best route to go and emphasize trying to collect (the drainage utility) fee versus going and getting on the program as far as assessing and collecting impact fees.” — Bruce Boyer New Braunfels mayor Gruene hotel owners hope to avoid third strike Tuesday By Leigh Jones Staff Writer A local family will j AT A GLANCE make a third attempt I ■What: New Braun-to get the Planning I (els Planning Com-Commission’s bless- j mission meeting ing Tuesday for its i * When: 6:30 p.m. plans to build a 104- I ay room hotel in Gtuene J ci| on the banks of the j Casten Ave. Guadalupe River. Mary Vanhorn Anderson and her brother and sister are asking for a special use permit to build the 69,566 square foot facility on 4.942 acres currently designated as residential property. The siblings inherited the land in 2002 from their mother. If commissioners approve their request, the Vanhorn lodge would be the largest hotel in the popular tourist destination. Although they did not deny the request in September, commissioners strongly encouraged developer Ted Alexander to come back with more details on the project. They specifically asked for elevation drawings and a financial report that would convince them the hotel could sustain its oper-ations and not leave the historical See HOTEL Page 3A A 24-HOUR MAKEOVER Community works together to rebuild Haymarket Park By Jessica Sanders Staff Writer Laboring on a Saturday morning is nothing for Sandy Morales. Ile spent decades fighting for a better neighborhood park, so he wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to help build it. "We’ve been petitioning for this for years and years,” said Morales, who lives near Haymarket Park. “Kids come here for soccer games, baseball games; I used to practice golf here.” Haymarket Park got a $20,000 makeover Saturday, thanks to community members and volunteers from the community and I Iome Depot. The park got a new backstop and playground structure with two slides and a rock climbing wall. A swing set, covered park benches and barbecue pits will finish the transformation. The project was funded by a $50,000 grant from District 5 City Councilwoman Kathleen Kruger’s budget surplus. Home Depot donated labor and $500, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization, donated $4,500. Pam Erickson, a member of the parks department’s steering committee, said she attended a conference at KaBOOM! in order to receive the grant. The experience included training and work on a playground in Atlanta. “We learned that it’s really Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels River Project Manager Nathan Pence begins the daunting task of building one of several picnic tables Saturday morning at Haymarket Park. Below, New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department employee Kevin Cusick sorts through the nuts and bolts used to hold the newly installed playground equipment together. important to try to put parks and playgrounds within walking distance of neighborhoods,” she said. Neighbors Dee Hernandez and Alex Benavides said they walked over to help because they didn’t want to miss an opportunity to help their community and local children. “I think my grandads need a place they can come and play, other than the street with traffic,” Benavides said. Stacey Laird, Parks and Recreation director, said she was glad See PARK Page 12A Children come out in force to enjoy a night of ghosts, goblins and, of course, candy. New Braunfels, Canyon bands shine on grand stageHeal* ^ca,^^rittinSlns,,ra,,C£<:0m and 11 other schools vied for the judges’ favor. The two schools with the highest ratings, New Braunfels and Foster High School, continue to UICs state competition Nov. 8 at the Alamodome. New Braunfels was the highest-rated band Saturday, while judges ranked Canyon sixth in the competition. Noah Tian, senior drum major at Canyon, said he thought their performance of songs by Dmitri Shostakovich was excellent. “It sounded very rich and dark, which is what we were hoping for,” he said. “With this show, the sky is the limit. We can only get better.” New Braunfels band birector Beth Bronk said she was also very happy with her band’s performance. They played a program called “Ride,” written by Carol Chambers. “I think this was our best show,” she said. “I want to ON TO STATE ■ By placing in the top two in the area competition, New Braunfels qualified for state, which will be Nov. 8 at the Alamodome. make sure the kids know they did a good job, because that’s what really matters.” Allison I lainmond, a senior drum major, agreed that New Braunfels did an amazing job, even if she couldn’t see the whole performance. “I could just hear it,” she said. “But it sounded awesome.” Both Canyon and New Braunfels went to the state competition two years ago, and the bands believed they had stronger shows this time around. See BANDS Page 9A By Jessica Sanders Staff Writer Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Members of the New Braunfels Band and color guard perform during the UIL band contest Saturday at Cougar Stadium. There were no football players, cheerleaders or mascots to be found when the Canyon High School Band marched onto the field. No distractions were allowed — Saturday was all about band. Saturday’s University Interscholastic League area competition at Canyon High School offered a rare chance for the Cougar band to perform without being sandwiched between two halves of a football game. Canyon, New Braunfels ;