New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 5, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
ThursdaySeptember 5, 1991
Vol. 139, No. 207Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAL COUNTY / Home of Scott
One Sections, 12 Pages
Stammtisch foreseeing tax increase
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung wishes “happy birthday” today to John Chadwick, Melvin Fetters, Lee Bretzke, Ronald D.
Bolgcr and Bethany Michelle Taylor.
Belated birthday wishes to Judy Villarreal, Ramon Villarreal Jr. and John Torres.
Wishes for a happy anniversary today to Delbert arid Marcellene George, David and Beulah Jennings, Gilbert and Darlene Cardenas II, Erlene and Nathan Klabun-de and Harold and Dorothy Schmoldt.
Know of a birthday or anniversary? Give our receptionist a call the day before at 625-9144 — we’d like to share in the greetings.
Men's Garden Club
The Men’s Garden Club of New Braunfels will meet tonight at 7:30 at the Comal County Extension Service office on Water Lane. Scott Ogden will present a program on landscaping with native plants. Visitors are welcome.
New Braunfels Independent School District is offering exercise classes beginning Sept. 9 every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:45-6:45 pm. Cost is $1.50 per ciass — $7 monthly. Classes will consist of exercise with light weights, isolation with rubber-bands and light step aerobics. Classes will be at the Academy Street Gym. For more information call 620-6200.
Help the homeless
Donations and usable items are being accepted by Jack Ohlrich Realty, Better Homes & Gardens for their Great American Yard Sale slated for Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. at the realty in Downtown New Braunfels. Proceeds from the Yard Sale, held across the country, will be shared by homeless families across America and also locally by the Senior Citizens Center. All dona lions should be taken to LaAdtex Title Company, 376 Landa Street by Sept. IO. For more information can 625-9102.
Fish fry The New Braunfels Elks Lodge will sponsor a fish fry and dance Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 pm. at the lodge, 353 S. Seguin Ave. All Elks and their guests are welcome.
Texas Democratic Women of Comal County will meet at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, on the banks of the Guadalupe River at Camp Hueco (first crossing on River Road). County Judge Carter Casteel will be guest speaker. Tea, ice cream, plates and utensil will be provided; members should bring lawn chairs and salad to save six or eight. For information, call 620-1522.
The New Braunfels Board of Realtors has announced its annual mini-convention scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. ll at the New Braunfels Holiday Inn.
The convention will feature a number of speakers including, Wayne Shipley, vice president of the Texas Association of Realtors; Pam Wozniak, public affairs director of San Antonio Board of Realtors and Gary Mahler of the Texas
See STAMMTISCH, Page XA
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer Taxpayers in the New Braunfels Independent School District may be facing a school tax bill of $1.4439 per $100 valuation, according to Lonnie Curtis, NBISD assistant superintendent for finance.
The figure is based on a .5339 cents per $100 valuation rate for NBISD taxes and a .91 cent per $100 valuation rate for the Comal County Education District Figures provided by Curtis show that a business valued at $50,000 to $100,000 will actually see a 21.59 percent increase in school taxes as new homestead exemptions shift more of the tax burden to businesses. The owner of a $100,000 home will
see a 5.46 percent increase while the owner of a $50,000 house will see a 4.56 percent increase, Curtis said.
The .91 cents per $100 valuation rate for the CBD is based on a 90 percent collection rate that will generate the levy as Selby the state for a target amount of money to be generated. This levy is based on a .72 cents rate at IOO percent collection and covering the CED budget expenses, said Abel Campos, business manager for the Comal ISD which serves as administrator for the CED.
State law requires notices published in the newspaper to show only the minimum required CED tax rate of .72 cents per $ IOO valuation.
Last year’s NBISD rate was $1.1875 per $100 valuation. In figur
ing the new rate, .72 cents which is considered the “effective CED tax rate” is deducted from the $1.1875, yielding a .4675 cents effective NBISD tax rate for 1990-91, Curtis said.
The tax base for 1990-91 in NBISD was $725,432,854, compared to a 1991-92 tax base of $703,830,384 as determined by the Comal Appraisal District Because of the loss in property value it will take .4974 cents per $100 of value to generate the same amount of money that .4675 did last year, Curtis said.
The .5339 cents rate is the maximum tax rate the district can enact without publishing notices and holding a tax rate hearing, Curtis said.
By law, no hearing is necessary if
the rate increase is less than three percent.
The .5339 cents rate will generate $4,426,29 per student in state and local revenues. Last year’s figure was $3,641 per student and $3,967 per student would be the income this year at the same rate, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Even though die actual CED rate is .91 cents, the state only requires the school district to deduct the .72 percent when figuring the effective tax rate. The additional .19 cents increase is considered pan of the CED rate. This allows the school district to avoid a tax hearing for their ponton of the rate even though the overall tax
A strong chance for showers and thunderstorms continues, particularly into the evening. Highs near 90 and lows near 70 are expected to continued with that chance for rain for the next several days. In New Braunfels Wednesday, the high was 88 and the overnight low was 70. For weather details, please see Page 2A.
CLASSIFIED • M IM Ut MI ••• ••• M ••• • 9-12
SPORTS N •••99999SHIM M99S9 BSB BS SSS BSB M
W LISTINGS 7
■ StSWniHm••••••••• •••••••«••• f
Indictments tied to new techniques
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer
Two recent indictments of Comal County men on fire-related charges resulted in part from new, advanced investigation and detection techniques, said Comal County District Attorney Bill M. Reinter.
The cases were four- and nine-years-old.
“We’re able to look closer at many cases now,” Reinter said.
Authorities now have the ability to more thoroughly investigate possible arson situations than was done in the past, he said.
Reinter completed the “Advanced Arson for Profit for Prosecutors" in June of this year. The course is conducted by the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to educate prosecutors on the latest fire investigation techniques. The course was held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga.
Walter Richard Hampton, 59, of the 1300 block of S. Mesquite Avenue in New Braunfels was charged with arson relating to a July 16,1897, fire at the Hill Country Tire Co., then located at 503 S. Seguin Ave.
Larry Marlin Griffith, 47, of Calyon Lake was charged with murder in connection with the April 1982 shooting death of his wife. The body of Sandra Griffith was found burned beyond recognition in the aftermath of a fire that destroyed the Griffith home in Bulverde. An autopsy by the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office in Austin revealed that she had been shot twice in the upper part of her back before the fire was allegedly set
Both men are now free on bond. Comal County Jail officials said.
“We found out that a lot of the prosecutors didn’t know that much about (anon for profit)," said Bd Armstrong, coordinator of the ATF course in Georgia. "A lot of the prosecutors are a little bit fearful of arson cases because usually they’re circumstantial evidence cases. It's very seldom that there is anybody around to be an eyewitness.”
Seeing the need, the ATF developed the school for prosecutors utilizing prosecutors who were very experienced in arson cases ss instate tors. ATP lab personnel also serve as instructors. ^The whole gist is bari
cally to teach them how to do an arson case," Armstrong said. “When they get here, they spend a whole week in class with lectures on everything from how to do the opening statements to the closing arguments and how to introduce the evidence."
At the course, experts in the theories of fire explain how a fire “evolves through a building," and explain the latest lab techniques like gas chroma-tagraphy to the prosecutors, he said.
“Those who have had experience with arson cases tell the others about their successes," he said. “Arson for profit is probably one of the most challenging investigations.
“A lot of arson is for revenge but arson for profit deals with getting money from insurance companies," Armstrong said. "A lot of them think they burned it to good that there's no evidence but that's not the case."
“I understand that a couple more old cases are being investigated at this time," Reinter saki. “As our system for investigating arson improves there will be a greater deterrent against setting fires."
Back to bogles it tho order of th# day at Landa Strait and Fredericksburg Road aa workers dig into the base of the roadbed. The interchange it undergoing redevelopment. (Photo by Anneliee Schlickenrieder) _
rate increase will be higher.
“That’s the stale’s fudge factor,” Curtis said. “Three percent above the $1.2174 effective tax rate the CAD gives us is $1.2539 from which we subtract the .72 cents to get our .5339 cents (NBISD rate).”
The .5339 rate, added to the actual .91 cents CED rate brings the total rate to $1.4439 per $100 valuation. Curtis said. This is an 18.6 percent rate increase in the effective tax rate.
The NBISD Bond of Trustees has scheduled a meeting to adopt the new tax rate at 5:30 pm., Thursday, Sept. 12. The meeting will be at the Education Center, 430 W. Mill St. in New Braunfels.
Officer facing ‘action’ in arrest
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
Garden Ridge Police Chief Parus Dudley said a two-week investigation has confirmed that a Canyon Lake-area resident was improperly arrested by a city police officer July 15 on speeding charges.
Dudley said he will recommend to the City Council, in a 32-page packet of information, that disciplinary action be taken against Officer Larry Swain, a full-time officer since 1988 and a reserve officer since 1982, in connection with the incident.
Caroli Wayne Compton was arrested and booked into the county jail on charges of driving while intoxicated and speeding. Compton says he intends sue Swain, Dudley, the city, the sheriff and the county, Dudley said.
Money that Compton paid as bond to secure release from jail on the speeding charge was refunded by the city and the DWI charge has not been pursued, Dudley said.
“My conclusions were that the man was booked for speeding, which is a violation of state law," Dudley said. “There were also some (Garden Ridge police department) procedures and policies that were not followed.”
No disciplinary action has been taken against Swain in the speeding ■rest incident, but the chief said he plans to recommend some disciplinary action to the Gty Council next month.
After Mi unrelated incident, Swain was suspended without pay for three days, Aug. 30 and Sept. 2 and 3. The suspension followed an Aug. 22 attempt by Swain, at the request of a council member, to secure a tape Sheriffs Department tape recording of dispatch telephone conversations, Dudley said.
“He was not authorized to conduct any investigation against the police department or the chief of police.” Conversations on the tape are related to a complaint by Council Member Patti White against Dudley that have resulted in a planned eviden-tiary hearing on the chief’s performance.
Garden Ridge approves supplemental well
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
The Oarden Ridge City Council agreed to allow the Forest Waters subdivision sports club and homeowners association to drill a replacement water well to occasionally supply the two small lakes at the center of the neighborhood.
Water in the two lakes, fed mostly by rainfall runoff and small springs, occasionally is Supplemented during the hot, dry months af late summer by a water well near Schoemhal Road on the edge of the subdivision.
But leakage and easement problems with the plastic water pips running from the well to the upper lake prompted the groups to seek council approval to drill a shallow replacement well at the edge of the lake.
Council members voted 4-1 to approve the request. In voting con
ducted by Mayor Linda Klekar, Council Members John Curtis, John Albracht, Patti White and Jay Minikin voted in favor of the request, while Council Member Reed Switzer voted against, saying that if the lakes really needed supplemental water, it should be purchased through the city water department.
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Charles Elia recommended the council wove the replacement well plan, particularly because the lakes could provide an 8 million gallon water reserve for the Bracken Volunteer Fire Department in the remote possibility that electrical failure prevented access to shout 300,000 gallons of water in city storage tanks needed to fight s serious fire.
The replacement well will be used
about two or three months a year, only in case enough rain doesn't fall to keep the level of the lake up. Forest Waters Sports Club representative David Bradshaw said. Forest Waters residents would pay for drilling the 33-grilon-per-minutc well, which wouldn't draw from the Edwards Aquifer but instead a transitional zone above, Bradshaw said.
The original well, located on property owned by the development partnership, would have to capped eventually by the property owners, according to new sure laws, Bradshaw said.
A total of 160,000 gallons of water nile the level of the upper lake one foot. By comparison, Bradshaw said 109,000 gall
watering his yard.
“We’re not talking about in exces
sive amount of water. We’re talking about what the average homeowner out here uses to irrigate in a month, Bradshaw said. "This is a replacement well, and we'll only use it when we can't collect enough from the natural rainfall."
Proper lake height is one factor in keeping the surface water circulating to prevent health problems, such as mosquitoes, and odor and other problems from algae growth, Bradshaw said. Water in the Iowa lake also is constantly circulated by pump back above a small dam to the upper lake by, he saki.
The supplemental well will benefit the entire community, Bradshaw said, because more than twice the number af Garden Ridge residents outride the subdivision belong to the sports club than homeowners there.