New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 5, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
SUN DAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2004fSEv xorlALD-ZEITUNG
SPECIAL SECTION FAIR WARNING
The 111th Comal County Fair is less than a month away. Get prepared with rules and schedules. Inside
Local author Diane Fanning delves into grizzley murder cases for her novel fodder. Page 1C
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 255 30 pages, 4 sections
30% rain chance
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DEAR ABBY BC CLASSIFIEDS ID COMICS AC CROSSWORD 4C FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 1B TV GRIDS SGCCounty to teach public about toll road option
By Ron Maloney
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin Thursday called on county officials to schedule meetings to teach the public about future transportation funding.
Comal County is planning to create a board called a regional mobility authority.
Authorized under transportation legislation in the 78th Texas legislature, a regional mobility authority, known in state jargon as an
“RMA,” has the authority to issue bonds or charge tolls to help pay for transportation projects.
So far, five local governments or groups of them around the state have created RMAs for highway projects.
Several others are in the process of being formed.
Comal County officials are reviewing a draft of a resolution to create their own RMA and will hear a presentation from Travis County’s RMA executive director.
Millikin’s concern is that the public be educated on the need to form a RMA.
“I think we ought to go to the public for public meetings on this issue,” Minikin told the court. “One of the big problems we have is a lack of com
munication. We need to make sure the public has a full understanding of why we are considering this."
State transportation officials, faced with huge funding
See RMA, Page 9A
Planning staff weighs widening Walnt Ave.
By Scott Mahon
As Walnut Avenue bears more and more traffic between I-35 and Loop 337, it has become one of the more congested streets in New Braunfels, especially at the intersection of West San Antonio Street.
The city considered widening Walnut.
"Council talked about widening South Walnut three years ago, but in the end there are going to have to be improvements made,” said City Engineer Mike Short.
Short said widening the 43-feet-wide street was only one option under consideration.
“We can fit four lanes inside the existing right-of-way, which is 60 feet wide,” he said, "l our lanes would require 48 feet.”
But Frank Robbins, planning director, said a traffic study should be done before any solutions are recommended.
“There should be a clear understanding of the issues, such as cars that have to wait through three changes of a traffic signal,” he said.
Robbins estimated a consultant would cost $22,500.
“ The planning staff is recommending that a consultant be hired to complete traffic counts and acquire a very detailed understanding of the characteristics of the traffic on Walnut, particularly at
See WALNUT, Page 9A
AT A GLANCE
■ What: Planning Commission
■ Whan: 6: 30
■ Where: Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave.
(Above) Juan Gonzalez applies a coat of primer to the “Old Number 7" locomotive engine at the New Braunfels Railroad Museum after sandblasting it (right). He and Peter Balderas ofTravis Industries are helping the Historic Railroad Society refurbish tne engine and a caboose.
(Top left)The locomotive, as it appeared in 1942, was a 69-ton engine built for a Florida cement company. (Top right) Today, it's primed and ready for a new paint job — a first step in what the railroad society says is an effort to upgrade the museum and preserve a bit of the city's history.
Historic Railroad Society refurbishing locomotive engine
By Ron Maloney
Step into the old International and Great Northern Railroad passenger terminal on West San Antonio Street, and the station master looks up from his desk across the old lamp and the Morse key and greets you, just like his predecessors have back to the 1890s.
Now, though, he’s not going to sell you a ticket to Austin or elsewhere. I le’s going to give you a tour or tell you railroad stories because he’s not a railroad representative — he’s a museum docent.
And now he’ll have more to talk about, because for the past couple weeks, the New Braunfels Railroad Museum has been sandblasting and restoring the historic steam locomotive and caboose located at the station that are among the most well-known tourist landmarks in town.
The locomotive, built in 1942, is a short six-wheeled, 69-ton “working” engine originally built by die H K. Porter Co. for a MANDY REARY/Heraid-Zeitung Florida cement company. It’s a good fit
in an old railroad town that has been home to freight sidings and a rail yard once located between Landa and San Antonio streets.
The locomotive was saved from being scrapped in 1995 by the New Braunfels I listoric Railroad Society, which operates the museum and affectionately calls it “Old Number 7” after the number painted on it. It’s been repainted since it came to New Braunfels, but this repainting is different because of the sandblasting, which removed most of the rust and corrosion from its metal surfaces.
See TRAIN, Page 10A
Weather slows river business
By Leigh Jones
The first day of the Labor Day holiday weekend started with a bang Saturday as thunderstorms came into town on the heels of the tourists.
Despite intermittent showers and a few thunder claps, nothing could dampen the spirits of the few tubers determined to enjoy the unofficial last weekend of summer.
Landa Falls Manager Joe McChesney nodded his approval as cars started pulling into the parking lot about 30 minutes after the rain stopped.
“Today has been slow,” he said. “We’re hoping the sun will come out and stay out.” McChesney said he expected things to pick up today.
“(Sunday) should be our busiest day,” he said. “Monday morning should be good
too, but it slows down alter noon.”
The prospect of a slow Labor Day weekend did not bodier McChesney too much — several weekends during the summer when the Guadalupe River was closed to tubers, he rented every tube he had available.
“We’ve had more business this year than last year, even though last year’s Labor Day
See WEEKEND, Page 9A
New Braunfels. TX
Look In tho classifieds Fri. A Sun for our pro-ownod Specials!
Rafters enjoy a rapids ride down the Guadalupe River after a brief rainstorm Saturday afternoon.
Did die rest of Labor Day weekend fizzle or sizzle?