New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 13, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
■ New Braunfels Utilities customers can only water with hand-held hoses and buckets between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. any day of the week. Soaker hoses can only be used around foundations.
Vol. 149 No. 224 16 pages in 2 sections September 13, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Don Rux and Brian Foerster (left to right), of TXI, keep with this year’s Business Trade Show theme of San Francisco at the preview Monday night at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
Business trade show a gold mine
By Betty Taylor
The Streets of San Francisco, came alive last night at the New Braunfels Civic Center, complete w ith several Alcatraz jails, a gold mine and the Golden Gate Bridge. Tuesday night marked
the sneak preview of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce 12th Annual Business Trade Show at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
More than 55 businesses took advantage of this year’s theme, “The Streets of San Francisco,’’ to showcase their business in
style and to compete in the Best Decorated Booth contest. First prize went to Kraft Mobiletel for their “The Original ‘Cell’’’ Alcatraz theme. Communication Source, whose employees dressed up as construction workers, won second place for their “Your Bridge to the Future’’
Golden Gate Bridge theme. TX1-Hunter Cement earned third place for their Alcatraz theme. Other businesses, such as New Braunfels Utilities, focused on the gold mine aspect of California. The company’s booth slogan was “Water — The New See TRADE SHOW/3A
County to ask state lawmakers for more power
By Ron Maloney
Comal County Commissioners could vote Thursday to seek more control over growth in the county.
On Thursday, commissioners will consider asking the 77th Texas Legislature to give counties more authority over development.
“We're trying to manage the
response to two available natural resources and traffic density,” Pct. I Commissioner Jack Dawson said.
“If we allow the growth to go on without management, it’s as plain as the nose on your face we're going to be far behind in our road systems and we'll run out of natural resources.’’
Resolutions to be considered T hursday would support:
• granting zoning or land use authority to counties;
• letting counties set “impact” fees;
• making the Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District a permanent agency w itll full authority;
• creating a multi-county water dis-
■ WHAT: Comal County Commissioners’ Court
■ WHEN: 8:15 a.m. Thursday
■ WHERE: Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, 150 N. Seguin
trict to protect the Trinity Aquifer; and
• increasing authority for water district to manage groundwater.
Commissioners also will consider a number of resolutions approved by Hays County commissioners. One supports letting counties next to metropolitan areas adopt orders to protect water quality.
Also Thursday, commissioners will consider:
• Fees to be charged by county departments;
• An agreement w ith the Water Oriented Recreation District for creating and maintaining Guadalupe River access at Nichols Landing; and
• A block grant from the Bureau of Justice for $21,948 with local matching funds of $2,439 for a total of $24,387.
Hotel tax committee adopts grant criteria
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
The hotel occupancy tax committee established a set of more than 20 criteria Tuesday that will be used to judge applicants for bed tax money.
The city council established the committee earlier this year to develop a plan for using a portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax revenues. The money totals about $250,000 and must be used to enhance the tourism, convention and hotel industry.
The committee is accepting applications from organizations and individuals proposing projects that could promote tourism in New Braunfels. The criteria established Monday would be used to evaluate those applications during presentations to the committee.
The criteria, which were compiled from suggestions by committee members Paul Fraser and Jim Rice, include:
Storm soaks city, Hwy 46 power out
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
T he heavens opened Tuesday night and blessed the area with its first significant rain in more than two months.
New Braunfels had received almost a half-inch of rain by about 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
“It is significant,” said Mark Brundrett, meteorologist. “Its been quite a while a little over two months, since we had any significant rainfall.”
He said the thunderstorms brought w inds of 30 to 40 mph. Some small hail also was reported in western Val Verde County.
Police radio traffic indicated power losses in several areas around town, including the area of Loop 337 and Texas 46. Some standing water also was reported.
Gretchen Reuwer, spokesperson for New Braunfels Utility, said she did not know how many people were affected or how long the pow er would be out, but crews were onSee THUNDERSTORM/3AInside
Key Code 76
By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer
Believe it or not, low river levels are good for something: clean up.
The Friends of the River host the 10th annual Lower Guadalupe River Clean-Up from 9 a m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Lower water helps us get stuff off the bottom of the river,” clean-up coordinator David Davenport said.
At least 1,100 volunteers are expected to help clean about 20 miles of river from Farm-to-Market 306 at Canyon Lake Dam along River Road to New Braunfels.
This year is business as usual, but Friends for Rivers is considering limiting registration to youth
trash toss lures volunteers To Help
The Lower Guadalupe River Clean-Up needs divers on Saturday. Divers register at Gruene River Company in Gruene. All others will register starting at 9 a.m. at Double Rockin’ ‘R’ on Loop 337 or Whitewater Sports on FM 306.
groups, such as the Boy Scouts, next year.
“There s a limit to the amount of binits we can use through the outfitters,” Davenport said. “AII the
volunteers start at the same time. That’s not a normal occurrence for the outfitters, who are also dealing with the regular river traffic.”
Boy Scout participation has increased so rapidly in the past six years that the volunteer pool almost has overflowed. Planners look forward to the troops turning out in droves again this year.
Regardless, Davenport said people should “come on down” for the effort, especially divers.
Wear comfortable, river scouring clothing. Sturdy shoes will protect volunteers from the tilings they need to pluck from the river bed such as glass, cans and sharp debris. The excursion lasts at least three hours
Who’s driving the bus?
Lack of drivers leaves NBISD administrators scratching their heads
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Joe Searcy has driven New Braunfels Independent School District for five years. He said the bus barn has gotten more hectic since a driver drought began. Below: NBISD transportation director Gary Schlather and dispatcher and field trip coordinator Jo Ann Sonlitner look over bus routes Monday afternoon.
By Jennifer Rodriguez
With less than two hours before children race out of their classrooms and onto the big, yellow bus, Gary Schlather, New Braunfels Independent School District’s director of transportation and safety, is on the phone, desperately trying to find a replacement for a sick driver.
“I'm probably spending at least half of my day making sure we have routes covered,” Schlather said.
Bogged down by a dwindling supply of bus drivers, Schlather has seen many of his days turned into a scramble for drivers. Off en he has to tap his mechanics (and himself) to cover routes.
“I've got a very good group of people. They are very cooperative, and when something comes up, they are wTiling to help,” he said. “They really work well as a team”
NBISD buses shuttle about 2,(KH), or one-third of the district’s students to class and
cover half a million miles a year. So far this year, NBISD is five bus drivers short. But today the bus pool is lower than the
Comal River, and this has been a particularly bad day.
“Its obvious to me that we can’t operate like this much longer,” Schlather said.
Nationw ide, the situation seems similar.
Mike Martin, executive director of the National Association for Pupil Transportation and a 25-year veteran, estimates that in the past decade, bus driver shortages have become “the most pervasive they have ever been.”
The NBISD situation has gotten worse - before school began this year, the transportation department lost four people — after neighboring Comal Independent School District raised its driver’s starting pay to $ 10 an hour last school year.
“They needed drivers very badly to cover route problems,” Schlather said. “I heard it has worked. But in the process, we became very noncompetitive in attracting drivers.”
Schlather has studied the NBISD problem
See BU S/3 A