Northeast San Antonio Metrocom Edition - September 2022

NORTHEAST SAN ANTONIO METROCOM EDITION

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 12  SEPT. 10OCT. 6, 2022

ONLINE AT

GILLESPIE

BLANCO

SOURCE A VITAL The Edwards Aquifer Authority’s jurisdiction spans some 8,800 square miles. The aquifer has three zones that provide water for 2.5 million people located in eight counties.

Fredericksburg

UNDERSTANDING THE AQUIFER ZONES

HAYS

EDWARDS

KERR

Blanco

Buda

Kerrville

KENDALL

Rocksprings

REAL

San Marcos Lockhart

CONTRIBUTING ZONE: Also called the drainage zone, the watersheds in this area drain into streams or areas where water is quickly absorbed into the Edwards Aquifer.

COMAL

BANDERA

Boerne

New Braunfels

CALDWELL

Leakey

Bandera

GUADALUPE

Selma Schertz

UVALDE

San Antonio

EDWARDS AQUIFER AUTHORITY JURISDICTION COUNTIES

Hondo

Brackettville

WILSON

ARTESIAN ZONE: This is the section of the Edwards Aquifer where the water pressure brings water to the surface naturally in springs and some wells. RECHARGE ZONE: This is the part of the Edwards Aquifer with sinkholes and fractures where rainwater easily enters and rells the aquifer.

Uvalde

BEXAR

Floresville

MEDINA

KINNEY

MAVERICK

Batesville

Pearsall

Pleasanton

Eagle Pass

ZAVALA

FRIO

ATASCOSA

INSIDE

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Cibolo nding balance with new noise ordinance

meetings to nd a solution, the Cibolo City Council on July 26 approved an amendment to the city’s noise ordi- nance, lowering the acceptable levels of noise by 10 decibels. The new limits are 75 decibels— which measures slightly louder than a running dishwasher—between 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and 65 decibels—or a little louder than a running air conditioner— between 10 p.m.-10 a.m. CONTINUED ON 16

WE WANT AN INSTRUMENT, A TOOL, A RESOURCE FOR OUR OFFICERS THAT ALLOWS THEM TO ENFORCE THE NOISE ORDINANCE ACCORDINGLY.

BY JARRETT WHITENER

After nearly two years of constant noise complaints about businesses along Main Street and ve months of

CIBOLO POLICE CHIEF BRYAN HUGGHINS

The new noise ordinance limits outdoor entertainment to Fridays and Saturdays.

Haeckerville road closed for construction

EDWARDS AQUIFER AUTHORITY EOC

IMPACTS

TRANSPORTATION

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM LAUREN: Hi there! After 10 years of working for Community Impact Newspaper , I’m excited to take on the role of general manager for the Northeast San Antonio Metrocom edition. As a native Texan, I take great interest in the preservation and conservation of this beautiful state— something that, according to this month’s cover story, is being negatively impacted by the ongoing drought. Check it out! Lauren Itz, GENERAL MANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM TRICIA: In Cibolo, a growing commercial district is encroaching on what was once a quieter residential area, causing tension among neighbors. In one of this month’s cover stories, reporter Jarrett Whitener looks at the area’s history, the noise ordinance already on the books and how it might need to be updated to better regulate loud noise. Tricia Schwennesen, EDITOR

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NORTHEAST SAN ANTONIO METROCOM EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

GARDEN RIDGE

2252

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SELMA

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Kellum Family Medicine

SCHERTZ

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STEPHANIE SCHILLACI/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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AGORA PKWY.

UNIVERSAL CITY

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IKEA-RBFCU PKWY.

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SCHNEIDER DR.

COURTESY NOTHING BUNDT CAKES

of Sysco Corp.’s Central Texas facility as the first project under the program. Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants and health care facilities. 830-730-1000. www.sysco.com ANNIVERSARIES 7 Mr. Crabby’s Seafood Kitchen and Bar , located at 14601 I-35, Schertz, celebrated its first anniversary Aug. 6. Mr. Crabby’s is known for its Cajun seafood variety, live music and signature cocktails. 210-462-1122. www.mrcrabbyseafood.com 8 Brighter Futures Learning Center on Aug. 22 celebrated its fifth anniversary. Brighter Futures Learning Center is located at 2175 FM 1103, Cibolo, and focuses on educating children from 6 weeks-12 years old. Brighter Futures Learning Center offers reading, writing, science, math, art, music and language support, and helps students learn through an interactive environment. 210-566-1999. www.brighterfutureslc.com 9 Nothing Bundt Cakes celebrated its 25th anniversary Sept. 1. With over 450

LIVE OAK

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NOW OPEN 1 River Rat Tattoos on July 15

as of press time, at 7929 Pat Booker Road, Live Oak. Hawaiian Bros Island Grill is a national chain that features Hawaiian comfort food. 210-308-5533. www.hawaiianbros.com 4 Kellum Family Medicine on Aug. 18 held its ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new facility at 3701 FM 3009 in Schertz. Medical services offered include general family medicine, physicals, disease man- agement, X-rays and urgent care, among other services. 210-945-2121. www.kellummd.com COMING SOON 5 A new 25,000-square-foot Goodwill location will be built at 7693 N. Loop

1604 E., Live Oak. The new $4.6 million facility will include a donation drop- off space, a loading dock, parking and site amenities, according to the project details. Construction is estimated to begin in November and be complete in fall 2023. www.goodwill.org EXPANSIONS 6 Sysco Central Texas on Aug. 24 hosted a groundbreaking event to celebrate the planned expansion of its Central Texas operating site, located at 260 Schwab Road, New Braunfels. On March 2, the Schertz City Council approved an enabling ordinance to participate in the Texas Enterprise Zone Program and nominated the expansion

celebrated its grand opening at 306 N. Main St., Cibolo. It is the second location for the business. The first location is in New Braunfels. River Rat Tattoos offers tattoo and piercing services. 830-310-4976. www.riverrattattoos.com 2 Twin Peaks on Aug. 22 celebrated its grand opening. Located at 3050 IKEA-RBFCU Parkway, Live Oak, Twin Peaks is a sports bar that serves American comfort food in a lodge-like setting. 210-955-9586. www.twinpeaksrestaurant.com 3 Hawaiian Bros Island Grill was scheduled to open a location Sept. 10,

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TO-DO LIST

September & October events

COMPILED BY TRICIA SCHWENNESEN & JARRETT WHITENER

SEPTEMBER 15 HAVE A BEER AT A CAR SHOW 1908 House of Wine and Ale will be featuring Longtab Brewery and hosting a classic car show. The event will feature live music, sausage wraps, pretzels with beer cheese and door prizes. 6-8 p.m. $40 (admission). 207 N. Main St., Cibolo. 210-468-3887. www.1908houseofwine.com 17 LEARN ABOUT THE AMAZON RAINFOREST The city of Schertz will host the final “Ed-Zoo-Cation in the Park” event of the year. The event will feature San Antonio Zoo representatives, who will talk to children about conservation in the Amazon rainforest. 10 a.m. Free (admission). Crescent Bend Nature Park, 12805 W. Schaefer Road, Schertz. 210-619-1850. www.schertz.com 29 ATTEND A CAREER FAIR FOR MILITARY FAMILIES New Beginning Careers will host a hiring event for military members transitioning with families to civilian life. The event will feature a variety of companies looking to hire those who have served their country. Attendees are encouraged to dress for success and bring plenty of resumes. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz. 210-400-1653. www.newbeginningcareerfairs.com OCTOBER 01 ENJOY CIBOLOFEST Cibolofest is the city of Cibolo’s largest annal event held each October, with the last event held in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s family-friendly festival will feature local performers, carnival rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, a car show and a selection of craft and food vendors. The Spazmatics will perform ‘80s tunes at 8 p.m. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $5 (carnival admission). Cibolo Multi-Event Center, 200 S. Main St., Cibolo. 210-566-6111. www.cibolotx.gov

COMAL COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO NEW BRAUNFELS

SEPT. 21-25

Paluxy Hall will enable the college to expand STEM programs, nursing programs and more.

COURTESY NORTHEAST LAKEVIEW COLLEGE

WORTH THE TRIP The Comal County Fair and Rodeo returns to New Braunfels, featuring a parade, musical entertainment and rodeo competitions throughout the ve days. Times vary. $5- $10 (admission). Comal County Fairgrounds, 701 E. Common St., New Braunfels. 830-625-1505. www.comalcountyfair.org 05 VOLUNTEER AT THE PUMPKIN PATCH Universal City is in search of volunteers to help organize the Universal City Pumpkin Patch. Volunteers will help unload a truck and sort the pumpkins to prepare for opening day. The patch will open Oct. 8. Hours and details were not yet available at press time. Pumpkin prices vary. Other volunteer jobs include helping to decorate the patch and putting displays together. Volunteers are encouraged to wear close-toed shoes and comfortable clothes that can get dirty, and to bring work gloves. Volunteer preparations run through 6 p.m. Universal City Municipal Building, 2150 Universal City Blvd., Universal City. 210-659-0333. www.universalcitytexas.org/1011/ universal-city-pumpkin-patch

FEATURED IMPACT NOW OPEN Northeast Lakeview College , located at 1201 Kitty Hawk Road, Universal City, unveiled its newest building Aug. 17 with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony. The Northeast Side community college, the newest campus of the Alamo Colleges District, opened Paluxy Hall, the college’s 10th facility, which will enable the college to expand its oerings in science, engineering, math, and career and technical programs. The hall will also host an expansion of San Antonio College’s nursing program, according to a Northeast Lakeview press release and video. locations, one of which is at 8335 Agora Parkway, Ste. 106, Selma, Nothing Bundt Cakes offers handcrafted cakes for all occasions. To celebrate the anniversary, a contest will be held for fans to submit their favorite birthday memories. One winner will win $25,000, and 25 other winners will win a $100 Nothing Bundt Cakes gift card. Submissions end Sept. 25. 210-314-7621. www.nothingbundtcakes. com/25th-birthday 10 Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union on Sept. 6 celebrated its 70th anniversary. Located at 1 IKEA-RBFCU Parkway, Live Oak, RBFCU offers

The $36 million, 86,390-square-foot facility was constructed as part of the Alamo Colleges District bond that was passed in May 2017 and features quiet spaces for collaboration or study; a third-oor multipurpose room with the ability to host large events; and a study cafe, according to the release. 210-212-5166. www.alamo.edu/nlc

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banking services to thousands of members across Texas. RBFCU also offers financial resources, including articles, seminars and calculators, that help customers make educated financial decisions. 210-945-3300.

www.rbfcu.org. CLOSINGS

11 Verve Pie in July closed its location at 313 Schneider Dr., Ste. 121, Cibolo. Verve Pie featured plant-based cuisine with a focus on pizza. The restaurant opened in Cibolo in August 2021. 210-451-0160. www.vervepie.com

Find more or submit Northeast San Antonio Metrocom events at communityimpact.com/ event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details does not guarantee publication.

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NORTHEAST SAN ANTONIO METROCOM EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

COMPILED BY JARRETT WHITENER

ONGOING PROJECTS

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Haeckerville Road closed for drainage channel construction JARRETT WHITENERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Haeckerville Road will be closed for 1214 months while under construction.

Tri-County Parkway reconstruction This project includes a new asphalt base that will be stronger than the traditional gravel base and provide more support and structural capacity for Tri-County Parkway from Corridor Parkway to FM 3009 and on Lookout Road from Doerr Lane to Tri-County Parkway. On July 13, Lookout Road between Doerr Lane and Tri-County Parkway was closed for the installation of a new sanitary sewer manhole and to connect the new sewer line to the existing sewer line. The closed road section reopened to one-way trac July 20. As of Aug. 1, trac ow was moved onto the newly completed pavement on the west side of the road. Timeline: April-fall Cost: $5.29 million Funding source: Schertz Economic Development Corp. reserves

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF AUG. 19. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT NEMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. During construction, lanes will be reduced. City sta is working with Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD to ensure changes have a minimal eect on school trac. Timeline: August-fall 2023 Cost: $8.1 million Funding source: street maintenance tax Cibolo Valley Drive reconstruction Reconstruction on Cibolo Valley Drive began in August and will take about 12- 14 months to complete. According to city sta, the $8.1 million project will be broken into seven segments with the rst section running from Everyday Way to the Panda Express on Cibolo Valley Drive.

Haeckerville Road from south of Schaefer Road through Arizpe Road closed beginning July 13 to begin a project for a new drainage channel. According to Cibolo city ocials, the project is part of the second phase of the Town Creek drainage project, which has an estimated cost of $7.1 million. The complete project is funded through ve accounts amounting to nearly $8.5 million, including remaining funds from the 2011 and 2013 general obligation Town Creek drainage bonds.

During the time of the project, the road will be closed, and local residents will still have access to their properties during the road closure. Milling of the roadway began July 18, and the excavation for the drainage channel has already begun. According to city ocials, the project is estimated to take 12-14 months. Timeline: July to TBD Cost: $7.1 million Funding: general obligation funds

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NORTHEAST SAN ANTONIO METROCOM EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Judson, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City & Comal ISDs

COMPILED BY JARRETT WHITENER

HIGHLIGHTS Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD School board members discussed at an Aug. 2 meeting compensation for custodians and child nutrition staff, which, despite an increase approved in July, still lags behind other area districts. The board approved anoth- er increase from $13.50 to $15.50 on Aug. 25, making wages more competitive with those that are the highest in the area. Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD Chief Financial Officer Brian Moy re- ported Aug. 2. to board trustees that a slightly higher enrollment rate is projected for the 2022-23 school year. Higher enrollment will result in greater state revenue, but Moy cautioned that increased property values will lessen that support. JUDSON ISD On Aug. 18, the board of trustees reviewed the College, Career and Military Readiness metrics. Trustees set the new goal that graduates who meet the criteria will increase from 50% to 52% by July 2023. NUMBER TO KNOW The number of points both Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City and Judson ISDs dropped in accountability ratings by the Texas Education Agency in 2022. Both districts saw a decrease in student achievement, which includes STAAR scores, graduation rates and college, career and military readiness. 2 Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD will meet Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. 1060 Elbel Road, Schertz 210-945-6200. www.scuc.txed.net/scucisd Judson ISD will meet Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. 8205 Palisades Drive, Live Oak. 210-945-5100. www.judsonisd.org Comal ISD will meet Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. 1404 N. I-35, New Braunfels 830-221-2000. www.comalisd.org MEETINGS WE COVER

Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD approves FY budget, tax rate

SCHERTZ-CIBOLO-UNIVERSAL CITY ISD The board of trustees on Aug. 25 adopted the budget for fiscal year 2022-23 and approved a slightly decreased tax rate. Under the new budget, the district anticipates a general fund revenue of $141.98 million with $70.46 million, or 49.6%, coming from tax revenue and $68.64 million, or 48.3%, coming from the state. The remaining $2.88 million, or 2%, is expected to come from federal funding. According to Chief Financial Officer Brian Moy, as prop- erty values in the area continue to increase, more of the district budget will be funded through local tax revenue. “Last year at this time, we were looking at about 51.5% of the budget being from the state and the local at about 45.5%,” Moy said. In FY 2022-23, the district is anticipating expenditures of $148.35 million. According to Moy, $120.9 million, or about 81%, of expenditures are for salaries and benefits. Moy said the budget deficit is around $6.4 million. As for the tax rate, the interest and sinking rate of $0.47 will carry over from FY 2021-22 with no change, while the maintenance and operations rate will see a decrease from $0.8995 in FY 2021-22 to $0.8546 in FY 2022-23. This results in a total rate of $1.3246.

BUDGET AT A GLANCE Under the new budget, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD officials anticipate a deficit of about $6.4 million and a slightly lowered tax rate of $1.3246. $233,649 to $248,130 and will increase the average taxes levied from $3,200 to $3,287. Average levied taxes would have decreased by nearly $76, but the TEA set a tax rate floor to prevent a significant decrease in district rates. Despite the decrease in the overall rate, homeowners can still expect an increase in taxes paid to the district due to an increase in property values. Moy said the average taxable value increased from

General fund revenue:

$141,975,238

Estimated deficit: $6.4M

Anticipated expenditures:

$148,349,765

$0.47 (interest and sinking) + $0.8546 (maintenance and operations) = $1.3246 (total tax rate)

SOURCE: SCHERTZ-CIBOLO-UNIVERSAL CITY ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Judson ISD board pursues $345M bond on November ballot JUDSON ISD The board of trustees on Aug. 18 approved calling a bond election for the Nov. 8 general election. The bond is in the amount of $345,299,900 and will result in an estimated $0.01 tax rate increase. Trustees decided to break the bond into two propositions with Proposition A to be focused on district safety and security, and Proposition

B focused on the construction of two new campuses and acquiring new buses for the district. Trustees also discussed holding another bond election in May to cover additional needs. Trustee José Macias said the district cannot wait to address student needs. The November bond election is unique as the district is taking action in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde in May, he said. Trustee Suzanne Kenoyer said she believes having two bonds in quick succession would not be supported by voters.

PURSUING A BOND Judson ISD is pursuing a bond on the Nov. 8 ballot focused on safety and security enhancements as well as two new campuses and new buses. Total: $345,299,900

Proposition A (safety and security): $172,034,900 Proposition B (new schools and buses): $173,265,000

A

B

SOURCE: JUDSON ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE

BY TRICIA SCHWENNESEN

Bun thit nuong ($11) , or vermicelli with grilled pork, is a favorite.

Quang “Ryan” Tran and his mother-in-law, Celia Garcia, co-own 3 Pho Bowl 09.

TRICIA SCHWENNESENCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COURTESY QUANG “RYAN” TRAN

The banh mi ($7.50-$8) , or Vietnamese sandwiches, are served on fresh bolillos. COURTESY QUANG “RYAN” TRAN

Pho served with thinly sliced steak ($11) is a popular menu item.

The menu at 3 Pho Bowl 09 includes pho with shrimp ($13) .

COURTESY 3 PHO BOWL 09

TRICIA SCHWENNESENCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HOW TO EAT PHO After conducting market research, co- owner Quang “Ryan” Tran said he realized most people were not familiar with pho. So, he created a cheat sheet that sits next to the condiments found on each table. STEP 1: Prepare your eating utensils. Choose a fork or wooden chopsticks. STEP. 2: When your pho arrives at the table, sample the broth rst. Determine if you want sweet, sour or spicy. Add lime juice to achieve a sour avor. Hoisin sauce will sweeten the broth, or add sriracha chili sauce to make it spicy. STEP 3: Add fresh basil and bean sprouts, which are served on the side, to the soup. If you like spicy avors, add jalapeno or serrano pepper slices.

3 Pho Bowl 09 Schertz small business serves up classic and fresh Vietnamese dishes I n 2019, Quang “Ryan” Tran opened 3 Pho Bowl 09—a playful take on the Schertz restaurant’s a pivotal moment for him and his family and it set him on a dierent path, both spiritually and profession-

with her husband, and the family has all settled in the Northeast Metrocom area, he said. Several of his siblings are entrepreneurs and own their own businesses. Tran said the idea of owning a restaurant came back to him in 2017. “I started to pray to the Lord,” Tran said. “I prayed about everything. I prayed about the location. I prayed about the name.” He spent the next two years learn- ing to cook the classic Vietnamese dishes his sister cooked when he was growing up, Tran said. Tran practiced, he said, perfecting his own recipes including the deli- cate broth that is the base for pho. “I practiced a lot,” he said. He also credits his mother, Cua Tran, with his gifts of cooking and servitude, sharing on the restau- rant’s website that his mother was known for her “hospitable warmth” and took great joy in having her family gathered around the table for a delicious meal. Tran said he lives by the motto, “We are third,” a belief found on the walls of the restaurant and the menu. It means Jesus comes rst, cus- tomers come second, and everyone else, “We are third,” Tran said. “I opened this restaurant, and it’s a ministry for everybody,” Tran said. “Praise the Lord, I give him all the glory.”

location on FM 3009, commonly called “three-double-oh-nine.” Tran is head chef and co-owner alongside his mother-in-law, Celia Garcia, a retired United Express Jet ight attendant. Tran said the bun thit nupong, or vermicelli bowl with grilled pork, is the most popular dish he serves. It comes with shredded carrots, cucumbers and sh sauce. The banh mi, or Vietnamese sand- wiches, are served on fresh bolillos with a choice of grilled meat—beef, chicken or pork; or fried tofu; pickled carrots and cucumber; jalapenos; cilantro; and a special 3009 sauce. “Anything with pork is good,” he said. The menu also includes cha gio, or crispy, deep fried Vietnamese spring rolls; several salads; rice dishes, such as com tom nuong, or grilled shrimp with rice; and 10 varieties of pho served with fresh basil, bean sprouts, raw jalapeno slices and lime on the side. Tran said he knew he wanted to open his own business for a long time but the timing was never quite right. He was an engineer by training who worked for KCI Kinetic Concepts and later HEB. Tran said the tragedy of 9/11 was

ally. He and his wife, Celeste, and their two children began attending church and now he is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Universal City. “It’s faith that keeps me going and gives me hope,” Tran said. “I just “IT’S FAITH THAT KEEPS ME GOING AND GIVES ME HOPE. I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH HOW JESUS LOVES UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.” QUANG "RYAN" TRAN, COOWNER OF 3 PHO BOWL 09 fell in love with how [Jesus] loves— unconditional love.” Tran said he grew up in Vietnam, one of nine children, and his father, Xuong Tran, owned his own business. The family applied to emigrate to the United States—where Tran’s sister already lived— but their application was denied. Tran’s family landed rst in Malay- sia, then Holland before they were able to move to the U.S. in 1985. Tran’s sister was living in Converse

Next, are you a dipper? If you are, go to Step 4. If not, skip to Step 5.

STEP 4: In a small bowl, add equal parts hoisin sauce and sriracha chili. Dip your noodles and vegetables in the sauce before each bite.

STEP 5: You are ready to enjoy your pho.

3 Pho Bowl 09 917A FM 3009, Ste. 100, Schertz 210-983-3746 www.3phobowl09.com Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. closed

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NORTHEAST SAN ANTONIO METROCOM EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

Nation’s First Women-focused University System

twu.edu

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMMUNITY Edwards Aquifer Authority Education Outreach Center $3M center oers visitors lessons about water T he Edwards Aquifer Authority opened the doors on its $3 million Education Outreach Center in April and so far has had about 1,000 visitors. Housed in north central Bexar geology of the aquifer. We wanted to teach people about the science of the aquifer.” Talk of an educational center then became part of the EAA’s Next Gen- eration Strategic Plan, which looks long-range through the lens of inno- vation, imagination and inclusion, Gonzalez said. Sarah Valdez, EAA senior science, technology, engineer- ing, art and mathematics educator as well as EOC manager—who manages the day-to-day BY TRICIA SCHWENNESEN

Edwards Aquifer Authority sta members teach visitors about the aquifer in the Karst Theater, which was designed to look like a cave with stalagmites.

County on the grounds of Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, which was cre- ated by San Antonio business leader and philanthropist Gordon Hartman, the EOC is the nation’s rst all-ac- cessible aquifer education facility, according to EAA ocials. The purpose of the EOC is to help the EAA further its mission to educate the com- munity about the aquifer, which is integral

Edwards Aquifer Authority ocials said they hope schools and community groups will visit the free Education Outreach Center to learn through the interactive displays. HANDSON LEARNING

operations of the center—said the EOC benets the community by providing a free and safe space to learn about the Edwards Aquifer. “We all depend on the same clean water. It is the one thing that unites all living things, and now we have a place to learn about it together,” she said. Less than six months after opening to the public, EAAEOC

Five popular features of the Education Outreach Center:

“WE TALKED ABOUT HOW DO WE BRING PEOPLE TO US TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE MANAGE, ENHANCE AND PROTECT THE AQUIFER. WE WANTED TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT THE GEOLOGY OF THE AQUIFER. WE WANTED TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF THE AQUIFER.” ANNMARGARET GONZALEZ, EDWARDS AQUIFER AUTHORITY, SENIOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATOR

KARST THEATER: This 25-seat multiuse room provides a 360-de- gree cave-like atmosphere de- signed for immersive experiences. CLOUD CASTER: This exhibit gives visitors the chance to create clouds to demonstrate a part of the water cycle. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE DISPLAY: This 5-foot-tall, 360-degree spherical display illustrates how water and the Edwards Aquifer is part of a larger global system by showing connections to climate shifts and weather patterns. ENDANGERED SPECIES AQUARIUM: Visitors can view up close the Texas Blind Salamander and the Fountain Darter, endangered species protected by the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan. MICROEYE: Magnify slides or specimens to get a zoomed in perspective of things related to the Edwards Aquifer, such as a preserved specimen of the Comal Springs Rie Beetle, Pecks’ Cave Amphipod or a Fountain Darter.

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A student uses the Cloud Caster to learn about how cloud formations.

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to providing the area with safe drinking water and is also home to eight endangered and three threatened Texas species, said Ann-Mar- garet Gonzalez, EAA senior public aairs administrator. “The aquifer

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The Global Perspective Display shows where water is found on Earth.

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is for everyone, and we need to teach everyone about the aquifer, so it was a great partnership [with Hartman],” Gonzalez said. For the past 25 years, the EAA has taken aquifer education into schools and to community groups, she said, but then leaders in water manage- ment began to talk about what the future might look like. The EAA already has a eld research center on the same property, and the idea for the EOC was born after a scientist visited the property in 2019 to study a cave. “[We talked about] how do we bring people to us to understand how we manage, enhance and protect the aquifer,” Gonzalez asked. “We wanted to teach people about the

ocials received word in July that their permit application with Texas Parks & Wildlife was approved to house two of the area’s endangered species: the Texas Blind Salamander and the Fountain Darters, Gonzalez said. Valdez said the planned endan- gered species aquarium is her favorite feature of the EOC. “The aquarium [will] provide a soothing and tranquil environment where visitors can be at one with rare and endangered species that are found deep underground,” she said. “It is one thing to look at a photo or a video, but to sit and watch a Texas Blind Salamander move or eat is a rare treat—one that cannot be experi- enced anywhere else in San Antonio.”

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The Threatened and Endangered Species Aquarium will include a Texas blind salamander.

Edwards Aquifer Authority Education Outreach Center 23400 Cibolo Vista, San Antonio Free (admission) • 210-547-2222 Make an appointment to visit online at www.eaaeoc.org.

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NORTHEAST SAN ANTONIO METROCOM EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

CITY & COUNTY

News from Cibolo, Universal City & Schertz

Niemietz Park land swap to be put to voters on Nov. 8 ballot

$30M Universal City bond for road, drainage work to go to voters Nov. 8

UNIVERSAL CITY City Council on Aug. 16 approved an ordinance to put a $30 million bond on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election. According to City Manager Kim Turner, the bond would be focused on addressing road repairs, recon- struction and infrastructure. “We are facing a dierent environment where road recon- struction, and mill and overlay is a lot more expensive than it used to be,” Turner said. “The plan that we have does not change over time, because roads do not get better on their own.” This bond will be the largest the city has put on a ballot, which Turner says is due to the number of projects the city plans to fund. “I know that some people think that $30 million is a lot, and it is a lot for this city,” Turner said. “This is going to be the biggest bond election that we have had.

FUNDING ROAD PROJECTS Universal City will have a $30 million bond for roads on the Nov. 8 ballot. The last roads bond voters approved was in 2010. 2010 bond Lifetime: 12 years

CIBOLO City Council on Aug. 9 approved an ordinance to place the Niemietz Park land swap between the city of Cibolo and the Cibolo Economic Development Corporation on the November ballot. The swap would shift the park to the center of a planned development, changing the layout and orientation of the park. Through this trade, the city would continue to own and oper- ate Niemietz Park while the CEDC develops the surrounding area. District 4 Council Member Katie Cunningham said she was concerned about not having language stating how amenities removed from Niemi- etz Park would be replaced. “My ongoing concern with this project is that there still has not been any concrete plan as to how we are going to get the same amenities that we currently have at Niemietz Park at the new property,” Cunningham said.

City Manager Wayne Reed explained that voter approval of the land swap does not bind City Council to a specic agreement, and the council will have the opportunity to convey their terms before signing a contract for the land swap. “This ballot language as it reads does not in fact obligate you to make that exchange, that convenience to the Economic Development Corpora- tion,” Reed said. If voters approve the plan and the city approves a contract, plans for the property include retail, dining, entertainment and Niemietz Park.

SOURCE: UNIVERSAL CITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 2022 bond Expected lifetime: 1520 years $20 million $30 million

However, we have a lot of streets, and we can’t keep letting it go by the wayside.” Voters last approved a bond for streets in 2010 for $20 million. The 2010 bond was used over 12 years until funds were depleted, which resulted in the city requesting another bond.

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COMPILED BY JARRETT WHITENER

Schertz City Council will meet Sept. 13 and 27 at 6 p.m. 1400 Schertz Parkway, Bldg. 4, Schertz. 201-619-1030. www.schertz.com Cibolo City Council will meet Sept. 13 and 27 at 6:30 p.m., 200 S. Main St., Cibolo. 210-658-9900. www.cibolo.gov Universal City City Council will meet Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. 2150 Universal City Blvd., www.universalcitytexas.com Live Oak City Council will meet Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. 8001 Shin Oak Drive, Live Oak. 210.653.9140. www.liveoaktx.net Universal City. 210-659-0333. MEETINGS WE COVER CITY HIGHLIGHTS SCHERTZ City Council on Aug. 23 approved a resolution indicating the intent of the city to purchase in 2023 a 10.5-acre tract on Dry Comal Creek at FM 482 and Bunker Street, if the conditions outlined in the sta report have been met and if future approval from the City Council is obtained. The obtained property would be used for a trailhead for the Dry Comal Creek Trail.

Schertz moves forward with Neighborhood Empowerment Zone to aid Main Street area

SCHERTZ City Council on Aug. 23 approved a resolution to create a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone for the Main Street area. According to Assistant City Man- ager Brian James, creating the zone gives the council the basis and justication for waiving fees for businesses coming into the area. “Main Street has the added bur- den of it [being] a redevelopment eort, which tends to come with more cost. Often the infrastructure is subsidized,” James said. “There are materials that are not used today; there is more replacement required. We have the ood plain issues as well.” Waiving fees would help assist business owners with getting started on Main Street without the concern of extra expenditures. “Those small business owners don’t necessarily have the same level of funding, and when they get

hit with an extra couple hundred bucks in a [water of utility] tap fee or an extra couple thousand dollars in sewer impact fees, it can be problematic,” James said. Which fees will be waived will be discussed at a future meeting. Council also requested that sta look at forming another empower- ment zone along FM 78.

Kelsee Jordan Lee started work on Aug. 29. (Courtesy city of Cibolo)

Kelsee Jordan Lee named to Cibolo leadership position CIBOLO Ocials with the city of Cibolo on Aug. 12 announced Kelsee Jordan Lee will serve as the new economic development director starting Aug. 29. Lee formerly served as the eco- nomic and business development manager for the city of San Marcos. Prior to her time in San Marcos, Lee worked in economic develop- ment for Cibolo for ve years and was involved in the development of Cibolo Crossing and the recruit- ment of Aisin Texas Corporation.

Empowerment zone Schertz City Council designated Main Street this type of zone, which benets area businesses through tax incentives.

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LIVE OAK 14623 IH-35 N • 210-651-1911 RECTOR 819 E Rector Drive • 210-340-2244 LEGACY 2003 N Loop 1604 E • 210-494-8600 STONE OAK 23026 US Hwy 281 N • 210-497-1322

RESTRICTIONS WATER

STAGE 1

STAGE 2

STAGE 3

STAGE 4

Use of a sprinkler or irrigation system is limited to once a week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on your designated day

Watering with a handheld hose is allowed at any time on any day

Watering with a sprinkler or irrigation system is limited to your designated day every other week.

Allowable water uses are reduced and surcharges may be imposed.

Local utility companies have enforced water restrictions to address the ongoing drought. Greater diversity in water sources could mean fewer restrictions like Schertz and Selma where no restrictions are currently in place.

relationship with the San Antonio Water System, and if they needed additional water they could get it for an additional cost. The city has seen explosive growth in recent years, but so far, the water supply has been able to keep up, Wil- liams said. However, Schertz Director of Public Aairs Linda Klepper said residents may not have any restrictions right now, but the city is encouraging them to be aware of the drought and mind- ful of their water usage. Residents are being reminded on social media to conserve and to avoid wasteful water- ing, she said. Residents of Selma also have no water restrictions, but San Antonio as well as Garden Ridge, Cibolo and Universal City are all operating under Stage 2 restrictions, which limits use of an irrigation system or sprinkler to once per week on a designated day by address between 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. The San Antonio Water System, which provides water for most of Bexar County, has remained in Stage 2 restrictions since April and attributes its ability to avoid stricter watering rules for its customers to its greater water diversity, citing that only about 50% of its water comes from the Edwards Aquifer, SAWS water conser- vation director Karen Guz said. The other 50% comes from a mix of the Vista Ridge pipeline, the Trin- ity Aquifer, Canyon Lake, the Carrizo Aquifer, and even recycled and stored Edwards Aquifer On Aug. 19, the EAA declared Stage 3 of its Critical Period Management Plan, which enforces a 35% reduction on permit holders pumping water out of the aquifer.

• Green Valley Special Utility District • The Edwards Aquifer Authority

• Garden Ridge • Live Oak

• San Antonio Water System • Universal City

SOURCES: EDWARDS AQUIFER AUTHORITY, NEW BRAUNFELS UTILITIESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Months-long drought leads to strain on Central Texas water resources

It would take a signicant amount of rain in the northwest region of Cen- tral Texas to allow drought restrictions to be lifted. If the area does not have any rainy seasons leading up to next summer, a dry climate will continue, according to EAA General Manager Roland Ruiz. “Short of signicant rainfall between now and the start of next year, we’re going to nd ourselves where we are today, except earlier in the year,” Ruiz said. “Because we may not come out of any stage of critical period if we don’t have rainfall.” Varying water supplies While San Antonio and much of Bexar County rely heavily on the Edwards Aquifer, smaller cities in the Northeast San Antonio Metrocom each handle water dierently and pump water for their residents from a variety of sources, including the Carrizo, Trin- ity and Wilcox aquifers. Schertz has a partnership with Seguin to provide water through the Schertz Seguin Local Government Cor- poration to residents with much of the water coming from the Wilcox Aquifer. Schertz Public Works Director Suzanne Williams said the drought is not having a signicant eect on residents, and there are no water restrictions. “We supplement with Edwards Aquifer [water],” Williams said. “I guess we look at Edwards Aquifer as a backup for Schertz.” Williams said the city also has a

BY SIERRA MARTIN & TRICIA SCHWENNESEN

drought, with abnormally dry (D0) being the lowest level, and exceptional (D4) drought being the highest level. So far, 5.3% of Texas is in (D4), com- pared to the 71.3% of South Central Texas that experienced D4 conditions in November 2011, the last time the state experienced this level of drought. The Edwards Aquifer Authority remains in Stage 3 of its critical period management plan—more commonly thought of as water restrictions— which requires anyone permitted to pump water to reduce their usage by 35%. Since late July, the EAA has been teetering toward Stage 4 restrictions, which requires a 40% reduction in per- mitted pumping levels, ocials said. More than 2.5 million people; eight endangered species and several more on the threatened list; and other animals depend on the water from Edwards Aquifer, which has been identied as one of the largest and most unique aquifers in the world by Texas Parks & Wildlife. The J-17 Index Well in Bexar County is used to monitor and track water lev- els in the aquifer and correlates closely to ow levels from Comal Springs. The J-17 Index Well is over 23 feet below the historic average values for the summer months in the region, according to the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

Texas is experiencing its second-dri- est year in 128 years, which aects 23.9 million people across the state, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System. Many of the suburban cities along the I-35 North corridor as well as San Antonio itself get a percentage of their water from the Edwards Aquifer, which has seen water levels signi- cantly drop—down to levels not seen since 2014. Cities across the Northeast San Antonio Metrocom and Central Texas may see increased water restrictions in the future as the drought worsens across South Central Texas due to a lack of rainfall and high temperatures, according to the National Weather Service. The San Antonio-area, which includes the cities in the Northeast Metrocom, received 2.1 inches of rain in August and another 0.92 inches of rain as of Sept. 6, bringing to total 8.14 inches of rain so far this year, which is over 13 inches below the normal aver- age, National Weather Service Meteo- rologist Jason Runyen said. On Sept. 1, the National Drought Mitigation Center reported that nearly all of South Central Texas—90.5%— has been designated at some level of

PERMIT RENEWAL PROCESS The Edwards Aquifer Authority launched its six-year planning process for its Habitat Conservation Plan with a series of public listen and learn sessions. The goal is to then draft a plan as part of a request to renew a 30-year permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more on the plan visit www.eahcprenewal.org.

2022 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2023 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2024 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2025 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2026 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2027 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2028 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

PHASES Listen and learn Analyze and sign o Document USFWS review and action Interlocal agreements

Release draft HCP and NEPA document

USFWS issues ITP decision

Complete listen and learn report

Complete HCP and nal National Environmental Protection Act document

Submit draft HCP and Incidental Take Permit application to USFWS

Approve HCP elements

Permittees complete agreements

SOURCE: EDWARDS AQUIFER AUTHORITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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