New Braunfels | February 2021

NEWBRAUNFELS EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 3  FEB. 5MARCH 4, 2021

ONLINE AT

New residential project in initial planning stages

IMPACTS

DEVELOPMENT

HEALTH CARE

DINING FEATURE

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NBU raises utility rates to keep up with booming population

PROGRESS PAYING FOR

New Braunfels Utilities is working to pay for projects needed to keep pace with the expanding community in New Braunfels. A three-year rate increase program was put in place in 2020 to account for utility improvements.

Average monthly residential utility usage: 1,200 kWh of electricity 6,000 gallons of water

4,600 gallons of wastewater

BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

In a bid to keep pace with the utility needs of a rap- idly growing community, New Braunfels Utilities has announced plans to undertake more than 120 capital projects over the next ve years. To nance the projects, a three-year rate increase plan went into eect Nov. 1 and gave NBU the green light to increase water, electric and sewer rates each year through scal year 2022-23. NBUwill focus on repairing aging infrastructure and installing new systems, and the company is expected CONTINUED ON 20

Estimated average bill increase fromscal year 2019-20 rates to 2020-21 rates: DURING OFF-PEAK USAGE MONTHS

3.28% INCREASE 3.38% INCREASE

month 2020 month 2021 $181.08/ $187.02/

Example:

Example: month 2020 month 2021 $181.20/ $187.44/ DURING PEAK USAGE MONTHS

The Gruene Water Reclamation Facility began operations in September 2020.

SOURCE: NEW BRAUNFELS UTILITIESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

LAUREN CANTERBERRYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

City leaders looking to ease growing housing cost burden for residents BY BRIAN RASH

The number of residents in New Braunfels that city sta estimate are COSTBURDENED , which refers to people who pay more than 30% of their annual or monthly gross income on housing 1 OUT OF 3

more than 60 years old, and the family tie accounts for her discounted rate of $950 per month. Due to recent increasing expenses within her family, Quintanilla said she is expecting her rent to go up closer to what she estimates the market value for her neighborhood, square footage and home age—$1,250 or so per month. “As a single mom, a one-income household, it’s dicult here, espe- cially if you think you’re going to work here and make enough money,”

Quintanilla said. With regard to the cost of housing in New Braunfels, Quintanilla’s is a situa- tion that is growing more common. To that end, city sta and ocials have recently made the creation of more attainable, aordable housing, what they call workforce housing, a top priority in 2021. Policy implementations being exam- ined include residential zoning adjust- ments, reviewing regulations that

When it comes to her living situa- tion, Christina Quintanilla considers herself lucky. Because she is renting her three-bed- room, two-bathroom home in New Braunfels from family members, she said she is paying well below the mar- ket rate. That is likely to change in the near future, however. Quintanilla is renting her grand- mother’s house, which she said is

SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 22

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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THIS ISSUE

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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. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMHEATHER: In this issue, Reporter Lauren Canterberry dives into the plan for New Braunfels Utilities’ rate changes over the next few years. These will cover costs associated with capital improvement projects and infrastructure, and the rate increases will be necessary to keep up with our steady growth. Heather Demere, GENERALMANAGER

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FROMBRIAN: Rising property valuations in areas throughout Central Texas is not new. In New Braunfels, more and more residents are feeling as though their city is being priced out. One of our front-page stories in this edition examines how city leaders are working on solutions. Brian Rash, EDITOR

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CORRECTION: Volume 4, Issue 2 In the January 2021 issue, it was incorrectly stated that the median household income in 2019 was $81,131. That number was not based on the 5-year estimates from the US Census Bureau, but rather the 1-year estimate. The 5-year estimate states the median household income in 2019 was $71,044.

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon or relocating

es in Mexican cuisine, and some of its most popular items include enchiladas, menudo and fajitas. 830-632-5154. www.guadalajararestaurants.com 5 SynergenX Testosterone & Weight Loss opened a new location Jan. 9 at 717 N. Business I-35, Ste. 130, New Braunfels. The company states the clinic specializes in treating men with low levels of testosterone and helps clients diminish fatigue, depression, weight gain and decreased motivation, among a number of other symptoms caused by low testosterone. 830-225-1823. www.synergenxlowtclinics.com 6 Texas Margarita Factory opened at 121 E. Faust St., New Braunfels, on Dec. 26. The drive-thru offers margar- itas, micheladas, ice cream sundaes, mixed drinks and more. 830-387-4073. www.facebook.com/texasmargarita factorynb 7 Locally owned sandwich shop Texas Melts opened at 1101 N. Walnut Ave., New Braunfels, in late December. The restaurant specializes in hot sandwiches, breakfast tacos and more. 830-214-0203. www.facebook.com/texasmeltsnb 8 Top Teer Strength opened a new location Jan. 9 at 1260 FM 1863, New Braunfels. This marks the gym’s first loca- tion, and it specializes in strength-based training for all levels, from beginners to advanced. The gym is open 24 hours a day and requires no contracts. 719-329-8110. www.top-teer-strength.myshopify.com COMING SOON 9 The owners of Above Ground Pizza confirmed that they are working to open their new location at 311 FM 306, Ste. 2B, New Braunfels, in early March, pending permit approval. The pizza shop will sell appetizers; grinders; calzones; salads; and specialty pizzas, including the Mac & Cheese Pie, the Netty’s Burger Pie and Sir William Creamy Garlic Mushroom Pie. www.abovegroundpizza.com 10 Dreamers Nutrition is planning on opening a location at 1050 N. I-35, Ste. 700, New Braunfels, in late February, pending permitting. Own- er Madelaine Villareal said Dreamers Nutrition will offer healthy recipes and

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NOWOPEN 1 830 Cycling & Fitness Studio opened Jan. 4 at 6535 W. Hwy. 46, New Braunfels. It is the business’s first location and has specialized trainers for individual bikes as well as a coach who can set data-driv- en programs for clients. The business also offers small-group classes that are capped at 10 as well as individual training

2 Christelle’s Culinary Corner opened at 272 S. Union Ave., New Braunfels, in late November. The food truck, which is open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., specializes in Carib- bean-Asian fusion cuisine. 240-367-2571. www.christellesculinarycorner.com 3 Einhorn CrossFit opened its location at 149 Ferryboat Lane, Ste. 191, New Braunfels, in winter 2020. Taylor Reber, head coach of Einhorn CrossFit, said the

location offers group exercise classes for athletes of all abilities, and the classes range from weight training to condition- ing to gymnastics. 830-310-2008. www.einhorncrossfit.com 4 Hacienda Tapatio Mexican Restau- rant opened its location at 585 S. Business I-35, New Braunfels, on Jan. 7. The restau- rant is owned by the same people who own Taqueria Guadalajara and El Tapatio in New Braunfels. Hacienda Tapatio specializ-

and yoga. 830-885-2008. www.830cyclingfitness.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY & BRIAN RASH

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830 Cycling & Fitness Studio

Einhorn CrossFit

COURTESY 830 CYCLING & FITNESS STUDIO

COURTESY EINHORN CROSSFIT

supplements to go, including shakes, teas, coffee and baked goods. 830-730-0271. www.facebook.com/ dreamersnutritionnb 11 Onyx Tattoo will open its tattoo and piercing studio at 280 N. Business I-35, New Braunfels, sometime in February, according to its website. Information from Onyx Tattoo states the studio will offer custom, one-of-a-kind artwork for clients. 830-730-8794. www.onyxtattoo.com 12 A second New Braunfels QuikTrip location is slated to open at 3116 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, at the end of February. The gas station and conve- nience store chain has more than 800 locations throughout the United States and opened its first New Braunfels loca- tion in August. 210-332-4025. www.quiktrip.com Ravvi Fazly, the owner of six Supernova Smoke Shop locations in San Antonio, confirmed he is planning to put a new location in New Braunfels. Fazly said there is no set address yet, but he hopes to have a firm location within New Braunfels before summer. Supernova Smoke Shop specializes in oil and tobacco pipes, hookahs and tattoo accessories, among other items. www.supernovasmokeshop.com RELOCATIONS 13 The New Braunfels Post Office , formerly located at 686 Seguin Ave., New Braunfels ceased retail operations at that location Jan. 15 and resumed operations Jan. 19 at its new location at 651 N. Business I-35, Ste. 420, New Braunfels. The new office’s hours of

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Kinnor Coee specializes in espresso drinks and artisan coee beans.

COURTESY AARON BROWN

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Coee has been added to the menu of brews at 5 Stones Artisan Brewery. Kinnor Coffee , operated by Aaron Brown, is now open in partnership with 5 Stones Artisan Brewery at 11335 FM 1863, New Braunfels. “I personally started to develop a passion for specialty coee over the last three or four years,” Brown said. “I just [started] in my own home and then started to do a little coee up here at the brewery, and then it started to progress from there.” The coee shop ocially opened Jan. 4 within the brewery. The menu includes coee from around the world, and Brown said he hopes to expand into coee roasting in the future. Brown’s passion for coee is evident in the way he speaks about it. In a Jan. 26 social media post, Brown extolled the meticulous labor of harvesters and roasters that results in shops such as his selling a quality product.

Above Ground Pizza

Kinnor Coee got its name from the musical instrument played by David in the Biblical story of David and Goliath, Brown said. He added it is the same story that gave 5 Stones its name. “At Kinnor we wanted the coee to tie into the brewery in some way,” Brown said. “We think we have something special. We think the New Braunfels area could use a more specialty coee shop.” The shop is open daily from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., Brown said. 210-620-0500. www.facebook.com/kinnorcoee

COURTESY ABOVE GROUND PIZZA

operation will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-noon Sat. and closed Sun. 830-625-7736. www.usps.com ANNIVERSARIES 14 Creations Catering , located at 2031 Central Plaza, Ste. 107, New Braunfels, will celebrate one year in business in February. The catering company hosts cooking classes, wine pairings, event catering and more. 830-609-9444. 15 Transwestern Real Estate Services has sold a property at 1763 Medical Way, New Braunfels, according to a January news release from Transwestern. The one-story, 8,055-square-foot medical office building was purchased by Leben Holdings , which will move its private dermatology practice into the building’s remaining space, giving it 100% www.creationscateringtx.com NEWOWNERSHIP

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occupancy. 210-341-1344. www.transwestern.com

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES MorningsideDrive construction is expected to continue going through the end of September

COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

ONGOING PROJECTS

NEARING COMPLETION

ELIZABETH AVE.

Ongoing construction on Morningside Drive will close the southbound lane from Vista Parkway to Schmidt Avenue for several months with a detour established to direct trac around the closed portion.

Construction on Morningside Drive in New Braunfels has been ongoing for more than two years and is expected to continue for several months after new detours were put in place in January. Since Jan. 18, through trac has been limited to northbound vehicles on Morningside between Vista Parkway and Schmidt Avenue. A portion of the road between Loma Vista Street and Southland Street will be closed completely, and a detour has been established at Becker Street to accommodate northbound and southbound trac. The detours are expected to last two to three months, according to a city press release. Two-way trac will continue past Vista Parkway, while through trac on Morningside from Schmidt to the I-35 frontage road will be limited to local residential trac and school buses.

Schmidt will continue to have two-way trac access to I-35 and FM 1044. Construction on Morningside, Solms Road and Rueckle began in late 2018, and the project is part of the city of New Braunfels’ 2013 bond program. The roads will be widened, and curbs and sidewalks will be installed alongside the roadway, according to David Ferguson, media and commu- nications coordinator for the city. The project also includes drainage and utility improvements along the roadway. Issues with third-party utilities caused the project to be delayed, but it is now on track to be completed in September, according to Ferguson. Timeline: December 2018-September 2021 Cost: $11 million Funding source: city of New Braunfels 2013 bond program

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Hinman Island Drive As part of the New Braunfels Utilities project to install sanitary sewer lines for the North Kuehler Interceptor Upgrade Project, portions of New Braunfels roads will be temporarily closed. Hinman Island Drive, Elizabeth Avenue and the Hinman Island Park footbridge will be closed until April 30 while construction crews install 30-inch to 33-inch sewer lines. Timeline: November 2020- April 30, 2021 Cost: $10.3 million Funding source : NBU

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SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Creekside Crossing A project to expand a portion of FM 306 between Town Center Drive and the I-35 frontage road should be completed in March. Work includes the addition of a left-turn lane to allow left-turn trac coming from Town Center Drive to cross opposing trac before entering the intersection, ac- cording to a TxDOT representative. Timeline: October 2019-March 2021 Cost: $18 million Funding source: TxDOT’s I-35 Improvement Project

Loop 337 expansion nears completion, overpass construction begins

A project to expand 6.65 miles of Loop 337 in New Braunfels from I-35 to Hillcrest Drive is nearing comple- tion after nearly three years. The project will widen the road from two to four lanes and will include a sidewalk and bike accommodation. Work began on the project in 2017 and is scheduled to conclude in May, according to Jennifer Serold, public information ocer for the Texas Department of Transportation’s San Antonio region. Current work on the project is focused on placing intersections, installing signs and nalizing construction, Serold said. The TxDOT and city of New Braunfels-funded project is expected to cost a total of $42.3 million upon completion and will help streamline trac around the city. Included in the Loop 337 expan- sion is a project to install a bridge and overpass that will raise Loop

337 over the River Road intersection. The overpass will begin west of the Rock Street exit and end west of the River Road intersection. Construction on the overpass began in February of 2021 and is expected to be complete in the

summer of 2023. The project is estimated to cost approximately $14.2 million, according to TxDOT. Timeline: 2017-May 2021 Cost: $42.3 million Funding source: TxDOT, New Braunfels

Timeline: Feb. 2021- summer 2023 BRIDGEOVERPASS

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West San Antonio Street project As part of the San Antonio Street Utili- ty and Street Maintenance Project, the westbound lane of San Antonio from Krueger Avenue to Spur Street will be detoured along portions of North Live Oak Avenue, West Mill Street, North Hidalgo Avenue, West Katy Street and South Water Lane. Timeline: November 2020- September 2021 Cost: $2.4 million Funding source: city of New Braunfels

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Timeline: 2017- May 2021 Cost: $42.3 million

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JAN. 25. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT NBFNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT 38-acre residential development will be coming toNewBraunfels

BY BRIAN RASH

Looney said the ZHA zoning is con- sistent with the property’s surround- ing developments and would allow for a variety of dierent housing types, which Looney said was in accordance with the land-use provisions of the city’s updated comprehensive plan. Looney said that since rezoning has been approved by council, the next step for developers will be to create a master plan and subdivide, or plat, the property. The platting stage will then require further action from the developer, including a drainage study and a trac impact analysis, he said. “Typically, developments of this size do have to do a trac impact analysis,” Looney said. “That will give an indication of what the devel- oper may be required to improve in either on-site or adjoining properties to mitigate any negative impacts from trac increases.” 35

New Braunfels City Council took the initial steps toward creating a new residential subdivision during its rst two meetings in 2021. The rezoning request was approved by City Council on Jan. 25. Ocials allowed a rezone of 38 acres in New Braunfels that lie northeast of Hwy. 46 between the Stonegate and Windover Farms neighborhoods. Planning and Services Director Christopher Looney told council Jan. 11 that the representative of the property requested it be rezoned from a planned development district to a zero lot line home district, or ZHA. “ZHA does allow zero lot line homes, but the vast majority of ZHA districts are developed as single-fam- ily homes,” Looney said. City information lists the developer of the project as Brass Real Estates Fund IV of San Antonio.

A rendering shows the type of homes that could go in the new development.

RENDERING COURTESY CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS

According to the New Braunfels municipal code, ZH-A, or zero lot line home district, is dened as a single-family dwelling that is built near property lines. However, city sta said there is exibility within the ZH-A designation, and developers often choose to build single- family residences that are more spaced apart. WHAT IS A ZHA ZONING?

NEW 38ACRE ZHAZONED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

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SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMMUNITY Chamber president, NBISDofficial join list of retiring local leaders

CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS During their years of service to the community, local leaders have played a role in establishing new programs and projects. MICHAEL MEEK Oversaw the creation of the Central Texas Technology Center Led the chamber through a six-year renovation of the Civic and Convention Center Helped develop the Leadership New Braunfels program RANDY MOCZYGEMBA

BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

Center, a major expansion and remod- eling of the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center and efforts to bring more jobs to the community. Meek originally planned to retire in 2020 but decided to stay when the coronavirus pandemic began. “April 1 of last year was when the job was going to be posted, and they would have had somebody in here by December,” Meek said. “Well, as you know, COVID[-19] hit, and that changed everything.” Meek said the next president and CEO will inherit the chamber’s 2019- 21 strategic plan, which was devel- oped as a foundation to build upon in preparation for Meek’s retirement. The strategic plan was created in conjunction with the city in order to streamline local development projects, Meek said. “Fortunately, there’s always more to do,” Meek said. “We planted those seeds, and they’re sprouting. There’s just not trees there yet to provide shade, but there’s going to be.” decision went public, Moczygemba announced his intent to retire as NBISD superintendent after holding positions in education for more than 35 years, 13 of which were with NBISD. He will officially retire June 30. “I decided to become an educator because I had two educators, two teachers who picked me up by my bootstraps when I was a student in high school,” Moczygemba said. More than a decade at NBISD Almost a week before Meek’s

Michael Meek plans to end his 25-plus-year tenure as president and CEO of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce in January. Meek is the latest addition to the growing list of New Braunfels leaders who have recently announced their retirement—a group that includes New Braunfels ISD Superintendent Randy Moczygemba and New Braunfels Police Chief TomWibert. 32 years of service After working for the chamber since 1988 and serving as CEO since 1995, Meek announced his plans to retire effective Jan. 31. He will serve as a part-time consultant until July 31. Meek moved to New Braunfels in 1988 from Rockport, Texas, where he worked in the real estate industry and served as chairman of the board for the Rockport Chamber of Commerce. Tom Purdum, who was serving as the New Braunfels chamber CEO at the time, hired Meek to serve as director of the Greater New Braunfels Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I had the opportunity—fortu- nately, for me—to come in at the ground floor and mentor and learn under him,” Meek said. “I tell people I learned more under him than I learned in college, ... learned more from him about the chamber busi- ness, the tourism business and the economic development business.” During his time with the chamber of commerce, Meek oversaw the creation of the Central Texas Technology

Introduced the one-to-one technology program Led the development of several bond packages totaling about $226.4 million Worked to help the district adapt to a quickly growing population TOM WIBERT

Established a victim’s advocacy team Helped develop a mental health unit Instituted a chaplain unit

SOURCES: GREATER NEW BRAUNFELS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, NEW BRAUNFELS ISD, CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

“When I went to college, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher like them to pay back or pay forward all the things they had done for me.” Moczygemba has worked in five Texas school districts, including roles as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent. During his time with NBISD, he oversaw the implementation of the one-to-one technology program that provided iPads for all students, helped formulate bond packages totaling $226.4 million to build new school facilities and led the district through years of rapid enrollment growth. “I’ve just really loved the commu- nity and the district,” Moczygemba

said. “I think what’s important for anybody coming in is [not to] come in and try and change everything. We’ve got a lot of good things going on.” Retirements in thepolicedepartment The announcements fromMoczy- gemba and Meek come on the heels of Wibert’s retirement in October. The city named Keith Robert Lane as the interim chief of the New Braunfels Police Department during City Council’s Oct. 12 meeting. Lane is currently working with the city and an outside consultant to finalize the recruiting plan for the next chief of police according to a city news release.

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HEALTH CARE

2

YEARS IN THE MAKING, A SPRINT TO THE FINISH THE VACCINE RACE: While the COVID-19 vaccines from companies Pzer and Moderna were developed in record time, years of preliminary research—including by scientists at the University of Texas—made the vaccine possible. 1 PRELIMINARYRESEARCH • In 2008 , Jason McLellan began studying vaccines for respiratory viruses as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. By 2012, he was focused on coronaviruses, which include many forms of the common cold. • With Dr. Barney Graham of the NIH,

TRIALS

• Pharmaceutical companies Pzer and Moderna used the McLellan Lab’s spike protein research as they began human trials of their COVID-19 vaccine in March and April . Vaccine testing occurred in three phases:

Small groups of healthy adults

PHASE 1

receive the trial vaccine. Testing expands to more age groups and people with dierent health conditions. Trials expand again to include thousands of subjects nationally.

PHASE 2

McLellan discovered the infection-causing spike protein common to coronaviruses. In 2018, he moved his lab to the University of Texas and continued his research.

PHASE 3

• After the COVID-19 virus led to an epidemic in China in January 2020 , the McLellan Lab began adapting his research to establish the basis of the COVID-19 vaccine.

to know what

their policy covers

SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, DANIEL LEAHY, DANIEL WRAPPCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

and what their nancial responsibility is to their health care practitioners. SHOULD PEOPLE STILLMAIN TAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING PRACTICES ANDWEAR A MASK EVENAFTER GETTING VACCINATED? Yes. We all must continue to practice safe distancing—distance and outdoors are our friends—mask wearing, hand hygiene and mindful- ness with respect to personal space in order to minimize viral transmission and propagation of the pandemic. The more we do for ourselves, the less somebody else has to do for us and the sooner all of this will be a part of our history. The safety measures will have to be applied until herd immunity is reached. Herd immunity is when enough individ- uals in the community are immune to the disease to prevent spread through person-to-person contact. We still have a long way to go before we reach that goal. CAN I GET THE VACCINE IF I HAVE BEEN RECENTLY VACCI NATED FOR OTHER THINGS, SUCHAS FLUOR PNEUMONIA? With respect to timing of other vaccinations, there should be at least a 14-day waiting period between one vaccination and the next. It is import- ant that your health care practitioner know that you have recently received another vaccination, so please make that known if it is your case.

NewBraunfelsphysiciananswers questionsabout COVID19vaccine

Dr. Judith L. Thompson

BY BRIAN RASH

of what are called neutralizing anti- bodies. I want to emphasize: There is no risk of viral infection associated with receiving the vaccine. THE VACCINES REQUIRE TWO SHOTS AT DIFFERENT TIMES. SHOULD PATIENTS GET THE SAME VACCINE FOR BOTH? Yes, although it is not necessary to receive both vaccinations from the same source. If your circumstances require you to receive your two vacci- nations at dierent geographic sites, that is OK. What is important is [that patients] receive the two vaccinations from the same vaccination company. ARE THERE LIKELY TO BE COSTS ASSOCIATEDWITH THE VACCINE? At this time, for the general public, there is no cost associated with vaccination. Vaccinations purchased with tax dollars will be distributed to citizens at no expense. Private health care practitioners do have the right to assess a delivery fee [but] not a fee for the vaccination itself. The fee for vaccination delivery may be cash pay, or, in some cases, an insurance claim may be led. Patients must check with their own insurance companies

Dr. Judith L. Thompson is a general surgeon and an advocate for the profession of medicine whose oce is at 876 Loop 337, Ste. 101, in New Braunfels. She recently answered several general questions for Com- munity Impact Newspaper about the coronavirus vaccine, its ecacy and costs, and other related matters. SEVERAL VACCINES FROM COMPANIES INCLUDING MODERNAAND PFIZER HAVE COME OUTWITHVERSIONS. IS ONE VACCINE BETTER THAN ANOTHER? With respect to eectiveness and safety, there is no signicant dierence between the Moderna and the Pzer vaccine. If one speaks to a virologist or immunologist, [they will say] there are many dierences, although these are not important at the community level. What is import- ant to know is that these two vaccina- tions are equally safe and ecacious and that there is no risk of infection with either. These are both mRNA vaccinations. MRNA is a message to the immune cell to create a specic protein that stimulates an immune response resulting in the production

IF I ALREADY HAD COVID19, SHOULD I STILL GET THE VAC CINE? IF SO, WHEN? Yes. If you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you should proceed with vaccination at the rst available opportunity. That is a dictum that holds true for all of us. The only cave- ats are if one has received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. Then, a waiting period of 90 days is indicated. If one has a known history of immediate allergic reaction to the mRNA virus or polyethylene glycol, then the vaccine is contraindicated. IS THIS GOING TO BE LIKE A FLU VACCINE THAT REQUIRES A NEWONE EACH YEAR, ORWILL ITMORE LIKELY BE AONEOFF? Only time will tell. This is an excel- lent opportunity to emphasize the rapid pace of learning for all parties involved, the uidity of the situation, the necessity of time and the accumu- lation of information. Then, that infor- mation must be reviewed and checked for validity before it can be distributed to the citizens of our country as guid- ance recommendations. This takes time. Please try to be patient.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from New Braunfels and Comal ISDs

Compiled by Lauren Canterberry

‘No transportation zones’ for two newcampuses to start in 2021-22

NEWBRAUNFELS ISD The board of trustees on Jan. 11 elected to carry “no transportation zones” over to two new campuses scheduled to begin operating during the 2021-22 school year. Students who live within 2 miles of the New Braunfels Ninth Grade Center, located at 4150 Klein Mead- ows, and the future New Braunfels Middle School, located on South Walnut Avenue, will not be provided transportation by the school district to the campuses. “The Texas Education Agency does not cover any transportation for students who live less than 2 miles around the campus,” NBISD

Area school districts showsplit regarding COVID-19 leave policy NEWBRAUNFELS AND COMAL ISD Employees of New Braunfels ISD will no longer have access to an additional two weeks of paid leave for reasons directly related to COVID-19, but the option remains open to employees of Comal ISD. Between April 1-Dec. 31, 2020, NBISD and CISD were required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to offer employees up to an additional one-time 80 hours of paid leave if they needed to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure. The mandate also provided for 80 hours of leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate due to a need Superintendent Randy Moczygemba said. The district utilized Transfinder, a software used to calculate bus routing and scheduling, to map the zoning changes, Moczygemba said. In areas where students would have to cross hazardous traffic and where road construction is under- way or planned for the near future, transportation will be provided for students, Moczygemba said. Due to construction that will be tak- ing place along Klein Road, students who live near portions of the roadway that are under construction will be offered transportation despite being within the 2-mile zone.

SCHOOL GETTING TO Starting August 2021, students who live within 2 miles of the New Braunfels Middle School or the Ninth Grade Center will be included in the campus’s “no transportation zone” and will have to find other transportation to school. Middle School zone Ninth Grade Center zone

FISCHER PARK

725

Future New Braunfels Middle School

1044

Future New Braunfels Ninth Grade Center

Source: New Braunfels ISD/ Community Impact Newspaper

N

COVID-19 SICK LEAVE From April 1-Dec. 31, 2020, school employees were able to take added time off under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Benefits included:

to care for an individual subject to quarantine or a child who cannot attend child care or school because of the coronavirus pandemic. After the mandate expired Dec. 31, school districts were given the option to extend the program. The NBISD board of trustees elected Jan. 11 to not extend the option, though employees who are able to work remotely will be permitted to do so should they or a family member be required to quarantine. District information states each case will be evaluated individually, and those who cannot conduct their work remotely must use available state or local leave or take time off without pay. The district paid a total of $104,000 of paid sick leave and nearly $30,000 for supplemental substitutes, none of which will be reimbursed by the state

Comal ISD Meets Feb. 25 and March 25 at 6 p.m. at the CISD District Office, 1404 N. I-35, New Braunfels 830-221-2000 • www.comalisd.org New Braunfels ISD Meets Feb. 8 and March 8 at 7 p.m. at the NBISD Administration Center, 1000 N. Walnut Ave., New Braunfels 830-643-5705 • www.nbisd.org MEETINGSWE COVER or federal government. On Jan. 28, the CISD board of trust- ees elected to extend the program to the district’s more than 2,900 employees through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Since the program began, 250 CISD employees have utilized the option, according to the district.

80 hrs of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay

80 hrs of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s regular rate of pay If the employee is unable to work because they are quarantined and/or has COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis. Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family leave at 2/3 the employee’s regular rate When an employee is unable to work because they need to care for an individual subject to quarantine or a child under 18 years of age. For employees who must care for a child who cannot attend another form of child care.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor/ Community Impact Newspaper

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from New Braunfels & Comal County

New Braunfels City Council Meets second and fourth Mondays at 6 p.m. 830-221-4000 • www.nbtexas.org Comal County Meets Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. 830-221-1100 • www.co.comal.tx.us Guadalupe County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays at 10 a.m. 830-303-8869 www.co.guadalupe.us MEETINGSWE COVER include a new interactive map, a trail inventory and a denition of dierent trail types. Various public outreach eorts were then conducted by sta prior to council adopting the update Jan. 11. HIGHLIGHTS COMAL COUNTY After getting an indication from the state that Comal County will receive an undisclosed number of weekly COVID-19 vaccine allocations, the county has created a standby list for residents to express their desire to receive the vaccine. The list is available on the county website for residents who meet criteria outlined in Phase 1A and 1B of the state’s vaccination plan to enter their information and be placed on a standby list. NEWBRAUNFELS A planning document from 2010 used by the New Braunfels Parks, Planning and Engineering Department has ocially been overhauled by city ocials. Updates approved by City Council during the Jan. 11 meeting NUMBER TOKNOW election May 1 for 18 proposed changes to the city charter. The election had originally been planned for May 2, 2020, before being postponed and nally canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 18 The city of New Braunfels is planning to hold a special

NewRV resort proposed to be in theWalnut Heights subdivision

Council approves federal COVID19 fundingdispersal

BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

BY BRIAN RASH

be required to provide a compre- hensive site plan before submitting a Type 2 SUP, said Christopher Looney, the planning and develop- ment services director for the city of New Braunfels. James Ingalls, of Moeller & Associates, and Stuart Blythin are working to develop the project. “We’d like to take the best of all the resorts, or RV places, we have stayed at and create our dream destination,” Blythin said.

NEWBRAUNFELS Ocials in New Braunfels approved the dispersal of federal funds given through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during a Jan. 25 meeting. About $423,000 will be given through the HUD’s Community Development Block Grant, or CDBGCV, program. New Braunfels Grant Coordinator Jennifer Gates said the funds can only be used for eligible activities related to organizations that aid victims of COVID-19. The city’s rst two rounds of CDBGCV funding, dispersed in 2020, totaled about $243,000 and $424,000, respectively. HELPING THE HELPERS New Braunfels ocials approved an allocation of CDBG-CV funding during the Jan. 25 City Council meeting. A total of $423,819 will be dispersed as follows:

NEWBRAUNFELS Plans are underway to construct a new RV park to the west of Bavarian Drive in the Walnut Heights subdivision. City Council approved the rst reading of a Type 1 special use permit, or SUP, that would allow the owners of a 28-acre property to convert the land into an RV park. Because 50 percent of the prop- erty is located within the Dry Comal Creek oodway, the owners will

The proposed RV park would be located on 28 acres of land west of N. Walnut Avenue. SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER PROPOSED PARK

BAVARIAN DR.

337

N

100-mile trail systemcould run through city

Crisis Center of Comal County: $5,419

BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

and could eventually extend toward central New Braunfels. The program is an 80/20 matching grant, and sta has requested a total award amount of $250,000 with matching funds supported by the value of a private land dedication along the creek. Sta from the regional trail orga- nization the Great Springs Project assisted city sta in the submission of the application to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Recreational Trail Grant Program.

NEWBRAUNFELS An application for grant funding to help create the Alligator Creek Trail could provide up to $250,000 for the project. The proposed trail is part of the city’s approved 2020 Hike and Bike Trail Plan and would connect 10-foot-wide paths to existing hike and bike trails and the Goodwin Lane multiuse paths. Once complete, the 100-mile trail would wind through 46 acres along Alligator Creek, connect to FM 306

Comal County Habitat for Humanity: $54,912 Family Life Center: $10,839

Hope Hospice: $122,482

New Braunfels Housing Partners: $230,167

SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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