The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on December 1, 1982 · Page 24
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 24

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 1, 1982
Page 24
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Page 24 article text (OCR)

THE BAYTOWN SUN Wednesday. December 1, 1<*2 7-C. Beach City Seeks Attorney General's Opinion B y?M S ?£?**:^?? l *? NGS - H ASTus have been leveled against Beach charged for use of utility levy taxes in otoer to suDDort the I^feber. who would submit th»m urtmthoi. * /v».m,>t „/)„*„_ BEACH CITY <Sp) - A list of questions about conflicts of interest over the operation of a water and sewage system serving Bayridge Subdivision is scheduled to be sent to the State Attorney General's office sometime this we*>' says the attorney for Beach City. Bayridge Maintenance Co., which has operated the system, has offered to turn over its operation to Beach City. Although concerned citizens were invited to submit questions to be added to the list, attorney John Lefeber says no additional questions have been sent to his of- iice. . Charges of conflict of interest have been leveled against Beach City Mayor Jim Ainsworth and Aldermen Frank Martarana and Francis Jones, all Bayridge Subdivision residents. Angry citizens have said Ainsworth, Martarana and Jones are not able to make fair decisions about the operation of the system because they are served by the company. BMC is a private utility company which provides water and sewer service to some 70 families in the Bayridge Subdivision. No other area of the city is served by either a municipal or private water utility. The city does not levy any property taxes. Municipal revenues are generated by franchise fees charged for use of utility easements. The issue, which has been troubling the city for about four months, centers around an offer made by BMC owners to give the utility company to the city as a gift. That offer came after BMC was threatened with an injuction because it violated a city ordinance concerning rate increases. In August, the owners indicated it was not financially feasible to continue operating the company and offered the utility to the city as a gift. However, concerned citizens — most of them living outside the Bayridge Subdivision — fear that the city will eventually have to levy taxes in order to support the maintenance company. Others have expressed concern that the city will become liable for providing water and sewer service to the rest of the community, too. Early on, citizen resistance came in the form of a 268- 3ignature petition protesting the possible acceptance of BMC's offer. At the last City Council meeting, citizens asked aldermen to examine the possibility of conflict of interest. They also questioned whether city officials had examined all alternate plans for the BMC problem. Ainsworth invited citizens to draft any questions concerning the problem and give them to Lefeber, who would submit them to the attorney general. Although no queries have been sent by citizens, Lefeber said an addendum could be made to his original list if additional questions are posed. In the questions, council asks if there is a conflict of interest on the part of the mayor or two aldermen which would bar them from voting on whether to accept or refuse BMC's offer. If a conflict of interest is determined, the Council asks if the remaining aldermen can decide the issue. In the event no conflict of interest is determined in the voting process and the city accepts the BMC offer, the Council also asks whether a conflict of interest might arise on the part of Ainsworth, Matarana and Ms. Jones in making decisions about future BMC policy, rates, operation and maintenance. Because the city did not yet have any guidance from the attorney general's office on conflict of interest, Council decided not to vote on whether to put the issue to the citizens for a vote in the April election. However, Lefeber pointed out that even if the issue were voted on by citizens, the results would not be binding because the city operates under general law which does not allow for such a referendum vote. The Nation's Weather Six Deaths Are Attributed To Storm By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A powerful Western storm hefting heavy winds, rain and snow churned eastward today, flooding farm fields and leaving thousands of homes without power. California officials reported six storm- related deaths. Up to 5 feet of snow accumulated Tuesday in the High Sierra of California. Wind gusts clocked at 84 mph accompanied rains in Kingman, Ariz. Falling trees snapped power lines and interrupted service to up to 400,000 Northern California customers. But emergency crews had restored power to all but 22,500 customers by late Tuesday. Elsewhere Tuesday, thunderstorms developed along a warm front in the Southeast where rain extended from western Louisiana to North Carolina. A small tornado touched down Tuesday night 10 miles south of Columbia, Miss., destroying an unoccupied farm house and uprooting some large trees. High winds associated with some of the thunderstorms damaged buildings near Meridian, Miss., the National Weather Service said. Texas Forecasts North Texas — Mostly cloudy, windy and warm with scattered thunderstorms developing west this afternoon. Thunderstorms spreading into central and eastern portions tonight. Partly cloudy and cooler with scattered showers Thursday. Highs 72 to 75. Lows 50 to 68. Highs Thursday 65 to 75. South Texas — Partly cloudy and warm with scattered showers through Thursday. Highs 70s northwest and along the upper coast to 88 inland south. Lows 60 to 70. West Texas — Increasing cloudiness and windy today with widely scattered showers. Partly cloudy and turning cooler tonight and Thursday. A chance of scattered snow flurries and showers tonight. Highs in the 60s. Lows 28 to 40. Highs Thursday 48 to 60. Port Arthur to Port O'Connor — Southeasterly winds 15 to 20 knots through Thursday. Seas 4 to 6 feet tonight. Cloudy to partly cloudy with scattered thundershowers. Port O'Connor to Brownsville — Southeasterly winds 15 to 20 knots through Thursday. Winds higher and gusty near shore during the afternoon hours. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Partly cloudy with widely scattered thundershowers. Flash flood watches were issued for four Southeastern states late Tuesday and up to 7 inches of additional fsln was predicted for today in Louisiana. Cloudy skie; blanketed most of the northern states from the Dakotas to the mid- and northern Atlantic Coast. Fog reduced visibility to near zero in coastal sections of Texas and in portions of South Dakota and Wisconsin. Snow was predicted to spread later today from the Great Basin and the mountains of Arizona through the central Rockies and southern Idaho into Montana. Snow will change to rain in lower elevations of Arizona while showers were expected for the southern Rockies and much of the Pacific Coast. Temperatures before dawn ranged from 21 degrees at Minot, N.D., to 79 at ,Homestead, Fla. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A fast, ruthless storm bulldozed across California and careened into the Rockies today, driving rain and heavy snow, leaving at least six people dead, cutting power to hundreds of thousands and flooding rich farmlands. The storm stomped into Arizona and Nevada, blasting more rain and snow, and kept going. Winter storm warnings were issued today for Utah and the Colorado Rockies, with a storm watch in Montana, according to the National Weather Service. The storm, the worst of the season, battered California on Tuesday from San Francisco to San Diego, dumping snow as fast as 3 inches an hour in the Sierra Nevada; ripping up power poles, trees and roofs with winds up to 78 mph; triggering mudslides and sinking boats. The assault came just one day after the National Weather //you're still baffled about what to give whom as the festive deadline draws near, help is on the toay. You'.'/ get some great ideas in 19 Holiday Surprises For The Darn Hard-To-Please. Its the annual roundup of gift suggestions. in this week's. . . Family Weekly The Baytown Sun Weekend Magazine JMake This a Musical Christmas For The Whole Family Casiotone Keyboards And Autoharps Lets Even You Youngest Sit Down and Play For The First Time SAVE *20°° On Any Casiotone Keyboards or Autoharps In Stock STOREW1DE SUPER SPECIALS X; (OFFER GOOD THRU DEC. 31st) Music Shop, Inc. Service forecast a cold, wet winter for the West. "It was a complete mess," said California Highway Patrol Officer Jerry Skelton in Los Angeles. ''Trees down everywhere, lines down everywhere, cars and traffic accidents every where." As the storm moved east, it blanketed northern and central Nevada with a foot or more of snow and flooded Las Vegas streets with rain. Two avalanches closed roads in the mountains. In Arizona, 10 inches of snow fell in Flagstaff by Tuesday night and school buses had to be towed. In Kingman, wind gusts were clocked at 84 mph, and in Phoenix, a building roof collapsed from the weight of rain. High winds kicked up dust storms from Yuma, near the California border, to Gila Bend, south of Phoenix. The storm struck California with little warning as winds shifted from light to 50 mph "within a matter of minutes," said Keith Ewing, the state's chief National Weather Service forecaster. As the storm plowed inland into Norf irn California, rain combined with record high tides to rip a 50-foot hole in a levee, flooding Venice Tract, a 3,000- acre island on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta. Floodwaters were expected to reach 15 feet over the rich farmland. Winds gusted to 82 mph on the Santa Cruz coast and turned a parked. Boeing 707 jet in a half-circle at San Francisco International Airport. Falling trees knocked down wires and cut power to up to 400,000 Northern California electric custom .rs. But workers restored power to all but about 22,500 customers by late Tuesday. By mid-afternoon, 73 inches of snow had accumulated in Norden, Calif., and avalanche warnings were issued for the eastern Sierra. Four people were missing in the storm and at least six people died, including a 4-year-old boy who was swept into the De Luze River when his family's Jeep overturned. Two men died in San Diego County traffic accidents, a 66-year-old Los Angeles man died in a car-bus accident on a rain-slick street, and a Camarillo woman was missing after her car hit a bridge abutment and she was flipped into a creek. Heavy winds toppled a 110-foot crane in Long Beach, killing the operator. In Humboldt Bay, a man's body washed ashore after his crab boat broke up in rough waters and two other men were missing. A !7apa man was missing after being swept into stormy Bodega Bay. In Southern California, the storm dumped 2.33 inches of rain in less than 12 hours and washed a $500,000 home into the seaatMalibu. In Long Beach and San Diego Bay, dozens of pleasure boats were ripped from their moorings. In Marina del Rey, wind gusts of up to 70 mph blasted panes of glass out of high-rise office buildings, but no one was injured, authorities said. Rocks and mudslides closed parts of the Pacific Coast Highway, and Southern California Edison Co. reported 877,000 customers blacked out. "The power was out for anywhere from a few seconds to eight to 12 hours," said spokesman Bob Hull. In Escondido, 8,000 chickens were trapped under a tin roof after gusting winds collapsed it. The birds were evacuated in driving rain. The San Diego Zoo was closed Tuesday for the fifth time in its 66-year history after wind blew down eucalyptus trees. |p Trinity Episcopal Church GIFT SHOP . Corni'r Goorjjia and \\cst Main < Constant supply of gif«s handmade by women of ' • ' the church j' III ALITllOIJI^irb fl~CAlCK OV AJ '3A IANICS AVITKV icwcl KV OPEN MON.-SAT. {CLOSED FRI ) ) 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Jlunbap Copper FEATURING: • Expanded Source of Advertising, And News • Complete TV Guide with expanded weekly Cable listings — all in one handy section. • Outdoor reports featuring Chester Roger's and Ed Holder's weekly column FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL DISPLAY ADVERTISING AT 422-8302 PUBLISHED EVERY SUNDAY

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