The Mayor of New Braunfels says she supports appealing a ruling from a Comal County State District Judge on Monday which threw out the city’s two year old ‘can ban’ law, 1200 WOAI news has learned.
Mayor Gail Pospisil says the law has been successful in reducing litter on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers.
“It has been very beneficial to our rivers, our rivers are cleaner and in much better condition,” Pospisil told 1200 WOAI”s Michael Board. “I am extremely disappointed.”
The judge threw out the ‘can ban,’ which prohibited any non returnable cans and bottles from being taken onto the rivers, as a matter of law. He said navigable rivers in Texas are the property of the state under the state constitution, and only state officials, not local governments, have the right to regulate what happens on rivers.
The same argument was used ten years ago to threw out an attempt by New Braunfels officials to regulate alcohol use on the rivers.
A judge acted on behalf of several river outfitters and other river businesses, many of whom said their income has been off by as much as 50% in the last two summers.
Pospisil said the sales tax revenue flowing to the city does not support those claims.
“Sales tax numbers and our hotel tax numbers have been up every month since this passed,” she said. “I’m just devastated.”
River outfitters are reaching out to the city to try to work together to work out a compromise. They say they more than anybody want to keep the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers clean, because the rivers are their livelihood.
A final decision on an appeal will be up to City Council.