'Can ban' battle brewing in New Braunfels

River industry taking city to court over disposable container ordinance

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - Despite a calm, quiet day on the Guadalupe River, there is a history of drinking and tubing and littering that has divided the city of New Braunfels.

"I know it hurts businesses, but it helps the environment and it helps keep things nice and pretty," said tuber Jacqueline Clark.

Clark is referring to the ban on disposable containers in the Comal and Guadalupe rivers, that has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2012.

"People should be able to bring their children on the river without having a lot of ruckus going on," Clark said.

The attorney for local outfitters and beer distributors, Jim Ewbanks, said the evidence is clear: the ban on disposable containers is deeply affecting local businesses.

"If people are not coming to New Braunfels and they're not buying goods and products here, then the tax base goes down," Ewbanks said.

He also made a constitutional argument in district court on Friday.

"We believe that the state has the sole right of control and the police powers over it's own rivers. The cities do not have the right to say you can or can't do something on the state owned rivers," Ewbanks said.

Monday a district court judge will decide whether local businesses can proceed with their case.

It is a case they hope is decided long before Labor Day, potentially increasing the flow of tubers and cash.


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