New Braunfels settles lawsuit filed by river outfitters

River outfitters claim river management fees levied improperly by city


Since 2001, the City of New Braunfels has levied a River Management Fee on patrons of river outfitters in order to cover the costs of litter pick up and police patrols on the Comal River.

In 2007, Texas Tubes, Corner Tubes, and Rockin' 'R' River Rides filed suit against the city over the fee.

"The main argument that they had was that (the fee) had not been passed properly, according to the city charter, and it was not signed by the city attorney, which it was supposed to have been," said New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil.

The city council has since gone back and re-issued the ordinance for the fee, making sure they went through the proper channels.

So the fee still stands, but after losing a number of appeals, the city decided to settle with the outfitters.

Each outfitter received between $140,000 and $191,000.

Since the fee was ultimately paid by the customers of the outfitters -- not the outfitters themselves -- some are wondering if the outfitters have benefited at the expense of their own customers.

"So one of the things ... that I wonder is, I guess, (the river outfitters are) going to keep the money," Pospisil said. "I don't know how they could ever pass it back to their customers."

KSAT tried to contact all three outfitters. Corner Tubes and Texas Tubes could not be reached, and Rockin' 'R' declined to be interviewed.