Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
County seeks land from city for golf course’s expansion
By JON FULBRIGHT
Town of Pecos City Council members named a committee on Thursday to look into a proposal for the Reeves County Golf Course that would decrease the amount of city water used at the course while turning it into a full 18-hole facility.
The six-member committee was named after course manager Peter Mora presented council members with the plan, which would involve the donation of city-owned land on the south side of the course to Reeves County to be used for the construction of four additional holes at the course.
The donation would involve 27.39 acres of land, though parts of the new holes would lie on land already within the current course’s boundaries.
Reeves County is in the process of adding three new holes to the course, expanding it from 11 to 14 holes, and Mora cited economic development benefits from making it a full 18-hole facility.
“People are not going to travel as far to play a 9-hole course as they do for an 18-hole course,” he said, adding that the change could also help local motels by boosting out-of-town entries in the course’s two-day tournaments.
City public works director Edgardo Madrid also cited economic development benefits to the plan, but focused on the possible reduction in city water use at the facility as the main benefit for Pecos in the project.
He said city grant-writer Carlos Colina-Vargas proposed seeking a grant from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to expand the course. The grant would be a 50-50 matching one, but the city could qualify for its share of the 50 percent though the land donation, while the county’s share could come from using its workers to construction the new holes.
Mora said as part of that project, the county could seek grants to dig four new water wells at the course to provide irrigation. There is currently one well in use at the course, but it has to be supplemented by Town of Pecos City water, under an agreement signed when the city turned over operation of the golf course to Reeves County in the 1980s.
“The last time I checked, the amount of water we were providing for the county was $65,000,” Madrid said. “If the water wells produce water that is good the city can pull out its water meters. That will save money for the city, since we won’t have too provide them thousands of gallons of water.”
He said the grant process would take time, and that the proposal from the county was mainly an effort to seek a preliminary commitment on the land next to the golf course.
“Right now what the county is asking us is that we don’t commit the land to anybody else. We don’t know the quality of the water in the area or what the production levels would be,” Madrid said.
“With your permission, we’d like to look at this more,” city manager Joseph Torres told the council. “We want to look at the land values and study the merits.”
The back edge of the proposed addition would be adjacent to the recently closed Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club range, which the city shut down in May after complaints that bullets were finding their way onto the property of the Pecos Municipal Airport, south of the range. It would also take in part of the area used by Pecos High School for its homecoming bonfires in recent years.
“We need to clean up that area. It’s an unsightly spot,” Torres said. “We’ve got an agreement with the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to clean up the area.”
The golf course is also adjacent to the former city landfill, though Mora said, “We’re not looking at going to the landfill area,” with any of the new holes for the course.
Mayor Dot Stafford asked about a request by Pecos Police Cpt. Kelly Davis to use the area to create a paintball competition area. A temporary one was set up there as part of a Memorial Day weekend competition.
“Where the proposed paintball area is is not going to be touched,” Torres said. “There’s still a lot of room for expansion.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Gerald Tellez asked Mora about the possibility of the county donation land in another area to the Rifle and Pistol Club for use as a new range site as part of the course deal. But councilman Frank Sanchez said he believed the club already had secured land southwest of Pecos on which a new private range could be built.
Sanchez nominated councilman Michael Benavides - “our resident golfer”- to be the council’s representative on the committee, along with Madrid, Mora and Torres. He later asked that Pecos Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Dutchover also be added to the group, while councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela suggested that one of the Reeves County Commissioners also be included on the committee. The council then approved the motion, with the suggestion that Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Alvarado be approached about serving on the committee.
On a related subject, the council tabled a proposed land donation by the city to the county for a hiking and biking trail. Two sites were discussed, one starting at the southeast corner of Maxey Park and traveling through the same area as the proposed golf course expansion, and the other beginning near the Reeves County Civic Center and traveling towards the former Carver Center on the east side of Pecos.
“It’s been put on hold,” Mora said of the east side plan. “But the trees have been planted and it’s all been laid out.”
Benavides said a proposed trail at Maxey Park, “could be more directed towards snowbirds,” who use the adjacent Tra-Park facility.
County renews RCDC III pact, despite questions
By ROSIE FLORES
Reeves County Commissioners agreed to extend the contract with Arizona Department of Corrections to house their prisoners at the Reeves County Detention Center III unit for one more year.
The group discussed extending the current contract, which expires Friday, during the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held Monday at the courthouse.
County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo told the group that he and RCDC III Warden Martin McDaniel had been in Arizona discussing several issues with the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Dan Houston, with the prison management firm GEO Group, was on hand to talk about the contract with Arizona. GEO was hired in 2003 to manage all three units at the prison after the county was unable to secure inmates for the new $40 million RCDC III facility.
The lack of inmates threatened to force a default of all three units of the $89 million, 3,120-bed prison, until a short-term agreement was reached to house Arizona inmates at RCDC III in February of 2004. That contract was extended for a full year, beginning last July 1.
“This is just an extension of the current contract, to house 864 inmates at the Reeves County facility,” said Houston, adding that the new contract would also run from June 30 of this year until July of 2006.
“They had an option to extend it and they decided to go ahead and extend that contract with Reeves County,” said Houston.
Galindo said that county auditor Lynn Owens had pointed out some issues that they would like to discuss. “We’d like to bring up these issues before we finalize the contract and negotiate with them,” said Galindo.
“We have at least two issues that we want to bring up, performance pay and transportation,” said Houston.
Houston said that he would suggest that the group go ahead and approve the extension of the contract and make modifications later, but Owens said that he really didn’t want the group to approve the extension of the contract before negotiating the issues in question.
“One of the things we talked about was increasing the population,” said Galindo.
“That would help tremendously,” said Owens.
RCDC III was built to house 960 inmates, and Galindo said that the current population was only at 815. He said the other 50 inmates from Arizona that could be housed there under the contract were really needed at this time.
“If we could get a few more inmates in there, that would help tremendously,” said Galindo. “I know Mac (warden Martin McDaniel) does the best he can to offset costs out there.”
Galindo said that at this time he felt it was important to go forward and give appreciation to the customer, by renewing the contract and negotiating with them on the other issues.
“Do we need to make modifications, yes, I believe so, but I also thing that right now we need to move forward,” he said.
Galindo added that if they went out looking for a different contract to house that it would take about a year. “And this customer is willing to extend the contract for another year, which is good because we need to move forward,” said Galindo.
Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1 Roy Alvarado made the motion that the group extend the contract and authorize Galindo and GEO to work with Arizona to modify the contract to the best interest of both parties.
In other action, commissioners approved payments for the Reeves County Detention Centers including: the 2001 RCDC Lease payment in the amount of $345,067; 2001 RCDC maintenance reserve payment, $29,166; the 1999 RCDC lease payment, $495,000 and the 1999 RCDC maintenance reserve payment in the amount of $29,166.
The group agreed to go out for bids for a long distance provider.
MCI/Worldcom Long distance had asked for a contract extension, but only for the RCDC.
“We went out for bids three years go and are now asking for an extension on that contract,” said Galindo.
Owens told the group that the long-distance provider was asking for a two-year extension. “You can grant them the extension or go out for Requests for Proposals,” said Owens.
“From a legal perspective, should we extend the contract or bid it out,” said Galindo.
Owens said that the group should probably bid it out.
“The rate was very, very competitive the last time, so I’m hoping this time it will be even more competitive,” said Galindo.
Owens said that it shouldn’t be that difficult this time, since they still had the specs.
Handicap ramps at the racquetball and handicap rest room stalls at the old gym at the Pecos High School were discussed and approved during the regular meeting.
“There are two main things that this involves and that we need to get in compliance with,” said Galindo.
The racquetball courts were built five years ago, in an agreement between the county and the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD to create a sports and recreation department, while the gym facilities date back to 1960, and is used by the county’s recreation department.
“Ms. Dailey (architect Lorraine Daily) has laid out both issues and a design plan,” said Galindo. “We don’t have a cost estimate yet.”
Getting the bathrooms at the old gym in compliance would be done in conjunction with the P-B-T ISD.
“Would we be splitting the cost with the school?” asked Commissioner Alvarado.
“First we need to see how much it’s going to be, but I don’t think it will be a lot,” said Galindo. “But we have money budgeted for repairs in the recreation department,” he said.
“Let’s look at the cost estimate first and we also need to talk to the school,” he said.
Deputation and oath for Joel Garcia and David K. Gerald as Reeves County Reserve Deputies were approved.
Abuse of rules force change in city’s alley clean-up plan
By JON FULBRIGHT
Town of Pecos City officials are going back to the drawing board to come up with a new alley clean-up proposal, after the current rules left the city’s three-person clean-up crew swamped with trash pick-up calls.
“Some residents have been taken advantage of what we’re doing,” said city public works director Edgardo Madrid during last Thursday’s council meeting. “It’s impossible for him (Clean-up supervisor Martin Arreguy) to keep up with the calls.
“The customers are not going to the landfill. They’re just putting it into the alleys,” he said. “Sometimes they just demolish a small house or a storage room and just dump it in the alleys.”
“We got 75 calls in three weeks, and had 25 more when we got done,” Madrid said of the calls to the landfill to pick up large trash items for disposal. The work has brought the planned citywide alley clean-up effort to a standstill.
“We did the north side and that’s it. We cannot keep up,” he said.
Madrid gave the council members a PowerPoint presentation on what changes the city is seeking to make to solve that problem.
“We’re still going to be cleaning up the alleys. We’re just going to do it in a different way,” he said.
Madrid said the city is proposing the creation of 13 trash collection sites on city-owned lots around town. Each site would be used once every three months to collect large trash items from neighborhood residents during a one-week period.
The collection sites would accept refrigerators and other white goods, air conditioners, mattresses, sofas, tree limbs, cut -up trees and wood. Madrid said a technician would be at the collection site to drain Freon from the refrigerators and air conditioners.
Construction demolition, roofing materials, concrete and hazardous materials would not be allowed to be dumped into the roll-off at the collection sites, he added.
Under the new plan, only the elderly or disabled will still be able to call the landfill for alley trash pick-ups. All others will either have to drive out to the landfill to dump their trash, or go to one of the 13 designated collection sites the week the hauler is there.
The sites would include two sites each on the north and central sections of town, and three sites on the east, west and south sides of the city. Each site would be used to collect large-item trash four times during a calendar year.
“The benefit for us is we only have to deal with one roll-off a week,” Madrid said.
With the proposed changes, council member Angelica Valenzuela asked Madrid if the city could increase its weekend landfill hours. Currently the landfill is open only a half-day on Saturday and is closed on Sundays.
“A lot of people do their clean-up work on the weekend, and sometimes they can’t make it to the landfill on time,” she said.
Madrid said the city could adjust its weekday hours to allow for more time for Saturday landfill operations. “We’ve looked at, instead of opening at 8, open at 9 so we can move the hours,” he said.
For loads that are being brought to the landfill, Madrid said the city is also looking at some changes and tighter enforcement on current rules, including placing tarpaulins over trash loads, so loose debris doesn’t spill onto nearby streets.
“If we don’t ask the community to do this, we’re going to spend a lot of time cleaning that area,” Madrid said. Under state law, the city would be required to clean up the roads within a 1 1/2 mile area leading to the landfill.
He said local residents who brought trash to the landfill without following the rules would be warned the first time and placed on a database. Further violations would result in them having to pay the out-of-town dumping rate of $35 a ton for disposal of refuse, which could either be paid at the time or would be added on to their city water bill.
Council members were given a list of the proposed changes to study, before any action is taken in July, and Madrid said city attorney Scott Johnson could work on a new ordinance for landfill dumping rules if that is required.
Gulihur, Villanueva win pageant’s crowns
By ROSIE FLORES
A talented young lady who entertained the audience with a skit depicting Cruella DeVille, was crowned Golden Girl of the Old West 2005.
K’Dee Gulihur was named Golden Girl Friday evening during the Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant held at the Pecos High School Auditorium.
Gulihur, the daughter of Roger and Darla Blackstock, portrayed the villainess from Disney’s “1001 Dalmatians” during her talent portion of the competition, which featured 12 contestants this year.
Golden Girl Runner-Up was Evelyn Flores, the 18-year-old daughter of Jerry and Carmen Dominguez of Pecos and Elizer and Alma Flores.
Savannah Ewing was named Congeniality and Roxxievette Mendoza was the scholarship winner.
Along with the dozen girls seeking the 2005 Golden Girl title at the 43rd annual pageant, 15 little girls tried for Little Miss Cantaloupe, which was won by Hilarie Villanueva just prior to the announcement of the Golden Girl winner. She is the six-year old daughter of Corina Jaquez and Joey Villanueva and was sponsored by Old Mill BBQ and Burritos.
Little Miss Cantaloupe Runner-up was Maleke Abila, 6, the daughter of Paul and Valerie Abila. She is sponsored by Olivia Lara.
Theme for this year’s event was “Grease.”
Out-of-Town Belles also made an appearance and the 10 young ladies will also participate in the yearly rodeo parade.
This year’s other Golden Girl contestants included Amanda Ruby Contreras, Marissa Skye Gabaldon , Deannady Lyvon Herrera, Jennifer Martinez , Ashley Nicole Mendoza, Roxxievette Mendoza, Candice Moore , Imari Ornelas and Michelle Wein .
The other 2005 Little Miss Cantaloupe Contestants were Kaitlyn B. Rayos, 7;Natalia Rodriguez, 5; Jess’Lee Muniz, 5; Nathalia Natividad, 6; Mirella S. Martinez, 6; Isabella Millan, 6; Iriana Hidalgo, 5; Kayla B. Martinez. 6; Emily A. Apolinar, 5; Taylor A. Herrera, 5; Kendra M. Anchondo, 5; Yssa Salas, 6; and Adalis M. Ybarra, 5.
The Golden Girl and Little Miss Cantaloupe pageants opened up Rodeo Week for Pecos. A large crowd was on hand Saturday night to watch performances from both the Golden Girls and Little Miss Cantaloupe nominees at Night in Old Pecos. Booths and games were also available, along with a talent show competition, while DJs at the Windmill Square and Oak Street stages provided music for dances after sunset.
The 122nd anniversary rodeo, which began in 1883, held its first slack performances Monday morning. It will officially begin on Wednesday night at 8 p.m., while the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday on the west side of town and work its way to the rodeo grounds over the next 90 minutes.
Wednesday will also feature the Old Timers reunion at 9 a.m. at the West of the Pecos Museum, along with a barbeque lunch at the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Arena. The arena will also host dances each night after the rodeo, while the Civic Center will also host a dance following the final night’s performance on Saturday.
Police probing Saturday drive-by shooting
By JON FULBRIGHT
Pecos police are investigating whether or not an argument on Friday led to a drive-by shooting early Saturday morning in the south-central part of town.
No one was injured in the incident, which police chief Clay McKinney said took place at 1:46 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Willow Street.
“Officers responded to the scene, and tried to locate the vehicle, but were unsuccessful,” McKinney said. He added that the vehicle reportedly used in the shooting was a car, and that a shotgun apparently was the weapon fired at the home.
“It did strike the door area of the house, but there was no one injured,” he said.
McKinney said family members at the home told investigating officers that an argument on Friday might have led to Saturday’s shooting.
“The individual who resides at the residence said his nephew had a problem earlier in the day, and this was retaliation,” he said. “We were successful in getting some names of people involved, and right now we’re just proceeding with the investigation.”
McKinney added that as of Monday, police were not classifying the shooting incident as gang-related.
“There’s no indication at this time that it is. It may prove to be later, but at this point we have no indication that it is,” he said.
Democrats set Wednesday reception
The Reeves County Democratic Party will be hosting a reception for David Van Os, a candidate for Texas Attorney General and Charlie Jones a candidate for president of Texas Democratic Veterans on at 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, at the Quality Inn.
The public is invited to come and meet these candidates.
Library hosting poetry competition
Poets from Pecos and Reeves County are invited to display their poetry at the Reeves County Library.
Poetry must be typed on 8 1/2 X 11 paper.
With the poet’s permission, the poetry will be in the Reeves-Loving County Fall Fair scheduled in October.
Library hours are from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information call the library at 445-5340.
State offering online renewal of motor vehicle registrations
Residents of Reeves County now have another way of renewing their vehicle registration. As of June 13, motorists can bypass the lines and the stamps and head straight to their keyboards. Online registration renewal will be available at www.texasonline.com.
"This web site gives our customers one more way of interacting with us," said Elfida Zuniga, Reeves County Tax Assessor Collector. "Residents will be able to renew their registration when it's convenient for them, day or night."
This online service is limited to vehicle owners who have received a Registration Renewal Notice from the Texas Department of Transportation. The registration must be due within 90 days but cannot be expired. Current liability insurance coverage is also required, and there cannot be any traffic warrants or other questionable notations on the motor vehicle record. Emissions compliance is also required where applicable.
Motorists who renew via the Internet will be asked to enter a minimal amount of information, including their address, their vehicle, insurance coverage, and the credit card they will use for payment. The Reeves County Tax Office will then process the information to ensure that all requirements are met. It will take tax office staff approximately two business days to process an approved online transaction and mail the renewal sticker to the customer. Site users will pay a nonrefundable $2 convenience fee and a $1 mail-processing fee for the service.
The website also allows registered vehicle owners to change the recipient address for their registration renewal notice. There is no fee charged for this service and it is available to all registered vehicle owners regardless of their county of residence.
"We're excited to be part of this innovative program," said Zuniga.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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