Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Commissioners OK insurance, telephone bids
Reeves County Commissioners awarded insurance bids, approved telephone equipment leases and a grant award for the Reeves County Library during their regular meeting held Monday morning.
The group approved an agreement with InterTel Telephone Equipment leases, the current provider, during their meeting.
“This is a contract for the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office and the courthouse,” said county auditor Lynn Owens.
He said that the agreement was for 36-month period and that it was half of what they were paying before.
“We’ve had a much better experience with these phones. They’ve been very reliable,” said county judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
Owens said that the intercom system with the courthouse and the sheriff’s office and the prison were really helpful.
The renewal agreement was for $680 per month for the courthouse and $284 for the sheriff’s department.
Reeves County Librarian Sally Perry talked to the group about a grant from Loan Star Library, through the State of Texas.
“This allow us some monies that we plan to use for part-time help,” said Perry.
She said that the funds could be used for several things including operating expenses, equipment, minor renovations and other things, but that they needed the extra help instead.
“We’ll be using the money for part-time help, but there are some things I can’t use the money for,” said Perry.
Several insurance bids were awarded including worker’s compensation to Rogers and Belding; real personal property and heavy equipment insurance to Rogers and Belding and auto liability to Texas Association of Counties.
An agreement with Western Office Systems Maintenance was approved.
“This agreement concerns the sheriff’s office, the district clerk’s office and the county clerk’s office,” said Owens. “I think this is really worthwhile, they are doing a good job.”
The agreement is for $927 a month. “That’s three separate offices for less than $1,000,” said Owens.
Payments for the Reeves County Detention Centers were approved: the RCDC III lease payment, 2005 Series, in the amount of $346,096; the RCDC III Maintenance Reserve Payment, 2005 Series, of $29,166; the RCDC I &II Lease payment, 1999 Series, $495,000 and the RCDC I&II Maintenance Reserve Payment of $29,166.
City seeks info on new option for bank funds
Town of Pecos City awarded the city 2006-07 bank depository contract to TransPecos Banks, but delayed approval of a new method of investment designed to produce more interest from the account, pending discussion with officials from the Texas Municipal League.
The council also was told work by the city’s safety committee helped sharply lower workman’s comp costs from 2004 to 2005 during Thursday’s meeting, and members made slight revisions to the city’s water and sewer rate ordinance, before approving it and the higher rates for local customers as part of their final regular meeting of the year.
The depository contract was awarded to TransPecos Bank for the largest of the city’s 29 accounts. City finance director Sam Contreras said the bank’s proposal would net the city about $3,300 in additional interest on that account, but some questions were raised about the use of Federal Home Loan Bank letters of credit for collateral against the city’s interest-bearing account.
TransPecos Bank president Bill Oglesby said the FHLB letters were already being used by Reeves County Hospital and the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD with their depository accounts. The method pays higher interest rates than an account that earns interest off U.S. Treasury notes, but there is a higher level of risk involved.
“If we have a half-million at least in the account they will waive all fees except for a few,” Contreras said. “The other bank (West Texas National Bank) does not. If the city were to write a check where they didn’t have the funds, they would charge a fee plus 18 percent.”
He added that not all of the city’s depository money would have to go into the FHLB letters of credit. “I still don’t feel comfortable with the percentage, but the other bank wanted 100 percent collateralization,” Contreras said, while adding that the city would have to amend its investment policy to allow the FHLB option.
He said that city auditor Dan Painter and the city’s counsel on bond investments had no problem with the option TransPecos Bank was offering, but there were questions about it two years ago from the Texas Municipal League, the last time the depository contract went up for bid. However, the TML never provided the city with specific reasons for their concern.
“Let’s talk to TML and see what their concerns are,” said city attorney Scott Johnson. “We’ll still have to amend the policy.”
“I’d feel more comfortable if the TML was in the loop,” said councilman Frank Sanchez, and the council then voted to award the depository contract to TransPecos Banks, but to wait until hearing from TML before amending the city’s investment policy.
In other action, council members were told improved safety efforts have lowered workman’s compensation costs for the city sharply from a year ago, council members were told on Thursday.
Safety committee president Ruben Contreras gave the council a PowerPoint presentation on the efforts of the group to improve safety among city workers, and the cost of injuries and worker’s comp insurance over the past three years.
He said the number of incidents involving city workers went back down to nine in 2005, after climbing from eight to 11 in 2004. The direct cost of those injuries showed a far sharper decline, from over $25,000 to under $1,800 between 2004 and 2005, while the workman’s comp insurance cost for the city fell to $72,605 from over $100,000 in 2004.
Contreras said the committee’s efforts involve reporting unsafe conditions, reporting accidents, reviewing injury incidents and contributing safety ideas. They also conduct monthly safety training under federal OSHA guidelines.
“We have seen a 76 percent reduction in worker’s compensation costs,” said city manager Joseph Torres.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Tellez was advised by Ruben Contreras that water field repairs were going on as scheduled, while Torres and Sam Contreras said some problems with the electronic reading of the city’s new water meters caused them to report zero water usage for the month through radio transmission to laptop computers. Contreras said that the meters did show water usage when the computers were connected directly into the meters.
“The percentage is small, about 1-2-3 percent,” Contreras said, while councilman Michael Benavides said local customers should realize if they used water for the month and receive a bill charging them no money, they need to check with the city water department.
“If a citizen knows they’re using water and it’s not registering, they need to bring the bill in,” he said. “If you let it go one or two months, you then have this big bill come in all at once.”
Torres said the system is supposed to flag water bills that show sudden changes from one month to the next, in order to trace any problems in the system. “This is always based on too low or too high consumption,” he said.
Torres also told councilman Danny Rodriguez that the city will draw up a plan well in advance of the end of 2006, when the city will take over landfill and trash hauling operations from Duncan Disposal. He said the plan should be finalized by the time the city draws up its 2007 fiscal year budget in September.
The council also approved two property sales, at 2119 S. Alamo St., on a bid of $800 by James Hayes, and 310 W. 13th St., on a bid of $400 by Oscar Mendoza. Following the approval, Rodriguez mentioned that several buildings in the downtown area the city sold during the past year have seen no improvements from their new owners.
“That’s something we can think about with the buildings the city owns,” said Sanchez. “We can put in deed restrictions.”
Doctor holds ‘adoption’ party at Christmas
Another family was adopted this Christmas by a physician who wanted to make this Christmas just a little brighter for the children.
Dr. Oladele Olusanya “adopted” his first family in 2004, and plans to continue in the future.
“Last year was the first year we did it and everyone seemed to really enjoy it,” said Dr. Olusanya, or Dr. Dele as he is best known.
The family was chosen by their status and because they have been patients of Dr. Dele for the past two years.
The family that was the recipient of such generosity was the Goodman family. The family includes mother, Amanda Goodman and her three children, Ashley Goodman, age three, Eli Goodman, six years old and Christian Thetford, eight years old.
Dr. Dele, who opened his practice in Pecos in 2002, bought gifts for the entire family and they were handed out during the annual Christmas office party held Christmas Eve, at the doctor’s home.
“We had them make a ‘wish’ list and they received everything on that list,” said office manager Diana Rodriguez.
“He’s compassionate and care not only about your health, but about everything about the patient,” said Amanda Goodman. “He takes his time and gets to know all his patients,” she said.
Goodman said that her children enjoy visiting the doctor. “They don’t mind when I have to take them in, they actually like it,” she said.
Dr. Dele said that Pecos was a very nice town to live and work in and that he has enjoyed being here.
“This inspired me to do something special this holiday season,” said Dr. Dele. “I have known some very good patients who inspire me, they are so loving and warm.”
He said everybody in the community has been very helpful, friendly and supportive of him. “I just want to give a little back,” he said.
“When the children enjoy going to the doctor, that makes me really happy,” said Dr. Dele.
Dr. Dele plans to stay in Pecos and plans to make his “adoption of a family during Christmas,” a yearly event and a tradition.
“I love all my patients and have some very good friends in the community,” said Dr. Dele.
Dr. Dele also credited his staff for his success. “I have a great staff and I owe to them as well,” said Dr. Dele.
Dr. Dele has two children, a daughter Yetsy and a son, Olaide.
Staff members include office manager, Diana Rodriguez, and employees, Dora Bustamante, Genice Perea, Andrea Ortiz and Kim Orona.
Primary race filing deadline drawing closer
No new candidate filings were reported in the Reeves County election races in the March 7 primary elections, with one week left for candidates to sign up for the local races.
Jan. 2 is the deadline for candidates to either submit their petitions or pay the filing fee to run in the March 7 primary. Almost all local candidates have been elected following the Democratic Party primary, and candidates must file with county chairman Bobby Dean by Jan. 2, while also filing the treasurer’s designation with Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez.
Dean will be available through Jan. 2 at 940-4944. He will also set up a temporary office at the old Greyhound bus station at Third and Cypress streets, and will have the appropriate paperwork to fill out on hand. However, this Friday, Dec. 30, will be the final day the county clerk’s office will be open before the deadline, due to the Monday holiday after New Year’s Day on Sunday.
USDA taking applications for conservation programs
Farmers and ranchers can start applying for Farm Bill conservation programs through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). USDA cost-share funds have been released earlier this year to give farmers and ranchers more time to make sound decisions regarding conservation practices before planting season begins.
Eligible producers may apply for cost share assistance on conservation practices that will address the identified resource concern identified by the Local Work Group (LWG). Practices are implemented through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). It offers cost share assistance to agricultural producers to implement on-farm conservation practices. The NRCS determines eligible land and eligible conservation practices.
The Pecos USDA Service Center will be accepting EQIP applications for 2006. The deadline for applications on 2006 EQIP funding is February 17, 2006. Applications for EQIP funds received on or before February 17, 2006 will be ranked and funded from the initial allocation to Reeves & Loving County. Last year EQIP funding in Reeves County totaled $783,925. Last year EQIP funding in Loving County totaled $52,805.
EQIP was established to assist landowners with applying conservation plans to treat major resource issues. In Reeves & Loving County, these include plant health on rangeland and water quantity on irrigated cropland. Eligible conservation practices in Reeves County include fence, livestock pipeline, pumping plant, watering facility, water well, brush management, range ripping and seeding, irrigation pipeline, irrigation land leveling, concrete ditch lining, irrigation system micro-irrigation, irrigation system new sprinkler, irrigation system sprinkler conversions, prescribed grazing, irrigation water management, pest management, nutrient management, and conservation tillage. Eligible conservation practices in Loving County include fence, livestock pipeline, pumping plant, watering facility, water well, brush management, and range ripping and seeding.
NRCS, through the invitation of the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, is the federal government's principal agency for conserving natural resources on private lands, while encouraging voluntary efforts to protect soil, water, and wildlife on private lands. NRCS offers its services free of charge.
Those interested in signing an EQIP application should visit the USDA Service Center office in Pecos or call (432) 445-3196, x3 or access the information on the Texas NRCS website at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.
143rd DISTRICT COURT
(Ward, Reeves & Loving Counties)
Judge Bob Parks, Judge Presiding
Dec. 6, 2005 through Dec. 12, 2005
Civil Cases Filed:
Discover Bank vs. Richard Alligood, account-note-contract case, filed 12-8-05.
Palisades Collection, L.L.C., et al vs. Ofelia T. Coria, account-note-contract case, filed 12-8-05.
Sonia Rodriguez vs. Flying J Inc., et al, a sexual harassment suit, was remanded to State District Court from Federal Court.
One family case was appealed to District Court on the IV-D Associate Judge’s decision.
Three family cases were reactivated on motions to enforce.
Civil Cases Disposed:
Oliphant Financial Corporation vs. Ramona C. Lujan, account-note-contract case, dismissed by plaintiff 12-8-05.
Artemio Valeriano vs. Rocky E. Mata, injury damage with motor vehicle case, dismissed for want of prosecution.
Two family cases were disposed by nonsuit on motions to enforce.
One family case was disposed by an order on a motion to modify and motion to confirm arrearages.
No new criminal cases were filed.
Motions to adjudicate were filed in the following cases:
State of Texas vs. Martha Leonard Rubio, offense: credit card abuse.
State of Texas vs. Jeffrey Eugene Ephriam, offense: assault.
Two cases in which the Defendant is not yet arrested.
State of Texas vs. Rodolfo Lopez Guebara, offense: enticing a child; a probation violation report was filed and order entered amending defendant’s terms and conditions of community supervision as follows: (1) as an alternative to incarceration in TDCM, defendant shall serve nor more than 24 months in a residential treatment center and obey all rules and regulations, pay a percentage of income to the facility to pay for room and board, participate in all programs deemed appropriate, remain at facility and not depart therefrom without written permission, submit to breath analysis or urinalysis as directed, participate in AA or NA or other substance abuse groups as directed, participate in 130 hours of community service in any court-approved work project; Defendant shall pay a fine of $500 to Reeves County CSCD prior to being released from residential treatment center; Defendant’s term of community supervision extended one year to expire 2-28-09; upon release from treatment center defendant shall participate in an aftercare program for a term of not less than six months; Defendant shall participate in the Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP) program for not less than three months and not more than 12 months; as a condition of community supervision Defendant shall serve 25 days in jail with credit for time served; Defendant shall remain in Reeves County jail until transported to the treatment center; Defendant shall attend AA or NA meetings no less than two times per week and verify attendance; he shall pay fees of $60 per month to Reeves County CSCD. Upon the above amendments, the Motion to Adjudicate was dismissed.
State of Texas vs. Jaime Dale Cranfill; offense: forgery; defendant received three years deferred adjudication $1,500 fine and court costs of $227.25.
State of Texas vs. Jimmy Don Juarez; offense: burglary; defendant received six years deferred adjudication, $1,500 fine and ordered to pay $7,000 restitution.
State of Texas vs. Bobby Eugene Collor; offense; money laundering, a second degree felony; Defendant’s community supervision was revoked and he was sentenced to four years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), ordered to pay $1,500 fine, $227.25 court costs and $1,133.34 restitution to Reeves County.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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