Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, May 19, 2000
City will begin water field work early next year
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - It will be nine months to a year before construction
will begin on the new South Worsham water field, following the announcement
this week the Town of Pecos City has received a grant of over $8 million
for the project.
City Water Superintendent and Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said
work would start at the end of this year or early next year on building
the new field, after the Texas Water Development Board approved a loan
for $8,375,000, requested by the city earlier this month.
"This will be a new South Worsham Field, six miles south from the original
Worsham Field, which is 12 miles from Pecos," said Garcia.
He added that the process will be a long one and will depend on many
factors, including cost.
"We're hoping to start drilling some wells by the end of the year,"
said city manager Kenneth Neal. "We don't know the exact date yet, but
we've already started planning."
City officials were told in 1994 that the current Worsham and Ward County
Water Fields would only be able to provide Pecos with useable drinking
water through the year 2008. The city then began seeking a new well field
in the area, settling on the South Worsham Field site, before applying
for the funds to proceed with the next step of the project.
Neal stated that the city plans to blend the water with water from Worsham
Field, which would extend the life of both fields.
TWDB said the $8,375,000 loan would be repayable at only a one percent
interest rate, and the city would also receive an additional $460,000 loan
from the Texas Water Development Funds to help with the project.
In addition, to those funds, Reeves County will also help Pecos fund
the project, as part of an agreement that settled a dispute over city water
used by the Reeves County Detention Center.
"The county will reimburse the city $4 million over a 10-year period,"
said County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "It has been agreed that the county
will pay $422,320 annually to the city for increased water delivery in
Galindo stated that this would be a tremendous boost to the city and
the county. "We're working together to continually improve the community,"
said Galindo. "It takes teamwork to make good things happen."
Garcia stated that they will try to close down by June and will have
to have plans in and get them approved. "That should take about six months,
so we're looking at nine months to a year before we can start construction,"
"It's a long process," said Garcia.
The TWDP said the city qualified for the low interest loan because it
is a disadvantaged community. The money will be used to construct 18 new
water wells, a groundwater storage tank and a new transmission line, though
Garcia said the number of wells could range between 10 and 20.
"It'll depend on cost, because the costs go up so high, we don't know
how much it will be by the time we get to that stage," he said.
About seven miles of 24-inch pipe will need to be installed and about
12 miles of eight and six-inch line, according to Garcia. "PVC pipe, which
is what we're going to use, has gone up tremendously and if it goes up
anymore, that's one of the factors that will affect, the number of wells
and the construction time," he said.
Development of the new water field and transmission lines is expected
to provide Pecos with adequate drinking water supplies through the middle
of the 21st Century.
City's grant writer admits bribery
By ROSIE FLORES
The Town of Pecos City's longtime grant administrator pled guilty recently
in an Austin federal courtroom to bribery of public officials and witnesses.
Carlos Colina-Vargas was indicted by a U.S. District Court grand jury
on March 7 for illegally giving money to a U.S. government official. The
indictment on five bribery counts came following a complaint filed on Feb.
14 in Austin, and he was arrested on Feb. 23
The April 20, plea by Colina-Vargas is on a one-count information charge
of giving illegal compensation to an employee of the Executive Branch of
the U.S. Government for services rendered or to be rendered. It came following
efforts in early April by his attorney to dismiss the indictment were rejected,
according to federal court records.
Money was paid in exchange for favorable action on grant-applications
Colina-Vargas sought for various government entities that were his clients,
according to federal court records.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Mills of Austin said the crime to which
Colina-Vargas pleaded is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in
prison or up to five years probation. In addition, he could be fined up
Sentencing is scheduled for June 20 in Austin before Federal Judge Sam
Sparks and prosecutors have agreed to drop the five indictments after Colina-Vargas
The case against Colina-Vargas came to light after federal prosecutors
began investigating the government official, Raymundo "Ray" Ramirez of
Austin, the former regional director for the U.S. Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration, a federal agency that awards public
Ramirez last year pleaded guilty to one count of accepting an illegal
gratuity, a felony, and was given a three-year probated prison sentence.
He also was forced to resign.
According to court records, Colina-Vargas paid Ramirez a total of $12,500
between 1995 and 1997 in exchange for Ramirez helping secure federal public
works grants to four of Colina-Vargas clients, the cities of Anthony, Mathis,
Mission and George West.
Court documents also indicate that Tom Nance, Colina-Vargas' business
partner, also paid Ramirez sums of money. Nance was indicted.
No area officials are reportedly involved in the investigation.
Colinas-Vargas has served as the city's grant administrator for the
past decade, and formerly served in the same position for Reeves County.
Despite his legal troubles, Town of Pecos City will continue to use
his services. "As far as I know, he is still our grant administrator,"
said city manager Kenneth Neal. "He's done some good work for us and we
don't have any complaints."
Eighth graders look at options after graduation
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - Career Day gives Crockett Middle School students
a head start on life after high school.
Representatives from the Navy, Odessa College, The University of Texas-Permian
Basin, Sul Ross State University and the Pecos Technical Training Center
of Odessa College spoke with the school's eighth grade students today about
opportunities before and after high school graduation.
"Our main goal was to get the kids introduced to post-senior opportunities,"
Crockett Middle School science teacher and Student Council representative
Jim Workman said.
About 250 students spent 25 minutes with each representative and learned
about the different opportunities available to them.
Students were able to listen to the presentations, watch videos and
Director of OC's Pecos Campus, Michelle Workman, explained to the students
the benefits of taking concurrent classes, which are courses that high
school students may take and receive dual credit for both high school and
By taking concurrent classes, a senior can enter college as a sophomore,
Jim Workman spent three weeks contacting schools and military and asking
them to come and give presentations.
The student council was available to help the visiting representatives
with anything needed.
"It was nice seeing the students participating, making it easier for
us to come in," Michelle Workman said.
In addition to the presentations, some presenters gave prizes in each
session and door prizes were given to students and faculty. at today's
Council OKs grad party's alcohol sales
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - The Town of Pecos City Council held an emergency
meeting at 9:00 a.m. today to discuss a request to sell alcoholic beverages
at the Sheriff's Posse Barn on Sunday.
Posse member Starkey Warren addressed the council on behalf of the Sheriff's
Warren told the council that the Posse had received a request to rent
the barn for a combination college graduation/family reunion on Sunday,
"The problem is the city ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcohol for
on-site consumption on Sundays," Warren said.
City Attorney Scott Johnson advised the council that similar waivers
had been granted in the past.
"This is how the Sheriff's Posse raises money and we do patrol the event.
It won't turn into a big drunk or anything," Warren said.
The council voted unanimously to grant the waiver with Councilman Johnny
Terrazas not in attendance.
Construction nearly finished on OC's Pecos campus
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - The Pecos Technical Training Center of Odessa
College will be fully functional by May 30, the day summer classes are
scheduled to begin, Director of OC Pecos Michelle Workman said.
Finishing touches are being added to the South Eddy Street building.
"We are having furniture delivered everyday up till the day we open,"
Workman said, and the workers will begin moving furniture and equipment
over to the new facility on Tuesday.
The grand opening will be in June.
OC Pecos will offer a wide variety of courses including law enforcement,
speech, English, math and nursing. More courses will be added to the schedule
as demand comes up.
"We have to plan classes around our students," Workman said.
The new facility will have classrooms, a student lounge and study rooms
with Internet access.
Eventually, 40 part-time instructors will be employed at OC Pecos.
Summer registration will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23 and May
24. Hours for registration will be 1-6 p.m., at 320 S. Oak St., Suite 4.
Summer classes will begin on May 30 and end July 6.
The summer sessions will have all local instructors except one who will
be driving in from Odessa. There will be a combination of out-of-town and
local instructors in the fall.
For more information call 445-5535.
Drought-related burning bans on county agenda
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - Bans on outdoor burning and fireworks within Reeves
County, along with a Reeves County Ranch and Farm Disaster Drought Declaration
by Texas Gov. George W. Bush, are topics of discussion for the Reeves County
Commissioners Court on Monday
Commissioners will hold their regular meeting at 10 a.m., Monday on
the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse, and the public is invited
Commissioners will discuss a resolution for the Declaration of Disaster
Threat of Wildfires; the Pecos Fire Department Rescue Cam Funding; Public
Health Officer appointment and compensation; consultant for Reeves County
Telecommunications System and a foreclosed property bid policy for Reeves
In addition, the group will discuss and take action on foreclosed property
bid for 402 S. Mesquite St.; the U.S. Department of Agriculture Community
Facility Loan Application for Balmorhea Community Center; performance review
of RCDC Operations by MGT of America; Reeves County Detention Center Uniforms
and RCDC bus proposal.
Commissioners will also discuss and take action on Trinity Engineering
Testing Corporation Construction Materials Testing Request for Payment
for RCDC 2 Project Invoice of 4-29; Speer and Murray, Ltd. Contract for
professional services RCDC independent audit and Texas County District
Retirement System vesting period.
Under regular business commissioners will discuss and take action on:
· Deputation and oath of reserve deputies Jose Millan Gonzales
Jr. and Arturo Granado.
· Reports from various departments.
· Budget amendments and line-item transfers.
· Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, recreation department and
· Minutes from previous meetings.
· Semi-monthly bills.
· Spread on minutes: White Cap Industries, Inc.
PHS to announce awards on Monday
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - ecos High School will host the annual Outstanding
Students Award Assembly, at 3:30 p.m., Monday, May 22, at the Pecos High
Everyone is invited to attend.
Balmorhea board picks finalists for superintendent
BALMORHEA, May 19, 2000 - Balmorhea school board members selected five
finalists for the position of Balmorhea ISD superintendent on Thursday,
during a special called meeting of the board.
The district had advertised for the position and has been busy narrowing
the list since Dr. Carl Hoffmeyer announced his plans to resign at the
end of the school year.
Finalists for the position include, Wayne Byrd, Middle School Principal,
Reagan County ISD; Kenneth M. Rohrbach, Interim Superintendent, Dell City
ISD; Elizabeth C. Saenz, Director, Bilingual Programs, Presidio ISD; Teloa
J. Swinnea, Director of Instruction, Presidio ISD and Dr. C. Edwin Walker,
Assistant Superintendent for Curricular Programs and Technology, Diboll
The board will make a final decision following the interview sessions.
Maria A. Castillo, 87, died Tuesday, May 16, 2000, at an Alpine nursing
A rosary will be at 7:30 p.m. today at Our Lady of Peace Church.
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday at the church, with burial in
Holy Angels Cemetery.
Castillo was born on Oct. 9, 1912, in Aguascalientes, Mex. She was a
long-time resident of Alpine, a homemaker, and a member of Our Lady of
Survivors include her son, Teodoro Castillo of El Paso; two daughters,
Maria C. Granado of Alpine and Agapita C. Candia of Pecos; one sister,
Concha Carpio of Juarez, Mexico; 23 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren
and 11 great-great grandchildren.
Geeslin Funeral Home of Van Horn is in charge of arrangements.
Lionel "Buzz" Garrett, 72, of Monahans, died Wednesday, May 17, 2000, at
Services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday at First Baptist Church of
Monahans with Jeff Box officiating. Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.
He was born Nov. 3, 1927, in Pecos, was a World War II Navy Veteran,
was in the Korean War with the Army, a retired technician with Southwestern
Bell Telephone in 1990 and a member of First Baptist Church.
Survivors include two sons, Larry Garrett of Monahans and Clay Garrett
of San Diego, Calif.; two daughters, Kathy Deaner of Santee, Calif. and
Sharon Garrett of Lakeside, Calif.; two brothers, Bill Garrett of Fontana,
Calif. and Wayne Garrett of Miles City, Mo. and five grandchildren.
Harkey Funeral Home of Monahans is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, May 19, 2000 - High Thursday 97. Low this morning 61. Forecast for
tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Low 55-60. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent
chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the mid 80s. Southeast wind
5-15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers
or thunderstorms. Low in the mid 50s to near 60. Sunday: Partly cloudy
and warmer. Low near 60. High in the lower 90s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise