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Monday, November 13, 2000

Commissioners OK Town Hall for parks plan

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 13, 2000 - Parks and recreation were the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held this morning.

Commissioners approved holding a Town Hall Public Review meeting to discuss Reeves County Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 11.

On a related topic, commissioners decided golfers wouldn't have to go far for beverages any more, after they approved submitting an application to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) for the purpose of selling beer at the golf course.

Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin abstained from voting for this particular item, while all other commissioners agreed authorizing the submission of the application. The golf course has not had on-site beer sales in over a year, since the county took over operations of the clubhouse and pro shop.

A contract renewal with the Senior Citizens Center Permian Basin Area Agency on the Aging was approved, along with DRG (Dailey, Rabke and Gondeck) Architects' request for payments Number 208 and 209. "They've been running a little higher, because they're having to bring more people out because they're getting close to the end of the project," said county auditor Lynn Owens. Payment Number 208 was in the amount of $6,322 and payment number 209 was for $1,625, to finish the payout, according to Owens.

The group agreed to award a bid for a second walking track at the Reeves County Detention Center to Wilkins International, the lone bidder. Wilkins is already working on building the first track at the RCDC. "This is the same company that is preparing the first track and in the same price category," said Owens.

Security State Bank was the lone bidder for an ATM Machine to be located at the RCDC, Owens said.

"We advertised for bids and had one proposal," he said. "In preparing the specifications we stated that they would be in charge of installation and maintenance costs. They will be responsible for installing, maintenance and monitors," he said.

Owens stated that they would have a 3-year lease, with two additional 1-year extensions up to five years.

"These machines are very expensive, that's why I came up with the 3-year lease, with one-year extensions," said Owens. "We also asked for a brochure and they provided us with that, this is very acceptable."

"This will be at no cost to Reeves County Detention Center or the county, but it becomes a service to the Reeves County Detention Center employees," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Under reports from various departments, Galindo noted that U.S. Marshals Service payments are up to date. "I'm sure we'll exceed revenue predictions," said Owens.

Budget amendments and line-item transfers were all made within the departments, noted Owens. "These were all done within the departments themselves, including the ones from the Reeves County Detention Center."

Personnel and salary changes included promotions and new hires at the RCDC. Promotions went to Amy Romero, C.O. III at $26,000 a year; also, Pearl Ramos, Art Gomez, Sylvia Aguilar, Nancy Mosby, Christ Matta and Rose Rodriguez to C.O. III's and Frederick Harkems to M.T.II.

New hires were: Jessica Bautista, Rosa Dominguez, Natalie Evaro, Delila Fuentes, Nina Gonzales, Arnulfo Granado, Raul Granado, Ismael Juarez, Estevan Lopez, Elizabeth Lozano, Sarah Matta, Delia Nunez, Hector Rodriguez, Maribel Rodriguez, Ruben Salazar, Joshua Salazar, Michael Sanchez, Ricardo Tavarez, Clyde Ward and Cynthia Ybarra, as Correctional Officers I, at $19,000 per year.

Damon Compton was hired at the Reeves County Sheriff's Department as a deputy at $26,400.

During the discussion on salaries, Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 4 Gilbert "Hivi" Rayos said he had heard that less than a third of the 28 individuals who took the test at the RCDC had passed it. "Isn't that costing us money?" he asked.

"I don't know anything about the tests, I haven't seen them, but we can find out for you," said Galindo. "Because if there's that many that didn't pass it, that's just not acceptable."

Galindo stated that if 28 individuals took the test more should have passed it. "It tells me people are not being trained right, there's something wrong," he said.

"No one's made me aware of this failure rate," Galindo added.

"Doesn't it cost RCDC about $2,000 for each individual?" asked Rayos.

Owens stated that the trainees currently take the test at UTPB after extensive training. "They go through a two-week training period and then they take certified testing by the state," said Owens.

He said lately they have been testing the new hires sooner, upon completion of training. "And this helps because if they don't pass it, it gives them a chance to re-test."

"They're testing them within three months of hire date, so they have a chance to re-test," he said, adding that hopefully they can pass it the second go-around.

As far as some of the costs, Owens stated that he doesn't think they're giving them the psychological evaluation, until the pass the test.

"They go through training and for them to fail is unacceptable," said Galindo.

Also this morning, Commissioners approved the Community Sports and Recreation Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Amendment between Reeves County and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD.

"Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing acquiring the building on Highway 17, to be used by the Reeves County Extension Service," said Galindo.

The property was foreclosed for delinquent taxes and was acquired by all the taxing entities. "The school as agreed to give up interest for the county's use," said Galindo.

"The school has agreed to deed its interest of this building on Highway 17, which was the old Billie Sol Estes Building, to be used by the extension service," said Galindo.

Galindo stated that the amendment was something they had talked about before the discussion with the building

He said that the agreement was also amended to include site development of two softball fields at the Crockett Middle School.

"Having softball fields at the middle school will give better access to the softball players from high school," said Galindo. "They'll be able to practice only a few blocks away," he said. Pecos' high school softball team currently practices and plays at Martinez Field, on the southeast side of town.

"It's in the best interest of the kids to be able to practice closer," he said.

Minutes from previous meetings were approved along with semi-monthly bills.

Officials tout Pecos at Maquila Exposition

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 13, 2000 - Pecos Economic Development Corporation representatives Gari Ward and Oscar Saenz attended the 2000 Maquila Exposition and Trade Show at the convention center in Juarez, Mex, earlier this month.

Ward said he and Saenz were able to visit the 100 exhibition booths and inform the manufacturers about Pecos and the possibilities this city holds.

He said they were able to hand out brochures that explain the benefits of Pecos to manufacturing companies moving into town.

Ward said the brochure was able to introduce companies to Pecos.

"It gives a real quick overview of what we have to offer," he said.

Some of the topics discussed in the brochure were the large labor force, the Pecos Technical Training Center and the location.

The brochure explained that Pecos is located on Interstate 20, 50 miles from Interstate 10 and is on the main line of the Union Pacific Railroad. The brochure listed the mileage to many major cities including El Paso, Midland, Houston, Fort Worth/Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

There is also a list of incentives to expansion businesses including the enterprise zone, tax abatement, Texas Capital Fund, Link Deposit Program, Texas Leverage Fund, Texas Industrial Revenue Bonds, Skill Development Program and General Obligations bonds.

Ward said he thought the trip was successful.

"We feel like it was well worth our time and money," he said. "I felt like we made some good contacts."

Ward has not been contacted by any of the companies he and Saenz met yet but said he would work on contacting many of them himself.

"I'm sure I'll be in contact with them in the next few weeks," he said.

Ward said the PEDC would like to attend another trade show at the end of January for electrical companies in El Paso.

Drive-by shooting under investigation

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 13, 2000 - Pecos police officers and investigators were called to the scene of a drive by shooting in the 500 block of North Hickory Street at 10 p.m., on Saturday.

Police Investigator Kelly Davis said there were several shots fired from a vehicle but no arrests have been made pending an investigation.

He said people were standing outside the Mata residence when the drive by occurred, but there were no injuries.

"We're real fortunate," Davis said.

Davis said there are a few suspects and several witnesses to the shooting.

He said this shooting is one of several drive by shootings over many years.

"We've had very, very few, " he said.

Davis said if anybody has any information about the drive by call 445-4911 and ask for Davis or Olga Lopez.

Area's November tax rebates up sharply

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 13, 2000 - Sales tax collections for the Permian Basin were up sharply in September, meaning this month's tax rebate check from the state comptroller's office in Austin is also up significantly for most area cities.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander sent back checks totaling over $261.4 million to Texas cities and counties last week, an increase of nearly 15 percent over September of a year ago. And unlike most other recent months in the past few years, when the Permian Basin numbers have lagged those for the state as a whole, most area cities reported increases of over 15 percent in their rebate checks.

Pecos' tax rebate check for October was nearly 19 percent higher, at $66,642, based on the city's 1½-cent share of the state's 8¼-cent sales tax. For the first 11 months of the year, Pecos has gotten back $710,782 from Rylander's office, a three-percent increase.

Of the city's $66,642, about $11,000 of that will go to the Pecos Economic Development Corp., under a measure approved by voters to devote ¼-cent of the city's sales tax revenue to economic development.

Balmorhea, Toyah and the Reeves County Hospital District also reported tax rebate increases above the state average.

The hospital district got back $25,826 from its ½-cent sales tax, up 48.65 percent from the $25,826 in September of last year. For all 11 months so far in 2000, the hospital's rebates are $288,595, an 8.79 percent increase.

Balmorhea's tax rebate check for $1,347 represented a 62.41 percent rise from last year, though part of that is due to an increase in the city's sales tax. For the year, Balmorhea tax rebates total $8,243, up 49.45 percent.

Toyah, which has seen its rebate checks drop sharply for most of 2000, was up 40.39 percent this month, from $407 to $693. For the entire year, however, the $4,341 the city has gotten is down 63.61 percent from a year ago.

Alpine and Kermit were the only area cities to show declines in their September tax rebate checks, and every other town reported increases of at least 10 percent. Checks to Monahans and Presidio were up about 30 percent, while Andrews, Fort Stockton, Marfa and Midland showed increases of 25 percent. Midland got the region's largest check, for $1,557,703, though that was due in part to a recent ¼-cent rise in the city's tax rate.

Christmas Parade scheduled Dec. 8

PECOS, November 13, 2000 - The Annual Pecos Christmas Parade will be held on Friday, Dec. 8 and is sponsored by the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce.

Line-up will be held at 5 p.m., at the Pecos High School Parking Lot and the parade will start at 6 p.m.

The parade will then conclude at the Reeves County Courthouse.


Barbara Daniel

Barbara Paul Daniel, 69, of Lubbock died Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2000, at her residence.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 13, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Lubbock with Rev. Clifton Mann and Rev. Jo Mann officiating.

She was born Jan. 28, 1931 in Oklahoma City, Okla., and married Edward A. Daniel on Sept. 2, 1956.

She has been a resident of Lubbock since 1982 and has been involved in the travel business and Meals On Wheels.

She also worked for the Better Business Bureau and Green Thumb.

Survivors include one daughter, Leslie Daniel of Lubbock and one sister Virginia Stallings of Corpus Christi.

Arrangements are under the direction of Resthaven Funeral Home.


PECOS, November 13, 2000 - High Sunday 65. Low this morning 32. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the upper 20s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High near 60. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low near 30. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Low in the 30s. High 55-60.

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