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Top Stories

February 20, 2001

City OKs Main Street post,

discusses clean-up agenda

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 20, 2001 - The Town of Pecos City Council has unofficially approved hiring a full-time Main Street Program manager during the Council workshop last night at City Hall.
City Manager Carlos Yerena said that utilizing the hotel/motel fund would provide the funding for the new position.
He said the person who fills the position would help in assisting existing projects and recruiting volunteers to help with city clean ups and other projects.
"We're trying to gear up to apply for admission in the Main Street Program," he said.
Pecos has now become a self-initiated Main Street city at the recommendation of state officials in charge of the program.
Last fall Pecos was denied admittance into the Main Street Program but according to the local Main Street Program Director Jeanette Alligood the city's choice to be self-initiated this year would help Pecos' chances of being chosen next year.
"It would greatly enhance our chance to be initiated," she said.
Yerena said that the city would be able to re-apply to become a Main Street city in late July but regardless of whether or not Pecos is chosen plans to beautify the city will continue.
"So we want to aggressively pursue the revitalization of the downtown area," he said. "Regardless if the city gets implemented or not the city is going to push forward."
Yerena said that the city is exploring many options to enable them to help in the revitalization of the downtown area.
One option is to implement a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone that would allow the city to use tax money on the buildings and reinvest it into the maintenance and beautification of those buildings.
"Any tax increase would go into a special fund to help beautify the downtown areas," Yerena said.
Mayor Ray Ortega said that the city hopes to get the support from all the taxing entities and area organizations to help revitalize the community and to make the downtown area more attractive to prospective businesses.
"It's going to have to be a community effort," he said.
Ortega said that the first thing that needs to be accomplished is assisting those businesses already there. "The existing businesses in this town are the backbone of the community," he said.
Ortega added that the city has many projects in the works right now and so the clean up effort would take a long time to see a change.
"We've got so much going," he said.
The city plans to start the clean up effort by working all day Wednesday in cleaning up the downtown area.
City crews, volunteers and possibly trustees from the Reeves County Jail will begin the clean up at 8 a.m., and work on painting parking stripes and curbs, as well as pulling weeds up from between the sidewalk cracks.
Ortega said that the downtown area looks the way it does as a result of 15 to 20 years of neglect, and it is time to turn things around.
Yerena said that everything that is done "today" would reflect on the future that is why the city has been applying for the Main Street Program and trying to beautify Pecos.
"So we can improve the quality of life for the citizens," he said.
Yerena said Wednesday's clean up is just the beginning and would continue for quite some time.
"We're just trying to lay the foundation," he said. "Start setting things into place."
The Council also unofficially approved giving the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department's (PVFD) fire truck unit number 306 to the Barstow Volunteer Fire Department.
The PVFD has had to make many repairs on that truck and Council members recently approved purchase a new 1,000-gallon truck from Ferrara, Inc. to replace unit 306.
The new truck was originally set to be delivered to the PVFD by Feb. 28 but the delivery date has been moved back to March 7.
"It would be a week more than they predicted," Pecos Fire Chief Roy Pena said.
Barstow Mayor Benny Hernandez informed the Council that the reason they have requested the old truck is because of the current trucks in Barstow need many repairs, but are so old that replacement parts are no longer available.
He added that Barstow has relied on the PVFD to assist in many fires and accidents on the interstate in Ward County because of the problems with their current trucks.
"If we have something to get to it we would not bother this fire department," he said.
The Council asked Pena if Barstow was aware of the problems with unit 306 and Pena replied that he has informed them of the problems, the main one being radiator repairs.
Hernandez said that they did not mind the fact that this truck would need repairs because they know that there are parts still available for it.
The city of Balmorhea also requested acquisition of the truck, but no one from that city was present last night.
Councilman Danny Rodriguez said that he believed that the truck should be given to Barstow despite the fact that the town is in Ward County.
"I think it's a safety issue," he said. "I consider Barstow as a part of our family."
The council gave preliminary approval to the request but won't officially approve it until the regular meeting on Thursday.
After that vote, the request it will go before the Reeves County Commissioner's Court because the county owns 50 percent of the truck.
The council also discussed paying for Cobra insurance for recently retired city employees for three months.
Cobra insurance would allow employees who decide to retire or leave the job to still have insurance through their employer for up to 18 months at their expense.
Yerena said that way the employees would be able to find some other insurance or find another job without being off of their current insurance.
The council decided to look further into the matter in order to be able to base it on the years of service that would be required by the employees.

Levario first city councilman to

file for new two-year term

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 20, 2001 - One of three Town of Pecos City Council members whose terms are up in May has already decided he wants to keep his seat and serve the city for another two years.
Incumbent Councilman Larry Levario has filed for a position on the Town of Pecos City Council on Monday afternoon, the first day to file for positions in the May 5 elections for city, school and hospital board.
Levario is one of three Town of Pecos City councilmen whose terms expire in May. Gerald Tellez and Johnny Terrazas hold the other two council seats up for election on May 5.
The first day to file applications for a place on the ballot in school, city and hospital district elections was Monday, and will continue through March 21.
In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board election, three three-year terms are up for election along with an unexpired term currently being served by Paul Deishler.
Deishler, who was appointed last year to replace Frank Apolinar, Jr., on the board, has filed for one of the three-year term along with one of the three incumbents, Brent Shaw.
Three-year positions on the board up for election on May 5 are those currently being held by Shaw, Earl Bates and Louis Matta, who is president of the board. Deishler's unexpired term will also be up for election.
In the Reeves County Hospital Board election, only voters in Precincts 2 and 4 will be casting ballots this year. No one has filed for either of those seats, which are held by Marcella Lovett and Holly Key.
Council seats also will be open on May 5 in the Balmorhea, Barstow and Toyah city elections, along with the Balmorhea ISD election.
If there are no opposed candidates, along with no propositions and no vacancies to be filled by special election in the various city, school and hospital board races, the election may be canceled anytime after this date.
The last day a person may register to vote in the local elections is April 5. Early voting by personal appearance will be April 27 through May 1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Election Day, May 5.

Rio Grande plan topic of meeting

set for Sanderson

PECOS, February 20, 2001 - The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River Partnership Team will hold their fourth meeting this coming Sunday and Monday in Sanderson.
The team is composed of federal, state and county officials along with representatives of private landowners, commercial outfitters, recreational users and conservation organizations. The team's goal is to assure that all interested parties have a voice in the National Park Service's efforts to write and implement a River Management Plan for the Rio Grande.
The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday with a reception and barbeque at 5 p.m. in rthe St. James Parish Hall in Sanderson. Park Service officials will offer a presentation on the current status of the river following the reception and dinner, while a discussion between NPS officials and representatives of other groups ad the general public will be held on Monday at the Parish Hall, beginning at 8:45 a.m.
Anyone wishing to attend the Sunday BBQ is asked to contact Terrell County Judge Dudley Harrison at 915-345-2421.


Eugene Patterson


High Monday 83. Low this morning 39. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 40s. Southwest wind 5 to10 mph. Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High in the lower 60s. North wind 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Low near 35. Chance of rain is less than 20 percent. Thursday and Friday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 30s and lower 40s. Highs in the 60s.

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