Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
March 6, 2001
Workers cleaning up station's leftover fuel
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, March 6, 2001 - While the city continues its plans to clean up
downtown, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has committed
funding to groundwater clean up under the old Texaco and Fina service station
in the parking lot in front of La Tienda, Beall's and Odessa College on
Bryan Lewis, field supervisor for Alliance Maintenance & Services
out of Houston, said that the groundwater under the station has some fuel
left from when the station was last open a decade ago.
"The service station lost some fuel," he said. "This is a system that
cleans it up."
Lewis and his co-worker Albert Medina have been digging trenches and
wells in order to take groundwater samples.
The clean up is scheduled to take about two years to complete and costs
The federal government toughened regulations for underground gasoline
storage tanks and on cleaning up contamination from those tanks in the
early 1990s. Projects like the one on Eddy Street are being conducted all
across the United States, according to Lewis who said that cost for the
each project varies depending how much fuel is in the ground.
Lewis said that his portion of the job would last about two more weeks,
giving him time to set up and test all the equipment, sample the water
and make sure everything is clean.
"We install everything, get it running and then we turn it over to the
Meridian office," he said, referring to Midland-based Meridian Alliance,
which is the sister company to Alliance Maintenance & Services.
Lewis said that eventually an asphalt seal would be placed over the
dirt in order to create a vacuum effect on the fuel and protect the land
from the elements.
"It's actually for the system to do its job better," he said.
A temporary building will also be placed on the property in order to
house the equipment and protect it from the elements, as well as vandalism.
All the work being done at the old station is in compliance with the
Town of Pecos City's regulations, according to Lewis.
"We've got to," he said. "We wouldn't want to have to come back."
The service station was torn down four years ago, and last year, Dr.
Vance Gipson, president of Odessa College, mentioned the possibility of
building a small park in that area as part of the construction of the college's
new Pecos Technical Training Center.
Director of the physical plant at OC, Bob Chastain said that that is
one of the ideas that OC has come up with to enhance the area around the
Chastain said that this clean up is separate from Odessa College and
has been ordered by the state.
"It has nothing to do with OC at all," he said.
Chastain said Dr. Norman Harris of Odessa owned the former White's Auto
Center building and sold it to OC in order to place the new extension on.
He also owns the property that the old station is on, but did not wish
to sell that land.
"He chose to keep that facility," Chastain said, adding that at this
time there are not plans for OC to purchase that land.
Lewis said that he believes that the clean up is needed and beneficial
to the community.
"This is a nice looking town and this is an eyesore," Lewis said.
March drop in gas bills seen after January's record highs
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 6, 2001 - The president of Southern Union Gas Company said
customers in Pecos and surrounding areas should see some good news in their
March natural gas bills, with prices gas bills substantially lower than
"We are pleased that wholesale natural gas prices continue to decline,"
said David Stevens, president of Southern Union Gas. "However, the impact
of this winter's record-high gas costs won't be forgotten. While we cannot
control the market price of natural gas, we will continue to work with
the cities we serve, and the Railroad Commission of Texas, to enact measures
that may better protect our customers from future price spikes," he said.
Lower wholesale natural gas costs, combined with warmer temperatures,
should result in lower utility bills for consumers. Southern Union announced
that its cost of gas for March bills had decreased to $.56728 per ccf.
(hundred cubic feet), a decrease of $.3730 from January 2001. This 39.67
percent decrease in gas cost when combined with lower consumption, will
result in lower March gas bills.
Although March's prices will be down from January's record highs, prices
remain higher than historic norms, the company said. Wholesale market prices
for natural gas prices have been at elevated levels since spring of 2000
due to increased demand and short supplies. Even with the decrease of wholesale
gas prices from February 2001 to March 2001, natural gas prices remain
substantially higher than historical levels. The cost of natural gas is
almost twice as high as a year ago, increasing from $.29329 per ccf in
March 2000 to $.56728 in March 2001.
Natural gas prices charged by Southern Union Gas are based on the wholesale
prices the company pays producers. The Texas Railroad Commission and the
municipalities Southern Union serves require the company to pass along
the cost of gas with no profit. Stevens said the company hopes wholesale
prices will continue to drop and return to more normal levels in the near
In order to help lower bills until then, Southern Union encourages its
* Call the company and enroll in the Average Bill Calculation Plan,
better known as the ABC Plan, which allows customers to pay a fixed price
through the year and protects them from the potential price spikes.
"I joined the ABC Plan and I strongly encourage all of our customers
to do the same," said Stevens.
* Have a licensed, professional, heating and air conditioning technician
inspect their gas appliances annually to ensure they are functioning properly,
efficiently and safely.
* Ensure their home is well insulated. Caulk and weather-strip windows
and doors to seal drafts and consider increasing the amount of insulation
in your home.
* Keep furnaces filters clean by replacing them monthly.
* Insulate their gas water heater, drain sediment from the bottom of
the tank, and set the temperature to 120 degrees.
* Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the winter months
and wear a sweater or light jacket to ward off the chill.
Officials order autopsy into Shelton's death
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 6, 2001 - An autopsy has been ordered on the long-time
area manager for Southern Union Gas Company in Pecos, following his death
Police and emergency personnel were called to the home of Danny Shelton
early Monday morning. Shelton's body was found in the house and the case
was classified by police as an unattended death. Shelton's body has been
sent to Lubbock for an autopsy, said Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis
"I talked to the pathologist and he said that autopsy would be done
this morning," Davis said.
It is standard procedure to request an autopsy in the case of unattended
deaths, according to police.
Shelton was 56 years old and had been the area manager for the local
gas company for several years. He was also president of the Pecos Rifle
and Pistol Club.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Youth soccer clinic is set for Thursday
PECOS, March 6, 2001 - The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation
Department will be holding a youth soccer clinic on Thursday, prior to
the start of the spring soccer league season.
The clinic is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, in the Pecos High
School old gym.
Registration for the spring soccer season continues through Saturday,
March 17, and the recreation department is also seeking anyone interested
in either coaching or officiating during the upcoming spring soccer season.
For further information on the clinic or on the spring soccer program,
call the RCCRD office at the old PHS gym, 447-9776.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is
obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants
by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal
control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will
be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced
we will indicate payment and release.
David G. Pando, 20, was arrested at 8:56 p.m., on March 5 at Fourth and
Peach streets for driving while license suspended.
Benito Salcido, 61, was arrested at 8:14 p.m., on March 5 at Eighth
and Ash streets on a warrant for delivery of a controlled substance.
Fred Lara, 44, was arrested at 11:23 a.m., on March 5 at Zavala Middle
School on a warrant for criminal trespass.
Eric Garcia, 29, was arrested at 4:05 p.m., on March 5 in the 900 block
of Elm Street on a warrant for parole violation.
PECOS, March 6, 2001 - High Monday 74. Low this morning 46. Forecast for
tonight: Cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low
around 40. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation less than 20
percent. Wednesday: Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.
High in the mid 60s. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation
50 percent. Wednesday night: Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely.
Low in the lower 40s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent. Thursday: Decreasing
clouds and cooler with a slight chance of morning showers. High in the
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