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Friday, July 27, 2001

Council OKs plan to limit Fairview water utilization

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 27, 2001 -- The Town of Pecos City Council approved a new watering policy  for public use at Fairview Cemetery that is designed to conserve water  during the council's regular meeting Thursday evening at City Hall.

"Basically we're just trying to find a way to lower consumption (of water)," City Manager Carlos Yerena said.

Yerena said that Utilities Director Octavio Garcia put together a report on how much water was used at the cemetery, which is located in the middle of town on Eddy Street, in the past few months.

According to the report the amount of water that has been used during the warmer months has averaged between 1-2 million gallons of water per month.

During the winter months the water use at the cemetery was 500,000 and less.

During June 2000, the use of water reached almost 11 million gallons, which Garcia explained was due to some leaks and problems with the piping.

"That was a month that we had a lot of problems," Garcia said.

In the past individuals could water single or family plots at no cost. This policy would continue under the new rules, but the frequency of watering would be limited.

Yerena explained to the council that before anyone is able to water they would have to get a watering permit at City Hall.

He said that there would not be any fees for obtaining a water permit.

The council, as part of the watering policy, would also designate certain times for watering, which are from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and from 5 p.m.-8 p.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

No watering would be possible at any other time due to the fact that the water supply would be shut off after those times, according to Yerena.

Yerena said that the council would publish the full watering policy in the newspaper in an effort to give the public time to become aware of the policy before it goes into effect at the end of August.

The council also approved a mutual aid agreement between Reeves County and the city that would authorize the law enforcement officers in each jurisdictional entity give assistance and make arrests if needed in each other's jurisdiction.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said that he and the District Attorney Randy Reynolds have discussed the fact that in the past it has been questioned whether or not an arrest is legal if the arrest is made out of the jurisdiction of that entity.

He said this agreement would give the authority to the county and city to give each other assistance if needed.

"This is what I consider to be a necessary tool," he said.

In other action, the council voted to appoint Nancy Ontiveros to the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department Advisory Board.

Yerena told the council that they currently have two representatives on the board but need to appoint another person to serve.

The council also approved appointing Lydia Prieto to calculate the effective and rollback tax rate for 2001 as well as the submission of the roll to the governing body.

Council members also approved the bid of $1,000 from Bertha Estrello for the foreclosed property located at 412 East 14th Street as well as the accounts payable and the minutes of previous meetings.

Asbestos removal top priority in P-B-T budget

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 27, 2001 -- Asbestos removal at Pecos High School and Bessie Haynes  Elementary is what the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board is focusing on in  their 2001-2002 proposed budget.

At the board's first budget workshop of the year, held Thursday evening, Cookie Canon, the business manager, went through budget preparations with the board.

During this time the board talked about the revenues and expenditures of the 2001-02 school year. Among the topics, the board hit on specific areas of renovation for the high school and Bessie Haynes Elementary.

"The main thing right now is to remove the asbestos from the high school and Bessie Haynes," Superintendent Don Love said. "We hope to do this during the holidays or at the beginning of the next summer. A lot depends on when the asbestos contractors can come in."

According to Love the asbestos at the elementary school is located on the ceiling tiles and at the high school the gray blow-on asbestos is located on the walls.

Renovation to be done at Bessie Haynes is to install a new air conditioner.

"The air conditioning and heating system that is there now is the original one that was installed when the school was built in 1969," Love said.

The total for the renovations at Bessie Haynes is $532,075 and the total for the renovations at the high school is estimated at $1,734,810.

Another school that could benefit from the proposed budget is Crockett Junior High. A new air conditioner is to be installed into the gym at a cost of $55,000.

"School finance is kind of massive in some areas," Love said. "Our big ticket items are to get three new vans and two buses with air conditioning."

The board also plans to help Reeves County with the installation of a sprinkler system into the softball field, an effort that would cost $2,500.

Another thing that has been put into the proposed 2001-02 budget are six new tennis courts surfaces at Pecos High School and new playground equipment that would go to Pecos Kindergarten or Austin Elementary. A total for the tennis courts is estimated at $168,000 and $7,500 for the playground equipment.

The budget is to be presented to the board on August 7, in which the public will be able to attend.

During this time Love will also propose to the board to set a set tax rate of $1.50. In maintaining that tax rate, it will then force a tax rollback election, which will be set for September 22.

"We want to maintain the same tax rate," Love said. "It will not cost the local taxpayers anything. By ratifying the tax rate to $1.50, we can do all the things we talked about. Right now we are concerned that those very same values that went up will do down."

"It is a window of opportunities," Canon added. "We will be able to take care of some of the things we haven't been able to get."

Love is asking for the support of everyone during the August 7, meeting.

"We need positive vibes," Love said. "We will be talking to the all the staff and civic organizations in hopes of their support."

Love also added again that the tax rate for the people would not be going up.

"The taxes are already at $1.50, we are just asking them to stay at $1.50," Love said.

Panhandle town honors Zeman for work to build library in '50s

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 27, 2001 -- A Pecos resident was recently recognized by the Friona Star,  the newspaper in Friona, for her work in establishing a public library  in Friona.

Mary Kate Zeman, who is currently a volunteer at the West of the Pecos Museum, lived in Friona for quite some time before moving back to her hometown over three decades ago.

While in Friona, located in the Texas Panhandle, Zeman was a part of the Women's Study Club and helped convince the city to establish a public library in about 1955.

Zeman said that the study club originally started a library in their club's house with donated books and materials.

"We borrowed bricks and lumber and build shelves along the walls," she said.

Zeman said that members of the study club would volunteer as librarians.

"We had a thriving library," she said.

Zeman said that the club's house soon became to small for the many books that were donated and the number of children that came for story hours and just to read.

So in efforts to enlarge the library, the club went before the Friona City Council.

"We went to the city council because we ran out of room," she said. "We needed room and we needed funds."

Zeman said that at that time the city council turned down the club's request for assistance but that didn't stop the club from pursuing their idea.

Club members decided to go back before the council for a second time armed with pictures of the library.

Zeman said that the editor of the Friona Star had always been cooperative with the library and took pictures whenever they needed, and because of that, the club's members were able to give the city council proof that there was already an interest in the library.

The pictures worked and the city council approved moving the library to a bigger building.

On her recent visit to Friona, Zeman was able to visit the newly renovated Friona Public Library, which is its' original name given by the club.

Zeman said that it was a joy to see the library, which is about two times the size of the Reeves County Library, and how at home the children seem to be there.

"While we were there, kids came in and they were quite at home," she said happily.

Zeman said that she was impressed at how big the city had made the library because the town only has approximately 4,000 people.

"They took it (the idea) and ran with it," she said.

She said that many kids use the library and many teachers at the nearby elementary school often take their students there.

Zeman has been gone from Friona for 31 years and Zeman said that she was amazed that many people remembered and recognized her.

"It was kind of a thrill to be remembered," she said.

Zeman said that without the help of the Friona newspaper and the editor the club might not have been able to convince the city council that the town needed a bigger library.

"I try to convey that without the editor's pictures we couldn't have sold it to the city council," she said.

Lack of quorum Postpones PHA meeting tonight

PECOS, Friday, July 27, 2001 -- The Pecos Housing Authority and Farm Labor Housing Authority monthly meetings, scheduled for 5 p.m. today at the PHA office at Teague and Meadowbrook drives, has been postponed due to the lack of a quorum.

No date has been set as of yet for the rescheduled meeting.

Rifle match set this Saturday at Pecos range

PECOS, Friday, July 27, 2001 -- A Service Rifle Match will be held Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club Range south of Maxey Park.

Competitors will shoot at modified National Match course of fire of 50 shots for record with three sighting shots before each leg. This match will be a qualifying match for purchase of an M-1 rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Sign-up begins at 7:45 a.m. and the match is limited to the first 22 shooters.


PECOS, Friday, July 27, 2001 -- High Thursday 101. Low this morning 73. Forecast for tonight:   Partly cloudy with an isolated shower or thunderstorm  possible. Low in the mid 70s. The chance of rain is less than 20  percent. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with  an isolated shower or thunderstorm possible. High around  100. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. The chance of rain is less than  20 percent. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with an isolated shower  or thunderstorm possible. Low in the mid 70s. The chance of rain is  less than 20 percent. Sunday and Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows in  the 70s. Highs between 100-106.


Jeannette Alligood

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