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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Thursday, February 14, 2002

Council awards contracts for new jail's phones, van

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 14, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council awarded bids to two local  businesses for equipment needed at the Pecos Municipal Criminal Justice  Center during the regular meeting this morning in Council Chambers at  City Hall.

The council approved awarding the bid from Oilfield Phone Service for the phone system at the new jail facility and police department.

Oilfield Phone Service submitted a bid for $10,563 to install and wire the phone system at the new facility while Valor Telecom, the only other company to submit a bid, submitted a bid of over $16,000.

City Manager Carlos Yerena told the council that he recommended awarding the bid to Oilfield Phone Service because the city currently uses that company.

"It would allow the city to stay with the same system through the city," he said.

Dick Alligood, owner of Oilfield Phone Service, said that the system that would be installed in the new facility is just an updated version of the current city phone system.

He also said that if the city decided to expand the facility they would also be able to expand the phone system.

"If the facility would continue we could go to 576 ports," Alligood said.

The council also approved a bid for a van for the facility use in transporting inmates to and from the federal courthouse.

Yerena informed the council that Colt Chevrolet was the only company to bid on the van, which was just over $23,500.

Mayor Pro-Tem Danny Rodriguez, who is also principal at Pecos High School, abstained from voting on a contract with Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD for an explosive detection dog.

Police Chief Clay McKinney informed the council that the school district was willing to go into contract with the city to train the police department's drug dog in weapons detection.

McKinney said that the city and schools would be able to use the dog to detect whether or not weapons are in the local schools.

Each year the city would have to send the dog to receive training in order to be certified in explosive detection, which would cost $570 a year paid by the school district.

The council approved sending the city's drug dog to be certified in weapons detection.

Mayor Ray Ortega signed a proclamation declaring February as African American History Month.

Ortega read the proclamation aloud which stated that dedicating the month, as African American History Month is to honor the accomplishments of African Americans.

It coincided with the birthday of the great black leader Frederick Douglass.

Billie Sadler thanked the council for taking the time to recognized February as African American History Month after Ortega signed the proclamation.

"I think in this community where the black population is minimal that you would take the time and effort to do something is commendable," she said.

Engineers from Spencer & Associates gave the council an update on the development of South Worsham Well Field during this morning's meeting.

Engineer Ashek Rana informed the council that they are in the construction phase of development of the field, which is 13 miles from Pecos.

So far, Spencer & Associates have drilled three successful wells that each produces at least 250 gallons of water per minute or more, according to Rana.

Those three well are equal to seven wells in the amount of production.

However, five wells drilled came up short of the 200 gallons expected from each one.

Frank Spencer said that those five wells did not produce much water when the pilot holes were drilled so Spencer & Associates decided not to spend money further developing those wells.

Two other wells are currently in construction, according to Rana.

Spencer said that they hope those two wells would be able to produce enough water and could help determine the location of the next wells developed.

"We're hopeful that those will produce at least 200 (gallons per minute) a piece," he said.

Councilman Ricky Herrera asked Spencer about the quality of the water coming from the three good wells.

Spencer assured the councilman that the water quality is high.

"So once this water field comes online it should improve our water quality," Herrera said.

Rana explained to the council that they have an idea of where the water is in the field but won't know for sure until a few more wells are drilled.

Spencer also said that they still anticipate the field to be completed by November.

The city has been working on the development of a new water field for the past eight years, since engineers told the council that the current Worsham and Ward County water fields could only supply Pecos with adequate water supplies through the year 2008.

The engineers this morning also informed the council that the construction of the 300,000-gallon storage tank at the Worsham Well Field is moving along smoothly and should be completed in June.

In other business, the council approved the accounts payable, juvenile monthly report and the minutes of the previous meeting.

Tax rebates show increase in city's holiday sales

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 14, 2002 -- Christmas shopping season sales tax rebated in Pecos were up  11¾ percent over figures for December 2001, according to figures  released today by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.

The comptroller's office released the February sales tax rebate figures for cities, counties and special districts in Texas, which are based on sales made during December. They showed that despite the November announcement that the city's largest employer, Anchor West, would close its plant in Pecos this year and put 700 people out of work, tax rebates for the city were up from the previous year.

Pecos received a check for $89,763 from Rylander's office, based on the city's 1 ½-cent share of the state's 8 ¼-cent sales tax. That's up 11.75 percent from the $80,322 rebate check the city got back last February. Of that total, one sixth, or $14,961, goes to the Pecos Economic Development Corp.

For the first two months of 2002, tax rebates fore Pecos total $145,251, a 6.57 percent jump from a year ago.

Overall across the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos region, tax rebate results were mixed, with some cities reporting sharp increases in their tax rebate checks, while others received smaller checks than a year ago.

Midland's rebate check surpassed the $2 million mark, as that city got back just under $2.07 million from Austin, a 4.43 percent increase over a year ago. But over in Odessa, the tax rebate check for $1.54 million represented a drop of 2.37 percent from the check they received in February 2001.

Fort Stockton reported one of the largest increases, jumping over 38 ¾ percent, to $107,331 for the month. Andrews, Monahans and Crane also reported increases, while other cities that saw tax rebate decreases were Alpine, Big Spring, Kermit and Marfa.

Balmorhea was one of the cities that reported a big jump in their rebate check. It increased 37.31 percent, from $1,221 to $1,676. In contrast, Toyah's check for this month was $451, which was down 42.09 percent from the $779 check it received a year ago.

The Reeves County Hospital District saw an 8.95 percent increase in its tax rebate check this month. The hospital's ½-cent sales tax brought in $36,005, which was up from last year's $33,046.

Statewide, tax rebates for the Christmas season were up .77 percent, according to Rylander's office. Total rebates to cities and counties in Texas totaled $313.8 million this month.

Houston again received the single largest check for any Texas city, just under $41.2 million, which was up 5.1 percent from a year ago. Dallas got the second biggest check, at just under $22.7 million, but that was down 9.97 percent from a year ago and continued the city's downward trend in sales tax collections in recent months.

Child safety seat  check-up Friday at Civic Center

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 14, 2002 -- A Free Child Safety Seat Checkup will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday at the Reeves County Civic Center.

For more information contact Marie Cardenas, with the Reeves-Loving County Extension Office at 447-9041.

Individuals need to bring their child.


PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 14, 2002 -- High Wed. 51. Low this morning 31. Forecast for tonight:  Partly cloudy. Lows near 35. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Fri.: Breezy  early: Otherwise partly cloudy. Highs near 55. NE winds 15 to 25  mph: Diminishing 5 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Fri. night: Mostly  cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s. Sat.: Partly cloudy. Highs near 60. Sun.:  Mostly cloudy. Lows 35 to 40. Highs near 65.


Antonio Abila and John Jackson

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