Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, February 21, 2002
PEDC briefed on construction of buildings to lure businesses
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 21, 2002 -- "If we build it they will come," were the
words Pecos Economic Development Corp. President Oscar Saenz said this
morning after a meeting with local officials and a representative from
a development corporation at the Pecos Technical Training Center.
Those words might have been fashioned after the Kevin Costner hit movie
"Field of Dreams" but according to Robert Jennings, Jr., vice president of
Tamkin Development Corporation, they very well could be true.
Jennings travels across the United States working with local government
clients on public-private building initiatives aimed at the creation of economic
Today, Jennings spoke with Saenz, PEDC Executive Director Gari Ward, City
Manager Carlos Yerena, Finance Director George Bejarano and Reeves County
Commissioner David Castillo about the potential Pecos has for bringing in
new companies to the area with the direct access to Interstate 20, Interstate
10 and the Union Pacific and Pecos Valley Southern railroads.
Jennings explained that Tamkin works with the communities in one or more
of the three programs they offer.
The most powerful program, according to Jennings, is the spec shell industrial
buildings of which the company helps the communities in site selection, approval
processing, design, financing, construction and marketing of "shell" buildings.
By constructing a shell building, which essentially has only a roof, four
walls and utility access, Pecos would be able to market the city easier with
a better chance of attracting a company.
Jennings explained that many companies go through a "check-list" of things
they are looking for when exploring new locations.
A lot of times the companies might like a location like Pecos but if there
is no building virtually ready for them to move in they pass on to another
community, according to Jennings.
"Having a building is magic," he said. "It's what attracts companies."
The other two programs Tamkin offers are virtual buildings and build-to-suit
Jennings said that with the virtual buildings program, Tamkin prepares
the construction site for building by getting all permits approved and putting
together a building plan.
He said that is more effective in areas such as New York and other heavily
populated locations where it takes quite some time to get the approval for
The build-to-suit program is better for communities that already have
a company committed to moving into that area.
In that case the building is built to suit the companies needs.
With the shell program, Jennings explained that there is a three-year
window that Tamkin offers to the community.
If the community is unable to fill that building within three years after
construction Tamkin would buy that building back.
"At the end of the three-year period, if your building is not sold or
leased, we'll buy it back from you," Jennings said.
Jennings assured the men that these programs have been very successful
in other areas.
Pecos has one large building that will soon be empty _ the Anchor Foods
onion processing plant on Interstate 20 that parent company McCain Foods
will begin shutting down in the next few weeks, which will result in the
loss of 700 local jobs. But even though it won't use the building, McCain's
lease agreement allows it to maintain control of the I-20 plant, meaning
it would be unavailable for any other use without the company's approval.
During the meeting, Yerena said that he believes that the construction
project is something the city would support in efforts to bring in more businesses.
"From the city's standpoint we would be interested in exploring the possibilities,"
Saenz also stated his idea of what kind of building might be a success
"Our first project should be a frozen or refrigerated storage warehouse,"
Saenz explained that he has observed that there is not a frozen warehouse
between Dallas and Phoenix, which puts Pecos in the perfect location for
that type of structure.
"That's something I think we should look at," he said.
The PEDC is planning to keep in touch with Jennings and Tamkin in order
to explore the options Pecos would have in beginning such a project.
Liquor store shut by TABC following license surrender
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 21, 2002 -- The contents of a local liquor store have
been inventoried and removed by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
officers and local law enforcement personnel over the past two days,
after the store's owner surrendered her license following what the
TABC said was a "minor" violation.
Law enforcement officials closed the Western Package Store on West Business
I-20 on Wednesday and began removing its contents to take to the TABC office
in Odessa after storeowner Judy Tipton surrendered the businesses' license
to sell liquor, according to Lt. Dyer Lightfoot of the TABC's Odessa office.
"It wasn't any major problem, but she did have a violation," Lightfoot
said Wednesday as he and other officers removed the store's contents to the
bed of a pickup. "She came to our office this morning with her lawyer and
said she would surrender the permits and her inventory."
The TABC in recent years has punished permit holders for selling alcohol
to minors after running stings on local businesses, but Lightfoot said that
was not Western Package's problem, though he did not specify the exact reason
for the violation.
"It was an internal problem inside the corporation," he said. "It's not
what you'd call a major violation, but it was one that needed to be addressed."
Tipton declined to comment on the reason for the license being surrendered
when reached by phone this morning.
"We had discussed the problem with her last week, and she asked if she
could discuss it with her lawyer for about a week. Then she came to our office
this morning to sign the papers," said Lightfoot.
Customers were still trying to use Western Package's drive-through window
early Wednesday afternoon, but were met by officers telling them the business
was closed while cartons of liquor were moved out of the store.
"Right now we're just securing and counting it and getting it out," said
Lightfoot. "Then we'll start inventory on the funds, which is not fun to
He said after the contents are inventoried and taken back to Odessa, the
items would be listed on a bid sheet, which will be sent out to other businesses,
which will then bid on the contents. "The money (from the bidding) goes into
the general fund."
Ojinaga woman jailed in I-20 drug bust
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 21, 2002 -- About 80 pounds of marijuana that was reportedly
being taken from Mexico to Odessa was seized Wednesday afternoon and
the driver of the pickup detained by local law enforcement officials
At 4:05 p.m., Wednesday, officers with the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force,
stopped a 1992 Ford Ranger Pickup that was westbound on Interstate 20. Officials
said the supposed destination was Odessa.
"The case is currently under investigation and the driver, Maria Sanchez
of Ojinaga, Mexico has been detained," said Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Lieutenant
He said that the marijuana was found by a drug-sniffing dog inside the
gas tank of the pickup truck, wrapped in packaging tape and sealed with vacuum
The canine alerted to the gas tank and officers used fiber optic scope
that observed the packages in the gas tank, according to Arredondo.
Each "brick" of marijuana weighed between one and 1.2 pounds.
"We received some information from Ojinaga that led us to the pickup truck,"
"The case is still under investigation and may lead to more arrests,"
`Relay for Life' accepting entries for May's event
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 21, 2002 -- Preparations for this year's Relay for
Life have begun.
Anyone interested in volunteering or participating as a team in the annual
event contact Relay Chairperson Terri Spence at 447-4738.
Relay for Life, which helps raise funds for the fight against cancer,
will be held on May 17 and 18 at the Pecos High School Stadium.
Woman killed in I-10 accident near Balmorhea
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 21, 2002 -- A California woman was killed and a man riding
with her was injured after being involved in a one-vehicle rollover
on Interstate 10 near Balmorhea Wednesday afternoon.
The accident occurred at 4:52 p.m., yesterday, 14 miles east of Balmorhea
in Reeves County, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Darlene Martina Valdepena, 24, of Pico Rivera Calif., died at the scene
of the accident while Edward Saninian, 20, of Montebello Calif., was transported
to Odessa Medical Center in Odessa where he is listed in stable condition
with lacerations and a broken elbow.
According to the report filed by Jeffrey McCutcheon of the DPS office
in Van Horn, the two were traveling east on I-10 in a 1996 Toyota two-door
when the accident occurred.
"The driver drifted off the roadway to the left due to a distraction in
the vehicle," the report said. "The vehicle overcorrected to the right causing
the vehicle to go into a left broadside skid."
"The vehicle left the roadway overturning end to end before overturning
once more flipping over the service road," the report continued. "It landed
upside down facing the west in a barrow ditch."
Neither driver or passenger was wearing seatbelts and the passenger was
ejected from the vehicle.
Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco pronounced Valdepena
dead at the scene at 5:25 p.m., and her body was taken to Memorial Funeral
Home in Fort Stockten.
Trooper McCutcheon is still investigating the accident.
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 21, 2002 -- High Wednesday 74. Low this morning 49.
Forecast for tonight: Clear. Lows in the upper 20s. North winds 10
to 20 mph this evening, becoming light and variable by midnight. Friday:
Sunny and warmer. Highs in the mid 60s. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.
Friday night: Clear. Lows in the mid 30s. Saturday: Mostly sunny and
unseasonably warm. Highs 75 to 80. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows 30 to
35. Highs 70 to 75.
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 2002 by Pecos Enterprise