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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Council keeps tax rate stable, OKs pay hikes

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Sept. 25, 2002 -- Town of Pecos City Council held a special meeting on Tuesday in  order to have the first readings for the 2003 fiscal year budget and tax  ordinances, with the city's property tax rate remaining at the same level as it  was a year ago, while salaries will be raised for city employees under the  new budget that begins next Tuesday.

The ordinance number 02-9-02 called for the levying of taxes for the use of the support of the municipal government of the Town of Pecos City, providing for the interest and sinking fund for the fiscal year 2002-2003 apportioning each levy for its specific purpose.

This ordinance calls for a tax of .6967 cents on each $100 valuation of property, which is unchanged from a year ago. Out of that, a total of .4593 cents on each $100 valuations of property will go the maintenance and operations of the general government, while .2374 cents is designed for the Interest and Sinking Fund, which goes towards retirement of the city's bond debt.

It was approved with Councilman Frank Sanchez making the motion and Councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela seconding it.

During the public hearing for the 2002-2003 budget, council members were told by City Manager Carlos Yerena that 50 cents an hour raise would be given to all the employees beginning with the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

Yerena said that the money would be coming out of each department's budget and that all employees would also be getting five percent pay raises on their employment anniversary date.

The city was able to maintain the current tax rate and approve salary increases in part due to an increase of $4.3 million in Pecos' taxable valuations this year. Total real estate and mineral valuations for the city this year is just over $118 million, according to the figures released in July by Reeves County Chief Appraiser Carol King Markham.

The budget ordinance, numbered 02-9-01, calls for it to be in effect October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2003. It also provides for a sinking fund for the payment of the principal and interest and retirement of the bonded debt of the city.

The ordinance was approved with Mayor ProTem Gerald Tellez making the motion and Councilman Johnny Terrazas seconding it.

Yerena and Finance Director George Bejarano also informed the council that several departments would also be receiving new trucks under the FY 2003 budget.

One of the new trucks would be given for the use of the city Parks Department, one for the utilities director and the third one for the water department.

According to Yerena, Utilities Director Octavio Garcia will be giving up his current truck for the use of city's animal control officer.

The Pecos Police Department will also be receiving three new cars from the city.

According to Valenzuela the last vehicle was purchased three years ago.

The second and final readings of the tax and budget ordinances will be held during the council's regularly scheduled meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers at City Hall.

After hearing the second readings of each of the two ordinances the council will move on to discuss and consider the purchase of property located at 1102 E. Third St. and property located at 310 W. 13th St., according to the council's agenda.

The awarding on the construction for the Town of Pecos City on Type I sanitary landfill to Lindsay Western Construction Company will also be discussed and considered by the council.

Approval for the minutes of the regular council meeting of September 12, the accounts payable report, the municipal court monthly report of August, the monthly tax collection report for August 2002 and of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation budget will also be done during tomorrow's meeting.

The council will also hear two presentations, one from the Pecos Economic Development Corporation and the second one from the Pecos Police Department's Community Service Officer, Mike Balog.

The council members will also hear public comment and items that may be place on the next agenda.

County contracts approved for detention of juveniles

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Sept. 25, 2002 -- Reeves County Commissioners approved contracts between  the county and other juvenile centers, approved payments to the  architect in charge of construction at the RCDC III site and approved  other items during their regular meeting held earlier this week.

The group approved contracts between Reeves County and Taylor County (Abilene) Juvenile Center, Midland County Juvenile Center and Hays County (Dripping Springs) Juvenile Center, for the detention of juvenile offenders.

Chief Juvenile Detention Officer Louise Moore told the group that the Hays Juvenile Detention Center was a boot camp facility, which is why it was a little bit more expensive. "We have one child placed there," said Moore.

Payments to LMD Architect were approved as presented.

The group also approved payment to Physicians Medical Network.

Tommy Duncan told the group that the physicians group had begun their service in mid-July. "Since they came in we've been able to catch up with treatment of the prisoners," said Duncan. "They got us caught up with dental as well," he said.

Duncan said there was a tremendous improvement in the quality of health care and the timely way they were taken care of.

"And it's $4.80 per mandate for inmates," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Duncan said the physicians group would reimburse the county for the employees. "I'll talk to them, because I think the simplest way would be to pay them the net."

"I appreciate all that they have done, I think they're excellent," said Galindo. "I'd like you to communicate to PNA that we appreciate their services, but until we get our mandate rate from BOP (U.S. Bureau of Prisons) we might not be able to use them."

"Our client has to agree to pay us for that level of service," he said.

Duncan assured the group that PNA had been very helpful and that they have gone out of their way to help and would probably do so in these circumstances as well.

Commissioners approved personnel and salary changes. At the Reeves County Detention Center, Constance Olson, from infirmary to custody property officer, no salary change, for budget control purposes; Gbutue Vorkpor, Paul Coker, Rodolfo Rios and Maria Uranga, from infirmary to custody, foreign medical graduates, no salary change; Pete Garcia III, Benjamin Madrid and Ricardo Salgado, from infirmary to custody, no salary changes; Ellen Kimble promoted to emergency medical technician at $27,248; Criselda Gochicoa RN-II at $40,000 per year; Shonah Lozano promoted to licensed vocational nurse II at $28,001; Lee Serrano, promoted to Food Service Director at $41,000 per year; Pilar Contreras, Landscape III moved to Central Warden III; Omero Pando, maintenance foreman I at $26,000; Angel Carrasco, from custody to facility department maintenance officer III; Luis Natividad promoted to COII at $24,000; Enrique Mata, Jr., COII, $24,000; Mike Molinar, COII at $24,000 and Chris Matta promoted to shift lieutenant at $31,500.

New hires at the facility, as Correctional Officers I at $19,000 per year included: Francisco J. Ramirez, Martin Duenas, Albert Guzman, Vanessa Hernandez, Rhonda James, Ernestine Long, Betsy Lopez, Veronica Natividad, Jesus Ornelas, Jennifer Sotelo, Joe Torres, Guadalupe Ybarra, Theodore Cabral, Theresa Herrera, Anthony Casillas, Rocky Mata, Armando Marin, Joe Mendoza, Jacob Mora, Santiago Ortega, Jeffrey Perkins, MaryAnn Sandoval, Antonio Soto and Arizona Rooney.

Bishop to speak at Methodists' annual Harvest Day

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Sept. 25, 2002 -- First United Methodist Church members invite friends and guests  to their 49th Annual Harvest Day celebration this Sunday, Sept. 27,  with Bishop David Max Whitfield scheduled as the event's  morning worship guest speaker.

Harvest Day will also be Heritage Sunday, to honor church members who have been participating in the life of the church for more than 50 years. These individuals include Catherine Jones, who has been a member of the Pecos church for more than 80 years, and Elizabeth McCree, who joined the church 76 years ago. Others to be honored are Pearl Barker, Mary Farnum, Bonnie Green, David Smith, Edna Stanton and Dagmah Wynne, who have all been members for more than 60 years, as well as 50-plus-year members Patsy Bowles, Lloyd Goodrich, Irene Holm, Mary Miller, Emmett Miller and Emma Shepherd.

Harvest Day was begun in the fall of 1954 by Pecos Methodists who saw a need to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest of crops. Although farming is no longer the mainstay of church families, members have continued the tradition of Harvest Day as a special thanksgiving for their material blessings. A luncheon has traditionally followed the Harvest Day morning worship service, and a special offering is taken for a specific fund or project.

"This is a time for worshiping, singing, feasting and visiting with old and new friends," said pastor Bruce Abbott. "We hope to have many guests to share in this day of celebration."

Bishop Whitfield was raised in Arkansas by devoted United Methodist parents. His undergraduate degree is from Arkansas State University where he graduated in 1966. This degree was followed by two post-graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology in 1969, and a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1983.

Whitfield was elected to the Episcopacy of The United Methodist Church in July 2000. He currently serves as the Episcopal leader of the Northwest Texas/New Mexico area, and prior to his election, served for seven years as a District Superintendent in the North Arkansas Conference.

His distinguished national experience includes his service on the General Board of Global Ministries, the National Shalom Zone Committee and the General Commission on Religion and Race. He was a member of his conference's General Conference delegation in 1992 and 2000.

A veteran of parish ministry, Whitfield has served congregations in a retirement development, a university community, and the rural delta. He has been director of a cooperative parish, overseen three building programs, and was a Field Instructor for Perkins School of Theology for five years.

He and his wife, Valerie, have five grown children, along with their spouses and five grandchildren.

Car wash to help raise funds for Herrera family

PECOS, Wed., Sept. 25, 2002 -- A car wash will be held beginning at 9 a.m., Thursday, at the Gibson True Value Parking lot.

The fundraiser is sponsored by the classmates of Jaime Herrera, who is currently at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, following a vehicle accident last Friday east of Pecos.

The event is by donations. Individuals can donate whatever amount they wish to help Herrera's family with medical expenses. Herrera was flown to Lubbock after suffering critical injuries in the one-vehicle rollover.


PECOS, Wed., Sept. 25, 2002 -- High Tuesday 84. Low this morning 54. Forecast for  tonight: Clear. Lows in the mid 50s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Thursday: Sunny.  Highs in the mid 90s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Clear. Lows 55 to  60. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 90s. Saturday: Partly  cloudy. Lows 55 to 60. Highs in the mid 90s.

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