Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, September 27, 2002
Council gets update on economic development projects
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Fri., Sept. 27, 2002 -- Pecos City Council members were given an update
on activities of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation, including
two projects in the Flat Top Farms area southeast of town, during their
regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday at City Hall.
The council heard from PEDC executive Gari Ward, who told the council
that representatives from Del Monte Foods in Crystal City had made a trip
to Pecos to talk to local growers about growing such things as green beans,
potatoes and other vegetables.
"They talked to six or seven growers about helping them meet their demands,"
He added that one area that was looked for growing the vegetables was
Flat Top, located off U.S. 285 between Pecos and Fort Stockton.
"They took water and soil samples from Flat Top," Ward said.
The representatives from Del Monte told farmers that they would come in
and plant the vegetables and harvest them. The farmers would just watch over
them and provide them with irrigate, Ward added.
Ward also told the council about the three dairy barns under construction
at the Leche Farms site in the Flat Top area, which will be home to up to
6,000 cows at the new dairy.
The carousel used to milk the cows will be shipped either on October 26
or 28 from New Zealand to Houston. When it arrives in Houston, it will then
be brought to Pecos, Ward said.
The carousel will milk 540 cows an hours or one cow ever seven minutes,
"There will be two shifts of people working 18 hours," Ward said.
Ward added that the two shifts would be full-time shifts.
In talking with employees at the Texas A&M Experiment Station, Ward
told the council that the growing of jalapeno peppers in the Pecos area could
be done. The main pepper harvesting areas currently are in the Rio Grande
Valley of southern New Mexico, about 275 miles west of Pecos.
Because the peppers would have to be hand picked it would also provide
them with labor, Ward said, while adding "The market and the price is there."
In the Duplex housing project Ward told the council that they plan on
starting the project at a site on Veterans Boulevard and Texas Street.
The issue of a new Reeves County Library has yet to be decided, Ward said.
However, there is talk about joining in with Odessa College and building
a College/County Library too replace the small facility at Fifth and Park
Though he is not ready to discuss the project, Ward told the council that
they have talked about creating a racing facility on the Smithers Automotive
Testing Center property. The company gave the property to the city last year,
after Smithers closed its Pecos facility and moved operations to the Laredo
Ward also said two openings on the Pecos Economic Development Corporation's
board have been filled.
West Texas National Bank President, John Grant, filled the three-year
term and Councilman Johnny Terrazas took the one-year term.
Along with hearing from Ward, PEDC board member Oscar Saenz also updated
the council on recent activities. He told them that when General Motors decided
not come to Pecos to use the Smithers facility, the board decided to focus
on the area's strongest asset, agriculture.
Because there was an itch for dairy farms in arid areas, and the fact
that the Texas Panhandle was too cold in the winter, it just seemed right
to establish the dairies, Saenz said.
"We have the land, water and labor," Saenz said.
He also advised the council that the economic development would only get
harder because the money will be going to the cities and not any rural areas.
Therefore, purpose of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation is to
help businesses grow and get better.
Saenz also added that there are acquisitions like that between TransPecos
Foods and McCain that got to other states.
In Saenz opinion small businesses in Pecos could export their items to
other parts of the world.
"Peggy Walker (owner of Needleworks) could export her stuff," Saenz said.
This idea of Saenz comes from hearing about a lady that exports her jams
to other parts of the world. According to Saenz the lady now has 30 or 40
people working for her.
Councilman Frank Sanchez asked Saenz if they have gotten with the Main
Street Director, Tom Rivera to work on the economic status of Pecos.
"The Main Street Project is a part of the economic status," Sanchez said.
City approves new budget, maintaining current tax rate
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Fri., Sept. 27, 2002 -- Town of Pecos City Council members approved
the second and final reading of the budget and tax ordinances for the
2003 fiscal year, during their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday
at City Hall.
Council members also approved a contract for work at the city's new landfill,
and heard a report on the Pecos Police Department's new Community Service
officer during the afternoon meeting.
The council had voted for the ordinances during a special meeting on Tuesday,
and the second vote was needed to make both measures official. The ordinance
for the fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2002 and ending on September
30, 2003 was approved with Pro Tem Gerald Tellez making the motion and Councilman
Frank Sanchez seconding it.
The second ordinance called for maintaining the city's current tax of
.6967 cents on each $100 valuation of property. The motion to approve that
was made by Councilman Johnny Terrazas to approve the ordinance and was seconded
by Councilman Michael Benavides.
In other action, council members awarded the contract for construction
at the Town of Pecos City, type I sanitary landfills to a local contractor,
Lindsay Western Construction Company.
According to Edwardo Madrid with the city's engineering consultant, Frank
Spencer & Associates, Lindsay Western Construction Company is a good
contractor to do this amount of work.
City Manager Carlos Yerena told the council that the contract states that
the work for the sanitary landfills will be completed within 120 days. The
120-day timetable provides a cushion in case of bad weather days, he added.
Benavides made the motion to approve the contract, with Tellez seconding
it. However, after the motion passed Tellez asked that Lindsay Western Construction
Company also use local trucks and personell during their work on the landfill
In other business, Police Chief Clay McKinney, filling in for the Pecos
Police Department Community Service Officer, Mike Balog, informed the council
on the projects that Balog is working on.
Balog has been working with the department for about two or three months
in the position. "One of the projects he is working on the Citizens Police
Academy," McKinney said. "People will see how the police department operates."
People will learn about criminal law, the swat team, the laws on drugs
and many other things, McKinney said.
According to McKinney the cutoff number was going to be 10 participants.
However, because of the large response they have decided to make the cut
off number 20.
"These will be the first alumni of the academy," McKinney said. "A banquet
after each academy will be held in which we will bring those people back."
The council was impressed with the project and Sanchez told McKinney that
the project seemed like a good public relations tool that would open the
eyes and ears of the community.
McKinney added that the project would also help people understand the
rules that they must follow in for each case.
Another project that Balog is working on a bike safety program, McKinney
"Officer Balog already has a bike donated for the program," McKinney said.
"He is now trying to get helmets donated."
A third project in the works is a child safety program. That project comes
after the increase in concerns over child abductions, McKinney said.
According to McKinney children in Pecos will be fingerprinted and the
parents will then be able to keep the prints of the child.
McKinney added that Balog would also set up a booth at next weekend's
Reeves County Fall Fair. Sanchez asked if a booth could be set up at the
Austin Carnival on October 26, and the chief said that it could be done.
"He (Balog) is doing a great job," Mayor Dot Stafford said.
When the position was created, McKinney thought that he could keep Balog
busy so he created the Community Service Officer as a part-time position.
"I make a mistake thinking I could keep him busy," McKinney said. "I did
not realize I could keep him this busy."
Stafford asked if the position could become a full-time job.
"I would have to get with Mr. (city finance director George) Bejarano
about that," McKinney said.
"I would like to see him be full time," Sanchez said.
In discussing the purchase of properties located on 1102 E. Third and
310 W. 13th streets the council asked tax assessor/collector Lydia
Prieto if she know what would become of these locations once they were purchased.
According to Prieto, the property on 1102 E. Third, the Jalapeno Express,
would become a restaurant. Prieto did not know what would become of the house
located at 310 W. 13th.
However, Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said that the lot would probably
be worth more if it were vacant.
The purchase of both properties were approved.
The approval of the accounts payable report was accepted with Terrazas
making a motion and Sanchez seconding it.
In reviewing the curfew violations of 24 juveniles, Stafford asked McKinney
if the curfew worked for the police department.
"It is working for us," McKinney said.
With that said McKinney also told the council that last Friday he, superintendent
Don Love and Austin Elementary Principal Cindy Duke talked about a plan to
work on the congestion of traffic in that area.
Sanchez also asked if officers could be sent to Bessie Hayes as well to
relieve some of the same problems of traffic congestions around that school
The municipal court monthly report for August was then approved, followed
by the the monthly tax collection report for August.
The minutes of the regular council meeting of September 12, was approved
with Tellez making the motion and Benavides seconding it.
In discussing items for the next agenda, councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela
asked that Tom Rivera have a report on the Main Street Project he supervises
for the city.
Volunteers sought for Saturday's east side clean-up
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Sept. 27, 2002 -- Faithful volunteers will once again try to
"spruce up" Pecos and clean empty lots and other areas of town, during
a volunteer clean-up effort Saturday morning.
Organizers for the citywide cleanup are seeking volunteers to meet at
7:30 a.m., Saturday, in the parking lot of the Pecos Technical Training Center-Odessa
Volunteers will focus their efforts on the East side of town this Saturday.
Groups will clean up empty lots, the Santa Rosa Cemetery, and the East Side
"We'll be cleaning up any area on that side of town that needs attention,"
said Michael Benavides, organizer of the event
"I have some volunteers that always show up," said Benavides.
Among the "faithful" volunteers that help him out tremendously is 87-year-old
"He is always one of the first to show up," said Benavides. "The first
time he came to one of our cleanups, he told me, Michael, call me up anytime
and I'll be happy to help you."
"He helps us out tremendously, he's my number one volunteer," he added.
Benavides said he wished he had more volunteers like Eubank. "He told
me call me `Slim' and call me anytime you have a cleanup and I'll show up
and he certainly has," he said.
Others who have helped out with the clean-up efforts include members of
the Reeves County Sheriff's Explorer (a youth group), Reeves County probationers
and Manny Porras and his daughter.
"I still need volunteers, because we want to do a good job, and really
clean up that area," Benavides said. "I'm always looking for volunteers,
new faces and we welcome everyone."
Benavides, who is also a member of the Pecos City Council, said that with
the opening of the city's new landfill scheduled four months from now, it
would make it easier to clean up and haul off large items in the future.
"It'll make it better for us, we'll be able to start tearing down old
buildings and hauling off that material to our landfill," said Benavides.
Currently, the items have to be collected for disposal at the regional landfill
in West Odessa.
Temperatures are supposed to rise into the 90s by Saturday afternoon,
but will be in the mid- to upper-50s when the group meets at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow,
and Benavides suggested that volunteers dress appropriately.
"I'm really excited about this and hope to see more individuals come out
and help make this community a nice, clean one that we can all enjoy," he
Fall product sale for Girl Scouts getting underway
PECOS, Fri., Sept. 27, 2002 -- The Girl Scouts have begun a fall product
sales effort, which will continue through Oct. 13.
The effort began on Thursday, and each Girl Scout troop will receive 10
percent of all product sales and this sale will help them earn more money
off of Cookie Sales in the spring. The sales include nuts and candies as
well as magazine subscriptions
To order these products, contact your favorite local Girl Scout, or call
Jenny Abottt at 447-9225.
PECOS, Fri., Sept. 27, 2002 -- High Thurs. 91. Low this morning 55. Forecast
for tonight: Clear. Lows near 60. SE winds 10 to 15 mph. Sat.:
Sunny. Highs 90 to 95. SE winds 10 to 20 mph. Sat. night: Mostly
clear. Lows in the upper 50s. Sun.: Mostly sunny. Highs 90 to
95. Mon.: Partly cloudy. Lows near 60. Highs near 90.
Virginia Martinez and Frank Zubia
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