Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 10, 2002
Opening ceremony held for Trans-Pecos Foods plant
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- A large crowd gathered this morning for the
grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for TransPecos Foods' Pecos.
The group held a formal opening ceremony this morning in front of the
company's production facility on Interstate 20, which for 11½ years
had been the home of Anchor Foods' U.S. onion processing plant.
Anchor was purchased by McCain Foods, USA last fall, and the company
announced in November of 2001 it would close the plant the following spring,
leaving 700 employees without jobs. The plant closed at the end of May,
but a week later TransPecos Foods announced an agreement to purchase the
The deal was finalized in July, and operations were restarted 60 days
of the plant's closing. The plant has hired back a number of former Anchor
employees, though production and employment levels at this time are still
below those of a year ago.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, who was unable to attend
the ceremonies due to foggy weather conditions, said in a press release,
"It is an honor to be invited to be a part of the grand opening ceremony
of TransPecos Foods, one of our GO TEXAN companies," said Combs. "By combining
agricultural products and rural development, the company is bringing jobs
and promise to the people of Pecos and Reeves County. This is a giant step
forward for rural Texas."
TransPecos Foods is a proud member of the GO TEXAN program sponsored
by the Texas Department of Agriculture. It is designed to promote Texas
agribusiness to both wholesale and retail consumer groups.
Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of the Board of TransPecos Foods, said,
"Our experienced workforce is the strength of the operation and it is in
large measure due to their expertise, determination and commitment that we
owe our success."
"TransPecos Foods is committed to quality products and good value," said
Kennedy, who also serves as Chairman of the Security State Bank of Pecos.
Kennedy spoke of the role played by TransPecos Development Corp, a community
development corporation that is a subsidiary of the Security State Bank,
in re-opening the plant.
"Banks in many ways are public trusts and should reflect the communities
they serve," said Kennedy. "We formed TransPecos Development Corporation
to provide financial advice and equity capital to businesses in the TransPecos
and Southwest Texas region."
"It was through this organization that TransPecos Foods became a reality,"
said Kennedy. "TransPecos Foods corporate philosophy parallels that of the
bank. We are committed to providing our employees a safe and pleasant work
environment, to producing a quality product that will return value to the
community and to promoting the community as a great place to work and live."
Kennedy said that the group was not just there to celebrate the opening
of the facility, but the people who operate the facility, the leaders of
the community and all those who worked so hard to keep the plant going.
Kennedy recognized the leaders at the facility including plant manager,
Bruce Salcido and the individuals located at their headquarters in San Antonio.
"I have so many people to thank for helping us come together and make
this operation a success," said Kennedy.
State Representative Pete Gallego, Reeve County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo
and Pecos Mayor Pro-tem Gerald Tellez all spoke in support of TransPecos
Foods' contribution to the region's economy and commitment to Texas agribusiness.
Also participating in the opening activities was the Color Guard from
the Reeves County Detention Center, members of the Pecos High School Band
under the direction of Merle Lenfest and an ecumenical blessing of the TransPecos
Foods plant by Father Ben Flores, pastor of Santa Rosa Catholic Church;
the Rev. Greer Willis, First Baptist Church and the Rev. Bruce Abbott, First
United Methodist Church.
"I'm sorry Susan Combs could not be with us, because she was very excited
about this and I know she wishes us luck," said Kennedy.
Jack Stallings, with Combs' office in El Paso spoke on behalf of the
agriculture commissioner. "We're very proud to be a part of this and are
looking forward to a long partnership with Pecos and this community," he
South Worsham Field plans get council's approval
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- Town of Pecos City Council members were updated
on the city's South Worsham Water Field construction program, during its
regularly scheduled meeting this morning in Council Chambers at City Hall.
Mayor Dot Stafford and Councilwomen Angelica Valenzuela were absent today,
while the four remaining council heard from engineer Ashek Rana, with Frank
X. Spencer and Associates on the final change order for the development
of water wells at the South Worsham Project Part B.
The South Worsham project was begun eight years ago, when the city was
told the current Worsham and Ward County water fields could only provide
Pecos with adequate drinking water through the year 2008.
According to Rana, during the last construction meeting with the contractor
and city officials the group decided that they would make some changes at
the end of the project.
Under the current contract 18 new wells were to be built and two old wells
would be repaired, allowing the city to pump a total of 4,000 gallons of
water from the 20 wells. However, they now have 17 wells in operation capable
of producing a total of 4,000 gallons of water, Rana said.
Councilman Johnny Terrazas made a motion to accept the changes and Councilman
Michael Benavides seconded it.
After that vote, the council took up approval of the final plans and
specifications for the development of South Worsham Project Part C, which
involves the water transmission line, lateral lines and well tie-ins.
Rana informed the councilmen that they have proposed advertising for
bids through Nov. 5, opening the bids on Dec. 5 and a Dec.12 contract day
for the project, pending the approval of the Texas Water Development Board.
The approval of the final plans and specifications was made by Councilman
Frank Sanchez with Benavides seconded it.
In other action this morning, the council recommended moving forward
the night for local youths to go trick-or-treating this year, because Halloween,
Oct. 31, on is on a school night. The council decided to set the recommended
date for Saturday, October 26 during the Halloween Carnival, with Sanchez
making a motion and seconded by Benavides.
"I am impressed that we have that power," Terrazas said about setting
the date. Oct. 31 falls on a Thursday this year.
Main Street Program Director Tom Rivera made a presentation to the councilmen
on his projects and informed the councilmen that Chairwomen Debbie Thomas
was also available to answer any questions.
"We will pick a building once a month to get with the owners and fix
up the displays," Rivera said.
The also added that maybe they would be able to get some paint donated
and paint the trimming on the buildings.
City Manager Carlos Yerena gave the councilmen a brief background on
the project. Yerena informed them that the Main Street Project was started
about two years ago. The city's first application for the state program
was rejected, but for some time now the Town of Pecos City has been a self-initiated
Main Street Program, and again in seeking state approval.
In looking for a full-time director, Rivera was brought in as of February
of this year to work on the Main Street Program full time, Yerena said.
According to Yerena, Rivera and the board have created database of building
owners and whether Pecos becomes an official Main Street Program they will
continue with it.
"The program is not going away if we don't get designated," he said.
Yerana believes that the program will take a long-term approach and with
persistent it can be done.
According to Rivera, he is working on small business development and
Yerana said that they are trying to work on creating small businesses.
In approving the Municipal Court report, the councilmen asked Judge Amonario
Ramon how things were going.
"Very thing is running smoothly," Ramon said. "We are catching up."
Sanchez then asked Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney if they had a lot
of curfew violations over the weekend because of the Fall Fair.
McKinney responded that they had not received any.
With that said Sanchez made a motion to accept the report with Benavides
A motion was also made by Sanchez to accept the minutes of the regular
council meeting held on September 26, witch Terrazas then seconded it.
Terrazas then asked Yerena that if they were spraying for mesquites
because this morning he had heard on the news that Odessa had had its first
case of the West Nile Virus.
"Yes we are spraying in the mornings and at nights that is why we don't
see them," Yerena said.
During discussion on accounts payable, McKinney told the council that
the Police Department's antenna has not been fixed, but McKinney added that
he had received a letter about an antenna 18 miles south of Pecos that could
be donated to them.
According to McKinney the tower stands 200 feet tall and is valued at
Finance Director George Bejarano told the council that they must first
look at all of their avenues before they decide to accept the donation.
They must see if the antenna would need any repairs, if the tower would
match up with the system they already have and to see if the soil around
the tower is contaminated.
No items discussed to be put on the next agenda and so the meeting adjourned
with Sanchez making the motion and Benavides seconding it.
City's October tax rebate check drops sharply
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- Sales tax rebate checks for October were
either up a lot or down a lot for most Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos cities.
Unfortunately for Pecos, their rebate check fell into the "down" category,
according to figures released Wednesday by State Comptroller Carole Keeton
The city got back $56,042 from the comptroller's office this month, based
on collections made during August on the city's 1.5-cent share of the state's
8.25 percent sales tax. That total is down 18.45 percent from a year ago,
when Pecos got back $68,728 from Austin.
Out of the city's rebate check, one-sixth, or $9,340, will go to the
Pecos Economic Development Corp.
The drop is the second straight month the city has seen a significant
drop in its tax rebate checks, and comes at the same time as unemployment
in Pecos jumped 15 percent, due in part to the closing of the Anchor Foods
plant in Pecos this past May. However, for the first 10 months of 2002,
Pecos' tax receipts are still up slightly, according to Rylander's office.
The city has gotten back $642,699 this year, a 1.31 percent rise compared
to 2001's totals.
While Pecos saw their rebate check drop by double-digits, Balmorhea's
rebate check was up double digits. The city got back $724 this month, up
by two-thirds over last October's $434 total. For all of 2002, Balmorhea
has gotten back $10.094, a 53 percent increase from last year.
Toyah is one of the few cities to report virtually no change in their
rebate check. The city got a check for $278, which was only $8 above last
year's total, a 2.8 percent rise. For the year, Toyah has gotten $5,777
in tax rebates, just $7 less than for the first 10 months of last year,
a drop of 0.12 percent.
The Reeves County Hospital District's October rebate check, based on
their ½-cent sales tax, came to $27,816, down just under 10 percent
from last year. For all of 2002 though, the district is up by more than 13
percent, having received $301,366 back from Austin.
Monahans church schedules bazaar, dance
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- Bingo, jumping balloon, food booths and more
will be a part of the festivities planned for the St. John's Church Bazaar
and Dance in Monahans this Saturday.
The events will take place at the church, which is located at Fifth and
Ike Streets in Monahans.
"The last one we had was six years ago and we thought this would be a
good time to have another one," said Father John Lucido, of St. John's Church.
Activities will begin at 10 a.m. and a car wash will be held at the church
parking lot. Car washes will be $5 for a car and $7 for trucks, according
A bingo, jumping balloon, 10 game booths, a raffle and several food booths
will be set up during the festivities.
"We're also going to have a `sand dig,' by grade level," said Lucido.
The `sand dig' is a game for children, where individuals hide coins and
the children get to dig for them.
"They are going to change every hour," he said.
Other activities include bone marrow testing, which will be done at the
festival by United Blood Services, of Odessa, for those individuals interested
in becoming a donor. LULAC of Odessa is bringing the group in, in an effort
to find a match for an 8-year-old boy from Andrews who has been diagnosed
From 2-3 p.m., a mariachi group will be performing and a rock band will
play during the day.
Entertainment throughout the day include, baton twirlers, karate club,
Mexican dancers, break dancers, a rock band and singers.
Food booths will feature tamales, hamburgers, sausage on a stick, flautas,
tacos, brisket burritos, hot dogs, popcorn and pickles.
A dance is scheduled for the evening from 7 p.m. until midnight. Cost
is $3 per person and $5 for couples.
"We will be selling menudo at the dance," said Lucido.
The group will also be having raffles every 30 minutes. Funds raised
from the raffle and other sales will be used for a new air conditioner for
the CCD classrooms.
"We would like to invite everyone in the surrounding communities to join
us and have some fun, while helping out a worthy cause," said Lucido.
Anyone wanting to purchase a
School board to hear updates on renovations
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members
will be updated on this summer's renovations to the district's campuses,
and will discuss several other items at the regular board's regular monthly
meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. today at the P-B-T ISD Technology Center,
1301 S. Eddy Street.
A report on renovations at Pecos High School, Crockett Middle School,
Zavala Elementary, Bessie Haynes Elementary, Austin Elementary, Pecos Kindergarten
and Lamar AEP will be discussed under old business.
Under new business: enrollment report and discuss effects on Summary
of Finance for 2002-2003; consider and possible action on 2002 tax roll,
2002-2003 budget amendments; review updated (legal) policies and act on
(local) policies on Texas Association of School Board's update 68; discuss
Reading Academy K-5, Safe and Drug Free Rally on Oct. 25 and request for
proposal for retail electric service provider beginning Jan. 1, 2003.
The group will consider and take possible action on requests to purchase
foreclosed property; District Improvement Plan; method of procurement for
Pecos High School baseball awning; Dyslexia Plan and Handbook and three
appointments for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD's representatives on the Reeves
County Appraisal District's Board of Directors.
Board members will meet behind close doors in closed session as authorized
by the Texas Open Meetings Act. The group will return to open session and
take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session .
Reeves, Loving to be included in LCP program
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- Carol Laney, CED said this week that Reeves
and Loving Counties have been approved for the Livestock Compensation Program.
The county office staff will begin accepting applications immediately.
Please call for an appointment and be sure to bring your livestock numbers
and categories with you at the time of your appointment. Livestock categories
and payment rates are as follows:
* Adult beef cattle (cows and bulls) - $18.00 per head
(Must have calved at least once by June 1, 2002)
* Beef, dairy replacement heifers (500 lbs. and over - $13.50 per head
(Must not have borne any offspring before June 1, 2002)
* Adult dairy cattle (cows and bulls) - $31.50 per head
* Beef, dairy steers (500 lbs. and over) - $13.50 per head
* Non-breeding beef, dairy heifers (500 lbs. and over) - $13.50 per head
* Beef, dairy bulls (500 lbs. and over) - $13.50 per head
Under 2 years of age on June 1, 2002
* Sheep (all) - $4.50 per head
* Goats (all) - $4.50 per head
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2002 -- High Wednesday 80. Low this morning 58.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Southeast winds
5 to 10 mph. Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 85 to 90. Southwest winds 5 to
15 mph. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Saturday: Mostly
clear. Highs 80 to 85. Sunday: Increasing clouds and much cooler. Lows 50
to 55. Highs in the mid 60s.
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