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Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, December 16, 2002

City's tax rebates drop for December

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 16, 2002 -- For the second month in a row sales tax receipts for the Town of Pecos  City dropped by 10 percent, according to figures released on Friday by  Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.

The drop left Pecos' sales tax rebate total for all of 2002 down about three-quarters of a percent from 2001's total, while tax rebates for Balmorhea and Toyah were up for the year and the county overall saw its rebates remain virtually unchanged.

According to Rylander's office, Pecos got back $53,576 from Austin this month, based on their 1½-cent share of the state's 8¼-cent sales tax. Collected during the month of October. That's down 10.25 percent from December of 2001, and for the year, the city got back $760,563, down 0.64 percent from the $765,521 total last year.

Of the city's total, one-sixth goes to the Pecos Economic Development Corp. For December, the PEDC received $8,929 in sales tax rebate funds.

The drop came during a year in which 10 percent of the city's workforce lost their jobs due to the closing of the Anchor Foods plant at the end of May. About 30 percent of the 700 workers laid off have since been rehired by TransPecos Foods, which reopened the plant this fall, but the local unemployment rate remains near the 20 percent level.

Balmorhea's tax rebate for December was $526, up 3.12 percent from a year ago, when the city got back $510. But for all 12 months of 2002, Balmorhea's rebates have totaled, $11,959, which is up over 37 percent from a year ago, when the city got back $8,704.

Toyah's rebate check for December was $270, a drop of nearly 30 percent from the $382 check of a year ago. However, overall Toyah's sales tax rebates for 2002 are up 5.17 percent, from $6,468 to $6,802.

Also dropping sharply in December but up for the year as a whole was the Reeves County Hospital District. It collected $24,494 this month for its ½-cent sales tax, a drop of 34.96 percent from last years' $37,661 total. For all 12 months of 2002, the hospital has gotten back $356,717, up 6.45 percent from last year's $335,088.

Across the area, tax rebate results for December were mixed, though several towns did see sharp increases in their rebate checks after approving increases in their tax rates that went into effect in October. Marfa's rebate check went up 74 percent after their tax rate went up from 1½ to 1¾ cents while Fort Stockton raised its tax rate by one-third, from 1½ to two cents, and saw its rebate check increase by the exact same amount this month.

Andrews continued to show the largest increases in the area for 2002, with its rebate check rising 23 percent from last year, while Midland and Odessa's rebate checks continued in opposite directions. Midland's $1.44 million check was up 18.4 percent from a year ago, while Odessa's check came in at just under $1 million, which was down 7 percent from a year ago.

Statewide, tax rebates to cities and counties in December were down 1.88 percent, to $196.83 million. Houston's check for just under $25 million was the state's largest, but was down 0.87 percent from a year ago, while Dallas came in at No. 2 with a $13.83 million check, which was an 8.89 percent drop from a year ago.

Women's Division selects winners of lighting contest

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 16, 2002 -- Members of the Women's Division of the Pecos Area  Chamber of Commerce were out last Friday night judging homes on  their Christmas décor, as part of the group's annual Christmas  Lighting Contest.

The contest, which in the past had been done over a three-week period in December, was changed this year, with judging in five categories taking placing all on Friday night.

After dividing Pecos into six sections, several ladies from the Women's Division along with Jon Cook and Jim Workman set out at 7 p.m. in groups of two or three to evaluate the homes in their section.

According to Michelle Workman, Chairwomen of the Christmas Lighting Contest, the groups were to write down the addresses of the homes that would fit one of the three categories of `Best Christmas Theme,' `Most use of Lights,' `Most Elegant,' `Best Decorated Block' and `Best Decorated Business.'

Once the groups had chosen the homes, they were to narrow their list down two, Workman said.

With each group narrowing their list down to two homes or businesses, they then created one group and set out to judge the finalists.

As one group the judges voted on the following homes for `Best Christmas Theme,' Raymundo Martinez and family on Country Club won first place, Teresa Rodriguez on Plum won second place and Larry and Gloria Windham on Jefferson won third place.

Winners in the `Most use of Lights' category were Jose Luis and Rosa Munoz on East Ninth Street, first place, Tito Gabaldon and family on 119 North Alamo St., second place and the Dominguez family on Orange Street won third.

`Most Elegant' winners were Donald and Cheryl Bippes on Missouri Street won first place, Sally Orona and family on Missouri won second place and Guadalupe Marruffo on Locust Street won third place.

First place winners in each of the categories won a $25 gift certificate, second place winners won a $20 gift certificate and third place winners won a $15 gift certificate.

The winner in the `Best decorated block' category was the 2000 block of South Alamo Street, and the `Best Decorated Business' winner was Best Western Swiss Clock Inn in the 900 block of West Palmer Street.

The winners in the `Best Decorated Block' and the `Best Decorated Business' category won Christmas ornaments.

Both the gift certificates and ornaments will be delivered to the home of the winners or to the place of business by Workman today.

For more information call 445-5535 and ask for Michelle Workman.

Making a list, checking it twice…

`Christmas for the Kids' finds duplicate names while preparing to distribute toys

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Dec. 16, 2002 -- Elves are almost ready to deliver gifts on Wednesday to children in  the community that would otherwise not receive anything on this  joyful holiday. 

"We've been really busy and have even been working on weekends getting things ready," said Christmas for the Kids organizer Sofia Baeza.

Baeza said that this year the program would help out 492 children. "We had 516 kids that applied, but 24 are not registered in our Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools," said Baeza. "We're still checking on them, but they may be disqualified."

Baeza said that this year and next year the group would be screening the applications more closely, after using a computer for the first time to match up all the names submitted to the program and finding some duplicate names.

Only one application is allowed per household. "We had a lot of double applications, we may still do eight of these that are not qualified, but we're checking it out," she said.

If three adults live in a household, only one adult is allowed to complete and turn in an application. The applications will also be screened to see if the children really do exist and that the names are not fictitious, and family household income will also be taken into consideration.

"At least 24 are questionable, so we don't know yet if we will provide for them," said Baeza, who added they will also begin checking household income next year, to limit the program only to those with the greatest needs.

Baeza said that most of their applications come from the schools, but that they are available in some city and county offices, as well as the sheriff's department. "We will help 167 families and raised $7,740, which is really close to our goal of $8,000," said Baeza.

"We still have some donations that are supposed to come in and are looking forward to them," said Baeza. "It's never to late to accept donations," she said.

Deliveries of the gifts will be made on Wednesday, Baeza said, "But we will help in an emergency situation. If anybody knows of a family that is in dire need, we will help them up until the 24th.

"We want to thank the community for all their help," said Baeza.

"We always have a lot of good help and a lot of volunteers," said elf Linda Clark. "We want them to know that we really do appreciate all their help."

Clark said that Reeves County sheriff's deputies, along with Pecos High School and Crockett Middle School student council members and Crockett cheerleaders, would help out with the deliveries this Wednesday afternoon.

"Jesse (Baeza with the sheriff's department) decorates the truck for us, and the kids ride on the truck door-to-door to deliver presents," Clark said earlier this month. "The deputies are real good about taking presents to Balmorhea and Saragosa in the outlying areas, because the truck does the deliveries only here in Pecos."

Clark said that anyone who wanted to help out with the deliveries could do so at the sheriff's department office on Wednesday, beginning about 4 p.m.

"I want to thank the community for their good response year in and year out," said Baeza. "I'm most thankful to anybody in any way, shape or form who has helped me or who is helping me at this moment."

She said anyone wanting more information on Christmas for the Kids could call the Reeves County Sheriff's Department, at 445-4901.


PECOS, Mon., Dec. 16, 2002 -- High Sunday 72. Low this morning 53. Forecast for tonight:   Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday:  Partly cloudy. Becoming windy. Highs in the upper 70s. Southwest winds 5  to 15 mph: Increasing to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Tuesday night:  Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs 60 to  65. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 30. Highs 55 to 60.


Maniben Bhakta, Bill Bonilla, Maxine Borcherding and Paula Ornelas

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