Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Red Bluff OK despite no water sales
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Red Bluff Water Power Control District "didn't have a
bad year, considering you lost $95,000 in income," auditor Randy Graham
told the district's board during their regular monthly meeting,
held Tuesday morning at the district's office in Pecos.
Board members were also told by managing director Randal
Hartman that drilling is expected to be completed this week on the well
at Malaga Bend, which will be used to pump salt water away from the
Pecos River as part of a long-delayed project.
A lack of any water in the Pecos River during 2002 was the reason
for the district's income drop. The drought that had been in the
Trans-Pecos since the early 1990s spread north in recent years to the
Pecos River basin in New Mexico, and led to a cut in water flowing into Red
Bluff Lake, which kept the district from selling water to farmers last year.
The district's income in 2002 was $81,084, while expenses
were $146,908, leading to a shortfall of $65,824. In 2001. income was
$158,511, which was $20,374 above Red Bluff's expenses of $138,137.
The district's interest income is also down $60,000 in five years
due to a decline in overall interest rates. However, while water sales
dropped from $95,040 to zero, Graham said oil and gas revenues were up this
past year, and represented almost 79 percent of the district's income.
In 2001, oil and gas revenues accounted for just under a third of the
district's income, while water sales made up nearly 60 percent of the income total.
Graham also noted that the district's insurance payments were
up this year, but Hartman said that was due to adding liability insurance
at Red Bluff Lake, in case the district is sued over an accident or fatality
on lake property. "We'll look at it, and if it's something we can cut, we will,
but knowing what I know about insurance, I doubt it," he said.
Graham also told the board that for 2003, they should think
about accumulating some cash to fund some major projects planned for the
One expense the board did vote on for now was the purchase of a
new all-terrain vehicle for use at the lake. The district estimated spending
about $18,000 on the vehicle, paying it off in three years.
"It ought to be a long-lived thing, because it's only going to be used off
the highway," said Hartman, who was authorized by the board to get prices on
On the Malaga Bend project, Hartman said drilling is currently underway
on the well, which will be used to pump the salt spring water into man-made
ponds, which will then be evaporated and the salt harvested by Sun West Salt Co.
"We are technically getting there. They drilled to 195-feet Friday and
they should be drilling out today (Monday) and will set the other pipe by
sometime tomorrow," Hartman said.
He said the final depth of the well would be about 230 feet, while work is
also underway on digging out the pits where the salt will be pumped.
"We've made more progress in the last three weeks than we have in the
last five years," said board member Lloyd Goodrich.
As for the lake itself, Hartman said that Carlsbad's "Festival of
Lights" Christmas display helped boost the lake's level above 50,000 acre/feet for the
first time in over a year.
"We got a little water right before Christmas period, because they had
to freshen up the Carlsbad lake," he said. "The boat goes up there with the
tourists, and they want fresh water."
However, at 56,559 acre/feet, Hartman said unless more water comes down
in the next two months, "There won't be enough to hardly get anybody
(irrigation) water, once you look at the loss (downstream). And Carlsbad is looking at
one-third of their regular water allotment, so if Carlsbad is getting that, we
probably won't get a whole lot of water."
Chamber sets plans for banquet, 2003 events
By ROSIE FLORES
Pecos Chamber of Commerce members discussed plans for
next month's annual Chamber Awards Banquet, during the group's
regular monthly meeting on Tuesday in Pecos.
New Chamber president Al Gomez presided over the first meeting of
the year, and will oversee the Feb. 6 banquet at the Reeves County
Civic Center. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased from any Pecos
Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors or the chamber office,
those at the meeting were told.
Outgoing Chamber President Kevin Duke told the group
that Manuel Phillips, from Texas A&M University, would be the
guest speaker. "He's a motivational speaker and humorist, so it should be
really nice and entertaining," said Duke.
Individuals can also reserve a table for their company or group,
according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Gholson.
The Women's Division of the chamber will decorate the center
for the big event and everyone is invited to attend.
"We also need nominations for the awards," said Gholson.
Along with the banquet, the chamber went over several
events planned for the upcoming months that will include the whole family.
A Family Health Day is scheduled for March 22 at Maxey Park.
The event is being sponsored by the local Lion's and Rotary Clubs
and everyone is invited to participate. "We have come together and
planned this event to the entire community," said Lion's Club member Cody West.
"You can either walk, jog or ride your bike, beginning at the
Maxey Park and down the I-20 frontage road," said West. "Individuals can go as
far as they want."
West said that several checkpoints would be set with individuals
handing out water and an ambulance would be available to check blood
pressures. "The checkpoints will be set up at various distances," said
West. "Packets with health information will also be handed out."
"We'd like a lot of people to come out and join us, and we'll be
inviting people from other communities as well," he said.
West said that breakfast and lunch would be served to the
participants and a bike would be raffled.
He said that event is still in the early stages of planning so
ideas, suggestions and comments were welcome. "If anyone has any
good ideas of how to improve this or would like to help us organize it, we
welcome them," he said.
The West of the Pecos Museum is also looking to hold a
huge celebration this year for their
"Since it is the museum's anniversary, I think someone
else should give them the party," said Gholson, who told board
members she would like the chamber to host the official party scheduled
for Saturday, April 12. "We'd like to go have a co-host," she added.
"Do we have the money?" asked board member John Grant.
"We'll have to find the funds," said Gholson.
Dick Alligood volunteered to form a group and start some
fundraisers for the event.
"Why don't you take a look at what we want to do exactly and
bring it back to the board with a budget," said board member Jimmy Dutchover.
"The museum does things for the community year-round and I think
we should do something for them this year," said Gholson.
Museum director Debbie Thomas said that they appreciated all the help.
Board member Paul Hinojos told the group that another
family-oriented event is being planned by the Knights of Columbus, and
is scheduled from 6-9 p.m., on Tuesday, March 4, the final day of 2003
Mardi Gras celebrations.
The date is generally known as `Fat Tuesday.' Hinojos said, "This
is the ending of Mardi Gras and the beginning of Lent. It's a
celebration by the Catholics."
A reminder that we came from ashes and will once again
become ashes, according to Hinojos.
Hinojos said that the group usually sponsors a fish fry during this
time, but that that event was proving costly. "So we decided to do
a Spaghetti Supper instead," he said.
The event would be held at the Reeves County Civic Center, and
the Knights of Columbus will be in charge of providing all the spaghetti
and meatballs, the drinks and garlic bread and they are asking
community members to bring in their favorite dish.
"We'll set up all the dishes on a table and then judge them," he said.
"But the Knights of Columbus will provide all the spaghetti and meatballs."
Hinojos said that they were going to check with the schools and see
if there were any games that day and have the students come in and eat
before their games.
Hinojos said that the group was open to any ideas and that they
wanted to get everyone out there. "We want to have something for the kids and
the parents to do and make it an annual event," he said.
The meal will cost $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.
Gomez introduced the new board members and nominated
Jimmy Dutchover as president-elect for next year. The board approved all
the nominees and the new president-elect.
"I'm really excited about this coming year and want to have a lot of
events here in Pecos," said Gomez, who added that he also wanted to help the West
of the Pecos Rodeo Committee. "We want to help them to make it better and
bring in more people to Pecos," he said.
One of the events Gomez is interested in bringing to Pecos is
a Monster Truck Show. "Kevin also started talking about hosting
the playoff games here and that's something else we want to
keep pursuing," he said.
P-B-T in healthier situation than Monahans
By JENNIFER GALVAN
With the unpredictable weather Pecos has had lately, the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD has had a lot of students be absent.
But with a four-day weekend for students coming up, the district
currently has no plans to shut down classes early because of a flu virus that has
been making its way across Texas for the past month.
According to the attendance report the P-B-T school district had a
total of 255 students absent yesterday which is not usually high this time of
year of the district. The total represents roughly 10 percent of the
Problems are more severe at the Monahans Independent School
District, which closed its campuses for the remainder of the week due to 20
percent of their student body being out because of flu symptoms on Monday
P-B-T school officials said in order for the district to think about closing
its doors about 366 students would have to be absent, based on the number of
its current enrollment.
MISD superintendent Clifton Stephens told the Odessa America that
380 students out of about 2,000 were absent Tuesday.
"The kids kept getting sick," Stephens said. "It seems that it's getting the
kids worse than adults, although we do have several teachers out."
School districts across North, East and West Texas were forced to close
down due to flu-related absences before the Christmas holidays. In West Texas,
Stanton ISD was one of the schools that closed due to student illnesses.
P-B-T ISD schools are open as scheduled today and will be open again
on Thursday. But school will be out on Friday for a weather day, and will
remain closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. Classes in the
district will resume on Tuesday.
Stephens also told the American that MISD would resume classes on
Tuesday because they already have Monday off for Martin Luther King Day.
PEDC schedules board meeting
The Pecos Economic Development Corp. will hold its
first meeting of 2003 at 9 a.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 22, on the
second floor of the Security State Bank building in Pecos.
The board will discuss review and approval of the PEDC
marketing strategy, and will be briefed on the grand opening event scheduled
for March 9 at the Flat Top Farms dairy, 20 miles southeast of Pecos.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs is scheduled to speak at
High Tuesday 62. Low this morning 32. Forecast for tonight:
Clear. Lows in the mid 30s. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph:
Becoming north and increasing to 15 to 25 mph after midnight. Thursday:
Sunny and colder. Highs in the upper 40s. Northeast winds 10 to 15
mph. Thursday night: Clear and cold. Lows near 18. Friday: Sunny
and warmer. Highs in the mid 50s. Saturday: Clear. Lows in the mid 20s.
Highs in the upper 50s.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise