Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
County raises tax rate, sheriff shifted to RCDC
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Wed., Oct. 1, 2003 -- The Reeves County Commissioners Court
voted to increase the county's tax rate by 2.63 cents Monday night, and
also will be sending Sheriff Andy Gomez and his staff to the Reeves
County Detention Center, both in an effort to cut the county's current
Commissioner continued their budget and tax hearing, which began
Monday morning at the Reeves County Courthouse. The budget drawn up for
the 2004 fiscal year predicts revenues of $5.75 million and expected
expenses of $5.16 million.
In order to meet those revenue projections, commissioners voted to
set tax rate at 42.6364 cents per $100 of valuation, up from 40 cents
from last year. The new number is the effective tax rate, which is
designed to bring in the same amount of revenue to the county as a year
The increase resulted from a decline in the county's taxable
property values and the new rate was approved unanimously on a motion
by County Judge Jimmy Galindo.
The county has been wrestling with the shortfall in revenue from the
lack of inmates in the new Reeves County Detention Center III addition.
The 960-bed prison was completed in March, but did not receive the U.S.
Bureau of Prisons inmates as expected. Money from housing the BOP
inmates was to be used to make payments on the RCDC III's $40 million
in construction costs and interest payments.
With bond payments on the facility looming and a $420,000 payment
due to the Town of Pecos City in two weeks, the commissioners had to
find new resources for capital.
Two of the county's largest sources of projected income are to come
from the Sheriff's office and through some renegotiating of the
county's current intergovernmental agreement (IGA).
In one move to cut costs, Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez, has
pledged his assistance to the county by temporarily moving his jail
facilities to the RCDC III addition.
Headquarters and archival facilities will remain at the downtown
location, while the sheriff's office jailers and jailing facilities
will now be three miles down the road, at the RCDC complex.
Commissioner hope the relocation of the sheriff's office will be
able to save the county money by stopping renovations on the old jail
for the time being. Also planners are hoping that the RCDC III, staffed
by the sheriff's jailers, will receive Federal inmates from Arizona
sent by the U.S. Marshal's Service.
"This is a short term fix to get through the crisis," Galindo said,
"If we work together we can get through this tough time without
reducing services or salaries, as long as we stop getting shot in the
back by the editor of the Pecos Enterprise."
Commissioner Herman Tarin questioned whether the move would happen
soon enough to help increase county revenues for the upcoming year.
"We are ready to move as soon as possible," Gomez said. "This is not
something we want, but we are willing to do what is necessary to help
The commissioners are trying to establish a separate contract with
the U.S. Marshal's Service to get a better man/day rate than the $47.32
rate paid by the BOP for the 2,000 inmates currently in the RCDC's
other two units.
The confusion with the rate given by the varying Department of
Justice entities has commissioners looking for a way to re-file its
rate request, to straighten out the situation.
"We need to get the billing codes clear and this will help," Galindo
The county is still trying to use all of the detention space
available to it. Once a contract can be signed with the Board of
Prisons or the Marshal's Service then Gomez will be able to move his
prisoners and jailers back downtown.
Also in the county's revenue hopes is the renegotiation of the
man/day rate with the BOP on the RDCD I and II contract.
Citing a York, Pennsylvania case, Judge Galindo asserted that the
county may renegotiate its fixed price intergovernmental agreement, so
that the prison can turn a profit off of the man/day rate given by the
Department of Justice entities.
"Reeves County is entitled to a profit from RCDC," Galindo said.
"What has the legal council in Washington D.C. advised on the
matter," Tarin asked.
Galindo said that the lawyer has advised the county that the
renegotiation of the rate for a profit has legal footing and should be
able to get the new rate approved.
"We must turn this thing around to save the General Fund, we must
act together to get this passed with united pressure on governmental,"
said Galindo, who again criticized recent editorials in the Enterprise.
"Right down the road the prison (the Cornell unit in Big Spring) is
charging a 17 percent profit, we have the right to ask for a 5-10
County auditor Lynn Owens said that in the end it was up to the BOP
and that if the renegotiation did not go well then the county must be
ready to make cuts in December. "The B.P has been known to drag its
feet, they might not act in 90 days," he added.
"That is why we must go as a delegation to the board, talk to our
senator (John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee) and
enlist his help as well," Galindo said.
The commissioners then restored some of the cuts that had been made
in the proposed budget and passed it unanimously on a motion by Galindo
and a second by commissioner Felipe Arredondo.
Galindo is planning on holding meetings every Monday from now until
December 31 to check on the progress of the proposals.
Also in the county's business last night was the approval of an
additional fence between RCDC III and the rest of the complex.
"The fence would provide added flexibility and enhance security,"
Warden Rudy Franco said.
The approval came on a motion by Tarin and a second by commissioner
Blood drive donors sought as shortage continues
From Staff and Wire Reports
Two blood drives are scheduled in Pecos over the next five days, as the
Permian Basin continues to deal with an ongoing blood shortage.
The blood drives, on Thursday at Reeves County Hospital and on
Sunday at Santa Rosa Catholic Church, were set up in early September by
local officials and United Blood Service of the Permian Basin, after
that agency ran short of blood during the Labor Day weekend.
The shortage has affected operations at Midland-Odessa hospitals
more than at Reeves County Hospital so far, though the blood supply
situation in Pecos is currently unstable.
"Currently the hospital is OK for the next week, unless something
major happens," said Nancy Ontiveros, Director of Special Programs at
Reeves County Hospital. "We're supplied every two weeks by United Blood
Services, and right now we have to wait from delivery time to delivery
time to see if the amount of blood we need will be supplied."
In Odessa, surgeries at Alliance Hospital have been curtailed,
according to the officials who add that the blood shortage is also
affecting Odessa Regional and Medical Center hospitals.
"We're having to cancel surgeries because we don't have enough
blood," Alliance spokesman Jason Samp told the Odessa American in
Wednesday's editions. "We have canceled at least two, and we don't have
any blood right now other than for emergency surgeries. We're canceling
the ones that need to be done but aren't life-threatening."
MCH Blood Bank Supervisor Shelley Keller said addition of West Nile
Virus tests to the AIDS and hepatitis testing that donors undergo has
been a factor in shortening the supply, along with summertime drop in
donations and the spike in surgeries.
Keller said MCH's emergency supplier, the National Blood Exchange
in Bethesda, Md., is currently inaccessible because it is having the
Thursday's blood drive at Reeves County Hospital will be from 1 to 7
p.m. in the hospital's lobby, while the United Blood Service mobile
unit will be parked next to Santa Rosa Church to accept donations from
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday.
"The public needs to know that one unit of blood donated can help
three people, so that's the potential to save three lives," Ontiveros
Christian Home begins planning holiday dinners
PECOS, Wed., Oct. 1, 2003 -- Santa Claus is already ringing out
Christmas cheer in the stores, and the Pecos Christian Home is already
thinking about Christmas and Thanksgiving meals.
Velma Bradley, a longtime supporter of the annual meals served at
the Reeves County Civic Center, said plans are underway for the
sit-down noon dinner and delivery service to Meals on Wheels clients.
"Everyone who can volunteer may just show up at the civic center on
Thanksgiving Day, and we will assign you a task," Bradley said. "From
cutting pies to ladling up turkey, dressing and gravy, to washing up
the pots and pans, there is work just your size."
Mark Polzin, Christian Home director, will receive donations of
(preferably cooked) turkeys, green beans, mashed potatoes and desserts
at the home, 1201 S. Elm St., prior to the dinner.
"If you bring frozen turkeys, we will find someone to cook them,"
Polzin said. "Any donation is appreciated."
The Christian Home annually serves between 300 and 400 people with
meals on the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, both through
deliveries to clients of the Meals on Wheels program and dine-in or
take-out orders at the Civic Center.
Cheerleaders plan decoration contest for homecoming
PECOS, Wed., Oct. 1, 2003 -- Pecos High School cheerleaders encourage
everyone in town to join the "Paint the town purple and gold" contest
on homecoming week.
There will be three categories, schools, businesses and homes, with
one first place winner for each category to be announced at the
homecoming rally on Friday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m.
Judging will be Thursday, Oct. 9. If you would like to participate,
please call 445-5114.
PECOS, Wed., Oct. 1, 2003 -- High Tuesday 95. Low this morning 60.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 55. East winds near 10
mph in the evening becoming light and variable. Thursday: Partly
cloudy. Highs near 85. East winds near 10 mph. Thursday night: Partly
cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s to the lower 60s. South winds 10 to 15 mph.
Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s to the lower 90s. Southwest
winds near 10 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance
of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s to the lower 60s.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information
contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the
Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other
officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for
outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control
violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be
printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such
instances we will indicate payment and release.
Jae Ewing, 19, was arrested on a Ward
County warrant for aggravated assault on Sept. 24, at 7:54 p.m. during
a traffic stop at Washington and Eddy streets
Jose Manuel Garcia, 48, was arrested on a
warrant for parole violation on Sept. 25, at 1:30 p.m. in the 500 block
of Sycamore St.
Derek Shinkle, 28, turned himself in for
a warrant for a probation violation Sept 26,at 3:04 a.m., at the
Criminal Justice Center.
Eric Estorga, 19, was arrested on two
warrants for burglary of a motor vehicle class A on Sept. 25, at 9:53
p.m. in the 700 block of Sycamore Street.
Jesse Adame, 24, was arrested on a
warrant for theft over $50 and under $500 on Sept. 26, at 10:35 p.m. in
the 2200 block of Missouri Street.
Sonia Rodriguez, 29, was arrested on a
warrant for theft over $50 and under $500 on Sept. 26, at 10:03 p.m. in
the 900 block of West Fourth Street.
Christopher Rodriguez, 26, was arrested
for class C misdemeanor assault under the Family Violence Act, Evading
arrest and on a preexisting warrant from Reeves County Sheriff's Office
for resisting arrest on Sept. 27, at 1:55 p.m. in the 400 block of
Sylvia Guadalupe, 23, was arrested for
public intoxication and simple assault on Sept. 28, at 1:41 a.m. at
Asusena Sandoval, 21, was arrested on a
warrant for theft over $1,500 and under $20,000 on Sept. 29, at 5:33
p.m. when she turned herself in at the CJC.
Mickey Gabaldon, 20, turned himself in on
four warrants: public intoxication, minor in possession, possession of
an open container and violation failure to appear on Sept. 29, at 3:00
p.m. at the CJC.
Garcia Raul, 30, was arrested for
enticing a child (class B) on Sept. 29, at 2:08 p.m., in the 800 block
of Cypress St.
Mary Carrera, 35, was arrested on a
warrant for parole violation on Sept. 29, at 7:01 p.m., in the 300
block of Locust St.
Paul Rubio, 45, was arrested for
disorderly conduct, vulgar language, on Sept. 30, at 5:31 p.m., in the
200 block of North Cedar Street.
Yolanda Rubio, 40, was arrested on a
warrant for assault causing bodily injury on Sept. 30, at 11:09 a.m.,
in the 800 block of South Plum Street
Michael Ontiveros, 35, was arrested on a
warrant for a motion to revoke probation from Ward County on Sept. 30,
at 8:01 p.m., in the 100 block of North Cedar Street...
Maria Muniz Cabezuela, Fernando Orona, Sr. and Frank Williams
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