Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 9, 2003
Council to seek bids on planned sewer extension
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council voted
to begin the process of extending sewer lines on the north, south and
east sides of Pecos as part of a discussion of several ongoing water
projects, during their regular meeting this morning at City Hall.
Council members also addressed the city's policy concerning the
accumulation of sick leave by employees and hear a complaint about the
removal of security partitions in the lobby area of City Hall.
First the city council voted to approve advertising for bids on the
extension of wastewater lines to outlying areas near the city. The
proposed locations of construction are sections of 'F' and Hickory
Streets on the north side of town, the east side of 13th Street and
portions of West County Road.
The additions would satisfy state required extensions of the sewage
system. These areas had previously been grandfathered to allow the
residences to keep the cesspool waste elimination systems already in
place before the mandate.
The bids will be for the construction alone; the final connection
costs will have to come from any overage left over from the difference
between the bids and the actual cost of construction, council members
"The bids are expected to be high enough, however, if they are not
it might be necessary to take the money needed for the final
connections out of the contingency fund for the project," said engineer
Edgardo Madrid with Frank Spencer and Associates.
Also the city approved additional funds to pay for the engineering
hours that Madrid said the South Worsham Water Field has needed. The
city is developing the water field to partially replace the current
Worsham and Ward County water fields.
"The construction has exceeded the time estimation for services,
only recently in the final phase of construction; the coordination of
the telemetry that will eventually automate and regulate the valves on
the pumps is taking more time than expected," Madrid added.
The money for the extra hours will come out of the Texas Water
Development Board grant that was awarded for the project.
"Typically the cost of engineering services are around 8 percent,
this increase will exceed that level slightly, but it doesn't all have
to be used and Spencer and Associates have a good track record of
keeping change orders to a minimum and projects within budget," city
manager Carlos Yerena said.
"The grant still has $727,000 left in it, the $52,000 for the seven
weeks of engineering work will be drawn form there," Yerena added, "we
have allotted another $52,000 for change orders and the implementation
of caliche roads around the field, with the remainder we hope to keep
as a grant matching fund for future projects."
The council then discussed the current city sick leave policy that
allows employees to accumulate a maximum of 30 paid sick days.
Councilman Danny Rodriguez expressed his concern that employees would
be left short of the needed time off and money needed when there is a
long-term or serious illness in their family.
The council decided unanimously to extend the accumulation of sick
days to 120, an amount that would allow employees to have enough paid
leave days to cover the 120 day sick leave that the state requires
employers to allow employees before termination.
In other business the council went into an executive session to
discuss the duties of the water department superintendent. The council
moved "to have city manager Yerena and Utilities director Octavio
Garcia review employment options for the position."
The motion carried on a 3-1 vote, with councilman Danny Rodriguez in
opposition to the motion.
During the public comments section, held at the start of the
meeting, two local residents voiced their concerns about recent city
Lupe Acosta expressed her displeasure over the city taking down the
Plexiglas security partition in front of the utility department
"The council has turned its back on the women who work here," Acosta
said. "The three council members that voted in favor of the change
should be ashamed of themselves."
"We hear of terrorism happening around the world, Johnny Mata died
because of terrorism, and you were wrong to endanger these women like
this," she added. Mata was killed during combat in Iraq in March.
City employees, however, said that the removal of the partition was
a nice change.
"I think that the loss of the windows will make the public feel more
welcome here in city hall," said utilities department clerk Emma
Carrasco. "I like the openness of it; I feel less boxed in now."
The removal had come from the numerous complaints that the city had
heard over the security widows. Specifically Rodriguez had received
complaints that residents felt like they were not welcome or wanted.
Council members then heard from city employee Richard Bonilla, who
stated that he had not received any kind of raise since the council had
approved a 3 percent salary increase for all city employees that was
due to go into effect on Oct. 1. Bonilla also felt that the Town of
Pecos should do more to celebrate Veterans' Day next month.
Mayor Dot Stafford assured Bonilla that the raise was across the
board, but that it would be added at an individual employee's
evaluation, for those evaluations happening after the Oct. 1 effective
date. As for the veterans, Stafford applauded him coming before the
council and pledged her assistance in doing more for "those that have
fought to keep this country free."
Overnight rains cause flooding in area
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- Light, but welcome rains, passed
through Pecos Wednesday night and early this morning, while heavier
showers hit areas to the south of Reeves County, causing flood warnings
for areas near both the Pecos River and the Rio Grande.
A flash flood warning for the Trans-Pecos areas of eastern Pecos and
northern Terrell Counties was put in effect last night, and warnings
were also issued for Presidio County in the Big Bend area.
"We've adjusted the warning for Presidio County," said National
Weather Service Technician Eddie Brite.
He said that the showers that had been in the Pecos area have now
moved east, after about a half inch of rain fell in the area during the
past 24 hours.
"Today it will be mostly cloudy, with scattered showers," said
Brite. Temperatures today are expected to top out at about 80 degrees,
with a 40 percent chance of rain.
Weather for tomorrow calls for light and variable with a 20 percent
chance of rain. "It will be mostly cloudy tomorrow with a 20 percent
chance of rain, but most of it has moved from the Pecos area, east,"
The National Weather Service has continued the river flood warning
for the Rio Grande below Presidio.
Other points along the river remain near or above bank-full.
Rainfall amounts of over two inches have fallen in the watershed
upstream of Presidio since Wednesday morning, and water is expected to
reach up to the toe of the levee on the Rio Grande at Redford, 15 miles
southeast of Presidio. However, no damage to the levee is expected, and
the 9 foot crest is still a foot below a crest that occurred during the
last significant rains on June 13 of this year.
Additional rainfall will be possible over the next 24 hours.
However, rainfall will be scattered in nature, therefore river levels
near Presidio are expected to fall below flood stage Friday morning,
according to the NWS forecast.
The flood warning for Pecos and Terrell counties covered the
sections nearest to the Pecos River. Bakersfield, Iraan, Sheffield and
rural areas adjacent to the Pecos River, arroyos and creeks between
Iraan and Sheffield in eastern Pecos and northern Terrell County.
The weather service said an observer in Sheffield reported water
from Four Mile Draw covering Highway 349, four miles north of
Sheffield. In addition, water from the Pecos River was nearing, but not
covering Highway 349, on the southern outskirts of Iraan.
The Texas Department of Public Transportation reported several
locations on Farm to Market 2400 washed out along a 40-mile stretch in
Northern Terrell County. It is likely that portions of highway 349 and
Farm to Market 2400 are covered with water where Independence Creek
intersects these roads.
Map cuts part of Laredo out of Bonilla's district
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- Reeves County remains a part of
District 23 and Ward County remains paired with Midland and Odessa in
the compromise redistricting plan Texas legislators agreed to early
this morning in Austin. But the new plan moves Ward County into
District 11 and out of District 19, while also removing some of the
more heavily Democratic areas in the southeastern part of District 23.
San Antonio Republican Henry Bonilla, who narrowly won re-election
over Laredo Democrat Henry Cuellar in 2002, represents District 23. The
Republican-backed redistricting plan is expected to help Bonilla by
splitting Webb County and the city of Laredo into the 23rd and 28th
Congressional Districts, while adding more of northwestern Bexar
County, which gave Bonilla his margin of victory last year, to the 23rd
The 23rd District will continue to extend westward to the eastern
part of El Paso County, and will include Reeves, Pecos, Culberson, Jeff
Davis, Presidio and Brewster counties.
District 11 will run as far west as the Pecos River, and will
include Ward County and the city of Barstow, along with Loving County.
The largest cities in it will be Midland, Odessa and San Angelo, and
the district will continue eastward to include Brownwood and
Fredericksburg, and will extend slightly into the South Plains to take
in Dawson and Scurry counties, and the cities of Lamesa and Snyder.
District 19 will now pair Lubbock and Abilene, while the northern
Panhandle will be in District 13, which will include Amarillo and
stretch southeastward to include Wichita Falls.
Clear skies expected to greet parade, bonfire
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- Rain showers which have been in the
Pecos area since Wednesday are expected to let up this afternoon and
evening, in time for the annual Pecos High School homecoming parade and
Lineup for the 2003 homecoming parade will be held today starting at
4:30 p.m. at the corner of Second and Eddy streets. The parade will
travel south, along Eddy Street beginning at 5 p.m.. Judging of the
parade floats will be conducted in front of Rediger's Pharmacy at
Eighth and Eddy streets, and the parade will conclude at the Pecos High
School baseball field.
The bonfire is scheduled to begin around 8:30 p.m. after sunset, and
will take place at the former Town of Pecos City landfill, located
south of the Reeves County Golf Course.
The 2003 Homecoming Queen and King will be crowned during halftime
of Friday's game between Pecos and Kermit at Eagle Stadium. The game
will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Homecoming queen and king nominees this year are Alessandra Carrasco
and her escort, Joe Marruffo, Natalia Ornelas and her escort, Pablo
Rodriguez, and Stephanie Herrera and her escort, Oscar Parada.
Duke and duchesses for this year are Booker Fobbs and Liza Vejil
from the junior class, Luis Nunez and Tiffany Tarango for the sophomore
class and Francisco Ornelas and Raquel Barreno, representing the
PHS Exes Tea, pep rally planned
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- The Pecos Eagle Homecoming 2003 Pep
Rally will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 10, in the PHS New Gym,
while a PHS Exes Tea will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in the lobby of
the new gym.
The event will include PHS Calss of 1953 graduates who are holding
their 50th reunion. All former PHS graduates are encouraged to attend
both the tea and the pep rally.
PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- High Wed. 77. Low this morning 65.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. Lows 60 to
65. East winds near 10 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Fri.:
Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Highs 75 to 80. East winds near 10 mph. Fri. night: Mostly cloudy with
a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s.
South winds 10 to 15 mph. Sat.: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance
of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. East winds near
10 mph. Sat. night: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows in
the mid 50s to near 60.
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