Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Commissioners make payment on water project
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 14, 2003 -- Town of Pecos City will receive their
$422,320 payment from Reeves County as promised this week, while a
contract with Washington lobbyist Randy DeLay and the county has been
modified by Reeves County Commissioners.
Both items were topic of discussion during the regular Commissioners
Court meeting, held Monday in the third floor courtroom at Reeves
Commissioners agreed to pay the $422,320 owed to the city as part of
a water agreement signed two years ago in connection with the
construction of the South Worsham Water Field. The commissioners had
voted during a meeting held in September to postpone the payment until
Oct. 15, because the city did not need to forward the money to the
Texas Water Development Board until the end of October.
Pecos is developing a new water field to replace the Worsham and
Ward County water fields, which are only expected to last through 2008.
The county agreed to make the initial payments on the project in
exchange for access by the $90 million prison facility to the city's
"We're submitting some reimbursables for a number of items and we
plan to move forward on that," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B.
Galindo. "We need those by the end of the week."
Galindo told the group that he had already spoken to Barry Friedman
of Carlisle Capital Markets, financiers for the Reeves County Detention
Centers, about the reimbursable items.
Commissioners are dealing with budget problems linked to the
shortfall of funds from the lack of inmates to fill the new 960-bed
Reeves County Detention Center III project. The county faces a series
of bond payments during the upcoming fiscal year on the new $40 million
addition, along with the payment to the Town of Pecos City as their
share of the South Worsham Water Field construction project.
In connection with the effort to acquire new inmates for RCDC III,
commissioners also approved the ratification of professional service
contract between Public/Private Strategies Consult Inc. and Reeves
"I got back the contract with the language we had discussed
previously with Mr. DeLay," said Galindo.
One of the things that the group had cut out was the reimbursement
for expenses, according to Galindo.
County Auditor Lynn Owens told the group that he had already
received an invoice from Mr. DeLay and that the bill amount so far was
for $36,871. "I haven't paid it yet, because I was not authorized to
pay the reimbursed expenses," said Owens.
"But I spoke to Mr. DeLay and he told me that these costs would be
divided between different clients, not just one customer," said
Galindo. "He assured me that those costs would not amount to very
"In talking with him, I thought that would be reasonable," he added.
"It's important that we have all of our team members on board."
"Do we really need him, if we're about to lease out the prison?"
asked Precinct 4 Commissioner Hivi Rayos.
After seeking ways for three months to find inmates to fill the RCDC
III, proposals are now being accepted by Reeves County from private
vendors for the operation, management and/or lease of all three units
of the 2,960 bed prison or each unit individually.
A public notice was officially posted on Sept. 30 by the Reeves
County Commissioners Court as a request for proposals, with a deadline
of Oct. 31 for the proposals to be submitted.
The management/lease offer would take away some control of the
prison from county commissioners, but would allow the county to
maintain its ownership of the facility.
Most of the 2,000-plus inmates currently in the facility come from
the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. But the BOP has refused to send any more
inmates to fill RCDC III, saying it currently has no need for the extra
bed space in Texas. Contracting with DeLay, the brother of House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugarland, was part of the county's effort
to find inmates for the new prison.
"What I say to you, is as a partnership it doesn't relieve us of how
to deal with Washington," said Galindo. "Yes, we do need him, for the
judicial process and other reasons."
"It won't be our obligation anymore to look for prisoners," said
"We're not through," said Galindo. "We're not throwing in the towel
and walking away from this situation."
"It says here in the contract, that if he's not doing his job, we'll
have to sue him, we just can't get rid of him," said Rayos.
Rayos read item #5 of the contract, which stated: To terminate the
agreement, the terminating party must so notify the other party, in
writing, thirty days prior to the termination date. The termination
date must be at the end of a calendar month. This agreement shall be
irrevocable and noncancellable.
"It says here that the agreement is irrevocable and noncancellable,"
"You have the perception that we'll throw in the towel and just walk
away," said Galindo. "It's imperative we be involved in the process,"
"We can work on the wording, because I do think it's based on
performance," said Galindo.
"Have you paid him anything yet?" asked commissioner precinct 3
"We received a list of charges for October and the total amount due
so far is $36,871," said auditor Lynn Owens. "This covers August,
September and October, we did receive an invoice from him," he said.
Owens said that the lobbyist had been budgeted in the 2004 budget.
"We budgeted it in to pay him, but we have to amend this year's to pay
him for this year," said Owens.
RCDC I was built in 1986 to house 300 inmates and over the next 12
years was expanded to hold 1,000 inmates. During that time, several
disputes broke out between then-Reeves County Sheriff Raul Florez and
county commissioners over which group would oversee the prison, and as
a compromise in 1989 the prison operations were turned over to
Correction Corporation of America.
CCA ran the prison for three years, until the contract was
terminated and the sheriff's department regained control. However,
after several prison escapes and two riots over the next three years
which led the BOP to remove some prisoners from RCDC I, county
commissioners took over supervision of the facility and hired former La
Tuna Federal Prison Warden Rudy Franco to be in charge of the prison in
Following the questioning of Galindo by Rayos, commissioners broke
for lunch before coming back in the afternoon to discuss the issue and
take a vote.
Rayos told the group that if they could change the wording in the
contract to read that it could be cancelable and revocable.
Galindo told the group that he had a teleconference with DeLay with
regards to his work with Reeves County. "I believe it went really
well," said Galindo.
The group agreed to the agreement with the new wording inserted into
"In the long run it's cheaper, instead of sending someone from
here," said Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo. "I don't think
anyone else can do it," he said.
"There's a lot at stake," said Galindo.
Another prison related issue taken up by commissioners Monday was
rescinding an inmate clothing bid from ICS, after that company began
demanding payment up-front for delivery of the clothing.
"It's been about three to four weeks ago, that according to staff
members we have not received any clothing from ICS," said Reeves County
Detention Center employee Adam Rodriguez.
He said that the company began sending them the clothes as COD (Cash
"They told me that their legal adviser told them that the clothes
would have to be delivered that way," said Rodriguez. "They told me
that they won't deliver anymore unless it is COD."
Owens told the group that he had spoken to them as well only to get
the same answer. "She told me that it was because of legal counsel, who
told them to do this, because of our financial troubles," said Owens.
Owens said that he told them Reeves County would be purchasing their
inmate clothing elsewhere. ""She told me that she was going to advise
whoever we get it from next, why they had to change our contract to
COD," said Owens. "We don't owe them anything."
Galindo said that because it was a bid that had been awarded their
hands were tied. "We need to rescind the bid to be able to purchase
from the open market," he said.
Commissioners agreed to rescind the bid and let the prison facility
order the clothing from the open market. "That will give you the
authority to purchase from the open market, without violating
anything," said Galindo.
Event held to boost domestic violence awareness
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 14, 2003 -- A ceremony was held in front of the
Reeves County Courthouse this morning to increase awareness about the
problem of domestic violence within the community.
October was proclaimed as Domestic Violence Month in Reeves County
during the 10:30 a.m. ceremony. City and county law enforcement
officials were on hand at the courthouse along with local victim's
assistance volunteers to tie purple ribbons onto law enforcement
The campaign is to remind people to be aware of domestic violence
around them and to recognize the efforts of staff and volunteers to
reduce domestic violence through public education.
The area Center for Crisis Advocacy, a volunteer organization
located in Midland, has sponsored a shelter to care for the victims of
domestic violence. The Angel House is a dedicated facility that
provides shelter, food, transportation, support and community referrals
to those individuals that have experienced abuse.
In 1998, 824,790 women reported being physically assaulted by an
intimate partner. The Center for Crisis Advocacy, through the Angel
House, works to help victims though the rough time and to help them get
back on their feet.
Sue Arrington, executive director of the Center for Crisis Advocacy,
Stacey Hollingshead, Victim Services Advocate with the CCA, and Susie
Saenz, Reeves County Victim Advocate met with Pecos Police Chief Clay
McKinney and Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez to acknowledge the
dedication of the month.
Driver awareness program at PHS to stage accident
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 14, 2003 -- Local authorities will be putting
together drunk driving awareness program at the high school this week.
Organizers have scheduled a mock crash to be held at the school on
Thursday morning as part of the program entitled, "Shattered Dreams,"
which was also held at the school two years ago.
Certain students will be designated as the deceased of the crash
and will have their faces painted white and have to wear black for the
rest of the day. Other students will not be allowed to talk to these
"deceased" for the entirety of the event.
Helicopters, ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles
will be on hand to lend to the realism of the event. Crisis volunteers
will be on-hand Friday for an assembly at 2 p.m. for debriefing of the
Reward offered for information on missing teenager
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 14, 2003 -- A reward of $1,000 has now been offered
for information assisting officers in locating a missing Balmorhea
teen, who disappeared from her home two weeks ago.
Midland Crime Stoppers has offered the reward into the disappearance
of Monica Cassandra Carrasco, and is soliciting any information that
might be helpful in the case. Carrasco disappeared sometime between the
late evening of Oct. 1 and the early morning of Oct. 2.
She is described as 110 pounds, black hair with red streaks, brown
eyes and 5-foot-5 in height. She has a small mole on her cheek and a
chicken pox scar near her hairline on her forehead.
Law enforcement officials have been looking for the 16 year-old
since the morning of her disappearance. Representatives from the Reeves
County Sheriff's Office, the Border Patrol, the Fort Stockton-Lynell
Unit and the Department of Public Safety have all contributed to the
search for the girl.
"We have no new leads at this time," Reeves County Sheriff Andy
Gomez said, "but we are still searching and we are now working and
coordinating our efforts with the Special Investigations Unit of the
DPS, out of Midland."
At the time she disappeared, officials said they suspected Carrasco
just walked out of her home. They also said 16-year-old is believed to
be taking anti-depressants.
"She's on medication right now and we want to locate her right
away," said Gomez.
People are urged to call the Midland Crime Stoppers at 432-694-TIPS
or 1-800-7-LOCKUP or any local law enforcement agency with any
information that might be beneficial to the investigation. Crime
Stoppers would like to stress that callers will remain anonymous and
that no caller ID is ever used on a call.
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 14, 2003 -- High Monday 92. Low this morning 53.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows near 50. Southeast winds 5 to
15 mph. Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs near 85. South winds 10 to 15
mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Southwest
winds 10 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs 85 to 90. West winds
10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s. Friday night: Mostly clear.
Lows near 50.
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