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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Weekend rains fail to boost Red Bluff's lake level

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Oct. 15, 2003 -- Weekend rains did little to add to the water levels at Red Bluff Lake, members of the Red Bluff Water Power Control Board were told during their monthly meeting on Tuesday in Pecos.

"We caught about 700 acre/feet from the big storm," said Managing Director Randal Hartman. That total didn't offset a loss in September of 1,755 acre feet from the lake during September, when the water level fell to 50,434 acre/feet.

Red Bluff has been unable to release water downstream to farmers along the Pecos River for irrigation use during the past two years. The lake levels hovered around 40,000 acre/feet in 2002 and never got above 60,000 acre/feet this year, after climbing as high as 100,000 acre/feet in the late 1990s.

"The biggest rains were above Brantley," Hartman said, referring to the dam north of Carlsbad on the Pecos River in New Mexico. Heavy rains over the weekend also caused the Pecos River's flow to rise sharply and the canals to fill up in the area south of Imperial, but that water was too far downstream be stored for future use.

"I went across the Mentone bridge the other day, and that's the first time in my life there hasn't been any flow at all," said board member Lloyd Goodrich, who later pointed out that the Pecos River around Red Bluff Lake has a very small inflow basin.

"Red Bluff on the east side (in Loving County), the longest flow is 11 miles," he said.

The current drought in the Trans-Pecos began in 1992, and Hartman said U.S. Navy climatologists have said the dry period could be an extended one.

"They've counted tree rings from the past, and they said this could last 30 years," he said. "I hope their wrong. I don't like that projection."

As far as water in the lake, the board discussed possible effects of plans by Shenandoah Petroleum to turn one of two wells the company drilled on Red Bluff property into a brine injection well.

The well, which is only producing a half-barrel of oil a day, is drilled to a depth of 3,800 feet. Goodrich said an injection well drilled to 4,000 feet caused problems with water in the Mentone area when brine was injected.

"I don't want to put brine in there," he said. "I that area just below the lake Gulf had an (drilling) area that interacting eight miles apart."

Hartman said he didn't know if the district could stop Shenandoah from putting in an injection well, except to comment at a public hearing. However, he was given permission by the board to check on any agreement with the company the district could work out.

The board approved cash disbursements, the monthly financial statement and accounts payable for September, which included $2,976 in legal fees from attorney Tim Brown in connection with an opinion on the underground water districts that the State of Texas mandated be put in place in the near future.

"We have the right with the other (sub-) districts to use it, and that's about it," Hartman said of Red Bluff's water use rights according to Brown. "The State of Texas controls the water, and they can do whatever they want with it."

Board members took no action on a plan to clean up and repair canals in the Imperial Reservoir area. Hartman said currently, the cost is split between Red Bluff and Pecos County Water Improvement Districts 2 and 3, but that District 3 also has been bearing the expect of supplying equipment and manpower to handle the actual cleaning work.

Hartman estimated the cost of the work would be somewhere in the $10,000 range.

The board also was told pumping of salt water away from the Pecos River at Malaga Bend continues, but Hartman said, "I haven't noticed any difference on the gauges," in the river's salt level.

"It's hard to notice with the way the flow is," he said, while adding that the underground salt spring that it being pumped out, "should be lowered sooner or later. It took about a year the last time we did this."

Chamber planning tour of site for Rodeo Hall

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Oct. 15, 2003 -- Plans for the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame are coming along great and a barbecue lunch and tour have been scheduled at the planned site in two weeks, Pecos Chamber of Commerce members were told Tuesday.

The Hall of Fame is planned for the old Missouri Pacific Railroad depot, located by the West of the Pecos Museum. The luncheon and tour will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Gholson talked about the event during the group's monthly Board of Directors meeting held at the Swiss Clock Inn during lunchtime on Tuesday.

"We won't be delivering, but individuals can call in their orders to the chamber office and come and pick them up," said Gholson. "We want them to call in, so that we can have them ready."

Gholson said that the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse would be in charge of cooking the barbecue with all the trimmings.

"The city has deeded the depot to us, for the Rodeo Hall of Fame," said Gholson. "Now, we need to put glass in the windows and do some painting to get our markers."

She said that individuals and businesses can sponsor a window. "You can do it, or we will do it for you for a price," she said.

Chamber members also were heard a report on the outcome of the recent Reeves County Fall Fair during Tuesday's meeting.

"This year's Fall Fair was very successful, we owe a big hand to Barbara Creager and her committee," said chamber president Al Gomez.

He told the group that four families had eaten at his restaurant and opted to stay an extra day to attend the fair. "They said they had a wonderful time and that they really enjoyed it," said Gomez. "There was something out there for everyone."

"Tommy Dominguez, the new county extension agent, showed up early for the livestock show and was very helpful," said Gomez. "They had a lot of entries and it was great to see the parking lot full on Friday."

Barbara Creager said that there had been a large amount of quilts shown at the Fall Fair. "They had 98 sheep, 14 steers and 45 heifers at the stock show, which was really amazing," said Creager. "We were a little disappointed with the amount of entries in the fair, but we'll be working on that for next year," she said.

"I heard some really good compliments about the chuck wagons and we hope they participate again," said Creager.

Gholson told the group that barbecue beef cook-off's organizer, Cody West, could not attend the meeting, but sent in an update.

"They had 49 teams enter and Cody said that he was glad to see so many businesses participate," said Gholson.

Gholson told the group that they had another KOL meeting, which was hosted by the city and held at the Pecos Community Center. "That's Key Opinion Leaders and we're planning a second area get together on Nov. 8," she said.

Gholson said that the last one was limited to 20 individuals, but that there would be no limit set on how many can attend the second one. "Anyone that would like to, can join us and it will be held at the Balmorhea Park," she said.

Women's Division President Michelle Workman updated the group on what that group has been doing.

"We had our meeting recently and discussed the Pretty Baby Contest that we sponsored during the fall fair," said Workman. "It was a huge success and we want to thank the two women who were in charge, Lila Cerna and Fatu Darpolor."

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used on the Fireman's/EMT Appreciation Dinner. "Since we are going through some reorganization, we have postponed that dinner," said Workman.

A Halloween Parade will be held on Oct. 31 and sponsored by the Women's Division. "Shonah Lozano will be chairing that event and we know that it's a Friday and a lot of people will be going to the (football) game in Fort Stockton, but we hope some will stay and join us on that day," said Workman.

The parade will be held at 5 p.m., but the group is thinking about changing the location of the yearly event. "We don't know where to move it to yet, but we'll let everyone know," she said.

West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee members said they are busy planning for next year's event.

"This rodeo still amazes me, because it's put on by a town the size of Pecos and is a great event," said rodeo president Clay McKinney. "We've already spoken to the announcer and he will be back as will the clowns we had this year."

He told the group that they had to work all year long, making plans and working on fundraisers to make the rodeo performances a success. "Right now we're having a raffle and are working at the concession stand at the Pecos Peddler's Flea Market," he said.

McKinney said that plans are coming along really well.

Debbie Thomas said that flyers have already been sent out for next month's scheduled Flea Market. "We held one in May and had over 900 people come through the gates," she said.

Auctioneer for the event, Steve Taylor, told the group that he will be working on contacting people who want items auctioned off. "If they are trying to sell money for their club, we will allot the item for them and sell it," he said.

Taylor told the group that they would not be charging the clubs that were raising money for a good cause.

"I'll donate my time and get these things allotted," said Taylor. "If an individual has an automobile they want to sell, we will help them, if they sell it, we'll get some money out of it too, but if they don't, it won't cost them anything."

"If it's to benefit others, it won't cost them anything," he added.

Taylor said that the atmosphere was a social event and if they could get the word out to the community and have more people participate it would be more successful.

Lamb, goat validation scheduled this month

PECOS, Wed., Oct. 15, 2003 -- The Reeves-Loving County Extension Service office will be holding lamb and goat validation for 4-H and FFA participants later this month in Pecos and Balmorhea.

Validation is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24 in Balmorhea from 3:40-5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 25 in Pecos starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Pecos High School Ag building (Building B).

For information contact Sue Evans at 432-445-4321 or 432-445-4092.

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Pecos Enterprise
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