Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 17, 2003
Council, PEDC continue talks about projects
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 17, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council continued
their discussion from last Thursday on the Pecos Economic Development
Corp., during a meeting this morning in council chambers at City Hall.
The council also heard a report on the status of acquiring a health
provider for the city's employees were updated on the status of
acquiring additional police cars and a dump truck for the new landfill.
Council members questioned PEDC President Gari Ward on the
co-operation with other local entities and the existing businesses
in-town, and the availability of the public money funded institution
Specifically Councilman Frank Sanchez asked about the co-operation
that the PEDC had given the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce with the
Main Street Program designation that Pecos has recently received from
the Texas Historical Commission.
"We don't necessarily offer our help to someone unless they come to
us and ask," Ward said, "It's not that we don't want to help, if people
come to us then we will help, but we don't go looking or asking people
'who needs help?"
Sanchez said, "We asked you to attend the Main Street meetings a
"I don't think you have attended any of the Main Street meetings we
have had," Mayor Dot Stafford said.
"Now that we are attending these sessions, we will go to the other
meetings," said PEDC board member Oscar Saenz said.
Chamber of Commerce president Linda Gholson said that the PEDC had
been forthcoming with information and assistance requests, but added,
"we just need better communication and cooperation; we cannot function
individually, we must work as a team."
The council was also concerned as to the specifics of recent
projects that the PEDC had been working on.
At the previous council meeting Ward said they had been working on
over 21 projects, and elaborated on the status of these at the meeting
The first project that was discussed was efforts the PEDC had made
on behalf of Battery Reclamation, Inc., the former BCTI that had been
facing rough times due to a fine imposed by the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality. Ward said that the business had recently had to
lay off 22 workers, until permits could be renewed.
"The problem with that particular business is the lack of financial
stability that the business has," said PEDC board member and West Texas
National Bank President John Grant. "The business is highly leveraged
and has a negative net worth at this time; due to these factors, it
cannot attract financial backing."
"The business has a $10 million dollar contract with Taiwan under
negotiation, but the permit application is holding that up," Saenz
"The permit is currently being claimed by the company as an asset
worth $1 million on their financial statement," Grant said. "The
problem is that the company has proven itself financially incapable of
operating at a profit."
The PEDC members also discussed efforts they had made to bring a
saddle maker and tanning shop to the downtown district, cooperation
they had given to transfer ownership from an outside owner to a local
owner for one of the tire businesses here in town, and the possible
acquisition of 80 acres of land from a goat dairy project to a company
that would like to grow ornamental gourds for exportation.
The one other project the PEDC had collaborated on is a project to
bring a Wal-Mart Supercenter to the Pecos area. The company had shown
interest in the area, but negotiations on the sale of the land for the
projects had hit a stalling point as the landowner had asked for
unrealistic price for the real estate.
Wal-Mart already has sought to build a Supercenter in Fort Stockton,
but that effort has been fought by local businesses. Wal-Mart opened
both its current stores in Pecos and Fort Stockton in 1986.
Board member Mike Burkholder said that these types of discussions
needed to be held in secret; because of the common problem that as soon
as a landowner finds out that a large company is trying to purchase
their land that the price suddenly skyrockets and the business moves
"The secrecy issue has come up before. When I first came onto the
board, I told Gari that I didn't want to know what prospects he had,"
Burkholder said, "I saw it happen I Dallas. A company was buying up
land in the downtown area, and as soon as it got out who was doing the
buying, real estate prices went through the roof."
Ward said that the PEDC was making better contacts at the capital,
getting closer to the governor. "Currently we are talking to a Mr.
Rhodes, Gov. Rick Perry's appointee to the state economic development
Saenz recapped the PEDC's position by saying that the council had
appointed five excellent businessmen to the board to run economic
development. The nature of the PEDC was not to do the chamber's job for
them. That the PEDC has done two or three studies to see what kinds of
business that Pecos can support. The town has two main assets in its
favor: inexpensive labor and cheap land, he said. The situation in
California is putting Pecos in a prime position to acquire new
industries to the area.
Saenz also said that Ward knows this business, that is why the town
hired him; he may not be as personable as people like but if it would
please the council, he would make an effort to be more so.
Ward said that he would like to remind the council that in the five
years that the PEDC had been in operation, that over $15 million in
investments had been brought into the Pecos area.
"We would like to see you go out and offer your services to local
business, go out and talk to the owners and ask to see if they need
help," Councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela said.
In other business the council approved the bid from IBA, a health
insurance provider, to cover the city's employees. The contract would
cover the past three months and the next 12 months.
Officials said that the city has had problems with this company
before, but financial director Sam Contreras assured the council that
the administrator of the policy had changed and those issues would not
Contreras also reminded the council that the city currently has a
$300,000 claim currently filed, and if the contract was not approved by
the end of the month then the debt would become the city's.
The deal that the city has struck with the company will lower the
amount that the city has to pay for the coverage, but not the amount
that the employees will have to come out of pocket for monthly
The council also tabled motions on the acquisition of a dump truck
for the new landfill and the new police vehicles until quotes from the
financing company could be obtained. Contreras said that he believed
they would be ready for the next meeting.
Auction brings in $40,000 at flea market
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 17, 2003 -- Over $40,000 in items, including school
buses and other vehicles, were auctioned off during the Pecos Peddler's
Flea Market held this Saturday, which attracted a large crowd to the
"We were very pleased with the turnout," said Pecos Area Chamber of
Commerce Director Linda Gholson. "We had a great crowd, the vendors
were pleased and we appreciated all the help from the chamber has
received to put all this together."
There were 20 booths set up for the flea maket between the Buck
Jackson Rodeo Arena and the Reeves County Civic Center. The auction
area was located inside the Civic Center and the buses and other
vehicles were parked in the back of both buildings.
Over 600 individuals had gone through the gates before 1 p.m. "It's
been great and the weather is fantastic," said Gholson, Saturday
afternoon. "We just had a lady from Florida come through and she was
really excited and pleased with so many booths and the auction."
Some buyers from El Paso and Midland were at the event as well,
according to Gholson.
The group made over $40,000 during the auction. "Of that amount, we
pay expenses and the chamber will retain a small percentage of it."
"We appreciate everyone's participation, all the entities and groups
that were represented out here," said Gholson. "Everything went really
well and it was really a lot of fun."
Board OKs gym, stadium use for fundraising events
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 17, 2003 -- Christmas for the Kids is planning
another fundraiser this weekend, a volleyball tournament scheduled for
this coming weekend at the Pecos High School gym.
Use of the gym for the event was approved by Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
board members during their regular meeting held last Thursday. The
tournament will be held Saturday, and the board also voted to waive the
fees for the fundraiser.
The Christmas for the Kids group focuses on providing a brighter
Christmas to children in the community.
The group plans to help at least 500 children this year, according
to coordinator Sofia Baeza.
The tournament was one of two charity events the board agreed to
allow use of school facilities. They also approved the usage of the
Pecos High School Stadium on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15, for
the Annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
Relay for Life is a community-based event designed to celebrate
survivorship and raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The relay teams will begin setting up camps at 12 p.m., Friday, May
14, with opening ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. and closing ceremonies
ending the relay at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 15.
The committee requested the use of the track and football field, as
well as the restrooms under the stands, electrical outlets and lighting
under the stands. The fees were waived for this fundraiser as well.
In other business, a public hearing on AEIS (Academic Excellence
Indicator System) report was held during the meeting, along with
Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas).
"I want to thank everyone, especially Cookie (Canon, financial
director)," said PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love.
Love said that the school was in good financial shape, according to
the state's AEIS report, and thanked everyone for doing their part.
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 17, 2003 -- High Sun. 77. Low this morning 55.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy in the evening then clearing.
Cooler. Lows 40 to 45. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Tues.: Mostly sunny.
Highs 65 to 70. NW winds near 10 mph. Tues. night: Mostly clear. Lows
in the mid 30s. Light and variable winds. Wed.: Mostly sunny. Highs in
the lower to mid 70s. SE winds near 10 mph. Wed. night: Mostly clear.
Lows in the mid 30s.
Lena Babbs, Ricky Don Oliver and Manuel Solis
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