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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wedensday, April 28, 2004

School to talk with turf firms to lower costs

Staff Writer

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members agreed to spend only a certain amount of money on installation of artificial turf and track renovations for Eagle Stadium, during a special meeting held last evening by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board members.

The group meet to discuss the cost of the project, after rescinding their initial awarding of a contract earlier this month.

The board awarded ProGreen the turf contract for $499,950 in March, with an additional $40,000 for the track project. But the company could not be bonded, and the contract was then terminated and new bids were solicited.

The original bid came in about $10,000 over what the district had budgeted for, and on Monday architect Monte Hunter and Jeff Bresee were on hand to talk to the board members about the new proposals they had received.

“This time around, we received five proposals,” said Hunter.

The proposals included a base proposals or four different alternates. However, all were also above the original amount budgeted by the school board.

“Alternate one is to do the turf and the “D” areas and also resurface the field events,” said Hunter.

The first three alternates included resurfacing the track area and alternate four was to put a granular base on the turf. “This is a traditional base to help it drain,” said Hunter. “I think that the message that you won’t spend as much got out there,” he said.

Hunter said that what they had done was rank the companies and told board members which two companies ranked the best.

Field Turf/RS Global and March/Sportsfield were the top two companies. Field Turf’s combined minimum bid for the installation of artificial turf and resurfacing of the track came in at $526,840, while March/Sportsfield’s bid was $527,998.

“Field Turf has the oldest (high school) field in Texas, in Amarillo,” said Bresee. “They have fields that have reached the eight years, which is the warranty base,” he said.

Hunter told the group that there is a $25,000 contingency built into the bids. “The real proposal is really $25,000 less,” he said.

The first step board members made was to receive briefing and recommendation from staff concerning the ranking and ranking process for competitive sealed proposals for the football field synthetic turf and track renovations.

“Before we start talking about how much it will cost, you need to approve the ranking first,” said P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don Love.

He made the recommendation that the board that they approved the ranking and then direct the staff to negotiate within the budgeted amount.

“The board can say don’t exceed $530,000, with $490,000 designated for the turf,” said Love. “If we can get it to that, or maybe you might just want to do the turf and do the track another time,” he said.

Love said that if the board agreed, the staff would then negotiate with the top company, if that company does not want to negotiate, they would go to the next one.

The other bids for the project came from Vibrawhirl, at a cost of $580,484; A Turf, at a cost of $593,632; and Sprint Turf, at a cost of $641,000.

“Maybe, there are some areas that we can cut back on, such as using latex instead of polyurethane,” Love said.

Board member Amy Miller said that after listening to several other concerns during the past few weeks, such teachers shortage, schedules, the need for more books and other items, was the board still comfortable with wanting to install the turf.

“I just want to know is everyone who voted for this, still comfortable with this, do they still want to go forward?” she asked.

“The question is not appropriate on this heading,” said board president Billie Sadler. “I do believe that everyone who voted for this was conscious of their vote,” she said.

“It’s been a long time since then, I just wanted to know if it was still alright to go ahead with this project,” said Miller.

Sadler said that the item had already been approved and finance director Cookie Canon said that the item had been budgeted.

Management pact approved for new RCH dialysis center

Staff Writer

The Reeves County Hospital Board tabled action Tuesday night on a contract with the Town of Pecos City for ambulance service, while approving one for management of the hospital’s new dialysis center.

Board members also considered the further exploration of starting a Federally Qualified Health Center before tabling that item, during their regular monthly meeting. Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford and City Manager Joseph Torres were both on hand to present the contract to the board for ambulance service.

“This is a standard contract,” Torres said. “It is the same one the city has had with the hospital for the past two years.”

Board member Leo Hung agreed with the majority of the contract’s teams, with the only exception being the item dealing with the sharing of the risk from past due collections.

Stafford said that the item isn’t new, but Hospital Administrator Robert Vernor said that it had just not been addressed previously.

“I suggest to the board that we come up with some kind of flat fee,” Vernor said. “I don’t think we want to be obligated to something that we don’t have control over, and cannot budget for.”

The way the contract has run in the past was the hospital paid the city $40,000 annually for the operation of the ambulance service, and the city handles the billing for the service. RCH Chief Financial Officer Bill Conger said that he agreed with Vernor’s position, and that the hospital “was into a project, and it (the expansion) will take some up front money, and I don’t want to be obligated to anything we don’t have control over.”

Hospital Board President Linda Gholson suggested that the board table the contract until the shared responsibility could be removed, and a flat fee could be agreed upon. The board unanimously tabled the contract until the next hospital board meeting.

The vote to approve the other contract came after the board heard from Larry McGowan of Nephrology Services International on the management of the hospital’s soon-to-open kidney dialysis center. According to Vernor, McGowan has been working with the hospital for over a year, consulting on the design and equipping of the new center.

Last night’s proposal was for a one year contract for McGowan’s company to oversee the management of the facility until the hospital’s own staff can be trained to run the facility by themselves.

“I would just like to congratulate you guys on a beautiful dialysis center,” McGowan said.

“The agreement itself is structured to have an onsite presence for the first four months. It is front end heavy, because getting the program started off on the right foot is vital,” McGowan said.

The contract is for $109,000 plus travel for the consultants, and the consulting company will provide the necessary document templates and training for hospital staff.

“We will oversee all clinical, technical and maintenance aspects of the program, and by the end of the contract your employees will be trained to run the facility on their own,” McGowan said. The board approved the contract with McGowan’s company unanimously.

The board’s decision to table action towards forming a Federally Qualified Health Center, came following a presentation from Ray Lindner on the possibility of forming a 501 (C) (3) corporation, in connection with the proposal.

According to Lindner presentation, the hospital currently loses $1.8 million per year from care provided to indigent patients and from unpaid emergency room visits. “FQHC’s are the safety net of the nation’s health care system. These facilities must see patients regardless of their ability to pay,” Lindner said.

The formation of a FQHC would qualify the newly formed facility for an estimated $300,000 in yearly grant money. The FQHC would then provide primary care to indigent patients.

“The grant process is competitive, and it is awarded every three years. The fact that the area you serve is considered frontier, and that you have a large migrant population makes the formation of the FQHC even better looking,” Lindner said.

The board was wary of the idea for two reasons. First Leo Hung was concerned that many of the doctors in town receive a large portion of their income from primary care, and that a clinic such as this would detract from their business. Second, the entire board showed concern that the FQHC would require the formation of a board of directors over which the hospital could exert little control.

The formation of the corporation was tabled until the board could get more information on the proposed project.

Class offering help to soldier injured in Iraq

Staff Writer

Cards, posters and even cash are part of what some third grade students are offering a local hero recovering from injuries suffered recently in Iraq.

Heather Scheier’s third grade class has “adopted” local armed forces members, and has been in contact with them while they serve their country oversees.

“We had been e-mailing and in contact with seven,” said Scheier, whose third grade class last year also adopted members of the military “Four of those have come home already.” Now, one of those individuals is back in Texas in order to recuperate from a recent accident in Iraq.

“One of the heroes we had been in contact with was injured and is in a San Antonio hospital,” said Scheier.

Spc. Adrian Herrera of Pecos, who was stationed in Iraq, while serving in the United States Army, was injured in a tank accident. He is at Fort Sam Houston Hospital in San Antonio and will be undergoing shoulder surgery.

Herrera is the son of Hazel Herrera and Alfredo Herrera of Pecos.

“He was injured, but is in good spirits,” his mother said. “They are going to close and put a cast on him today.”

Herrera also has some dental problems and will not be released from the hospital for a while.

Both Hazel Herrera and Adrian’s wife, Simone, are currently in San Antonio with Herrera.

“He met his wife Simone, of Germany, while stationed oversees,” said Scheier. “Recently, she had been staying with Hazel, while Adrian was in Iraq.” Scheier said that the class has been busy making him some get well cards and have been really concerned about him.

“Even the parents of the students have been calling and asking about him, because they know we have been e-mailing him,” said Scheier. “We are planning a big welcome for him,” she said.

Scheier said that the class had been saving some funds for the welcome home party, but have now decided to give it to the family to use as needed.

One student took the fundraising a little bit further and held a bake sale this weekend with all proceeds to go to her hero.

“Her mother was having a garage sale and she decided to have a bake sale during the garage sale,” said Scheier.

Catarina Hinojos raised $21 on her own this past weekend and is very happy about her contribution.

“This has gotten so big and the students take a lot of pride in him,” said Scheier.

In a previous e-mail, Spc. Herrera wrote to the class: “I would like to be adopted by your class for the time that I am spending here in Iraq. First, I would like to say that everyone here in my unit is well and proud to serve the United States Army. It takes a certain individual to do the job that us soldiers do. Not everyone is cut out to do this job.

“One thing I would like to get off my chest and to the young generation in school right now. Be thankful for the freedom you have in the states, like being able to go to school and get an education. There are many unfortunate children here that do not have the right and privilege. So don’t whine and complain about having to do vocabulary or math problems. Do your part, too. You teacher teaches you and makes sure you are behaving right, all you have to do is listen and pay attention. That’s not a hard job at all. It will all makes sense in about 12 years or so.”

In the meantime, Scheier’s class is waiting and praying for his recovery. “They can’t wait to meet him and we’re planning a big get together for him,” said Scheier. “He e-mailed us and told us he can’t wait to meet the students either,” she said.

Other heroes the class has adopted include: Herman and Adam Seijas; Stephanie and her husband, Robert Babcock; Hector Rubio and Jackie and Fili Herrera.

Community Council planning fundraiser for Toyah residents

A Toyah Disaster Relief Fundraiser is planned for 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Friday, May 7, at the Community Council of Reeves County, 700 Daggett St.

The fundraiser will be a barbecue plate dinner for $5 and the group will deliver on orders of five or more.

The event will help residents affected by the April 4 flooding in Toyah, and is sponsored by the Community Council of Reeves County.


Terry Andris

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