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Insurance payouts `shocking'

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Medical insurance claims for city employees have averaged
$700 per month for the past nine months, the Pecos City Council learned
this morning.

Phil Witt of Brownwood, the insurance agent who helped set up the
self-insured plan, said that two premature babies and one brain surgery
pushed claims to $516,000.

The city paid $169,000 of that out of its self-funding account, in
addition to premiums of $86,000. The insurance company paid $260,000

"It is pretty shocking," Witt said. "In five years (of working with
self-insured plans) we have never had this situation come up before. We
knew it would come up someday."

When the city's plan was set up two years ago, the insurance company
asked that the city be prudent and conservative in management of the
plan, Witt said.

Under the plan, the city has a fixed premium of $90 per month per
employee, plus about $71 per month self funding.

When it comes up for renewal in November, the premium can remain the
same if the city will agree to a preferred provider plan, "which the
school took and everyone is taking," Witt said.

"Employees can still use any hospital. If they use a preferred provider
- they are offering higher discounts to insurance companies," Witt said.

He suggested that council members go to Houston to meet with the
insurance company president before the anniversary date to work out a
new agreement.

"When we go there, we want to show them that the city recommends this as
our commitment to adjust the plan," he said.

Witt said the concept of the plan is smart. "We transferred all the risk
we could without hurting the city," he said.

For example, over-65 employees are covered by medicare as the primary
provider. And if an employee or dependent is covered under another
insurance plan, the other plan is the primary provider.

For pre-existing conditions, once it is cured, the risk to the city
drops to only $5,000.

"With time the plan should get stronger for the city," he said. "One
element no one has control over is people getting sick. But over the
next three months we need to say, `What can we recommend to the
insurance company, and what can we request of them that protects the

If the city opts for the PPO plan, the $90 per month premium would not
change. But if not, it will increase 7.5 percent, Witt said.

The council agreed to consider the matter in their next budget meeting
at 7:30 a.m. August 15.

At today's meeting, the council discussed wages and salaries of each
employee and made a few adjustments for certification and additional
duties. They reaffirmed an earlier decision to allow up to 3 percent
merit raises on the anniversary date of employment after evaluation by
department heads.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez questioned the police department salary
schedule, under which some sergeants are paid less than some patrolmen.

Rodriguez said that sergeants who have supervisory responsibility should
be paid more than patrolmen, even if the patrolman has been employed

The council instructed finance officer Steve McCormick to bring a
recommendation next Tuesday for changes in the scale that would make the
pay scale more equitable.

McCormick said that a new street sweeper will cost about $72,000, and
the council has allowed $80,000 in the street department budget.

In the landfill budget, he said the state does not require the city to
set aside money to pay future landfill costs, but that it can be carried
on the balance sheet as a long-term debt.

"I would like to figure what it needs to be and put it in there," he
He suggested that the city could begin to build up a fund for the
landfill by placing it in the emergency and contingency fund.

City Manager Harry Nagel said he will recommend that the council approve
a $40 per ton charge for outside haulers, because that is what it costs
the city.

Nagel asked if the council would approve purchase of a new monkey for
the zoo if restitution is paid for the one killed recently by two
teenage boys.

Mayor Dot Stafford said that a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector
said the zoo is in perfect condition, "but he strongly advised getting a
companion for the monkey."

"That monkey attracts a lot of attenion," Nagel said. A companion for
her is available in Chicago.

Nagel suggested the council consider hiring an electrician, because the
city has paid out $150,000 in the past three years for labor and parts
to two local electricians.

Dr. Elvia Reynolds asked if an electrician who is not licensed to work
on refrigeration units could repair the city's air conditioners.

Building Inspector Jack Brookshire said that he checked with the state
and found that he could. However, he said it is easy to obtain a license
by taking a test.

"I have mine, and I don't even do the work," he said.

The employee would have to have equipment to vacuum out freon and a
license to buy it, he said.

Shop foreman Doug Cox said he has the equipment to service vehicle air
conditioners, and his employees are certified to recycle and buy freon.

McCormick said a staff electrician would also have to have a pickup and
other equipment. The greatest need for electrical work is in the water
field, he said.

Rodriguez explained a plan for the city to sponsor a youth advisory
council, which would require a $6,000 budget item.

He said that the youth council would consist of 21 students in grades
8-12 who are selected by the city council. They take the same oath as
city council members, hold their own meetings and elect their own

"They act as liaison between the council and youth of the community on
issues affecting youth," he said.

The purpose is to encourage the growh of youth and encourage them to
participate in government and in non-alcohol and drug activities.

Dr. Reynolds said he attended a meeting where three youth involved in
the Killeen youth council told what they have done over the past five

"They were very impressive," he said.

Once the council completes work on the proposed budget, it will be filed
for public inspection for two weeks prior to its adoption. The fiscal
year begins October 1.

Council wrestles with water problems

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Pipeline leaks and broken wells continue to plague the
city water department, superintendent Octavio Garcia told the Pecos City
Council this morning.

Another well is out in the Worsham field, and a pipeline leak has shut
down the transmission line, Garcia said.

"Sunday night we got a call that there was a lake at the well field
again. We are trying to get it fixed byu tonight and have the water back
on," Garcia said. "If not, first thing in the morning."

He said three water leaks in town over the weekend added to the
problems, and the reservoir is down to nine feet. "I will have to call
the schools and parks not to water at all. I hope to pick up the tank by
the end of the week."

City Manager Harry Nagel told him to replace the turbine pump on the No.
2 well with a submersible pump, Garcia said.

Because of a casing shift, the turbine pump doesn't fit as well as a
submersible pump, he said.

Nagel said the well had sand in it, and West Texas Well Service has
pumped it out and are testing it to see if the sand comes back.

Garcia said the pump ws raised 40 feet about five years ago because of
the sand problem.

"They bailed it down and put a test pump at the bottom of the hole, and
so far it is not picking up any sand at all," he said.

A submersible pump will yield 450 gallons per minute, he said.

Another well in the Ward County field is down, as well, he said.

Garcia asked residents last month to curtail watering lawns and washing
cars while a replacement well was being drilled in the Ward field and a
pipeline leak depleted the reservoir.

With good cooperation, a general shortage was avoided.

Water and waste are two subject that come up often in the Pecos City
Council meetings, and Thursday is no exception.

In its 7:30 a.m. meeting, the council will consider proposals for water
system improvements and discuss preliminary plans for the landfill, Cell
1, Trench 2, Area B permit #2120, operational costs for the landfill and
closure of the old Type IV landfill.

City Manager Harry Nagel said Tuesday that he will recommend raising the
dump rate for out-of-town haulers to $40 per ton.

The water department has has numerous problems with old wells in both
the Worsham field near the Pecos River and the Ward County field
southeast of Pyote, along with leaks in the main water line transporting
the water to Pecos.

Plans are underway for a new field south of the Worsham field, which is
projected to cost $6 million. City Manager Harry Nagel said the council
has applied for a grant through the Water Development Board and is
awaiting their decision.

Other agenda items include a third quarterly financial report by
accountant Dan Painter, bids for fuel and bid to purchase property at
517 S. Pecan St.

Tax matters include approval of the 1995 certified appraisal rolls and
annual balancing statement, designation of an officer to calculate the
effective tax rate, rollback rate and notice and hearing limit rate and
consideration of tax exemptions and split payment.

In executive session, the council will consider contemplated litigation
with United Video Cablevision and employment of police reserves.

TNP tax gain not enough to solve woes

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Good news that half a million was added to the city's
taxable property valutation followed two hours of discussion this
morning about spending millions of dollars for a new water field and
landfill trenches.

Carol Markham, chief appraiser for the Reeves County Appraisal District,
submitted the certified appraisal roll showing $113,384,710, including a
late addition of $506,580 in utility values.

Pritchard and Abbot appraisers said that addition came after continuous
negotiations with Texas-New Mexico Power Co. throughout the appraisal
review board season.

Despite the addition, the total is still $6 million below 1994 and $17
million below 1990.

Elfida Zuniga, Reeves County tax assessor-collector, said that 1994
collections were at 83 percent on June 30. However, delinquent accounts
were turned over to the collection agency in July and some have already
been collected.

That firm's respresentative, Rusty McInturff, said collections are
slower than usual this year due to the economy. But he assured the
council that he is doing everything possible to collect the taxes.

"Could we not get some kind of procedures to start getting these people
aware they are behind before three or four years?" asked councilman
Randy Graham. "I've talked to people that haven't gotten notices and it
has built up and they can't pay it. Can't we get a lot more aggressive
on '94?"

McInturf said his firm mails notices three or four times a year. Many
people who know they can't pay just disregard the notice, he said.

"If the mail was returned, the tax office will know it," he said.

He said notices are sent out immediately after the delinquent tax roll
is turned over to him July 1, then follow-up notices are sent throughout
the year. If those are ignored, a personalized notice of intent to sue
is sent, then he files suit, takes judgment and puts the property up for
tax sale.

Out of one filing of 30 lawsuits, only five went to sale, he said. "Most
paid or signed a pay-out agreement."

Some are hardship cases and they feel they just can't pay, McInturff
said. "When they get notice of suit, they discover they we can take a
payment. The vast majority are put on a pay-out agreement."

The problem with going to tax sale is that the property must be struck
off the tax roll and becomes the property of the taxing entity if no one
buys it, he said.

One such tract at 517 S. Pecan has $10,556 owed in taxes, but is valued
at only $1,500. The council approved a bid of $500 for the vacant lot.
It must be approved by the county, hospital and school districts before
the sale is final.

McInturff said that much of the delinquent tax is penalty and interest,
which escalates with the passing of time until it goes to 40 percent
after one year, including the 15 percent collection fee.

"It is the highest interest around. It would pay them to borrow from a
bank or a friend," he said.

Steve McCormick, city finance officer, said that once the interest is
added to the tax, state law forbids the taxing entity to forgive it.

City Manager Harry Nagel said that a big problem is absentee owners who
owe taxes for many years.

McInturff said that finding absentee owners is hard to do. If the
sheriff's office in the county of last address can't locate them, they
must be cited by posting in order to sue and take judgment, and that is

"We are extremely personally interested in collecting city, county,
school and hospital taxes," McInturff said. "We have 12 people in our
office (in Midland) and one man is over here two to three times a week.
"I am over here taking judgments and serving tax warrants."

At the council's request, McInturff said he would make a monthly report
on his activities and would have Zuniga go though the tax rolls and list
absentee mineral interest owners.

The council approved Zuniga's balancing statement for 1994, which
estimates a collection rate of 85 percent for 1995.

Exemptions approved are: Over 65, $15,000; medical disability, $10,000;
and veterans exemption, up to $3,000, with split payment allowed.

Zuniga was designated officer to calculate the effective tax rate,
rollback rate and notice and hearing limit rate.

Depressed area funds band-aid for pipeline

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - With approval of a $350,000 grant to build a pipeline to
the new South Worsham water field, Pecos City Council this morning
appointed Frank Spencer & Associates as engineers and Carlos
Colina-Vargas to manage the project.

Spencer said that the 24-inch transmission line will connect the South
Worsham field with the current Worsham field near the Pecos River.

"This ties in with what we have been trying to do with the EPA and Water
Development Board through the `Economically Depressed Areas Program,'"
he said.

Other grants may be available to drill wells in the new field, which
City Manager Harry Nagel said will cost about $6 million.

Spencer said the 6,000-foot pipeline will cross under a paved highway.

"We have been working with the city and hydrologists for development of
the field. We are familiar with the project and would like to continue
working with you," Spencer said in making his engineering proposal.

Vargas said that he applied for the Texas Department of Community
Development grant in September. The city has six months to get the
project underway, one year to be 50 percent obligated in funding and two
years to completion.

"Funding is a government-assisted project," he said. "There are a lot of
requirements, from a basic environmental review through accountability
of funding."

Local match was required for two reasons, he said. One is that the cost
exceeds $350,000, and the other is that, by matching 20 percent of the
cost, the city gained points that helped them get the grant award.

Mayor Dot Stafford said she has talked with an official from the Water
Development Board, and he said they are trying to find some funding also.

"He needed the specific plan and wanted to contact the engineer," she
said. "This is good, positive action. We more or less meet the criteria
for the EDAP program."

Dr. Elvia Reynolds asked if the city may also qualify for a grant to
build a truck route around town for hazardous material being transported
to the WIPP site in Carlsbad, N.M.

Armando Gil, health officer, said the material will be such low level
waste that an alternate route won't be necessary.

"They will use Highway 285," he said.

The council approved drawings for a landfill trench as presented by
Spencer. The new trench will be constructed alongside the current
trench, which is expected to be filled up by May.

Spencer estimated construction cost for the first cell of the new trench
at $1 million, which includes a liner and leachate collection system to
collect and haul off water seepage.

It would be full in 1.8 years at the rate that waste is being accepted
at present, he said.

Each of three additional cells will cost less because they will be added
to the end of the trench and will require less construction. The total
life expectancy for all four cells is 8.3 years at the present rate of

He estimated the cost per ton of waste at $46.89 for the first cell, $32
per ton for the next two and $29 per ton for the fourth cell.

"There is merit to looking at the option of allowing only local waste,
and also at what we can generate to pay for it," Spencer said. "If you
want to continue outside dumping, you need to raise the rates to what
it's costing. If they want to pay, let them come in. If not, cut them

Danny Rodriguez said he would prefer to cut them off to give more
construction time.

Gil said that West Texas Waste is dumping 25-30 tons per day from
Balmorhea and the surrounding area. That's about half the total being

The new recycling center has not yet cut down much on local waste
because most businesses were already recycling their paper, he said.

Randy Graham said he would rather stop outside haulers than raise the
rate, but others noted that would hurt residents living just outside
town, including Lindsay Addition.

"They are paying $24 a ton," Gil said. "Raising the rate is the best

Graham said he wants to stop commercial haulers like West Texas Waste
because he hopes the city can qualify for an exemption on lining the
landfill if Rep. Gary Walker is successful in changing the law.

That would require accepting no more than 20 tons of waste per day.

David Madrid said that Butts Recycling is trying to get Fort Stockton,
Toyah and Balmorhea on recycling, and that should cut down on the amount
West Texas Waste dumps.

"If you put it at $40 per ton and initiate recycling programs, you are
making money and extending the landfill," he said.

City Attorney Scott Johnson suggested setting the rate even higher to
make a profit.

Spencer suggested charging $50 to force them to recycle. "Either they
recycle or they go somewhere else," he said.

Madril said that if rates are raised so high commercial haulers can't
dump here, they will have to raise their rates to invididual customers.

"What happens then? We will have a lot dumped on county roads," he said.

Rodriguez said he would like to see efforts made to speed up recycling.
"It is going to help us tremedously."

Madril said he is shipping out about 12.5 tons of paper every two weeks.
In addition, Anchor West and Wal-Mart make separate shipments. Anchor
ships 24 tons every two weeks, he said.

Mayor Dot Stafford suggested setting a high rate for commercial haulers.

Johnson said that might be done by using tonnage as a basis to set
rates. He was instructed to draw up a proposed rate ordinance for the
next meeting.

The council accepted the juvenile report, financial report, quarterly
audit report by Dan Painter and paid bills totaling $279,015.

Following an executive session, the vote was 4-1 to approve transfer of
the United Video Cablevision franchise to Universal Communications Inc.,
dba Classic Cable. Graham cast the dissenting vote.

Four police reserve officers were approved, bringing the reserve force
up to the maximum.

Employes asked to share premium costs

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Employee health insurance and performance evaluations were
the main topics of discussion by the Pecos City Council this morning in
a budget workshop session.

Phil Watts, agent for the city's self-insurance plan with New Era
Insurance of Houston, said the unusually high claims paid over the past
nine months can be expected to decrease with time.

He recommended the city require employees to pay $50 more per month
premium for dependents and to place prescriptions under the $500
deductible provision. That would save the city about $50,000 per year,
he said.

Steve McCormick said the city has paid $264,000 in premiums and claims
this year, and he has budgeted $265,000 for next year.

Even with the large claims, McCormick said he believes the plan is
cheaper than a traditional group plan.

"The premiums would go up greatly if we were under a regular plan," he

Watts said that the average $700 per month costs per employee this year
would have forced a group insuror to adjust rates to pay the total cost.

"I have seen it happen before," he said. "The claims have been real,
real unusual. I think it is good we are not in some trend. There are no
ongoing cancers."

Four employees who incurred large claims over the past year have either
left the city's employ or are planning to, he said.

He recommended the council go to Houston to meet with the insurance
company president and ask for a plan that will guarantee the city's
total expense would not esceed 25 percent of the estimated cost of
$250,000 per year.

"Our position should be better, and our control should be greater for
the third year of the plan," he said.

The city should build its reserve and become as independent as possible,
he said.

Watts said he has two school districts in the state of Texas enrolled in
similar self-insurance plans: Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and Van Horn ISD.
He suggested they all go to Houston together to discuss the plans.

P-B-T has joined several preferred provider plans, which can save up to
40 percent on claims, Watts said. However, he said that the medical
profession usually raises their rates to compensate for the discounts.

Mayor Dot Stafford appointed Randy Graham and Elvia Reynolds to meet
with Watts and work out a plan for the meeting.

The council chose August 21 and 28 and September 11 as possible meeting
dates. City Attorney Scott Johnson said they should post the meeting as
a workshop when a date is selected.

Classic to offer more channels, local office

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Disney is a definite and MTV is doubtful for Classic
Cable's TV channel lineup once the changeover from United Video
Cablevision is complete.

Stephen S. Smith, Classic president, said today that the new owners will
open a retail office in Pecos to service the 3,160 subscribers - a
provision the Pecos City Council sought in franchise negotiations.

Pecos was the last of 17 franchises approved for transfer to the
company, Smith said. Once final paperwork is complete, they will make
the changeover.

"The overriding concern was a local facility in Pecos," Smith said. "In
our group of systems, we have an office for systems that large; all the
way down to 1,800 we have a local retail facility."

Pay-per-view channels were also discussed with the council, and Smith
said he believes they are very important to meet the competition.

"One of the reasons we have been able to pay for the new systems is that
we have been able to demonstrate to banks that competition is real and
is here," he said. "One of the requirements that we must provide is

Set-top boxes to access those channels, which Smith dubs "customer
unfriendly," are out. Instead they provide a cylindrical trap to each
customer - another service that requires a retail outlet with
after-hours service.

"Barring some unforseen surprise, we will have a retail facility in
Pecos," he reiterated.

As to requests to take MTV off the air, Smith said Classic has no
contract with them and does not expect to.

"That channel will be removed, barring something unforseen," he said.

If the company should offer the channel free of charge, it could be
considered, he said.

The Disney channel is a basic service for Classic, Smith said.

"There will be a period of transition where we will try to gauge
community needs and desires," he said.

Once that is done, Classic will give the city a proposed channel lineup
which will be competitive with the telephone company when it gets into
the cable business.

"We are excited to be there," he said.

Ward County stretches ambulance runs

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - West Texas has some long stretches of highway, where
drivers are lulled into a hypnotic state and often go to sleep. That's
one of the primary causes of traffic accidents on I-10 and I-20, both of
which cross Reeves County.

In addition, two north-south state highways help keep Pecos Ambulance
Service on the road almost daily - and often several times a day. They
cover all of Reeves County, assisting Toyah and Balmorhea ambulance
crews when needed.

And they cover Barstow in Ward County, whose residents shop in Pecos and
utilize the local hospital.

However, because Ward County Memorial Hospital also operates an
ambulance service in Ward County, emergency teams from Monahans and
Pecos often arrive at the scene of an accident on I-20 at the same time.

After some dialogue between Susan Starck, PAS chief, and Leland Hart,
Ward Memorial Hospital EMS, they agreed to split the 40 miles between
Pecos and Monahans, with the dividing line at mile marker 52 east of
Barstow (Beer Hill).

Dispatchers in both counties received a letter this week outlining the
plan. Pecos EMS is to be dispatched to any accident west of mile marker
52, and Ward Memorial EMS is to be called for accidents east of the line.

Pecos EMS may be dispatched east of mile marker 52 upon request of Ward
Memorial EMS, the letter states.

David Keith, Ward Memorial Hospital administrator, said he requested the
agreement because it is not cost effective nor good to have two EMS
departments arriving at the scene of an accident with "maybe one victim."

"We are utilizing precious resources ineffectively," Keith said. "We are
trying to get the EMS departments to start communicating more
effectively with each other. I want to promote better communication."

Keith said that twice in the four months he has been hospital
administrator, Ward EMS has rolled two units, only to arrive at a scene
where the EMS from Pecos was already there.

"Our entire EMS resources had rolled to a scene where they didn't need
to be there," he said. "That's a waste of time and puts us in a
compromised position. It happened again within a four-month period.
Twice is unacceptable."

Keith said he thought mile marker 52 was chosen as the dividing line
because it is equidistant from both towns. However, it is 12 miles from
Pecos and 28 miles from Monahans.

"That (dividing line) was developed between the county judge and someone
in Pecos," Keith said.

He said the agreement can only benefit the victim and the patients.

"What I have seen lately is very positive," he said. "There's better
coordination now."

Hart said there is no problem between the two EMS teams. "They have
always run into Ward County, and we are not stopping them. They have
always covered Barstow. Mile Marker 52 is well into Ward County. That
will not cease. They can come past that if we request them to do so."

As to the distance involved, Hart said he will put his EMS team's
response time up against any service in the area.

Starck said that Pecos EMS is "more than happy" to cover the Barstow
area for Ward County. They have had a verbal agreement with the Ward EMS
in the past, but Keith wanted it put in writing, she said.

Pecos City Council on Thursday will consider raising the rate for
out-of-town and commercial haulers to $50 per ton to dump in the city

Sanitarian Armando Gil said the current rate is $24 per ton, and it
costs the city $40 per ton to operate the landfill.

The council will also consider nominating Anchor West Inc. as enterprise
zone and consider a resolution and criteria for tax abatement in the
enterprise zone.

Anchor is adding $4.2 million in buildings and equipment to the frozen
food processing plant on I-20. That addition would be the only portion
of the business considered for tax abatement, since the abatement term
on the original building is near expiration.

Other agenda items include discussionn of the proposed 1995-96 budget,
awarding bids for a water transmission line, permission to close streets
for the 16th of September fiestas and an ordinance authorizing the
issuing of certificates of obligation.

Fuel bids submitted at the last meeting will be considered for award.
Monthly reports will include municipal court, tax collector and
hotel-motel occupancy tax.

The council meets at 7:30 a.m. in City Hall.

Anchor seeks new tax abatement pact

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Anchor West Inc. expects to have 700 employees and a
payroll of $12 million by the year 2000, manager Oscar Saenz told the
Pecos City Council this morning.

"We are projecting two more lines, one in 1996 and one in 1997," Saenz

Already Anchor has added $4.5 million in buildings and equipment, and
the council this morning nominated them for an enterprise zone to make
them eligible for tax abatement on the additions.

Saenz said that Anchor's tax abatement on the original $2.2 million
plant is about to expire and they will be paying taxes on that to all
local entities. Over the five years of abatement, the frozen food
processing company has paid $153,000 in ad valorem taxes, he said.

With hiring still going on to fill a new line, Anchor has 404
employees, which amounts to 6 percent of Reeves County's total labort
force, Saenz said.

"Our payroll will be $4.9 million in 1995. We are not only providing
jobs for people from here; we had a van load of people fromKermit come
in yesterday, and we needed them so we hired them. We also have some
from Balmorhea," he said.

Pecos has enough people willing to work that Anchor is culling its
labor force of those who "just want to get a pay check on Friday," he

One requirement of the tax abatement agreement adopted by the council
this morning is that the business not only add property and jobs, ti may
not enter into direct competition with other businesses in the city
limits that are not subject to a tax abatement agreement.

Also, the business must make every effort to enhance local economic
development by purchasing services and supplies from local vendors where

In that vein, Saenz said that Anchor has contributed to local motels
and the city's hotel-motel tax by renting rooms for 400 nights over the
past year.

"We had 90 people for three weeks during the expansion," he said. And
when new supervisors or managers are hired, they usually stay in a motel
while house hunting.

"We had 32 people stay in motels four nights during the rodeo," he
said. "We have a lot of visitors who come for three nights to two weeks."

Saenz said that Anchor employees participate in leadership classes and
are encouraged to take positions of leadership in the community. He
serves on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board of trustees and on the
Reeves County Appraisal District board of directors.

John Saenz is president of the rodeo committee, and Erasmo Acosta is
active in Little League and is on the Pecos Chamber of Commerce board of

Anchor's nomination for an enterprise zone must be approved by the Texas
Department of Commerce before it takes effect. Once that is approved,
they will be eligible for tax abatement.

Dump rate up for non residents

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Commercial haulers and out-of-town residents who want to
dump waste in the Pecos city landfill will have to pay $50 per ton, the
Pecos City Council decided this morning.

The new rate will take effect Septemter 14 if the council approves the
ordinance on second reading on that date.

Charlotte Waight, Toyah mayor, told the council that they cannot afford
higher dumping fees.

"Our citizens are not paying $15 per month and businesses $45 a month
per dumpster," she said.

Paul Budlong has a contract to empty dumpsters and haul the waste to
Pecos in an old truck the city purchased, she said. He pays $24 per ton
to dump in the landfill.

Armando Gil, sanitation superintendent, said it costs the city $38 to
$40 per ton to operate the landfill.

"It wouldn't be feasible for us to continue at $24 a ton," he said.
"That's why we proposed to raise it to $50 and sill allow outsiders to

Councilman Randy Graham said he wants to discourage outside dumping to
keep the daily dump rate to 20 tons per day so the city may quality for
an exemption on lining the landfill to prevent water seepage.

"My idea when I drew it up was just to cover our costs," said city
attorney Scott Johnson. "We are losing money right now, and that makes
no sense at all to me."

Danny Rodriguez said the council "shortchanged ourselves in the figures"
when they set the $24 rate. "Now we have to do something that will hurt.
But we are faced with building another landfill and have to do something
to be able to finance it."

Gil said that Pecos alone will be dumping up to 24 tons per day with the
addition of Anchor's new line and an increase in inmates at the Reeves
County Detention Center.

David Madril said he met with prison officials Wednesday to start a
recycling program that should relieve some of that load.

Rodriguez said the schools have cut their waste to a minimum since
installing recycling bins. He said the city should help Madril
accellerate his recycling program to divert waste from the landfill.

Waight said the only alternative for Toyah to haul waste is to Penwell,
where the dumping charge is $24.64 per ton. "I don't believe our truck
would hold up to go to Penwell."

Johnson said that commercial haulers may choose to go to Penwell rather
than pay the $50 per ton in Pecos.

Hollomon Construction Co. of Odessa won the bid award for a 24-inch
water transmission line from the new water field in South Worsham to the
existing line near the Pecos River.

Hollomwn bid $249,403. Other bidders were Soil Conservation Contractors
of Pecos, $262,590; Alvin E. Stock Contractors of Eagle Pass, $266,700;
Rink's Lease Service of Levelland, $277,700; and Jarrell-Robin
Construction Co. of Logan, N.M., $281,850.

Engineer Frank X. Spencer & Associates had estimated the cost at

Water superintendent Octavio Garcia said the estimate included $9,000
for a 24-inch gate valve, and Hollomon's bid was $17,736. He said the
existing gate valve is in good condition and recommended that it be left
in place.

The council agreed to spend the extra $17,736 for pipe to extend the

Spencer said the city has grant funds of $256,500 and will add $18,800
from local funds, giving them a contingency fund of $26,897.

Jim Wafer Oil Co.'s low bid for fuel was approved, with the
understanding they could provide gascard service around the clock.

They bid 4.72 cents per gallon over cost for unleaded gasoline and
diesel and 7.44 over cost for bulk diesel.

Weat Texas Gas Inc. bid 5 cents over cost for unleaded gasoline and
diesel and 8 cents over for bulk diesel.

Pecos Chamber of Commerce reported that second-quarter bed tax receipts
were $27,789.

First-quarter receipts of $27,689 were allocated as follows: Wdst of the
Pecos museum $2,956; Museum building fund, $7,911; and chamber
advertising/tourism committee, $15,823.

Jimmy Galindo presented a request from Santa Rosa Catholic Church's 16th
of September Fiestas committee to close streets around the church on
September 15, 16 and 17.

Locust and Peach would be closed on both sides of the fiesta site, and
Fourth Street would be closed between the two.

Police Chief Troy Moore said this is the plan that has been used in past
years, and it has worked very well. The council approved the request.

Garcia reported that a street sweeper which was estimated to cost
$80,000 will cost $93,000 due to an error on the seller's part. He said
the $80,000 price was for a three-wheeled sweeper, a model that is hard
to service. He ordered a four-wheel model.

Shop foreman Doug Cox said the old sweeper cost $10,000 for repairs this
year and will likely cost that much or more if it is kept in service.

City Manager Harry Nagel said that private businesses pay $20 for the
city to sweep their parking lots at night.

"Is that legal?" Johnson asked. "I didn't know we were doing that."

Garcia said that it has been done for years.

Johnson said he will research the law and give the council a written
opinion, because he is sure that city equipment may not be used on
private property.

The council agreed to leave $80,000 in the budget and to wait another
year to purchase a new sweeper.

Finance officer Steve McCormick said he will have the budget printed and
on file for public inspection soon so the council can set a public
hearing and adopt it in September.

The city's fiscal year begins October 1.

In an emergency addition to the agenda, the council considered the
purchase of an automatic generator for city hall and the police
department because Tuesday's two-hour electrical power outage shut them

Cox said that the city's backup generator has to be started manually and
he had trouble getting it going.

"It was sort of scary," Moore said. "We were down 20-30 minutes, with no
9-1-1 service at all." And telephones and radios were out. "We were just
dead in the water."

Since the county jail has an automatic generator, city officers relayed
messages through their radios, he said.

Nagel said the new 9-1-1 equipment being installed has a backup battery,
as will the new phone system.

Tom Gesch of Cummins Southern Plains Inc. told the council that a
400-amp generator would cost $22,885. However, told the city would have
to take bids on anything over $15,000, he said he could put together a
smaller unit for that price.

He also could provide an automatic starter for the existing generator,
Gesch said.

The council tabled the purchase for further study.

Wilson moves animal office to landfill

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Wayward dogs are no longer police business, with the
transfer of animal control to the office of health and sanitation.

B.J. Wilson, longtime animal control officer, has moved his headquarters
to the landfill office, and callers may leave a message for him at
447-4039 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Wilson works from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Since he is
not allowed to put in overtime, he is not called out after hours.

Pecos police have taken Wilson's calls in the past and relayed them to
him, and they are still getting a lot of calls, said City Manager Harry

Armando Gil, city health officer, is Wilson's immediate supervisor. He
may be reached at 445-9656.

Although supervision has changed, Wilson said his duties have not. He
still patrols the city watching for stray dogs and cats and checking
residences to ensure the numbers of fighting chickens do not exceed the
limit set by the council.

Council OKs bond sales for trench

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Launching a new landfill trench, the Pecos City Council on
Wednesday voted to sell $1.2 million in certificates of obligation to
Dean Witter Reynolds at an effective interest rate of 5.86 percent.

Maturing over a 20-year period, the certificates will cost city
taxpayers $854,862 in interest.

Other bidders were: Service Asset Management, $856,358, 5.87 percent
effective interest rate; Rauscher, Pierce, Refnes, Inc., $867,987, 5.95
percent effective interest rate; and Southwest Securities, $877,632,
6.017 percent effective interest rate.

Larry Skiles, financial consultant, said that interest rates have
dropped the last few days, cutting the number of bidders.

"It did give us a much better interest rate than I thought we were going
to get last week," he said.

Included in the bid is a provision that the certificates can be paid off
after 10 years with no penalty.

Annual principal payments begin June 15, 1996, with $45,000 due the
first year.

Even with the new obligation, the city's debt payments will decrease
because some bonds were paid off this year, said Steve McCormick,
finance officer.

Total debt service - principal and interest - will be budgeted at
$289,405 for 1995-96, a drop of $62,719 from last year.

That means the city tax rate for debt will drop 5.24 cents per $100
valuation. However, the maintenance and operations budget will require
an increase of 3.24 cents.

Part of that is $185,000 in landfill costs not included in the bond
issue, McCormick said.

He said the proposed budget is based on a tax rate of 69.67 cents per
$100 valuation,, which is 2 cents less than last year.

Wednesday's council action was approval on first reading of an ordinance
issuing the $1.2 million in certificates of obligation. It must be
passed on second reading in next week's regular meeting to become
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Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise
324 S. Cedar, Box 2057, Pecos TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321