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CITY 1995

Council to eye regional landfill

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Pecos City Council agreed this morning to visit Charter
Waste Management Corp.'s regional landfill near Penwell to view the
operation before considering a contract to transfer garbage there.

Roy Knowles, Charter Waste operations director, said they will work with
the council on any type of contract the city wants. They will build a
transfer station themselves or accept waste transferred by the city's
own employees.

Frank Spencer presented a study on the cost to the city to build and
operate its own transfer station. He estimated the initial cost at
$700,000 and the cost to operate at $37.50 per ton, including Charter's
tipping fee.

Charter Waste would charge $45 per ton to transfer and dump the waste.

Randy Graham, a member of the committee appointed earlier to study all
offers, recommended accepting Charter's offer.

He said his figures show it would cost the city $46 per ton, based on a
life of 15 years for the structure. Spencer based his estimate on a
30-year life.

Spencer said he would definitely recommend using the Penwell dump,
either way. The landfill costs too much to operate the way it is being
operated, he said.

Graham said the city should use the money it would cost to build a
transfer station and look for a better location for the landfill away
from the airport.

Whatever they do, the council needs to act quickly, because the landfill
is filling up, and it will take four months to take bids to build a
transfer station, Spencer said.

"We need to start advertising in May, so you have two months to make a
decision. If you decide to build your own transfer station, you need to
get on it within the next month or two.

And they should plan for another site to build a new landfill if Charter
Waste's landfill does not last for 100 years as they predict.

Mayor Dot Stafford appointed Graham, Elvia Reynolds, Harry Nagel and
Scott Johnson to work on a contract with Charter Waste, and councilmen
agreed to visit the site by twos within the next week.

In other business, the council agreed to require customer complaints be
put in written form and submitted to City Secretary Geneva Martinez for
distribution to the appropriate department head.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez suggested the policy after witnessing a
dispute between an employee and a customer at the front desk.

"That is not professional," he said.

Randy Reynolds, sitting in for Johnson as city attorney, was directed to
formulate a policy for the council to adopt.

Nellie Gomez presented annual reports from Pecos Housing Authority for
HUD and Farm Labor Housing units, along with a proposed contract for
security patrol officers.

The council had some questions about workers compensation coverage and
the city's liability for police officers wearing their uniforms and
driving city vehicles while doing security work, so took no action today.

Carlos Colina-Vargas presented the 1996 Texas Community Development
Program, under which the city is eligible to apply for grants in several
areas. The last two grants were for water line construction.

Action on GTE's request for a rate increase of $1.06 per month for each
customer to fund extended local calling was deferred for information on
the cost to the city to join a coalition of cities fighting the increase.

Fire Chief Doug Cox presented plaques of appreciation to retired
firemen, Leo Elliott, Lynn Owens and Bobby Bell.

Cox said the three men have a total of 113 years of service to the fire
department: Elliott with 42, Bell 39 and Owens 32.

"I appreciate their help and will be calling on them in the future," Cox

Spencer said his evaluation of the sanitary sewer has taken longer than
anticipated because they were waiting for the rain that never came to
see how much runoff gets into the sewer.

"I have the written report completed and am finishing up some drawings,"
he said.

The council set a special meeting for 4:30 p.m. March 7 to view the
plans and discuss the problems and costs.

After evaluating Municipal Judge Phyllis Salyer in executive session,
the council approved her 3 percent salary increase.

Pecos City Council will consider on second reading Thursday an ordinance
prohibiting burning of rubbish, trash, vegetation, tires, lumber and
debris except in approved incinerators.

The ordinance passed on first reading March 9. Should the council adopt
it Thursday, it would make burning of lawns and weeds a violation of
city law. It already is prohibited by state law.

Also on the brief agenda are consideration of hiring two part-time
employees for the water and sewer department, a proposal by David Madril
regarding recycling, and monthly reports from the tax collector and
municipal court, bills and consider the financial report.

Council meetings are at 7:30 a.m. in the city council chambers at City
Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

Refuse burning out, recycling on hold

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Trashy talk in the Pecos City Council meeting this morning
resulted in a vote to prohibit burning refuse and to table for further
discussion a recycling proposal.

The council adopted an ordinance that could result in a fine of up to
$2,000 for anyone burning rubbish, trash, vegetation, tires, lumber or
debris except in an approved incinerator.

During construction or demolition of buildings or structures, no waste
material or rubbish shall be disposed of by burning, the ordinance adds.
It will take effect after publication to notify city residents.

David Madril presented a proposal by Butts Recycling Inc. of San Angelo
to lease a city building on West Third Street for five years, install
their own equipment and operate a for-profit recycling plant.

Cardboard, computer paper and newsprint would be the initial items
accepted at the plant, because Butts has a market for paper products. He
would also accept aluminum cans from individuals who choose not to sell
them to a can recycler, and may later have a market for plastics, Madril

The city's part would be to install containers at key locations around
the city for collection of paper products, work with the plant manager
to divert loads of paper products to the center instead of taking them
to the landfills, and grant a five-year lease on the building at 1920
West Second Street for $100 per month.

Butts would accept all types of paper and paper products, establish a
commercial paper route that would collect paper from businesses, destroy
confidential documents, create employment for one full-time manager and
one to five machine operators, work with local entities to Keep Pecos
Beautiful and assist the city to reach its goals of 40 percent reduction
in the landfill.

Tom Rivera, Pecos Chamber of Commerce executive director, said he
attended a Keep Texas Beautiful worskhop Wednesday, and is "fired up"
about recycling.

The chamber will create a committee to pursue all aspects of
beautification, including recycling, entrances to the city and other
projects with the hope of getting Pecos designated as a "Keep Texas
Beautiful" city.

Butts has an excellent reputation, he said. "He is environmentally
concerned and has established a good reputtion in Austin."

Madril said that Butts hopes to get the plant installed in time for the
summer months, when there is more waste than in the fall and winter.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez said he would like to have more information
on what it would cost the city.

Mayor pro-tem Elvia Reynolds said he would like for Mayor Dot Stafford
and Councilman Saul Roquemore to be present when a decision is made.
Stafford was in Austin on business today, and Roquemore was out of town
for a funeral.

Madril said he will provide the council a map showing proposed locations
of waste containers, which will be painted and decorated so they are not

City trucks would pick up the decorated dumpsters and take them to the
recycling plant, where employees would sort out non-recyclables and put
them in another dumpster bound for the landfill.

Cities where Butts is operating include Seminole, Snyder, Big Spring,
Odessa, Abilene, San Angelo and Brownwood. He returns part of the
profits to the city for beautification projects, such as the Pecos Tree
Board, Madril said.

The council approved employment of two persons in the water department
for 10 months to speed up location of manholes for an inspection team.

Octavio Garcia, utilities director, said that Frank Spencer and
Associates are hampered in their sewer inspection because some manholes
are buried a foot deep. A city employee must dig out the manhole, then
knock it loose with a sledge hammer, he said.

With extra help, they could go ahead of Spencer's crew and have the
manholes open by the time they arrive for the inspection, he said.

Bills totaling $133,285 were approved for payment, along with reports
from the tax collector, municipal court and finance officer.

Smokers oppose ban in city buildings

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Smoke drew fire this morning in Pecos City Council
chambers when four department heads opposed a proposed ban on smoking in
the workplace and others defended their right to a smoke-free

The council had passed on first reading an ordinance prohibiting smoking
in all municipal buildings and vehicles and were considering it for the
final time in today's regular meeting.

"I do believe that'a a little bit stringent," said Doug Cox, shop
foreman and fire department chief. "It could be changed to allow for
designated smoking areas, and an individual in a vehicle by himself
should be allowed to smoke."

He said the employee handbook has guidelines that allow designated
smoking areas, and "I would like to see us go with that."

Mayor Dot Stafford said that policy was adopted in 1992, but department
heads have not enforced the ban.

City Manager Harry Nagel said that people from the senior citizen's
center and Pecos Chamber of Commerce, which are located in city
buildings, also asked for designated smoking areas.

Steve McCormick, city finance officer, said areas such as his office and
Nagel's should be designated smoking areas.

"Employees are in and out of both those offices all day long," Stafford

Police Chief Troy Moore said that he and two dispatchers are the only
ones who smoke at the police department, and "I would appreciate your

Cox said the fire department has designated the meeting room as off
limits to smoking, and members have respected that ban.

Armando Gil, sanitation and health officer, said he has no problem with
individuals smoking, but "in municipal court, when 30 to 40 people are
in the hallway smoking, it gets into the ventilation system and goes all
over the building."

"That's the same with offices," Stafford said.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez, a school principal, said the schools had
that same problem before they banned smoking in all buildings.

"It didn't work with designated areas, and we went to outside," he said.
"I feel regulations on smoking have been there since 1992, and
supervision has had ample time to comply and has not, and we are hearing
concerns of citizens and employees."

McCormick said that nobody has complained to him.

"I just get a little aggravated that I have to respect someone else's
rights more than they have to respect my rights," he said. "I am asking
for my option to smoke in my place. We have filters on the air

"It's not working," Stafford said.

Cox said that city employees are not setting an example for children the
way school teachers are, and he feels they should be allowed to smoke if
they so choose.

Jack Brookshire, fire marshal and building inspector, said he has a
right to choose not to smoke somebody else's smoke, too.

Councilman Randy Graham said he sees no problem with an individual
smoking in a city vehicle if he is alone. He voted with Dr. Elvia
Reynolds and Gerald Tellez Jr. to defeat a motion by Rodriguez and Saul
Roquemore to approve the ordinance.

Graham then made a motion to adopt on first reading an ordinance banning
smoking in all municipal buildings and in municipal vehicles with more
than one occupant. It passed 4-1, with Reynolds voting no.

The only other hot topic on the agenda was a complaint by Mark Bragg
that his water bill contained a mistake and McCormick had refused to
correct it or to accept payment in pennies and other small change.

"As far as I am concerned, when you deny the payment, you should pay it
yourself," he said.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said that since the matter involved daily
operations of the city, it should be handled by the administration.

He said the problem was caused by a faulty printer that made an 8 look
like a 0. "I understand where the confusion started, and it has
escalated, but it should be able to be resolved."

The council agreed to refer the matter back to the administration.

Gil reported that his department has taken over maintenance and
operation of the miniature golf course in Maxey Park, since the
Community Recreation Department has disbanded with the resignnation of
director Debbie Thomas, who moved out of Pecos.

"It was left in pretty bad shape," Gil said.

His staff is repainting equipment and structures in red, white and blue,
replacing the carpet at a cost of $4,000 and repairing equipment. He
hopes to have it operating in three weeks, with a concession stand and
music to entertain patrons.

"Maxey Park is looking good," said Rodriguez, who heads a committee
charged with upgrading parks. "Gil has made a lot of improvements."

The council approved advertising for bids to automate the Ward County
water field, replacing a computer system that doesn't work and bills
totaling $92,595.

Mayor Stafford proclaimed May 4 as "Pecos Day of Prayer" and May as
"Lend a Hand Month."

Graham asked about the transfer of United Video Cablevision's franchise
to a purchaser, Universal Cable Communications, as reported in the
Enterprise Monday.

Stafford said she referred the proposed contract to Johnson for study
before it is presented to the council. No changes have been made in the
proposed contract, she said.

"No changes may be the only problem with it," Johnson said.

"This is the time to negotiate," Nagel said.

Universal Cable said they are purchasing several small-town cable
systems in West Texas, which will be operated by Classic Cable of Austin.

Tourism gains more bed tax dollars

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Tourism and advertising will get a bigger share of the
7-cent (on the dollar) tax collected by the city of Pecos under a new
contract approved this morning by the city council.

West of the Pecos Museum will continue to receive 1 cent of the bed tax
for operating expenses, but the 2 cents that had been designated for the
museum's building program will be retained by the Pecos Chamber of

The chamber will use 2 cents for office and tourism center expenses and
3 cents for advertising to promote the city and tourism.

Mayor Dot Stafford will appoint a committee to designate use of the
remaining 1 cent.

Dick Alligood, chairman of the chamber's advertising and tourism
committee, said the funds would have to be spent according to guidelines
set out by the office of attorney general.

"We were trying to find a way to make improvements to tourist
attractions on an ongoing basis without having to come to the council
for a contract revision eachh time," Alligood said.

"That committee will receive requests for funds, review the requests,
and whichever one that comes up with the best plan would be able to
apply and obtain those dollars," he said.

He said that requests for matching funds to obtain a grant would receive

The museum board could apply for those funds, because they are a tourist
attraction, he said.

Mike Burkholder, a museum director who has headed up the drive for funds
to renovate the museum, said he was concerned that the contract cuts out
the 2-cent building fund allocation.

However, after learning that the old contract will be in effect for
another 120 days, Burkholder said that enough money should be generated
to complete the $564,000-plus renovation project just being completed.

Curator Genora Prewit hopes to build glass-enclosed display cases for
the 15 rooms and a hallway on the third floor, he said. And with
attendance slowly building back up since the museum re-opened, revenues
are down.

Burkholder said that his committee raised more than $150,000 in cash
donations from local citizens in addition to a grant from the Meadows
Foundation for the renovations. Bed tax allocations to date are $102,243.

The council also passed on second reading an ordinance banning use of
tobacco products in municipal buildings and municipal vehicles with more
than one occupant;

- Awarded a contract to Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving Contractors for
seal coating city streets. Jones' bid was $54,780, and Vanzant Paving
Inc. bid $58,100.

- Adopted a resolution asking the U.S. Attorney to continue to provide a
resident prosecutor in Pecos for federal court.

- Adopted a resolution to name the new federal courthouse the Lucius D.
Bunton Federal Building.

- Approved closing Oak Street between First and Third Streets and a
portion of Second Street for Fiesta Night in Old Pecos June 23-25.

- Agreed to advertise for fuel bids.

- Canvassed votes in the May 6 election and administered the oath of
office to councilmen Elvia Reynolds, Gerald Tellez Jr. and Randy Graham.

- Approved juvenile court, municipal court, hotel-motel occupancy tax,
and financial reports and accounts payable.

- Tabled a proposed contract with Butts Recycling Inc. to provide
recycling services in Pecos.

David Madril submitted the proposed contract, which calls for the city
to rent a building to Butts Recycling and to share the cost for

Reynolds said he would like the cost provision to be more specific so
the council will know exactly how much the city would pay.

Madril said the city would be expected to provide containers, and Butts
would repaint them in a color designated by the city.

Butts has offered him the position of recycling center manager and
community liaison to educate the public about recycling, Madril said.

City Manager Harry Nagel said that he will meet next week with a company
who proposes to take over the entire garbage operation in the city.

The council agreed to reconsider the contract at the next meeting, after
City Attorney Scott Johnson has approved it.

Main water well falls in

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Emergency water-well drilling, cable company franchise and
a recycling contract top the agenda for Thursday's Pecos City Council

Octavio Garcia, utilities director, said that the main city water well
in the Ward County field "fell in from old age." He is asking the
council for permission to drill a new well about 150 feet south of that

"That's our biggest producing well for the whole system," Garcia said.
"We won't be able to make it this summer without it."

He estimated the time to drill a new well at four to five days, but said
getting permission from the Texas Natural Resources Consevation
Commission is time consuming.

The water department budget has a line item for a new water well in case
of an emergency, Garcia said. Drilling costs are $60,000 to $80,000 per
well, he said.

Bob Whitley of United Video Cablevision will talk to the council about
switching the franchise to Universal Cablevision, who is purchasing the

City Manager Harry Nagel said he is negotiating for Universal to open an
office in Pecos. UVC closed its Pecos office several years ago and
services the area from Monahans.

Butts Recycling has proposed to contract with the city for use of a
building and pickup by city garbage trucks of paper and plastics for

Aluminum cans would also be accepted by the center at 1920 W. Second
St., but funds from the cans would be placed in a special account and
used only for maintenance, improvements and repairs of the city's
facilities, under the proposed contract.

Butts would develop and install a commercial paper route, offer document
destruction, employ a full-time manager and one to five machine
operators and assist the city to reach its goal of reducing the waste
stream by 40 percent.

The city would install containers at key locations around the city,
divert loads of paper waste to the center, and lease the building at no
cost with Butts to handle all remodeling and repairs.

Mayor Dot Stafford will appoint a committee to oversee use of
hotel-motel tax funds dedicated to local projects, and the council will
award a bid for dumpsters and amend a resolution regarding the Pecos
Tree Board.

The council meets at 7:30 a.m. in council chambers of city hall.

Pump to ease water shortage

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Installation of a submersible pump in a disabled water
well in the Ward County field will keep the city from rationing until a
new well can be drilled, the Pecos City Council decided this morning.

They agreed to pay $28,000 for the pump and to advertise for bids to
drill a well 150 feet to the south of Well No. 4, where the pump fell in.

Octavio Garcia, utilities director, said that a well in the Worsham
field also failed this week, and rationing would be inevitable without
some relief. He said he will ask the parks department and schools to
curtail watering until the new well is on line.

"We pulled another well at Worsham that we worked on three years ago,"
said City Manager Harry Nagel. "The pump was on the last threads and was
about to fall in the hole."

Garcia said that Well No. 10 in the Worsham field has not been pulled in
20 years, and since the pulling unit is there he will have them work it,

At the same time, he will install a smaller pump on Well No. 11, which
is pumping air.

The abandoned Ward County Well No. 4 was producing 600 to 700 gallons
per minute, before sand started coming in through holes in the casing.

"We lowered it to 400 gpm," he said. "We had to be pulling the pump out
quite a bit. These guys say they will bail it out and put in a new

Nagel asked that the matter be declared an emergency and a submersible
pump put it.

"I think, in the desert, running out of water in the summertime is
certainly an emergency," said City Attorney Scott Johnson.

Comptroller Steve McCormick said the submersible pump and new well will
cost more than the $90,000 budgeted for emergencies, because $30,000 is
earmarked for a radio control system.

However, Garcia said he has put the control system on hold after
learning of the well troubles, and it can wait until the next budget

Johnson recommended that Garcia go ahead and advertise for bids on the
new well while awaiting the Texas Natural Resources Conservation
Commission's approval to drill.

The council awarded the bid for 32 dumpsters to Fuquay Enterprises of
Cleburne, who has supplied them for 13 years. Their bid was $7,904,
while Diamond B bid $35,200.

Sanitation director Armando Gil said that Diamond B is a new company who
doesn't have molds for the dumpsters and has to cut them by hand.

"Fuquay, that's all they do," he said. "They have the molds."

Gil said the putt-putt golf course in Maxey Park is open, with new
carpet, an arcade with 10 machines and music.

No action was taken on a recycling contract proposed by Butts Recycling
of San Angelo.

Johnson said he has talked with Butts and will re-write the contract for
presentation at the June 8 meeting. Butts was unable to attend today's
meeting, he said.

"Armando (Gil) wants to wait until he gets a new garbage truck," he
said, suggesting an August 15 start-up date.

He said another business may be interested in making a proposal, as well.

Mayor Dot Stafford appointed the city manager, Pecos Chamber of Commerce
executive director and president, Gary Martin of the Hotel-Motel
Association, the chairman of the chamber advertising-tourism committee
and city comptroller Steve McCormick to serve with her on the
hotel-motel tax committee.

Dr. Elvia Reynolds, who was to undergo heart bypass surgery in Lubbock
today, was re-elected mayor pro tem.

Stafford presented a plaque to the Pecos High School student council for
their performance and "marvelous attitude." She commended sponsors Joni
Capshaw and Terri Morse as well.

The council approved a resolution committing $1,667 cash plus $1,334
worth of in-kind services to include watering and maintaining trees
planted at the Fairview Cemetery, West of the Pecos Museum farm and
ranch division, and the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, as described in the
Pecos Tree Board's 1994 SBA grant.

Tax collector Elfida Zuniga reported collections in April of $9,839 in
current city taxes and $4,890 in delinquent taxes.

Bills totaling $126,069 were approved, with instructions to Johnson to
check the contract with Industrial Communications for radio maintenance
and for Nagel to ask Texas-New Mexico Power Co. if the city can
negotiate a price discount.

"T-NP is knocking 20 percent off the bill for some customers," he said.
"They are in a negotiating mood."

Cable contract set in concrete

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Staff Writer
PECOS, 1995 - Negotiation of contract terms is not allowed in the
proposed transfer of a cable franchise, United Video Cablevision general
manager Bob Whitley told the Pecos City Council today.

United has a sales-purchase agreement with Universable Cable, dba
Classic Cable of Austin, to purchase the system, Whitley said, and he
asked the council to consider transfering the franchise.

Universal operates small systems in the San Antonio and Lubbock areas
and in the mid-west, Whitley said.

"They are in 138 communities the size of Pecos and smaller," he said.

Of 17 cities in the proposed sale, 15 have approved the franchise
transfer, Whitley said.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez asked if Universal would open an office in

"They looked over the operation and liked the way we did business,"
Whitley said. "They are not in a position to tell us exactly what they
are going to do.

"They will not make drastic changes quickly. They will analyze the needs
of customers; see what's necessary to provide good customer service," he

Randy Graham said the Fox station added to the cable system last year
after an uprising by Pecos area Cowboy fans is not acceptable. "The
reception is horrible," he said.

Whitley said that Fox affiliate KPEJ in Odessa erected a translator
tower on King Mountain and is transmitting at low power as required by
the Federal Communications Commission.

"They are not required by law to provide any more signal, but we are
required by law to have it," Whitley said. "We are in a catch situation.
We can't make it any better and can't require them to provide us any
more signal.

"We have spoken with engineers and looked at the situation. Barstow and
White's City have the same problem. We need more signal. It is so
physically far away, it won't come in any clearer."

He said the franchise runs through 1999, and that is when the council
could negotiate with the new owners for changes in the lineup, rates and
an office in Pecos.

City Attorney Scott Johnson asked why the buyer was not represented at
today's meeting.

"The council has the responsibility to determine if the proposed
purchaser is liquid and responsible. Where is their representative?" he

Whitley said that Universal wants to make the deal as transparent as
possible. They are responsible to meet the contract terms of United's
franchise, he said.

He said he hopes to remain as manager with the new company.

"A lot of the employees are happy," he said. "They are growing; they are
60th in the nation, where we are 52nd. Our entire compny will be sold
and Classic will surpass us. They have good ideas; they realize
competition is out there and have a sense of these issues," he said.

Whitley said he will arrange for an official with Universal to meet with
the council in June.

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Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise
324 S. Cedar, Box 2057, Pecos TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321