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July 15, 1997

Commissioners' meeting covers many topics

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Enterprise Editor

PECOS, July 15, 1997 - New cars for the sheriff's department, a tree
farm, a new assistant warden at the detention center and discussion of
possible litigation were among a long list of items covered by the
Reeves County Commissioners' Court in their regular twice-a-month
meeting Monday.

There was barely a quorum with County Judge Jimmy Galindo and
Commissioners Felipe Arredondo and Herman Tarin present and
Commissioners Bernardo Martinez and Dr. W. J. Bang absent.

The first item to be heard was a presentation by the Economic
Development Committee of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce represented by
Pauline Moore, Bob Curry and Chamber Executive Director Tom Rivera.

Moore presented an overview of what the committee is trying to do, i.e.,
attract new business and industry to Pecos and Reeves County, and to do
so the committee believes an economic development director is needed.

Neighboring Ward and Pecos counties have such a person, Moore reported.
Moore also reported that locally, additional sales tax cannot be used as
sales tax is at the maximum allowed by state law, 8.25 percent. Other
areas use up to one cent to help fund economic development. Galindo
asked what the city does with sales tax and Lynn Owens, now county
auditor and former city council member, said it is used to supplement
property tax revenue.

"How much does it amount to," Galindo asked and no one could give the
answer, although Rivera reported he would get those figures to Galindo.

Currently, the city gets 1.5 cents while the hospital gets 1/2 cent.

The question was asked about whether or not some of that tax could be
earmarked for economic development. Voters would have to respond to the
issue, Rivera reported, by rolling back the existing tax and then
passing an issue that would designate part of the tax for that purpose.

Moore noted Tarin has been very active in the committee's work.
Arredondo asked what role the county would play in such an endeavor,
noting that few counties were involved in the effort as reflected in a
report that the committee handed to commissioners.

Moore said the report was not complete as it reflected only those who
responded to a questionnaire. She went on to say that the committee
wanted to give the county an overview of what is being done and would be
back in the near future with more specifics.

On the matter of new cars for the sheriff's office, Owens reported that
eight packets on bid information was sent to prospective bidders with
Colt Chevrolet-Buick being the only bidder. The bid was for ten 1998
Chevrolet Luminas with a police package for a total of $173,400.70.

Kevin Duke, owner of Colt, presented the proposal and answered the
possibilities of problems with various types of cars. The need for
extended warranties to deal with prospective problems was brought up and
Duke replied that such a warranty for fleet cars was available through
General Motors and gave an initial estimate on the cost. He was asked to
come up with the cost as part of his bid and come back after lunch.

Duke brought that proposal back and it was less than his original
estimate of up to $2,200, with the cost being $1,950 per unit for up to
100,000 miles. Galindo noted that plans are to use the cars up to three
years and that would total about 100,000. The extended warranty would
cover all items other than regular maintenance, Duke noted.

Commissioners voted to accept the bid with the extended warranty and
Duke was to look into having light bars installed at the factory which
would be a savings rather than having them installed after they are

Galindo noted that the extended warranty would more than pay for itself
at only about $54 per month per unit and just one major breakdown would
cover that cost.

The Judge also said that the county's depository, First National Bank,
would finance the cars at 8 percent for three years.

Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez was excited about the prospect of getting
the cars. Previously, deputies supplied their cars and were paid
mileage. Delivery is expected in six to eight weeks. Galindo said the
cost would be about the same as is being budgeted now. Gomez sought the
cars to have more reliable transportation for his deputies on patrol.

Each deputy on patrol will have a unit and will be responsible for
maintaining a log and having maintenance carried out.

Gomez also was given approval to hire a new person for jail duty at a
$14,000 entry level position. He requested the new position due to the
high number of prisoners now housed in the county jail and the fact that
two recent escapes have occurred on one shift when they were one person

Two items on the agenda were not finalized as not enough information is
known about the supplier of uniforms to suggest rescinding the bid and a
compensation policy for the RCDC has not yet been completed.

Commissioners approved Reeves County Detention Center (RCDC) Warden Rudy
Franco's proposal for four additional personnel in the transportation
department to bring prisoners to and from the RCDC. Members who had been
in the transportation division had been incorporated into the expanded
staff of the RCDC and there weren't any positions left to move prisoners.

Also regarding the RCDC, Charlie Marmalejo, a retired Bureau of Prisons
camp administrator, was hired on a contract basis at $50,000 per year
plus $6,000 travel allowance to be assistant warden starting next month.
He is currently assistant facility administrator at the Wackenhut
Corrections Corp. facility in Raymondville, Tx.

In line with that contract, Franco proposed and commissioners approved a
new contract with the other assistant warden, Antonio Perez, raising his
pay from $50,000 to $55,000.

Later in the meeting, RCDC Captain LaVaughn Garnto received a pay raise
from $29,000 to $34,000. When asked by Arredondo about a training
program for future wardens, Galindo responded that Garnto is an
excellent candidate for such a position in the future.

In other action involving the RCDC, Ben E. Keith Co. requested
permission to withdraw their bid to provide tortillas to the RCDC as
they could only furnish frozen tortillas which is not the quality the
facility has been provided in the past. The second lowest bidder,
LaNortena of Pecos, who previously held the contract, was given the bid.

Moving on down the agenda, commissioners extended the standard agreement
between Reeves County and the attorney general's office for Title IV-D
program-child support division.

Galindo then reported that in conversations with the highway department
on landscaping, he learned that the city of Odessa has a tree farm and
there is a grant available to implement such a program and hire a
horticulturist. He proposed applying for the $18,000 grant and make it
part of the RCDC for vocational training and then use the highway
department to help in making a plan for landscaping and beautifying
certain areas of Pecos and Reeves County. Commissioners approved. The
grant proposal must be submitted by Thursday.

Also regarding parks and recreation, Galindo noted and commissioners
approved at a cost of less than $3,000 the development with other
government entities a master plan for the city and county for parks and
recreation. This will help in getting points toward getting the grant to
build a recreation facility at the Reeves County Civic Center, the judge

The county also approved extending to five years the loan under the
revolving loan fund of money borrowed by Ismael Dutchover for a
restaurant in Balmorhea. He originally borrowed $28,000 and has been
paying about $528 a month on a regular basis, missing only the last two
payments. Dutchover requested the extension to lower his monthly
payments to $280.64. The current loan balance is $14,993 at a five per
cent interest rate.

The revolving loan fund is a fund set up to help finance qualified
business and industry at a lower than normal interest rate.

The revolving loan fund now owns a refrigerated truck that has been in
county storage for two years and it was declared surplus. If a title can
be located, bids will be taken with an appraisal to be obtained for a
basis on which bids can be accepted. Money from the sale will go back
into the loan fund which is controlled by the county.

Galindo said work on the budget for the coming year is about to get
underway as bills were studied and reports that spending and income is
essentially in line with projections.

County Clerk Dianne Florez asked that a 1990 census report be spread on
the minutes showing that the official Reeves County population as
reported by the secretary of state is 15,852 and that all election
boundaries are satisfactory.

At the end of the meeting, commissioners went into executive session to
discuss possible litigation. After that session, Galindo reported that
the matter involving the home improvement grant is to be referred to attorney Randy Reynolds.

Real estate, mineral valuations
increse compared to 1996

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Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1997 - Real estate and mineral valuations changed from
gains to losses for two taxing entities within Reeves County for 1997,
following last month's decisions by the Reeves County Appraisal Review
Board. But overall, valuations were up compared to 1996, according to
Chief Appraiser Carol King Markham.

The review board's changes and the final valuations were approved Monday
by the Reeves County Tax Appraisal District board in an afternoon
meeting at the district's office.

They showed valuations for both Reeves County and the RCH district up
slightly less than four percent from 1996, while the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
school district, which includes part of western Ward County, saw it's
real estate and mineral values rise by five percent compared with last

Reeves County and the Hospital District's net taxable totals were
$15,491,880, a increase of $13,814,760. The total is a drop of about $4
million from the preliminary appraisal totals released in May by

The valuation increase for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD also fell by
about $4 million following the appraisal review board's hearing.

"The big loss was due to the merger of the Union Pacific and the
Southern Pacific railways," Markham said. "Southern Pacific's stock is
higher than the Union Pacific, and Reeves County loses because we don't
have any Southern Pacific stock."

However, based on the current tax rates, the increase in valuations will
still give the P-B-T school district an extra $333,000 in tax revenues
for their fiscal 1998 budget, despite the $4 million loss from the
initial May figures. Reeves County will see their tax revenues rise by
$79,000, while the hospital district will get an extra $51,000 in tax
funds in fiscal 1998.

Union Pacific's right-of-way runs along Interstate 20 and Business I-20
and Reeves and western Ward County, and the valuation decline also
affected the towns of Pecos and Toyah, turning what at first was a net
gain in valuations from 1996 into a loss compared with last year.

Pecos' numbers, up by $4 million in 1996, were initially projected to by
$159,840 higher this year. But the adjustment, along with lower
valuations for real estate property, left Pecos with total valuations of
$116,225,410, a $1,090,660 decline from a year ago.

Tax revenues for Pecos will drop by about $7,300 as a result of the
adjusted valuations, based on the city's current tax rate.

"There were lots and abandoned homes that changed," Markham said of the
real estate valuations, which went from a $32,110 gain to a $488,220
loss as many sites either had their values marked down sharply or were
eliminated from the rolls.

Mineral values went from a $127,730 increase to a $602,440 decline,
mainly due to the rail merger's effects on the valuations.

Toyah was also hurt by the change. Real estate valuations were down
$65,270, only an $1,800 change from the May preliminary totals, but the
mineral valuations went from a projected $79,330 gain to a $69,480 loss,
leaving the city with a net decline of $134,750 for the year.

"Toyah was hurt badly by the change," Markham said. It's total
valuations of $1,385,860 were 10 percent lower than a year ago.

Balmorhea ISD also saw the rail merger affect its mineral rolls, but
valuations for both the school district and the city of Balmorhea
remained up from 1996 after the review board hearings.

"As it turns out, we still came out ahead, and that's because the price
of oil and gas was up," Markham said.

Mineral valuations were up $480,130 for the school offsetting a real
estate drop and giving Balmorhea ISD total valuations of $19,195,520, up
$401,830 over 1996.

The city of Balmorhea was not affected by the rail merger adjustment.
It's valuations were $3,428.180, up $3,110 from last year. In a reversal
of the other taxing entities' numbers, real estate valuations within the
city were up by $4,260, offsetting a $1,150 drop in mineral valuations.

Mineral valuations initially had been projected to rise $2,940 for the
city. There was no change in Balmorhea's real estate valuations following the review board hearings.

City manager treated, released
at Reeves County Hospital

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PECOS, July 15, 1997 - City Manager Kenneth Neal was treated and
released Saturday, July 12, from the Reeves County Hospital. He was not
in his office Monday and had a doctor's appointment late in the
afternoon. His secretary, Geneva Martinez, said he is still not feeling

Martinez said he is having some tests today and won't be in his office.
She expects that he will call today to let her know about the rest of
the week.

Mayor Dot Stafford said Neal was seeing a cardiologist Monday. "I don't
know for sure what we're looking at. I don't think it is anything serious," Stafford said.

Turn to bottled water use raises
questions about dental health

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Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) July 15, 1997 - Tastes great. More fillings?

Bottled water, missing the aftertaste that can bedevil water from the
tap, also tends to be missing fluoride, the public health system's main
weapon against tooth decay.

Americans drink almost 3 billion gallons of bottled water a year, a gush
from a trickle a dozen years ago. Some home filters also remove

Is that bad for dental health? Scientists are not sure. People get
fluoride in other ways.

But they do say people relying on bottled water should look at their
other defenses against cavities and consider fluoride supplements or
perhaps a return to the faucet if safeguards are lacking.

Fluoridated community water, now available to a majority of Americans,
has been achieved over once-fierce objections that it intrudes on
individual choice if not liberty itself.

"The great communist plot thing is over with, I think," said Al
Warburton of the American Water Works Association, recalling debates in
the years after pioneering Grand Rapids, Mich., fluoridated in 1945.

When it's good, tap water is a bargain - a penny for five gallons, on
average. Still, a lot of Americans flock to the bottle.

"I'm concerned about people who are relying on bottled water," says Dr.
Michael Easley, speaking for the American Dental Association. "They're
not getting enough fluoride and may not realize they're depriving their
children, who will pay the price their entire lives."

That link has not been fully studied, some dispute it, and the
government has not taken a position on it.

"I can't help but think that unless an individual uses enough of other
(sources) of fluoride, it's going to be a problem," says Dr. Alice
Horowitz of the government's National Institute of Dental Research. "But
nobody knows that."

With the science uncertain, dentists reach their own conclusions.

At his Chantilly, Va., practice, Dr. Mark Grimes tells patients bottled
water is probably OK for grown-ups. "But if they're into giving their
kids bottled water, I'd discourage them."

At issue is whether people who drink bottled water get enough of the
enamel-toughening element from toothpaste, rinses, sodas, canned goods
and other products where fluoride is present naturally or as a water

The dental association says relying solely on those sources "is not an
effective or prudent public health practice." At the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. William Kohn isn't sure.

Fluoride is especially important for children and its continued use
benefits teeth throughout life, he said.

"Still the most cost-effective way to get fluoride is through community
fluoridation, but there are other ways of getting it," Kohn said. "We
don't know about the bottled water connection."

The International Bottled Water Association recommends customers talk to
their dentist or doctor about supplements if they are concerned about
fluoride deficiency.

The dental association says tablets - or, for babies, drops - are the
best alternative to fluoridated water, but they are pricey.

Only about 20 of the more than 500 brands of bottled water sold in the
United States have added fluoride.

Dr. Steve Levy at the University of Iowa, who has tested bottled water
for fluoride, says most brands are way under the optimal level of 1 part
per million. Most are under 0.3 ppm, the level at which supplements have
been recommended.

Levy says parents who use only bottled water and have children at risk
of tooth decay should consider supplements or tap water. Others may be
getting enough fluoride already, he said, and adults who eat and brush
properly might get by with fluoridated mouth washes.

Risk can be hard to assess, but factors include improper brushing or
diet and a history of cavities in the child or siblings.

Too much fluoride can be bad for teeth. Someone taking fluoride tablets
and drinking bottled water should not assume the water is free of
fluoride, but check with the bottler. A few may have too much naturally

A minority scientific view persists that even the recommended
concentrations are bad for health. The U.S. surgeon general says proper levels are safe.

Two business set Moonlight Madness Sale

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PECOS, July 15, 1997 - Late-night shoppers will have the opportunity to
save BIG during tonight's Moonlight Madness Sale.

Two local businesses will open their doors from 9 until 11 p.m. for
bargain seekers.

The Style Shop, located at 1225 S. Eddy, will be featuring a 50 percent
discount from 9 to 10 p.m., a 60 percent discount from 10 to 11 p.m. on
all summer merchandise.

Next door the to Style Shop, Norma Jean's will be marking all summer
merchandise at half price from 9 to 10 p.m. and from 10 to 11 p.m. 50 percent off with an extra 10 percent off.


A.L. Gibson

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Pecos, July 15, 1997 - A.L. Gibson, 70, of Toyah, died July 11, 1997, in Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio.

Funeral service was 2 p.m. July 14 at Toyah Methodist Church with Pastor
Derrel Evins officiating. Burial was in Toyah Cemetery.

Gibson was born Nov. 14, 1926. He was a retired farmer and had lived in
Toyah since 1960.

Gibson is survived by: his wife, Virginia Gibson of Toyah; three sons,
Richard W. Gibson of Lenorah, Lynn H. Gibson of La Grange, Randall L.
Gibson of San Antonio; one daughter, Susan K. Renz of Toyah; one
brother, Jack Gibson of Albuquerque, N.M.; five sisters, Joyce Newson,
of Lamesa, Ruby Hawkins of Buckhone, N. M., Rachel Ward of Silver City,
N. M., Lorene Van Meter of Redding, Ca. and Kay Paterson of Toyah; nine
grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Arrangements by Pecos Funeral Home.

Clemmie Lorene Estep

Clemmie Lorene Estep, 82, of Lamesa, died Thursday, July 10, 1997, at
the Lamesa Methodist Hospital.

Funeral service was 10 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at Lamesa Church of
Christ with Mike Sullivan officiating. Burial was at 5 p.m. at Resthaven
Cemetery in Menard.

Estep was born May 21, 1915 in Mills County, Texas.

She is survived by: her husband, E.W. Estep of Lamesa; one son, Maurice
Estep of Menard; three daughters, Willie Hamilton of Pecos, Lillie Sharp
of Lamesa and Sherlyn Scott of San Angelo; seven grandchildren; and 16
Arrangements by Branon Funeral Home, Inc. of Lamesa.


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PECOS, July 15, 1997 - High Monday, 100, low this morning, 70. Skies
were cloudy over much of the Panhandle and other parts of West Texas
today, and some showers fell. A weak, upper-level high-pressure system
continued over the region with a weak stationary front over the
Panhandle. Overnight temperatures in West Texas were mostly in the 60s
and 70s, with winds variable at 5 to 15 mph. Mostly sunny days and fair
nights are expected through Wednesday, but late afternoon and evening
showers and thunderstorms are possible. Highs today and Wednesday should
be mostly in the 90s, except near 108 along the Rio Grande.
Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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