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Friday, September 25, 1998

Council split on 4A sales tax plan's effects

Staff Writer Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford was firm in her
statement at the regular Town of Pecos City Council meeting
held Thursday evening that she was all for economic

However, Stafford went on to say that there is a "big
probability that we will have to raise taxes and our rates."

"This hasn't been talked about very much, not by those
promoting this issue and not in the newspaper," said
Stafford. "And I want to make the public aware that this is
a big probability so it won't be a shock to the public."

Stafford was talking about the 4-A Sales Tax and an Town of
Pecos City ordinance, which was adopted by the council
supporting the effort.

Her comment came as the council held the second reading of
the ordinance for ordering and establishing procedures for a
special election to be held on Nov. 3. The vote would be to
reallocate one-fourth of one percent of the city's sales and
use tax - currently used to reduce property taxes - towards
a sales and use tax designed for economic development.

Supporters of the plan said the sales tax will be used for
the promotion and development of new and expanded business
enterprises. They said the tax has been one of the most
popular and effective tools used by cities to promote
economic development.

The mayor's comments were not echoed by all on the council.

"There's also a real good possibility that we will be able
to do this without raising taxes or our water rates," said
council member Ricky Herrera.

He said that with everything there is a risk, but that this
project is a risk worth taking. "This is something that has
to be done, and again we might not even have to raise taxes,
rates or anything," said Herrera. "It will fund itself."

"As far as information being presented about the project, we
have always advised people that yes, there is a possibility,
but our objective is not to raise taxes, to tighten our
belts here at the city and this project is a risk that we
need to take to benefit the community," added council member
Johnny Terrazas.

He said that in the past taxes have been raised and the
community has not benefited from it. "If, and it's a big if,
we do raise taxes then it will benefit this community, but
our main objective right now is economic development without
raising taxes or hurting the community.

"This is something positive that should have been
implemented years ago," said Terrazas.

"I just wanted to present the other side of the picture,
that we might go into a $127,000 deficit," said Stafford.

Reeves County surveyor Frank Spencer, a staunch supporter of
the 4-A sales tax proposal, said, "There is a potential of
eventually raising taxes. However, the taxes will be used in
the hopes and efforts to create more jobs, bring in
businesses, capital improvement that will increase the tax
base, bringing back those tax dollars into the city and

"The city might have a bad time, but it will only be for a
while," said Spencer. "That is a risk we have to take and a
risk worth taking and we want to make the city council aware
that any time they are not happy with this, this city can
demolish this and have it back."

Council member Danny Rodriguez stated that what the city
wanted was a firm commitment that the same thing that
happened to the county's Industrial Foundation would not
happen to this project. "We just don't want that to happen,
we want assurance," he said.

The Pecos Industrial Foundation lent out county money to
private individuals or businesses. Its first loan, to
Smithers' Transportation Center, was successful, but two
other loans, for a vegetable farm and goat dairy farm, ended
up in default.

"If you take the history it's definitely the wrong step to
take," said Spencer, but added, "This is something totally

"I think what the mayor was trying to say is that there is
downside, she wanted to point out the bad points," said
council member Randy Graham. "The good point has been
presented over and over again, but there is an offside."

A committee made up of five members will be selected and
they will report directly to the city council. This
committee will not be allowed to make any decisions without
first contacting the city. "We'll have the final say so in
everything," said council member Gerald Tellez.

An economic development meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.,
Monday, Sept. 28, in the Texas-New Mexico Power Company
Ready Room, located at 1126 Stafford Boulevard, for anyone
wanting more information on the 4-A Sales Tax.

City officials updated on projects

Staff Writer
Water project proposals and a report on wastewater treatment
plant improvements were the topics of discussion at Thursday
evening's regular Town of Pecos City Council meeting.

Frank Spencer, engineer, reported to the council that Phase
III of a water system improvement project has been
completed, but asked the council to approve a change order
his company had drawn up.

Spencer explained that the contractor did not complete the
job in time, but that the delay was in getting some
materials needed for the project. "We decided not to charge
him for it and now we're asking that the council go ahead
and grant the change order," he said.

Spencer added that the contractor had done a very good job
and the project was completed without further problems.

"It was inspected by water superintendent Octavio Garcia and
city manager Kenneth Neal, who were there for the final
inspection, and both agreed it was a job well done," said

Spencer also submitted a proposal for 1997 water
transmission line improvements project Phase IV.

"We have drawn up a contract of what will be done with the
three grants received for this project," said Spencer. The
grants are for a total of $450,000.

Spencer explained that there is 10,000 feet of line that
hasn't been replaced, and the funds from the grants will go
towards that work.

Spencer's firm has prepared plans and specifications and
submitted their proposal.

"After this project we'll have about 4,000 feet left to
replace," he said.

A status report on the wastewater sewer improvement projects
was explained to council members by Spencer's assistant,
Abidur Kahn.

"We don't have an agreement with the owner of the land on
which this project is currently taking place," said Kahn of
the project at the sewer plant, which is located off Collie
Road east of Pecos.

No updated record is available demonstrating the property
line of the treatment plant and effluent disposal area, Kahn
told the council.

"Based on our review of the city record, it is also found
that no lease document currently exists for the use of the
irrigation land to dispose wastewater effluent as required
for the administrative report of the permit
renewal/amendment application," said Kahn.

Kahn said the original cost estimate for this task was $708,
based on verbal information provided by the city that the
Pecos had a lease agreement with the Martinez Family for
disposal of effluent for irrigation.

"Upon authorization by the city to proceed with the project,
our review of the city records revealed that the lease with
the Martinez Family had expired," said Kahn, who went on to
day that the land that was under lease at one time is no
longer of sufficient size to handle the effluent.

"This will require us to perform additional record search,
field survey of property lines, preparation of survey plat
and metes and bounds description, which are beyond the scope
of work that was originally authorized based on information
received by the city," Kahn said.

The extra land will be used as an additional buffer zone,
according to Kahn, and the estimated cost for the additional
tasks to survey about 450 acres and perform all tasks
necessary under the administrative report of the referenced
permit renewal was put at $4,955.

"We want you to authorize us to do the additional work so we
can get on with this project," said Kahn.

Spencer also told council members that the landfill closure
has been completed. "We have completed the evaluation of the
existing cover and we have found some good materials that
can be used for something else," said Spencer.

Another water improvement project will begin soon on
Business I-20 (East Third Street), according to Kahn. "We
were waiting for the Fourth of July to go by and then the
September Fiestas before beginning this other project," he
said, of the plans to upgrade sewer lines beneath the street.

"Doug Eichorst has been waiting for us, because they plan to
re-pave Third Street," said Spencer.

Spencer stated that they needed the go-ahead to advertise
for bids for a contractor for the project.

"We have sent out letters to contractors we have worked with
before and will advertise for the project also," said

New sewer lines will be added where needed and others
repaired on Third Street. After work is completed, the
street will then be repaved by the Texas Department of

Spencer said the project should take about three months,
"but a really good contractor can complete it in four to
five weeks," he added.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $258,000.

Commissioners to discuss pact for rec program

A community sports and recreation program contract between
Reeves County, the City of Pecos and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
will be the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County
Commissioners Court meeting scheduled for 9:45 a.m., Monday
on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.

Commissioners will also discuss repairing city of Toyah
streets with recycled road material and appoint a
representative as the Reeves County Appraisal District's
Board of Directors.

They are also scheduled to discuss and take action on the
Balmorhea Soil and Water Conservation District and a letter
supporting Balmorhea's Parks and Wildlife Project.

Also due for discussion and action is an application for
Juvenile Justice Accountability block grant funding, which
would come through the Office of the Governor - Criminal
Justice System.

Other items on the agenda include:
* Discuss/take action on approving form of performance bond
provided by Banes General Contractors for Reeves County
Detention Center Support Services Shell and Recreation
Building Addition Project.

* Discuss/take action on a contract and agreement for the
detention of juvenile offenders (space available) between
Garza and Reeves counties.

* Discuss/take action on bond and oath for county auditor,
Lynn Owens.

* Discuss/take action on deputation of Reeves County
deputies for Sheriff's Department.

* Discuss/take action on approval to update Reeves County's
Postage Meter.

* Discuss/take action on reports from various departments.

* Discuss/take action on budget amendments and line-item

* Discuss/take action on personnel and salary changes (RCDC,
Sheriff's Office).

* Discuss/take action on minutes from previous minutes.

* Discuss/take action on semi-monthly bills.

* Spread on minutes: Notice of Over-axle, Over-gross weight
permit and District Court Order Appointing County Auditor.

Family asks city to move water meter

Staff Writer
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

That's the situation Ed and Sarah DelaRosa found themselves
in when the water line between the city's meter and their
house broke.

"I caught water coming off the house (during a recent rain)
to flush the toilet," Sarah DelaRosa said.

Replacing the broken water line is a little bit of a
problem, because the city's meter is about one-third of a
mile - or the length of 5 1/2 football fields - from the
DelaRosa house, located on the north edge of Pecos at 1110
N. Cedar St.

DelaRosa asked the city to replace the line and move the
meter to her property, but they refused.

City Manager Kenneth Neal said that the only reason the
property has water now is that years ago someone paid for
the city to extend service to a ball park in that area.
Later, the then-owner of the house got permission to extend
his own water line from the meter to the house.

DelaRosa has hired a plumber to replace the line at a cost
of $4,500 to $5,000. She said she would donate the line to
the city if they will move the meter to the edge of her

City utilities director Octavio Garcia said that may be
possible, but he would have to approve the pipe to be
installed, because it would become the city's responsibility
to maintain it if the meter is moved.

While the lot the house is on has been annexed into the city
limits, the remainder of DelaRosa's property and the
adjoining land are not in the city limits.

Since the line crosses county property and lies along U.S.
Highway 285 on state right-of-way, she has talked with Texas
Department of Transportation officials and county road
superintendent Russ Salcido about replacing it.

City controller Steve McCormick said that, while the city is
required to provide water and sewer service to any property
it annexes, the owner has to pay the cost. If more than one
owner in a subdivision requests service, the cost is
pro-rated among them.


Antonio Rodriguez

Antonio Rodriguez, 75, died Thursday, Sept. 24, 1998 at
Odessa Medical Center.
Mass was held this morning at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with Father Miguel Alcuino officiating. Burial was in
Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born Sept. 3, 1923, in Ojinaga, Mexico, was a
lifelong Pecos resident, retired and a Catholic.

Survivors include his wife, Delia Rodriguez of Ojinaga,
Mexico; one son, Antonio Garcia Gomez of Pecos; two
daughters, Manuela Garcia of Pecos and Margarita Rodriguez
of Houston; one brother, Carlos Garcia of Littlefield and
two grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Clifton Vaughn

Services are incomplete for Clifton Vaughn, 78, who died
Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Pecos Nursing Home.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Chester V. Brush

Chester Virgil Brush, 85, of Lubbock, died Thursday, Sept.
24, 1998, in St. Mary Hospital.

Services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, in Englunds
Chapel in Slaton with Rev. Tim Winn, retired Baptist
minister, officiating. Burial will be in Englewood Cemetery.

He was born Aug. 17, 1913, in Bartley, Neb., moved to Texas
in 1942 and lived in Borger, Sundown, Snyder, Tahoka,
Jacksonville, Palestine and Athens before moving to Pecos in
1947. He worked on road construction, driving heavy
equipment until his retirement in 1989. He moved to Lubbock
in 1993.

Survivors include his wife, Alice Webb Brush of Lubbock; one
daughter, Demaris Dee Strube of Lubbock; four brothers,
Leonard Brush of Florence, Ariz., Warren Brush of Barley,
NE, Harley Brush of Pasadena, Tx. and Elvin Brush of Desert
Hot Springs, Calif.; three grandchildren and seven
great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Senior Citizens
Center or SBMEF Scholarship Fund through Metro City Chapter
of the American Business Women's Association, 4720 65th St.,
Lubbock, Tx., 79414.


High Thursday 92. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight:
Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 60s. Saturday, partly cloudy
and breezy. Highs 90 to 95.

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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

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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise