Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, September 29, 1998
County approves funds for water district
By MAC McKINNON
The Toyah-Limpia Soil & Water Conservation District which
serves the Balmorhea area, got some financial aid from
Reeves County on Monday, when commissioners voted to enter
into a contract that would give the district $1,000 to help
them through their current financial crisis.
Commissioner Herman Tarin said the district has requested
help since federal funds have been cut off and only a few
state grants have been obtained to keep the doors open --
although technically, commissioners were told the doors are
The district is now trying to raise tax deductible donations
from farmers and rancher and has thus far received about
$4,000, Tarin said. He noted they need about $6,000 and will
get matching funds from the state to make it through the
next fiscal year.
Tarin has praise for the group and the work they do for
farmers and ranchers and for schools.
It is hoped the district can receive funding after next year.
In other business, the commissioners approved a contract
with the school and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School
District to provide for a community sports and recreation
department at the old Pecos High School gym.
The county will be operating and fiscal agent and will hire
two full-time workers along with two part-time employees.
They will also provide funding to help add two racquetball
courts, make repairs and purchase various pieces of
The county, city and schools will pay membership for
employees which will help fund operations. Repairs,
additions and equipment will be paid for out of the county's
County Judge Jimmy Galindo who has spearheaded the effort to
get the recreation facility, noted that recycled paving
material will be used to construct tracks at three
elementary schools - Austin, Pecos and Lamar.
Tarin noted that exercise is important to good health and
encouraged everyone to get involved. He said that if the
recycled material works, he hoped there would be enough to
do a track at Balmorhea.
Balmorhea ISD Superintendent Carl Hoffmeyer noted that the
recreation program put in by the county and school at
Balmorhea is going well.
Dr. Hoffmeyer was on hand to ask the county to pass a
resolution in support of getting a Parks & Wildlife grant to
help build a park in Balmorhea. The resolution was approved
by commissioners, and the park project is expected to take
three years to complete.
Commissioners also re-appointed Raul Garcia to another
two-year term as a county representative on the Reeves
County Appraisal District's board of directors. They also
approved a request from Toyah to repair and maintain city
Galindo noted that the county has purchased a large quantity
of recycles road paving material that can be used in Toyah.
It was also noted that District Judge Bob Parks has
re-appointed Lynn Owens to another two-year term as Reeves
County Auditor. This will be Owens' fifth term.
Commissioners also approved an agreement with Garza County
at $81 a day to house Reeves County juveniles for long-term
stays, as the local facility cannot be used to hold
juveniles for more than 48 hours.
Also approved was a grant application for juvenile justice
accountability through the office of the governor, the
criminal justice division. The grant which will be used by
the juvenile probation department will be in the amount of
$17,552 with the county putting in $1,950 as a local match.
Supporters tout benefits of tax reallocation
By MARI MALDONADO
Efforts to "set the record straight," about the proposed 4A
Sales Tax referendum were discussed at length during a
meeting Monday sponsored by those in favor of the Nov. 3
Citizens for a Better Future, the committee to promote
passage of the 4A Sales Tax~, met with local residents at
the Texas New Mexico Power Co. Reddy Room to discuss the
plan, which would redirect one-quarter cent of the Town of
Pecos City's 1 1/2 cent sales tax towards economic
Concerns were raised last week by Town of Pecos City Mayor
Dot Stafford during the city council's regular meeting.
As members considered a second reading of the ordinance for
a special election to pass the sales tax Stafford cautioned
fellow councilmen, "That we might go into a $127,000
deficit," if the measure is approved.
Committee members Gerald Tellez, Jr., and Ricky Herrera, who
are both on the city council, said if the measure is passed
the quarter cent of the sales tax would be allocated for
economic development. That would mainly go towards, "looking
into new buildings, infrastructure, tax abatement..." they
The $127,000 is the amount of money the quarter-cent sales
tax would be expected to generate, said committee members
Bob Curry, in response to a question from Precinct 1
Commissioner Felipe Arredondo.
Herrera and fellow committee member and city councilman
Johnny Terrazas said that the greatest concern voiced to
them by citizens deals with the possible increase in
property taxes, which they said were sparked by the mayor's
comments as reported last Friday's Enterprise.
"Our intent is not to raise taxes, although the possibility
is there," Terrazas told the group. Herrera said he made
similar comments over the weekend to citizens present for a
Pecos Evening Optimist officer installation ceremony.
"But we feel we can do this without having to raise taxes,"
he added, while keeping in mind "that the city is in a tough
financial situation," and faces replacement and repairs on
aging sewer and water systems.
Other concerns were that the economic development program
would run into similar problems to those suffered by the
Pecos Industrial Foundation earlier this decade. The PIF
took funds granted to the county by the State of Texas, and
made loans to four businesses. Two defaulted, one was
successfully repaid and the fourth was also repaid, although
the business failed to survive.
Group member and local businessman, Frank X. Spencer,
explained that the money will not be used in the same way.
"We are not creating a new entity to disperse the funds," he
"We've got to forget the past," said Curry. If this can be
accomplished, "We're sitting here for nothing," he added.
Arredondo noted that this effort should not be compared to
those carried out through the Pecos Industrial Foundation.
"It's bad representation," he said.
Among the plans to ease community concerns and promote the
sales tax is the operation of a booth at the Reeves County
Fall Fair, where committee members will hand out
informational flyers and answer questions. Other items
include posters, buttons and yard signs along with
advertising in the newspaper and on the radio.
No answers were given when a group member asked what percent
of these funds can be used for future advertisement.
Curry also mention the possibility of inviting a speaker
from Monahans or Fort Stockton, who have already passed the
sales tax, to speak with group members.
Both cities have already approved the 4A Sales Tax, and
Curry said they would be invited here to "tell us how they
accomplished (the sales tax passage)...help us with the ins
"There is a lot of things happening," said Spencer,
regarding economic development. He cited two meetings with
business representatives who have looked at locating in
Pecos, one of which went as far as requesting a land
Spencer also said Odessa College has never abandoned the
idea of locating an educational center in town, which the
group hopes to examine more closely in the near future.
"My primary goal, is to see our kids walk right out of high
school into college," Spencer said, while adding "It's going
to take money to get these people.
"If we don't face that fact, nothing is going to happen,"
Spencer said. "It's going to take everybody's assistance
(county, city, school, hospital, etc.) to get things done."
"The only way we're going to make this thing work is
together," added Herrera.
In response to a question from committee member and school
board representative Fred Lujan on where people can call to
sign up and help with the efforts, Pecos Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director Tom Rivera said the chamber would be glad
to take on the responsibilities of centralizing the
Persons wanting to aid in the promotion of the 4A Sales Tax
or who have questions on the issue should call Rivera or
other employees of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce at
445-2406. If no one them can answer their questions the
caller will be directed to someone that can.
DPS drug task force ready to begin
From Staff and Wire Reports
District Attorney Randy Reynolds spent some time Monday
working on legal matters for the Permian Basin Drug Task
Force that Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez hopes to host.
Letters of intent to support the task force have gone out to
15 area law enforcement agencies, and additional letters
will be sent to mayors and county judges in those 11
Meanwhile, the newly formed West Texas Narcotics Enforcement
Task Force prepares to begin operations next month.
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. David Bradshaw, the
appointed supervisor of the new agency, said he expects
heavy scrutiny because of the past group's troubles.
But Bradshaw believes the public is eager to welcome another
law enforcement branch.
``All the controversy and negative attitudes have not
affected us; we're optimistic,'' Bradshaw told The Midland
Reporter-Telegram. ``The community needs a task force and it
makes no difference between who is running it. They
appreciate good law enforcement, regardless.''
Scrutiny could be more pronounced because of two Texas
Rangers' reports, obtained by the Odessa American through
open records requests, that detail the former task force's
Among the allegations are falsified meal tickets, quarterly
reports in which drug confiscations were inflated and
questions about other records.
After the governor's Narcotics Control Program chose not to
renew funding to the Permian Basin Drug Task Force, they
announced the Department of Public Safety would operate a
new task force with $800,000 in federal funds for a
Jurisdiction for the new agency will stretch from Big Bend
National Park to Big Spring. As of Friday, nine people had
been hired from a pool of 19 applicants. Six were employees
of the Permian Basin Drug Task Force.
``They are very qualified and trustworthy officers. They
have between 10 and four years of experience in narcotics,''
``They will bring in a lot of experience with working
street-level narcotics. It would have taken a lot of time to
train them and the others. They have years of this
experience and have built contacts.''
Ector County voted to join the DPS group, as have the Odessa
and Midland Police Departments and 17 other agencies.
However, the Midland County Sheriff's Office is supporting
Gomez's bid to gain state grant money for a separate task
The amount of funding available will be smaller than that of
an appointed task force because the Texas Narcotics Control
Program must keep the number of task forces within
moderation, said Linda Edwards, a spokeswoman for Governor
The Permian Basin agency formerly had a $1.8 million budget.
``We're filling out applications and obtaining written
commitments with agencies that want to work with us,'' said
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter. ``We're going ahead and
submitting it to the governor's office and hope that by now,
we're going to have someone that's smart enough to handle
the job up there.''
Balmorhea residents jailed in drug raid
By ROSIE FLORES
For the sixth time in the past two weeks, the Reeves County
Multi-Agency Task Force has staged a warrant search on an
area home, with two Balmorhea residents winding up in Reeves
County Jail after this morning's action.
Pecos police said at about 12:15 a.m. today officers from
the police department and Reeves County Sheriff's Department
and executed a narcotics search warrant at 604 Third St., in
Police said after the warrant was executed officers searched
the residence and discovered a white powdery substance
believed to be cocaine.
Also found inside the residence was marijuana plants that
the subjects were growing and drug paraphernalia used with
cocaine and marijuana.
Following the search the two people inside the home,
identified as Manny Rayos, 39, and Sylvia Roman, 37, were
placed under arrest on charges of Possession of Controlled
Substance (cocaine) within a 1,000 feet of a school. The
home is located directly across the street from the
Balmorhea High School, police said.
Both Rayos and Roman were charged with possession of a
controlled substance, cocaine and marijuana, a felony, and
are currently in Reeves County Jail waiting arraignment.
The investigation is continuing and more arrest warrants
could be issued, according to Sheriff Andy Gomez and Pecos
Police Chief Clay McKinney.
Gas price war has drawbacks in West Texas
SNYDER (AP) -- Jason Evanson pulled his Ford Explorer off
the dusty road that runs through this West Texas town and
swerved into Century Fuels, a local gas station. His tank
was only half empty, but some things -- like 81-cent gas --
are ``too good to pass up,'' he said.
``You have to pull over and fill up for 81 cents a gallon,
just so that you can say you did.''
Analysts say the gasoline prices in towns like Snyder are
still dropping, in spite of a small increase in the price of
oil last week. Low prices are prompting price wars in local
towns, forcing local store owners to play a game of
brinkmanship over how low they will go. Last month, gas
prices in the 90 cents range made headlines.
Now stations are selling gas for even less.
``In Texas, where there are lots of small towns, you have so
much competition that stations are trying to beat each other
out by dropping prices,'' said Greg Narrell, an oil analyst
``All it takes is for one station to drop their price and
then every station in town feels they have to,'' he said.
``Since they're getting the gas at cheap prices some store
will almost always decide 'hey, why don't I drop my price
and try to make a little more money than Mr. Jones.'''
Locally, prices in Pecos are actually up slightly this week
compared to the previous two weeks. The lowest prices in
town today was 89.9 cents at Allsup's, while the Flying J
Truck Stop and Town and Country on South Cedar Street were
selling regular unleaded for 91.9 cents a gallon.
Gas prices south of Interstate 10 remain generally above the
$1 a gallon mark, but to the north, a price war in Carlsbad,
N.M. earlier this month dropped the cost of regular unleaded
as low as 79.9 cents a gallon.
Doug Gonzalez, an oil analyst in Lubbock, said the price
wars in many towns were hurting the overall economy.
``We've heard rumors about some stores selling for 70 cents
but the lowest we know of for sure is in the 80s,'' Gonzalez
said. ``Prices are low all over West Texas, but it's getting
a little ridiculous.''
Nancy Felan, a store manager at Century Fuels in Snyder,
said stores have little choice but to drop prices when the
store down the street drops theirs.
Couple the low gas prices with low oil prices and Snyder's
economy is in bad shape.
``These gas prices are hurting a lot of people -- too many
people,'' Felan told The Snyder Daily News.
``They don't have jobs because of the low prices. I hear
from a lot of customers that they would rather pay high
priced gas and see people working.''
While crude oil prices recently rose about 5 cents per
gallon, they remained below $16 per barrel -- well below
last year, when prices rose above $20 per barrel.
In contrast to slight price hikes at the pump in other
states, prices keep falling in most parts of Texas.
Nationally, the average retail price of gasoline, including
all grades and taxes, was $1.0895 per gallon on Friday. That
was up 1.12 cents per gallon from two weeks earlier,
according to the Lundberg Survey of 10,000 stations
At self-service pumps, the average price for regular
gasoline was $1.0311 per gallon, mid-grade was $1.1384 and
premium was $1.2226. At full-service pumps, regular was
$1.4676, mid-grade was $1.5554 and premium was $1.6282.
Ron Baker, a store manager at L&L in Snyder, said he hopes
prices won't fall any further.
``I don't think there's anybody who can afford to drop any
lower,'' Baker said. ``But you never know for sure.''
AREA NEWS ROUNDUP
The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, Sept. 24, 1998 -- According to a Sept. 15 story in
USA Today, gasoline prices nationwide are "at virtually
their lowest level in history," with a "gallon of self-serve
unleaded selling for an average of $1.02 a gallon." A quick
look around Presidio County, however, indicates that gas
consumers in this area have not benefited from the recent
cheap fuel trend, which the article attributes to sagging
oil prices, high inventories and stiff competition among
gasoline retailers. A check at four Marfa fuel stations this
week show the price of regular unleaded to be $1.19.9.
Marfans who travel to Pecos pay 31 cents less per gallon at
the Flying J Truckstop, where gas prices Monday were .88.9
cents per gallon, while up the highway in Midland, consumers
charged 95.9 cents per gallon at Eugene's Chevron, a 24-cent
difference from Marfa prices.
PRESIDIO, Sept. 24, 1998 -- Presidio ISD trustees adopted
the 1998-99 school property tax Tuesday night in a special
meeting at the Presidio High School library. Board members
settled on a tax rate of $1.36 per $100 valuation, an
eight-cent rise over last year's tax rate due to debt
service on the new high school, according to Superintendent
Dr. Sharon Morrow.
The McCamey News
McCAMEY, Sept. 24, 1998 -- Christal Hernandez, a member of
the senior class at McCamey High School has been recognized
as a scholar finalist in the National Hispanic Recognition
Program, as announced by Jerry Stinson. The National
Hispanic Recognition Program is a College Board program that
provides national recognition of the exception academic
achievements of Hispanic high school seniors, and identifies
academically well-prepared Hispanic high school seniors for
SANDERSON, Sept. «MDNM»24, 1998 -- The board of trustees of
Terrell County Independent School District had a special
meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 16. The tax rate was increased
from $1.19 per $100 valuation to $1.27 per $100 valuation.
There was a unanimous vote of approval of the new tax rate
by the board members present.
MONAHANS, Sept. 24, 1998 -- More than 90 percent of the
telephone subscribers in Monahans favor extending the city's
local call network to four regions -- Fort Stockton, Kermit,
Pecos and Terminal, which includes Odessa Medical Center and
Midland Airport. The areas officially were approved in an
expanded local calling election conducted by the state's
Public Utility Commission and certified on Tuesday, Sept.
14, says Linda Hymans, the Texas coordinator for extended
local calling. Odessa exchanges, Grandfalls, Crane and
Imperial already are in the Monahans local call net.
High Monday 95. Low this morning 68. Forecast for tonight:
Mostly clear. Low in the mid to upper 60s. Light south wind.
Wednesday, partly cloudy. High in the lower to mid 90s.
South wind 5-15 mph.
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