Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, March 8, 1999
Owens warns commissioners of budget shortfall
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Mar. 8, 1999 -- Possible revenue shortfalls and economic development
topped the agenda this morning at the regular meeting of the Reeves County
County Auditor Lynn Owens presented the court with the possibility of
a tax revenue shortfall for the 2000 budget.
Owens said that because of dropping mineral values in the region, property
valuations would also drop.
Owens projected that there could be as much as a 20 percent devaluation
in property values.
Based on the current tax rate the drop could mean a loss of $254,000
in assessed taxes.
"Under the current tax rate that means there will have to be a 13 percent
reduction in the budget," Owens said.
County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that the budget shortfall would force
the commissioners either to raise taxes or make budget cuts.
According to Owens, property taxes would have to be raised by approximately
seven cents to 61.854 cents per $100 in valuation to make up for the lost
Owens also said that the situation isn't nearly as bad for Reeves County
as for many neighboring counties, since minerals values in Reeves County
were generally lower than for other counties in the region.
Of long-term importance was the possibility that the current oil slump
might leave mineral valuations in a depressed state for several years,
Galindo also pointed out that if taxes were raised to make up the difference
the tax hike would be subject to voter rollback since the hike would be
more than an 8 percent increase.
Projects that may be affected by the shortfall include improvements
to the county jail and any expansion of the juvenile detention facility.
Galindo said that about $300,000 dollars were needed to cover repairs
to the jail facility to bring it up to state standards.
"We have the funds to cover these necessary improvements, but we have
also been considering expanding the facility," Galindo said. "With the
current budget forecasts, it will probably be prudent for the county to
simply make the necessary improvements and hold off on trying to expand
Galindo said that the jail currently brings in about $700,000 in revenue
each year to the county and that an expansion of the facility would amount
to an increase in created revenue.
The proposed expansion of the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center
may also be affected by the budget shortfall.
The current facility has eight beds. Galindo said that expanding the
capacity would allow the county to contract out some of the bed space.
The price of the expansion is estimated at $300,000.
The goal of expanding the facility is to better serve Reeves County
and also to generate revenue that would make the detention center close
to self-supporting, Galindo said.
Mike Burkholder, vice-chairman of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation,
addressed the commissioners regarding current economic development activities.
Burkholder said that negotiations are underway with one corporation
that desires to remain anonymous, a barbecue sauce manufacturer and Odessa
The barbecue sauce producer is operating in East Texas and employs 19.
The company has asked for an interest-free $300,000 loan and a rent-free
facility for three years. The interest on the loan would amount to approximately
$50,000, Burkholder said.
"The prospect has told us that he plans to build a new facility here
in Pecos at the end of the three years and will employ about 90 people
at first," Burkholder said.
Burkholder also updated the commissioners on the status of Odessa College's
interest in coming to Pecos.
He said that the college is interested, but that the initial funding
would have to come from Reeves County and other local entities.
"The college can't spend Ector County funds to build here in Reeves
County," he said.
The old White's Auto building is being considered for the project but
negotiations with the building owner are ongoing, he said.
Along with updating the commissioners on current PEDC projects, Burkholder
also said that money from the Revolving Loan Fund needs to be loaned to
help stimulate the economy.
Owens said the fund was set up by the state in the form of a $500,000
loan to Smithers Transportation Test Center from the Texas Department of
Under the rules of the program, moneys recouped from the original loan
can be used to fund qualifying economic development projects.
"The interest rate is 5 percent, and that is very low," Owens said,
"and the money can only be used in instances where we would not be competing
with banks on making the same loan."
Owens said that Smithers has paid back the entire amount plus interest
and that currently there is about $387,000 in the fund that can be utilized
for economic development loans.
The commissioners agreed to investigate setting up a committee that
would advise the commissioners on whether to make a loan or not.
Precinct 2 Commissioner David Castillo proposed the idea and said that
help could be sought from local bankers who are experts in investigating
Pipeline environmental deal reached
PECOS, Mar. 8, 1999 -- A fast-track environmental assessment will result
from a settlement of a federal court lawsuit involving the Longhorn Pipeline
that runs through Reeves and Ward counties.
The pipeline will ship refined petroleum products from the Texas Gulf
Coast to El Paso and beyond, utilizing 450 miles of an old Exxon crude
oil line between Crane and Houston and adding 250 miles of 18-inch line
from Crane to El Paso.
Texas landowners and others filed suit to force an environmental assessment
of the possible impact if gasoline products leaked from the old line.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin accepted an agreement between
several plaintiffs, including the City of Austin, Longhorn Partners Pipeline
and several federal agencies as a settlement.
Under terms of the agreement approved by the court, the EA will be prepared
under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the
U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety.
The EPA will conduct the environmental impact analysis, with OPS responsible
for issues involving pipeline safety and technology.
An independent contractor, Radian International, LLP, will prepare the
EA with direction from EPA and DOT. The study will be conducted according
to federal regulations governing environmental reviews.
Carter Montgomery, president of Longhorn, said, "We are gratified that
Judge Sparks has approved the terms of the settlement the parties to this
lawsuit have negotiated over the last several months.
"The EA process will assure the public of the pipeline's safety, and
by approving this settlement, Judge Sparks has hastened the day when the
people of El Paso, the Gulf Coast of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona can
enjoy the economic and environmental benefits this pipeline will bring."
As a result of the EA process, the federal agencies may issue either
a determination that there is a Finding of No Significant Impact by the
pipeline or a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.
Longhorn has agreed not to ship product through the pipeline until 30
days after the EA decision.
Radian will attempt to complete work on the proposed draft EA within
120 days. EPA and DOT will then publish notice that the draft EA is available
and allow 30 days for written comments and public meetings.
Public meetings will be held in Austin, El Paso, Houston and two additional
locations within the service area of the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Within 30 days after the public comment period, Radian will prepare
the final EA for EPA and DOT approval.
Longhorn Pipeline is developing a refined products pipeline to deliver
gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas Gulf Coast refineries to West
Texas and the El Paso gateway market.
When it begins operation, Longhorn Pipeline is expected to deliver approximately
72,000 barrels a day. As markets expand, the pipeline's ultimate capacity
is about 225,000 barrels per day.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained
from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's
Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by
an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control
violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed
as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we
will indicate payment and release.
Reeves County Sheriff's deputies and the local S.W.A.T. team responded
to a report of a man with a gun in Balmorhea at 1:21 a.m. today. After
negotiating for several hours, they resolved the situation without gunfire.
Felix Guajardo, 19, of 407 S. Eddy St., received two six-inch cuts to
his right arm and side early Sunday and was treated at Reeves County Hospital.
He refused to tell police who wielded the knife nor the circumstances surrounding
Rosie Rodriguez, 46, was arrested at 3:01 p.m., on March 4, at the corner
of Third and Locust streets, for a parole violation. She was taken to Reeves
Jose Ynes Patino, 25, was arrested at 10:29 p.m., on March 5, at Sixth
and Elm Street, for a second offense of DWI, a Class A misdemeanor. He
was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Antonio M. Gardea, 22, was arrested at 1:52 a.m., on March 6, on Highway
17 (South of Winkles Trucking), on a warrant out of Wichita County (attorney
off bond/possession of marijuana under 2 ounces. He was taken to Reeves
Benny A. Juarez, 39, was arrested at 10:14 p.m., on March 6, on Capias
Pro Fine warrants for a violation of a promise to appear and speeding.
He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Gabriel Leos, 31, was arrested at 11:36 p.m., on March 6, at the Offecina
Club, for evading detention. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Sonia Y. Rodriguez, 25, was arrested at 1:02 a.m., on March 7, at Riverside
Ballroom, on a warrant for theft of service over $20 under $500 and Andrews
County warrants for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and failure to
maintain vehicle insurance. She was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Felix Madrid, 24, was arrested at 5:29 p.m., on Feb. 25, in the 300
block of East 13th Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He was taken to
Reeves County Jail.
Dominic Garcia, 25, was arrested at 6:19 p.m., on Feb. 25, in the 300
block of Pine Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He was taken to Reeves
Jessie Adame, 20, was arrested at 6:32 p.m., on Feb. 25, in the 100
block of Pecan Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He was taken to Reeves
Hector Castillo, 56, was arrested at 7 p.m., on Feb. 25, in the 600
block of Mulberry Street, for public intoxication. He was taken to Reeves
Don Wesley Barton, 44, was arrested at 10:03 p.m., on Feb. 25, in the
400 block of Mulberry Street, on a warrant for a motion to revoke (forgery).
He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Edel Acosta, 17, was arrested at 8:12 p.m., on Feb. 26, in the 1600
block of South Park Street, for unlawfully carrying a weapon. He was taken
to Reeves County Jail.
Jaime D. Maldonado, 33, and Gilbert Florez, 29, were arrested at 1:13
a.m., on Feb. 27, at the Offecina Club, for public intoxication. They were
taken to Reeves County Jail.
Raul D. Herrera, 48, was arrested at 2:16 a.m., on Feb. 27, at the corner
of Lincoln and Johnson streets, for simple assault under the Family Violence
Act. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Jacob Natividad, 19, was arrested at 2:27 p.m., on Feb. 27, in the 700
block of Pecan street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He was taken to Reeves
Eddieberto Patino, 39, was arrested at 6:40 p.m., on Feb. 27, in the
2200 block of Wyoming Street, on a DWI refusal.
Rey Lozano, 25, was arrested at 11:48 p.m., on Feb. 27, in the 500 block
of South Pecan Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act under
Class B. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Arnulfo Miranda, 33, and Rafael Medina Jr., 19, were arrested at 12:49
a.m., on Feb. 28, at Allsups on Cedar Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants.
They were taken to Reeves County Jail.
Joe Salas, 21, and a female juvenile were arrested at 1:31 a.m., on
Feb. 28, at Allsups on Cedar Street, after a fight—Salas for public intoxication;
the juvenile for a juvenile probation violation. Salas was taken to Reeves
County Jail, the juvenile to the Juvenile Detention Center.
Marco Bejaran, 18, Jaime C. Soto, 19, and Cruz Jimenez, 25, were arrested
at 2:26 a.m., on Feb. 28, in the 1100 block of South Ash Street, after
a fight, for public intoxication. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.
Dagoberto Rodriguez, 41, was arrested at 12:18 p.m., on Feb. 28, in
the 700 block of South Ash Street, on a warrant for forgery with intent
to harm another. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Roberto Mendoza, 57, and Elaine Ornelas, 29, were arrested at 3:47 p.m.,
on Feb. 28, at the corner of Fourth and Mesquite streets—Mendoza for public
intoxication; Ornelas for no driver's license. They were taken to Reeves
Joanna Tucker, 31, was arrested at 8:18 p.m., on Feb. 28, in the 900
block of West Eighth Street, for driving while license suspended. He was
taken to Reeves County Jail.
Omar R. Garcia, 34, was arrested at 8:42 p.m., on Feb. 28, at the corner
of Walthall and Cedar streets, on a DWI refusal felony. He was taken to
Reeves County Jail.
Israel Gochicoa Natividad, 30, was arrested at 8:45 p.m., on March 1,
at Uncle's on Eddy Street, on a warrant for delivery of a controlled substance
(cocaine). He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
Louie Granado Franco was arrested at 3 p.m., on March 2, at the Pecos
Municipal Court, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He paid the fines and was
Wayne Passer, 51, was arrested at 7:34 p.m., on March 2, at the I-20
Fina, for public intoxication. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.
AUSTIN (AP) — One ticket correctly matched all six numbers drawn Saturday
night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said.
The ticket was worth an estimated $4 million and was sold in Houston.
The numbers drawn from a field of 50 were 3, 5, 16, 22, 42 and 46.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night:
Winning numbers drawn: 29-36-60-92. Number matching four of four in
Group One: 0. Number matching four of four in Group Two: 0. Number matching
four of four in Group Three: 1. Prize: $10,000. Number matching three of
four in any group: 533. Prize: $300.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night:
Winning numbers drawn: 2-3-18-28-37. Number matching five of five: 1.
Prize per winner: $101,222. Matching four of five: 269. Prize: $564.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 1-1-8 (one, one, eight)
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 4-6-7 (four, six, seven).
Etta Mae Pope Friday, 86, died Saturday, March 6, 1999, after a lengthy
illness. Services were at 10 a.m. today in Ellis Funeral Home chapel in
Midland. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery.
She was born Feb. 24, 1913 in Roscoe and with her husband operated Friday's
Boot Shop since 1935. She was a member of the Ranchland Heights Baptist
Church, the Rebekah Lodge, Elks Lodge and Eastern Star.
Survivors include one son, Thomas Friday of Midland; two daughters,
Sylvia Bell of Midland and Argretta Wilde of Wichita Falls; eight grandchildren,
11 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
The family requests memorials be directed to Hospice of Midland, P.O.
Box 2621, Midland 79702.
High Sunday 63; low last night 46. Wind advisory today. Tonight, clear.
Low in the upper 30s. West wind 10-20 mph, becoming northeast 5 10 after
midnight. Tuesday, sunny. High in the mid 70s. Northeast wind 5-10 mph,
becoming southeast in the mid afternoon.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise