Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, November 26, 1999
Envirocare plan could cost city, county taxpayers
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Nov. 26, 1999 - Envirocare of Texas applied Tuesday for a license
to store low-level radioactive waste about eight miles north of Barstow,
a move that has drawn opposition from local residents and could end up
costing taxpayers in Pecos and Reeves County money.
"We haven't heard from them about what they will offer Barstow," said
Ward County Precinct 1 Commissioner Julian Florez, who resides in Barstow.
If approved, the site could become a disposal site for low-level utility
and industrial radioactive waste from Texas, Maine and Vermont which had
been destined for a site near Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth County. The site
was rejected last year by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission
and Texas Gov. George W. Bush due to earthquake fault lines in the area.
Residents in Monahans and surrounding counties have been opposing the
low-level waste site in Barstow, though it has gained the support of Monahans
mayor David Cutbirth.
"I felt all along this was the best site," Cutbirth told the Odessa
American. "I don't think 40 days and 40 nights of rain would affect
Florez stated that Judge Sam Massey, of Monahans, had written a list
of 12 recommendations, which have become a point of confusion on where
Ward County Commissioners stand on the issue.
"They said that the recommendations were approved by the Ward County
Commissioners, but they weren't," said Florez. "It was recommendations
from Judge Massey and not the court," he said.
Florez stated that he had spoken to Rick Jacobi, vice-president of operations
of Envirocare. "I told him those weren't recommendations approved by the
court, it was a letter from the judge," he said.
Massey outlined the recommendations in case Envirocare does implement
the waste disposal site. It would be located eight miles north of Barstow,
14 miles northeast of Pecos and 32 miles west of Monahans.
"These were concerns the judge had and of course, that everyone in the
community has," said Florez. "It was just some suggestions and they're
trying to make it sound like it's a negotiated list."
Florez also questioned the company's promises including the fact that
at first Jacobi had stated that the facility would create from 100 to 150
jobs. "Now, it's dwindled down to 30 jobs," said Florez. "I'm saying they
won't even hire 30."
Florez added that when Envirocare first started talking about building
a waste site in Ward County, they said Ward County would make $5 million.
"Now, they're saying it's a storage facility, not a dispsoal site, so it
automatically takes us out of the game, of getting the five million," said
Florez stated that he had spoken to Jacobi to clarify some of the issues,
especially the one about the list of recommendations. "I want them to know
that we'll be asking plenty of questions and that are some very concerned
citizens opposing this waste site," said Florez.
The 12 recommendations listed by Judge Massey were some that were supposed
to be implemented anyway, according to Florez. "There are some things of
this list that needed to be addressed, according to the laws and regulations,"
he said. "But I wouldn't even consider approving it if it's brought up
before the court."
The list includes:
· A minimum of 75 jobs.
· If any county roads are used, they will solely be maintained
· Establish a designated hazardous waste route.
· Establish a hazardous treatment section of Ward Memorial Hospital.
· Fund and train doctors and staff of local hospital for emergency
treatment of radioactive, contamination, or other related disaster possibilities.
· Fund and train emergency services such as EMS, Fire Department,
etc, for radioactive contamination or other related disaster possibilities.
· Collaborate with local schools for education or job training
for employment with Envirocare.
· Utilize local businesses for purchasing when possible.
· Contribute $25,000 on a yearly basis for Ward County Economic
· Establish and meete bi-annually with oversight committee made
up by Ward County citizens representing the schools, county, city, businesses
· Meet with Ward County as well as surrounding counties, Reeves,
Upton, Crane, Pecos, Winkler, and Ector once a year to inform the public
of status of site quantity, monitoring control, level, etc.
· Guarantee only class A,B and C low-level waste is stored at
site, if ever anything else is considered, a referendum be held to be approved
by Ward County citizens and paid for by Envirocare.
"They're using this to lead people on," said Florez.
Although at this time they would receive no financial benefit, taxpayers
in Pecos and Reeves County could end up bearing some of the costs of the
Because it would be located far closer to Pecos than to Monahans, any
hazardous treatment cases at the site would likely be brought to Reeves
County Hospital instead of to Ward Memorial Hospital. Fire and Emergency
Medical Service personnel would also likely come from Pecos, though the
funding, as currently proposed, would go to Monahans and Ward County.
"When it comes down to it, we're closer to the proposed site," said
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
Galindo echoed some of Florez' concerns, such as the fact that the company
had promised 150 jobs. "Now they're saying it will be 30 jobs," said Galindo.
"They want to take compact waste and also want to build an isolation
facility, that is not defined by state laws in Texas," said Galindo. "In
the last 25 years, haven't had one single disposal site by this compact."
He added that he is very concerned about the proposed site and Reeves
County Commissioners have approved a resolution in opposition of this effort.
"What they don't take into consideration is that the site is closer to
us, to Reeves County and Pecos," said Galindo.
The Town of Pecos City Council also passed a measure at Monday's meeting
in opposition to the site, and Red Bluff Water Power District Board members
approved a similar resolution last month. Red Bluff supplies water to farmers
in the Barstow area.
The Barstow site was one of three looked at by Envirocare, after its
plans to build a waste disposal site in western Andrews County was stopped
by a University of Texas study that indicated the land was above an underground
aquifer. Envirocare officials said there is no underground water beneath
the Barstow site, Aquifers are located both to the east and west of the
proposed facility and the Pecos River would be less than six miles to the
Envirocare proposes storing the waste in above-ground warehouses with
9-foot-thick cement walls. Each warehouse, costing an estimated $8 million
to construct would hold 160,000 cubic feet of waste, according to Jacobi.
Christian Home serves 305 holiday meals
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Nov. 26, 1999 - The kitchen at the Reeves County Civic Center
was a busy place Thursday morning and afternoon, as volunteers served up
over 300 Thanksgiving dinners for local residents, as part of the Pecos
Christian Home's annual free holiday dinner.
Bruce Dury, Director of the Christian Home, originally estimated about
250 people had taken advantage of the free dinner, either in-person at
the Civic Center or through take-out and Meals on Wheels deliveries. However,
this morning Dury said, "We missed counting a stack of plates, so we actually
served about 305 people.
"That's a lot higher than I thought we would, and it was way more than
we had last year," Dury added.
Workers were busiest between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., when most of the
take-out orders were prepared. "People come in here and take out a whole
bunch at a time," said Dury. Of that total, 96 were for Meals on Wheels
deliveries to the elderly or homebound.
"We had about a dozen people working here and about 30 or 40 volunteers.
We had the low riders club making deliveries along with a couple of the
kids from school (the Pecos High School Youth Advisory Council). Several
of the local churches helped out, people from Toyah came over and the Knights
of Columbus also helped," Dury said.
"This is the first year here, and I've really enjoyed it," said Linda
Baeza, one of the kitchen volunteers who helped serve the food Thursday.
"I'll be here again for Christmas."
The Christian Home annually serves free turkey dinners on both Thanksgiving
and Christmas. Some of what was left over from donations for Thursday's
dinner will be used next month, but Dury said as of this morning they weren't
sure what new donations they will need from the public.
"We'll probably start this weekend taking inventory to see what we need.
This morning we're just resting up from yesterday, because we had to stay
around and clean up after it was all done," he said. "We did run close
on a lot of stuff, pies mostly, so we'll need to stock up on that for the
Road construction may slow holiday travel
PECOS, Nov. 26, 1999 - Motorists traveling on West Texas highways over
Thanksgiving weekend will experience a few delays because of road construction,
according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
In Ward County, work on Interstate 20 has one of the two driving lanes
closed for approximately two miles, westbound near Monahans and eastbound
near Pyote. The project, which includes resurfacing the roadway, extends
from just west of Pyote to the Business Interstate 20 exit east of Monahans.
Construction is expected to be completed by next spring.
"We like to have construction cleared in time for holiday traffic,"
said Lauren D. Garduno, the Odessa TxDOT district engineer. "Unfortunately,
we have some projects where constructions is at a point where it would
not be safe to open all the lanes, so motorists should allow for extra
Motorists are encouraged to drive safely by obeying the posted speed
limit, wearing their safety belts properly, and not drinking and driving.
Other road closures within 200 miles of Pecos include:
* Interstate 10 in Hudspeth County - for approximately 11 miles from
Fabens city limit east to the county line, traffic is reduced to one lane
in each direction.
* State Highway 18 south of Grandfalls - at the Pecos River bridge,
traffic is reduced to one lane with a stop signal.
* Interstate 20 in Nolan County - traffic is reduced to one lane in
each direction for a five-mile stretch east of Sweetwater.
Road closures in other parts of West Texas are:
* Interstate 40 in Wheeler County - for a three-mile stretch, traffic
reduced to one lane in each at Shamrock.
* U.S. 277 in Haskell County - for approximately 20 miles, traffic is
reduced to one lane in each director.
* U.S. 287 in Hall County - south of the Red River Bridge, northbound
lanes are closed. Traffic is detoured to the southbound lanes and reduced
to one land in each direction for approximately three miles.
Parras captures Power Points with tie-breaker
PECOS, Nov. 26, 1999 - Manny Parras, 1202 Yucca St., came away the winner
on a tie-breaker in Week 11 of the Pecos Enterprise's Power Points competition.
Parras beat out Rey Briceno, after both scored 123 points in last week's
Parras earned two tickets to an Odessa Jackalopes game for his victory.
Statewide, Cassie Soers of Sweetwater won the $1,000 first prize, with
a total of 133 out of a possible 136 points.
Entries have already closed for this week's Power Points contest, due
to the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game against Miami. Entry forms
for Week 13 of the contest will appear in Monday's Enterprise, and are
also available from local sponsors.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 09-20-22-26-28-39. Estimated jackpot: $7 million. Number
matching six of six: 0 Matching five of six: 73. Prize: $1,621. Matching
four of six: 4,247. Prize: $100.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 16-25-34-35-36. Number matching five of five: none. Matching
four of five: 161. Prize: $1,003.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 9-6-3 (nine, six, three)
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 0-8-3 (zero, eight, three)
Pablo B. Lopez, 73, of Marfa, died Wednesday, Nov. 24, 1999, at his home.
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., today at Memorial Funeral Home in Marfa.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 27, at St.
Mary's Catholic Church with burial in Mercedes Cemetery.
He was born March 2, 1926, in Knox City.
Survivors include his wife, Manuela Lopez of Marfa; five daughters,
Rosalinda Dias of Midland, Paula Lopez of Washington, Viola Villanueva
of Presidio, Carmen Lopez of Odessa and Sylvia Lopez of Marfa; five sons,
Delfin Lopez of Marfa, Eutimio Lopez of Mesquite, Pablo Lopez, Jr. of Fort
Stockton, Vidal Lopez of Michigan and Lino Lopez of Odessa; one sister,
Susana Aguirre of Odessa; 19 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren;
four nephews and three nieces.
India A. "Dine" Sharp, 90, of Kermit, died Wednesday, Nov. 24, 1999, at
her residence, following a lengthy illness.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, at Cooper Funeral Home
in Kermit. Burial will be in the Kermit Cemetery.
She was born Feb. 17, 1909, married J.E. Sharp, Sept. 5, 1928, was a
long-time resident of Kermit, a homemaker and a Baptist.
She was preceded in death by her husband, J.E. Sharp, in 1971.
Survivors include two sons, James H. Sharp of Kermit, Bill Sharp of
Mt. Pleasant; one daughter, Sherry Carman of Wink; one sister, Hunter Jones
of Bonham; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
High Thursday 63. Low this morning 35. Forecast for tonight: Clear. Low
in the mid 30s. West wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. High around
80. West wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Mostly clear. Low in the mid
to upper 30s.
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