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By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Nov. 1, 1996 - Digging a hole to put garbage in has become big
business that is regulated by state and federal agencies charged with
protecting the environment.
And big business has stepped in to relieve cities and counties of the
daily task of picking up and disposing of solid waste from residences
Faced with digging yet another $1.3 million hole in the ground, the
Pecos City Council began last year to look at other options and are in a
three-month trial period with Wes Tex Waste to pick up and dispose of
waste from dumpsters and alleys.
While the trial period has another month to run, City Attorney Scott
Johnson said he asked the council to discuss the contract in their next
meeting Nov. 12.
He suggested the trial period be extended to allow further study before
they make a final decision.
In its first two months of operation, Wes Tex Waste has brought in 200
new dumpsters. Of those, 40 replaced dumpsters that were rusted out or
had missing lids. Others were added to allow crews to empty dumpsters
only once a week.
Councilman Randy Graham, who initiated the study that led to the Wes Tex
Waste contract negotiations, said complaints about overflowing dumpsters
have dropped to two a week.
"We had a lot of complaints before from people who didn't know what was
going on," Graham said.
But Wes Tex Waste guarantees to pick up garbage within 24 hours of a
complaint. And besides weekly dumpster pickups, they have one crew that
makes a sweep of the whole town once a month to pick up other debris
left in the alleys.
Garbage from the dumpsters goes to the Charter Waste regional landfill
near Penwell. Tree limbs and other debris picked up from the alleys is
being placed in the city landfill for the time being.
"We are making a little money off of it until they get a transfer
station built," Graham said. "Everything will go to Penwell after the
contract is finalized and they get a transfer station built."
Items that do not go in the landfill, such as refrigerators and air
conditioners, are still placed at the landfill for sale to a private
company who picks them up once a month.
Armando Gil, long-time Town of Pecos City sanitarian, said no charge
will be made to residents who can provide a water bill or other evidence
they live inside the Pecos city limits.
Gil objected to the Wes Tex Waste contract before it was agreed to in
September, proposing instead to build a transfer station that would
allow city crews to haul waste to Penwell.
Engineer Frank Spencer estimated the city could build a transfer station
for $750,000. One long-haul truck to transfer waste would cost $110,000,
Graham said that West Tex Waste estimates they can build a transfer
station for $250,000, and it will belong to the city after 10 years. And
he believes the city would need two long-haul trucks costing $220,000.
The transfer station and other property owned by Wes Tex Waste will go
on the tax rolls, Graham said. He estimated the total value at $500,000
And he believes they can do the work for less than city crews.
Graham said he began asking questions after the first landfill trench
cost more than the engineer projected, and the city was losing money
accepting out-of-town garbage for $24 per ton.
"I asked about the cost to put trash in there, and Frank Spencer figured
it up for us. It was $56 per ton," Graham said. "So we went up.
"I just got to figuring. It cost too much to build another trench for
$1.3 million that would last four or five years and would require
another bond issue."
Besides the difference in the transfer station and truck costs, Graham
believes Gil's estimate of equipment and fuel costs are low.
"We would have to go to once-a-week pickup to make it more economical,
and we would have to spend $60,000 to $70,000 for dumpsters," Graham
said. "He didn't have that in his estimate."
Asked if the city can legally collect fees for garbage collection when a
private company is doing the work, Graham said yes.
"We are still in the business of doing garbage," he said. "All we are
doing is contracting it out. Other cities are doing the same thing."
Ordinances setting the sanitation rate are still in effect, he said.
"The price can't be raised unless the council approves an ordinance. If
Wes Tex Waste goes up, individual costs won't go up unless the city
passes an increase."
Wes Tex Waste has lower overhead than the city, so they can do the job
cheaper, Graham said.
"It is a big change for us," he said. "I have studied it since last
Nov.; looked at a lot of different options. A private contract in the
long run will save us a lot of money."
If the council approves the five-year contract, Wes Tex Waste will
purchase the city's sanitation equipment and offer jobs to city
employees who qualify.
Should they fail to perform as specified in the contract, the city can
cancel it with 30-day notice and buy back their equipment, Graham said.
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Nov. 1, 1996 - Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo announced
Thursday that negotiations have been successfully completed between the
county and the United States Bureau of Prisons for increase the man-day
rate paid to the Reeves County Detention Center for housing federal
"This means we will see an increase of over $1 million dollars for the
Reeves County Detention Center," said Galindo. The RCDC's fund paid by
the BOP is a separate fund from the county's general fund.
"This has been a long process. We started negotiating this price
increase back in May of 1996 and here we are five months later with an
increase to $36.50 per inmate for a population of 500 and over, $38 for
a population of 400 to 499, and $43 for a population below 400," Galindo
Galindo said the daily rate paid by the BOP would rise from $22,000 to
$24,500, representing an $892,500 increase over a 365-day calendar year.
The county received $6.5 million from the BOP in fiscal 1995.
"In September, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with
representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Congressman Solomon
P. Ortiz, and U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla," Galindo said. "I
discussed the contract and the new provisions with representatives of
the Bureau of Prisons."
"Over the last several months, we have been averaging about 620 inmates
per day at the Detention Center," added Galindo. "Today the inmate count
"On Monday, I will be presenting the price increase modification to the
Commissioners Court," reported Galindo. "I am calling a special meeting
of the Commissioners Court to ratify the Intergovernmental Agreement
THe presentation will be part of the commissioners' 9:30 a.m. meeting
Monday, on the third floor of the county courthouse.
Commissioners will discuss the modification of the Bureau of Prisons
Statement of Work, and also discuss the man-day rate price
redetermination for the prison.
The meeting was called by Galindo as an emergency and/or urgent public
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Nov. 1, 1996 - Five men charged Wednesday in Midland with
conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute marijuana
will be tried in the Pecos Division, said L. Stuart Platt, U.S.
Although the suspects were arrested near Odessa and Midland, they are
tied to a sixth defendant who was arrested at the Presidio Port of
Entry, said DEA agent Dennis Lindsey in an affidavit filed with the
Lindsey said that a 1983 Chevrolet pickup driven by Carlos Leyva
attempted to enter the United States from Mexico at the Presidio POE at
4:30 a.m. Tuesday.
A U.S. Customs officer, with the help of two drug-sniffing dogs, located
89.2 pounds of marijuana concealed inside both fuel tanks of the pickup,
Leyva said he had been hired by Israel Maldonado-Gonzalez to drive a
load of marijuana from Mexico to Dallas. Maldonado, Ramon Rios Antillon,
Martin Ponce Rios and Estanislao Beltran-Rios drove an escort vehicle,
while Joel Nunez Mendoza drove another load.
Descriptions of the vehicles were given to the Permian Basin Drug Task
Force, who arrested Mendoza on I-20 two miles east of Midland at a
roadside park. They found 63.5 pounds of marijuana in the 1983 Ford
pickup he was driving.
Maldonado and his passengers were arrested west of Odessa on I-20. A
review of documents recovered from the 1989 Ford Probe they occupied
showed the car was purchased in Dallas on Sept. 28 for $2,408.
Lindsey said that a check of Customs records showed all three vehicles
passed through the Presidio POE within 15 minutes of each other. All
were registered to Maldonado at 3819 Taylor in El Paso.
Leyva was charged before U.S. Magistrate Katherine Baker in Alpine. She
set a detention and preliminary hearing for Nov. 8.
PECOS, Nov. 1, 1996 - Just over 15½ percent of the county's registered
voters have cast their ballots early for Tuesday's general election,
with the deadline to vote early set for 2 p.m. today.
Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez said, "it's (number of voters) been
Monday morning's total showed some 610 votes were cast by personal
appearance, while 174 more were mailed in. Together with the 100 ballots
turned in Saturday at the La Tienda grocery store special poll, it was
concluded that 884 Reeves County voters have voted since early voting
commenced on Oct. 16.
As of this morning, those numbers increased by 679, showing a total of
1,194 ballots turned in by personal appearance and 264 through the mail,
including Saturday's ballots.
Florez explained that the majority of mail-in ballots sent out have been
received. "We sent out 347 (mail-in ballot) and have gotten back 264
(mail-in ballots," she said.
Services for Robert Melvin Meuth were set for 2 p.m. today in Texas
Baptist Children's Home Chapel in Round Rock. Burial will be at 1 p.m.
Saturday in Gary Cemetery, directed by Gabriels Funeral Chapel in
Meuth died on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 1996 in Round Rock. He served in the U.S.
Navy during World War II, then taught school in Pecos for 36 years. He
retired from the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD after 14 years as a teacher in
the special education department.
Survivors include his wife, Sylvia Meuth of Round Rock; two sons, Bob
Meuth of Round Rock and Tom Meuth of Austin; one brother, Charles Meuth
of Burnet; one sister, Eleanor Blanchard of Virginia Beach, Va.; and two
Gracie H. Wilkins, 70, of China Spring, formerly of Barstow, died
Thursday, Oct. 31, in a Waco hospital.
Visitation will be held from 7-8 p.m. today at the Pecos Funeral Home.
Services are at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 at First Presbyterian Church
in Barstow. Burial will be at Barstow Cemetery.
Wilkins was born on Dec. 14, 1925 in Barstow, was a longtime member of
the First Presbyterian Church in Barstow and for the past few years had
made her home with her daughters in Lubbock and China Spring.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence D. Wilkins, on Dec.
Survivors include two daughters, Gwen Sansom of China Spring, Cheryl
Brown of Lubbock; one stepdaughter, Darlene Wilkins of Houston; one
stepson, Lawrence Wilkins of Houston; four sisters, Ada Collins of
Barstow, Missie Frye of Joplin, Mo., Anne Fleming of Midland, Kitty
Reece of Abilene; two brothers, Bob Hayes of Pecos, Dick Hayes of
Barstow; six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
The family requests that memorials be made to the American Cancer
Society, c/o Georgia Morrison, Box 47, Pecos Tx., 79772.
PECOS, Nov. 1, 1996 - High Thursday 89, low last night 45. Tonight,
cloudy with a 20 percent chance of light rain. Low 35 40. Northeast wind
5-10 mph. Saturday, mostly cloudy. High 55-60. East wind 5-15 mph.
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