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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

P-B-T opts for SUVs over new bus purchase

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will be getting some new vehicles that will be funded in place of one new bus for the district, after board members approved the purchases during their regular meeting held last Thursday in the Technology Center.

School finance director Cookie Canon told the group that they had received only one bid, from Colt Chevrolet, for the new vehicles, two of which are designed to replace a bus for small group trips out of town.

“By eliminating the purchase of one bus, we have found the funds for two pickups for the maintenance department,” said transportation director Jimmy Dutchover.

Dutchover said that the district would save if they went with two SUV’s, a 3/4 ton pickup and a 1/2 ton pickup.

“We have vehicles that have a significant amount of mileage,” said Dutchover.

Dutchover told the board that the SUV’s were going to be used for extracurricular activities for the smaller groups of students.

“With the demand that we have right now with both athletics and academics, we won’t have to use a bus driver all the time,” said Superintendent Manny Espino. He explained that bus drivers are paid from the time they leave Pecos to the time they return from out-of-town trips.

“This way with smaller groups we can have the sponsor drive the SUV’s and won’t have to pay a bus driver,” said Espino. “You can save money by not using the bus.”

Espino said that other school employees who need to travel for to El Paso or Austin for training could also use the SUV’s.

“In the long run, it’s wise to purchase these vehicles, it will save on mileage and they won’t need to use their own vehicles,” said Espino. “And this is all in the budget,” said Dutchover.

“We send this proposal out to four dealers and only Colt Chevrolet responded,” said Canon. “If the board approves it, it’s still in the budget and don’t have to do a budget amendment.”

In other action, a request to waive interest and penalties on delinquent tax statement was approved by the board, pending the comptroller’s and school attorneys’ opinion.

“Our attorney, Mr. Flowers, seems to think that we can do it,” said Espino.

However, tax assessor-collector Lydia Prieto said that she had spoken to a person in the Texas comptroller’s office. “He told me that it couldn’t be done,” said Prieto.

Ronny Bowles, owner of the property in question, was on hand for the meeting and told the group that the tax statements had been going to a different address.

“I was paying taxes and I thought it was all included, but it turns out the taxes I was paying was for the inventory only,” said Bowles.

“The county took off the interest right away, because it was a clerical error,” said Bowles. “I just feel I don’t owe the penalty and interest, I don’t mind paying the taxes right now.”

Espino said that if the board agreed to the change, they could approve the request and that they would talk to both the school attorney and the comptroller’s office to get the item straightened out. Board members also approved the purchase of several foreclosed properties.

Several of the properties were purchased by William Valov of La Hacienda, California, including the Beauty Center building located at 513 W. 3rd and several vacant lots.

Valov purchased the lot located at 806 E. 3rd Street, the old Las Palmas Restaurant and the lot located at the corner of 3rd and Sycamore.

PEDC hoping to speed start of new motel

Pecos Economic Development Corp. members were updated on the work planned at the Pecos Research and Training Center, along with other new businesses seeking to locate in the area, during their quarterly meeting, held on Thursday at the TransPecos Bank building. Board members also agreed to financial compensation to a group planning to build a Hampton in near Reeves County Hospital, pending the start of construction within the next 4 1/2 months.

The compensation agreement came following an executive session. Under the plan agreed to by the board, the PEDC will pay $25,000 to Dr. Arbind Ghandi, who along with his brother Henry plan to build a Hampton Inn on the interstate, similar to one which opened last year in Fort Stockton.

City council members on Nov. 9 accepted a bid from the Ghandis for 1,500 on eight acres of land on Interstate 20, between the hospitals at the State Highway 17 exit. The $25,000 will go towards surveying the lot, reimbursing the cost of the land and the building permit, along with a $5,000 contingency fee. The payment is contingent of work on the motel being started no later than April 7, 2007, which PEDC President Mike Burkholder said was done in an effort to speed up work on the facility.

“All the motels are running full right now, and we’re losing lots of business to other cities,” he said. “They were talking about a completion date in 2008 for the project, so we’re trying to encourage them to move up the starting date.”

On the work at the Research and Training Center, Burkholder said Applied Research Associates plans to build two bunkers at the former Smithers Transportation Testing Center in which explosives will be tested. He said the plans had been changed slightly from when he talked with Town of Pecos City Council members about the project the previous Thursday.

“I had lunch with this guy from ARA (Thursday), and he informed me they’re going to go ahead with two, but they’re going to put in more steel and less cement, which is going to make it more expensive,” Burkholder said. He put the cost at $425,000 and said a third bunker could be put in at a later date.

ARA has a contract with the U.S. government to conduct the tests and is operating the site in conjunction with the Texas Transportation Institute. Construction is scheduled to begin on the bunkers around Dec. 15.

Burkholder added that the Texas Research Foundation II, the governing body for the new facility, would hold a board meeting in Pecos on Nov. 27 at the test track site. About 15 people are expected to attend next Monday’s meeting.

Burkholder said the PEDC also has been in talks with oilfield service company J.W. Wireline about locating in town, along with an area group seeking to build a new car wash and oil change facility in the city.

City manager Joseph Torres also talked to the PEDC board about a planned change to the city’s building permit fee structure. “In 2004, the council changed the structure from 75 cents per 1,000 square feet to $15 for 1000 square feet. That made the cost $30,000 for a $2 1/2 million building structure,” Burkholder said. “That’s completely out of line from where everybody thinks it should be, and the council has agreed to adopt a modified rate that’s more in line with surrounding communities.”

Red Bluff, sub districts seek better cooperation

Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members and officials with the seven sub-districts will try to work more closely together on projects in the future, members from both groups agreed on during a discussion on repairs at Imperial Reservoir as part of their regular meeting on Nov. 14 in Pecos.

The board held their discussion after reading a statement from Ernest Woodward, president of Pecos County Water Improvement District No. 3, which was a follow-up to an earlier letter questioning the cost of rebuilding a road to and on top of Imperial Dam and fencing around the gates at the dam, along with water measurements done by the district at the area’s diversion canals.

“It is our reasonability to clear these canals,” said Red Bluff Managing director Randal Hartman. “We’re supposed to notify them if its to run into a major repair, but at some point we need to clean the canal from the diversion point to the measurement wheel.

He said the arrangement was set up through an agreement between Red Bluff, Pecos County Water Improvement District No. 2 and Pecos County WID No. 3, in which one third of the cost for any repairs will be paid for by each of the three districts.

“We have sent four letters requesting advance notice of what’s to be done,” said Woodward. “We’re willing to pay our part, but we want information back.”

Hartman said the sub-districts have been notified several times since 2001 about the repair plans, and that the work involved fell under the category of “routine maintenance.” Woodward said his district had been winning to do work on the gates at the dam, but couldn’t get to the site because of the problems with the road.

Both sides agreed to hold a meeting to go over the dam problems and any other issues between Red Bluff and its seven sub-districts, and agreed to do a better job of providing details in writing on those projects.

The two sides also discussed the installation of permanent measuring weirs at the diversion points. Red Bluff has been using a portable measuring device to measure the water diversions, and have been making adjustments monthly in recent years because the canals in the Imperial area have not been cleaned.

Hartman said the U.S. Geological Survey has offered to install permanent weir devices to measure the water levels, but they would cost $17,000 per device, and were not cost-effective, given the number of farmers using water from the Pecos River. But he added, “If Pecos County 2 wants to put in a weir, Red Bluff will read it.”

Board members also agreed to purchase a new mobile home for the district’s maintenance person at Red Bluff Lake, during their regular monthly meeting in Pecos.

The district received just one bid for the double-wide mobile home, for $88,465 from Your Housing Solution of Artesia, N.M. The double-plywood floor structure will have all-electric and at 1,920 square feet, came in within both the price and size-range the board was seeking. “They’re going to bring it up there and set it up,” said Hartman. “It’s more than acceptable.

The mobile home was chosen over a pre-fabricated home option, and will replace the current home, which was build 60 years ago and has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer repairable. Hartman said the mobile home option would cost $45 a square foot, while the “ready built” home would cost $75 a square foot.

The board also approved a contract with CPA Randy Graham for $3,100 to conduct the district’s 2006 fiscal year audit, voted to double the cost of lot leases at Red Bluff Lake from $10 to $20 a month, and rejected by a 3-2 vote end of year merit bonuses for Red Bluff employees.

Williamson, Garner exchange wedding vows

The celebration of the marriage covenant uniting Jennifer Maryann Williamson of Katy and Nathan Craig Garner of Kingwood was held on Saturday, June 24, in the Kingwood First Baptist Church in Kingwood. The father of the groom, Dr. Dearing Garner, officiating the double-ring ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Williamson of Katy and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Williamson of Pecos and Harry Harrell of Amarillo and the late Margaret Harrell of Pecos.

The groom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Dearing Garner of Kingwood and grandson of the late Sue Craig and John E. Garner, Sr.

Escorted by her father and presented in marriage by her parents, the bride wore an original gown of luster satin featuring a strapless bodice adorned with crystal beading, sequins and rhinestones over embroidery and featuring a Basque waistline and pleated ball gown skirt. The skirt was adorned about the hemline and in scallops up the skirt with the crystal beading, sequins and rhinestones over embroidery to compliment the bodice.

The semi-cathedral train featured the same matching beading and embroidery at the hem border and up the train. The tiara to hold the bride’s veil was borrowed from her matron of honor and the bridal veil was handcrafted by the bride. The bride carried a nosegay of red roses as her bridal bouquet.

The bride’s attendants wore red satin strapless, princess line full length dresses, which featured an empire waistline trimmed with a black satin band, bow and streamers that extended to the floor, with a sweep train. The bridal attendants carried nosegays of roses in reds and pinks, carrying out the wedding colors of the couple of red and pink.

The flower girl’s dress was similar to bridal attendant’s dresses but was white in color, with a red satin band.

Jessica Clark of Picuyne, MS, served as Matron of Honor and Jessica M’Lynn Williamson of Katy, served her sister as Maid of Honor.

Bridesmaids were Kara Conley of Sugarland, Kara Frank of Houston, Karen Garner of Philadelphia, PA, sister-in-law of the groom, and Lauren Taylor of Richmond. Molly Batura of Katy served as flower girl, carrying a basket of red rose petals, which were strewn down the isle as she entered.

The groom was attired in a black tuxedo and his boutonniere was a single red rose nestled in baby’s breath. His attendants apparel and boutonnieres were the same as the groom’s.

Andrew Garner of Philadelphia, PA, served his brother as Best man. Groomsmen were Zach Anderson of St. Louis, Mo. Ryan Donovan of Orange County, CA, Damon Parrish II of Houston, Josh Pease of Kansas City, MO, and Paul Rhoades of Dallas, brother-in-law of the groom.

Ring bearers were Carson Garner of Philadelphia, PA, nephew of the groom and John Mark Williamson of Katy, brother of the bride. The lovely pillows they carried were made from the material from the bride’s mother and grandmother’s wedding dresses.

The prelude by organist Ella Adams was played as the guests were seated. During the seating of the family she rendered “Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” by Bach; the seating of the wedding party “Canon in D” by Pachelbel; and the processional of the bride, “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner.

Sarah Williamson, escorted by her father, Harry Harrell and Bobbie Garner, escorted by her son, Nathan Garner, lighted the family candles prior to being seated for the ceremony.

A welcome was given by Dr. Garner, then the commitment of lives by the couple, the exchange of vows and the exchange of rings. Laura Rhoades of Dallas, sister of the groom sang, “Wonderful, Merciful Savior,” during the lighting of the unity candle. She was accompanied by Ella Adams at the piano.

Following the presentation of the bride and groom the recessional was “Allegro Maesloso” by Handel.

The bride held to the tradition of something old, borrowed and blue. She carried the first ring her daddy gave her mother as something old. She borrowed the tiara from her matron of honor’s recent wedding and also her necklace and earrings were borrowed from the groom’s sister, Laura. For something blue she chose a traditional blue garter.

Members of the house party were Justine Andrus, Jessica Dooman, Lauren Pinto and Kendra Woodward, all of Katy. Ushers were Mike Adams of Houston, Erik David of Kingwood, Stephen Hunt of Orange and Daniel Lorenson of Houston.

The wedding reception was held in the fellowship hall of the church immediately following the ceremony.

A round table draped in a red cloth, with an overlay of white lace, held the couple’s three tiered wedding cake which rested on a four-inch sterling silver filigree footed cake stand. The solid white confection was beautifully decorated with lovely designs in white icing and the base of the cake, each tier and the top was adorned with fresh American Beauty red roses. A pair of sterling silver five-branched candelabra holding white tapers, red napkins and silver forks complete the arrangement of the table. The table holding the wedding cake was at the crossroads of the fellowship hall which had been formed by the placing of 20 round tables for the seating of guests. Additional seating was provided along the walls of parts of the hall.

The bride’s chocolate fountain, with an array of foods for dipping, which included fresh strawberries, was near one isle. The groom’s table, with a Houston Astro theme, featured nuts and crackerjacks and held lovely engagement photographs of the couple as well as some made at Minute Maid Park, was on the opposite end of the hall. The buffet table arrangement of a large round table, centered with a lovely arrangement of red and pink roses in Sterling silver vase, and holding a lovely silver punch bowl, was flanked by two 12 foot tables. The long tables held an array of sandwiches, tortilla roll-ups, sausage balls, cheese, turkey and ham roll ups, fruit trays with dip, vegetable trays with dip, and a variety of cheese cubes. An identical buffet table was featured at the opposite end of the hall, for the convenience of guests.

The tables, reserved for the family, were centered with lovely arrangements of red and pink roses held in silver vases. The guest tables were centered with red globes with votive candles, which were held by silver trays. All of the tables held red, pink and white sacks of red, pink and silver wrapped Hershey Kisses, strewn about the centerpieces to emphasize the “bride and groom’s first kiss.”

The flowers in the ceremony are in memory of Margaret Jane Harrell, grandmother of the bride, Sue Craig, grandmother of the groom, and each of John E. Garner, Sr., grandfather of the groom. A standing easel, at the entrance to the fellowship hall held a lovely 16 X 20 portrait of the bride, and an accent table holding the wedding book for additional registration and a nearby gift table. A beautiful keepsake quilt, hand pieced by the great, great-grandmother of the bride, Granny Singleton, was among the gifts.

The bride’s grandfather, Harry had the quilt quilted and the fold-back of the heirloom gave the history of the quilt in a letter via computer printing. The quilt also featured two photographs. One photograph showed Mrs. Singleton with her granddaughter.

Margaret Harrell holding the bride’s mother as a baby. The second photograph was a family group of Margaret, Harry and Sarah Harrell, when Sarah was a young girl. Grandmother Singleton’s Bible was also included with the quilt.

The bride presented her Gran-Gran Margie a poem, “To My Grandmother” and a “Grandma” embroidered handkerchief prior to going down the aisle. Her grandmother gave her a sterling silver flip-flop to remember her “wedding shoes.”

A dinner to honor Nathan and Jennifer on the eve of their wedding was hosted by Dearing and Bobbie Garner on Friday, June 23, following the rehearsal at the Oakhurst Golf Club in Kingwood. Rhonda Morgan, prepared all of the flowers for the wedding and reception and also coordinated all of the food for the reception.

A special thank you goes to Dan and Leigh Ann Burn, Emma Lee Troutman, Ray Stone and Sam and Rhonda Morgan for their assistance with the wedding and reception.

Following a Caribbean Cruise to Jamaica, the man Islands and Cozumel, Mexico for their honemoon, the couple are at home in Kingwood.

Thanksgiving closings planned

Banks, government offices and many local businesses will be closed on Thursday, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools will close their doors from Wednesday through next Monday, while city, county, state and federal offices will be closed on Thursday. The U.S. Post Office and both TransPecos and West Texas National Bank will also be closed on Thursday.

The Pecos Enterprise will also be closed on Thursday, and will not publish a paper on Friday, Nov. 24. The Pecos Free Press will be published on its regular schedule, Sunday, Nov. 26, and the next regular edition of the Enterprise will be on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

PHS sets December GED test dates

GED Testing will be held Tuesday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Pecos High School.

Registration is scheduled from 1-4 p.m., Monday, Dec. 4, at the Pecos High School Counselor’s office.

Examinees must present a Texas Driver’s License or Texas Department of Public Safety ID Card.

For more information call Pat Cobos/Eva Arriola, Pecos High School Counselors at 447-7229.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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