Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, December 4, 2008
Showtime site picked for new county library
A site has been selected as the home for the new Reeves County Library and plans for a meeting to further discuss the many other projects planned in Reeves County are underway.
County Judge Sam Contreras said the library, which was part of $16.6 million in projects approved by county voters in November, would be located next to the Family Dollar store, the 1000 block of South Eddy Street.
“The site for the new library will definitely be at the old Showtime building and we will be getting with the architect about the structure,” said Contreras.
Contreras said that he would be sending an e-mail to Lorraine Dailey, architect with Dailey and Spears, to set up a meeting with them on moving forward with the project. “Hopefully, we can get with them before the holidays, so that when the new year comes around, we will have an idea of where to begin,” he said.
Contreras said the county is currently working on the sale of the library construction bonds, which will be valued at just over $4 million, and the bonds for several other recreation projects, valued at about $12.5 million, though the recent drop in oil and natural gas prices could affect how much the construction bonds will affect the county’s future tax rate.
“We don’t have a specific date on when we will be selling the bonds, it still has to go through the attorney general’s office,” said Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras.
Contreras said that as far as the taxes in Reeves County going up due to the passage of two propositions that were put on the November election ballot, that is still to be determined.
“As far as the taxes go, they will not be included until the 2010 (budget),” said Contreras. “Which gives us some time before then and it will also depend on the economy at that time.”
Oil prices have dropped by two-thirds since their highs this summer, while the price of natural gas as been cut in half from their highs. Those lower prices could affect the county’s 2009 mineral valuations, though Reeves County Chief Appraiser Carole Markham said valuations for 2009, on which the county’s 2010 budget and tax rate will be based, won’t be done until next spring.
Valuations for 2008 were up by $100 million in Reeves County, with most of that due to increases in mineral valuations. Total valuations for the county were put at over $825 million, almost double the $436.4 million total from five years earlier, just prior to the start of the current oil and natural gas drilling boom.
Contreras said that that will be one of the items discussed during the budget process.
“We also have these hotels that are coming online, if gas is coming down, there are other businesses coming in to town, which will definitely help our economy,” said Contreras.
Pecos Economic Development Corp. president Robert Tobias said TexSand is still planning to construction an intermodal rail yard west of town to handle deliveries of supplies mainly for energy drilling projects.
“We’re continuing to see a commitment,” he said, adding that representatives for the company plan to make a presentation to local officials in mid-December, and that other projects, including the opening of at least three of the six planned new motelsin 2009.
“We do have some good things that are planned for Pecos. We just have to implement them as cautiously as possible,” Tobias said.
Reeves County Hospital District, which bases its tax rate on the same valuation totals used by Reeves County, also could be affected by a decline in valuation rates, though hospital CEO Al LaRochelle said the drop in oil and gas prices, caused by the overall decline in the U.S. and overseas economies this year could help lower inflation rates, which in turn could mean lower interest rates on any bonds that are being sold.
“You have to look at where it (the economy) is going to be in 15 years, over the life of the bond,” said LaRochelle, who is still looking to house the hospital’s new physicians in a 20,000 square foot clinic, which had been bid out this summer at a cost of $7.3 million, but on which a lease agreement could not be reached.
He said the hospital board will have to look at the long-term economic situation for the county when deciding what to do next on the clinic and other hospital projects, but added, “You should make decisions based on the needs of the facility and the people living here.”
During a recent Reeves County Commissioner’s Court meeting, Contreras had suggested putting together some committees to discuss the various projects, and said that Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Alvarado expressed interest in being part of the project committee.
Contreras said that a representative from the city, county, school, economic development corporation and other concerned individuals will make up the committee, which will discuss the various projects planned for Reeves County.
“We value everyone’s opinions and want to form this committee, not only to let the community know what we are doing, but to gather input,” he said.
Contreras said that it will be an advisory committee, to make sure that they didn’t miss anything.
Miller adds on real estate work to finance, cattle importing jobs
No child gets more excited at Christmas time than Glenna Miller, even though she will soon celebrate her Medicare eligibility.
“I’m a Christmas lover,” said Miller. “I get nuts when I unpack the snow domes. Anybody that comes to the house has to listen to the music boxes.”
Glenna and her husband, Doug, have always had a big Christmas gathering at their home, inviting not just family, but “anybody in the world.”
Last year, their son David and daughter Robin hosted the gathering at David’s home in Greenwood.
“I didn’t have to do anything,” said Miller. “They had the meal and decorated the tree.”
She admits that hosting a large gathering is a lot of work, and after this year’s event, she may farm it out to the kids again.
The Millers are looking for a “wife” to cook and clean when they both are involved in importing cattle from Mexico. “When they are crossing cattle down there, it absorbs both our times,” she said. Her part is to keep the paperwork in order, including duty sheets for U.S. Customs inspection, keeping track of money in and out and invoicing customers who buy the steers and spayed heifers.
Miller has kept track of money for Reeves County, both as assistant county auditor and as comptroller for the prisons. Before that, her love for people led her into mental health work, and now she is selling real estate.
“I like people,” she said. “For the most part people are real nice. I won’t sell somebody a home that’s not going to be happy in it.”
Entering Midland College to study real estate as a 60-plus coed was scary, but she found the young students a joy.
“They would always have some kind of drama going on in their life,” she said. “They were so sweet to me.”
One student even asked her to stay and take a course she didn’t need. “You ask the questions we won’t ask, because we are afraid we will look dumb,” he said.
Midland College is a great place, Miller said of her 13 weeks attending night classes. She went because people were encouraging her to get into real estate, and she thought, “That’s something I haven’t done.”
She met Bob Sadler of Fort Stockton through the class, and he asked her to open a Century 21 office here. She has found it a good experience.
“You get to meet people that you would never be in contact with, both buyers and sellers,” she said.
“For just starting out building a business, it has been busy up until the last couple of months,” she said. “November and December always slows down some.”
Everything seems to be slowing down, she said, and people are wondering what is going to happen.
“Folks that were really talking about buying a house now want to be sure their jobs are secure,” she said. “We have had so many move in with the oil and gas industry.”
Miller said that her phone rang 4-5 times a day with people looking for a place to rent, but that has slowed almost to nothing.
Before she got into real estate, Miller spent several years being housewife, mom and grandmother. Between them, Doug and Glenna have five children and six grandsons.
“We can’t get granddaughters,” Miller said, adding that the little boys are fun.
She shares stories from her favorite children’s books with them, including simple stories written by Max Lucado, author of “In the Grip of Grace.”
“I certainly believe in grace,” said Miller, who has hosted a prayer group in her home for years.
“The prayer group is an important part of my life,” she said. “Prayer will get you through the best of times and the worst of times.”
Eddy, Lincoln improvments moved to ’09
The Texas Department of Transportation’s project to rebuild 20 blocks of South Eddy Street, originally announced over a year ago, is now scheduled to begin the first Monday of 2009, TxDOT officials said this week.
Meanwhile, the combined project by the Town of Pecos City and Reeves County to repair and widen Lincoln Street between Eddy and Cedar Streets also has been delayed until sometime early next year, according to city public works director Edgardo Madrid.
The TxDOT project, which was most recently delayed from this past summer, will involve redoing Eddy (FM 761) from Third Street to Stafford Boulevard. Glen Larum, TxDOT public information director for the Odessa District, said Reece Albert Construction of Odessa would be in charge of the project, and would probably begin with the repair and replacement of curbs and gutters on Monday, Jan. 5.
The project will involve the installation of new sidewalks, curbs and gutters along the mile stretch of Eddy Street. “I won’t start until after Christmas,” Larum said, so the street work won’t affect businesses in the planned construction zone.
Larum said in early June that three-foot sidewalks will be widened to five feet along the street, which will also involve upgrading the four block section between Third and Seventh streets that was originally not part of FM 761 and not under state maintenance.
“They will have to do one detour, between Third and Seventh streets, but that will only involve detouring traffic a block away,” he said.
The biggest change will be in the area near Fairview Cemetery, where Eddy meets Washington and Walthall Streets. Larum said a traffic signal will be installed at the Washington Street intersection and a stop sign will be put in at Eddy and Walthall.
In addition to the stoplight, TxDOT will close off the southbound bypass onto Eddy Street for eastbound traffic off Washington, by eliminating the traffic island between Washington and Adams streets. An opening will be cut from Eddy Street into the current traffic island, to allow vehicle access to businesses on the west side of the 1200 block of South Eddy Street.
The Eddy Street project also was originally set for a summer start, but has been moved back until both the city and county have workers available, and Madrid said the city had to reallocate workers to the landfill site south of I-20 in recent weeks.
“We had to stop the project because the landfill (trench) is almost full, so we had to dig the next one,” he said. “I talked to the county and said let us finish that, and then we’ll come back and finish Lincoln Street.”
Like the Eddy Street project, the Lincoln Street work will cover about one mile of street, both within and outside the city limits. Rains and higher traffic usage over the past 20 years have caused major problems with the condition of the westbound lanes of Lincoln Street, next to the main drainage culvert that carries rainwater towards the Pecos River from the west side of town.
Hidalgo places in the Texas Baby Pageant
Robert Hidalgo Jr, 5 months of age won 4th Place overall in the “2008 West Texas Baby Pageant”. The pageant ceremony was held in Odessa on Sunday November 9th, 2008 in the Dedrick Auditorium on the Odessa College campus.
In addition to the 4th place trophy and a $50.00 gift card from Toys R Us, Robert Jr was awarded a second place ribbon in photogenic portion of the pageant for his age division and a 3rd place ribbon in the beauty division of the pageant for his age group. Robert was sponsored by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and Ryan’s Barber Shop of Pecos.
Robert Jr is the son of April and Robert Hidalgo of Pecos. Grandparents are Irene and Raul Hidalgo of Pecos and Lee and Wanda Ryan of Barstow. Great grandparents are Ava Williams of Pecos and Ronnie Ryan of Barstow.
City’s parade for Christmas set for Friday
The 12 Days of Christmas is the theme for this year’s Annual Christmas Parade set for Friday, Dec. 5.
Lineup will be at 5:30 p.m., at the Pecos High School Baseball field and the parade to commence at 6 p.m.
The parade will travel down Eddy, Third and Oak streets, and will end at the Reeves County Courthouse, where there will be hot chocolate and cookies.
Santa will be on hand for the annual event and everyone is encouraged to participate.
Electrical problem blamed for fire at Suavecito Club
An electrical problem has been blamed for the fire last week that damaged parts of the Suavecito Club on South Cedar Street, causing heavy damage to the northwestern corner of the building.
Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said an electrical short was to blame for the fire, which broke out in the early morning hours on Thanksgiving at the club, located at Ninth and Cedar streets.
“It stated inside the wall on the east side, and went up the wall and into the attic,” Brookshire said.
Pecos Volunteer Fire Department sent three trucks to battle the fire, which was contained to the north, east side of the building and to the attic.
“It did cause extensive fire and water damage to the building,” said Fire Chief Freddy Contreras. He said nobody was inside at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
“It’s going to take a lot of work before they reopen that part of it,” Brookshire said. “They might be able to get the dance hall (south end) part going.”
The bar area along the west wall of the club and the pool tables inside survived the fire with only minor damage, but Brookshire said the roof and supporting beams would have to be repaired and pass inspection before the city will allow the north end of the club’s building to reopen to the public.
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.
Marcus Muniz, 19, of Verhalen; Angel Apodaca, 17, of 1622 Cowan St., and Isabel Baeza, 17, of 2321 Country Club Dr., were arrested by police on Nov. 22 following a traffic stop in the 900 block of South Eddy Street. Police said Muniz was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor, along with a warrant for assault causing bodily injury issued out of Pecos Municipal Court. Apodaca was charged with possession of alcohol by a minor, and Baeza was charged with not wearing a seat belt, both Class C misdemeanors. All three were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Feliciano Carrillo, 37, 2017 Scott St., was arrested by police on Nov. 30 on two charges of assault under the Family Violence Act, one a Class A and the other a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the incident occurred at Carrillo’s home, and he was then arrested and taken to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Eric Velasquez Madrid, 19, 425 N. Cypress St., was arrested by police on Nov. 22 at 11:28 a.m. on a warrant charging him with assault causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop in the 1000 block of South Mesquite Street, and Madrid was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Tyrone Armendariz, 17, 1009 E. 11th St., Apt. ‘B’, was arrested by police on Nov. 21 on a warrant charging him with assault causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at the intersection of Normandy and Alamo streets, and Armendariz was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Cindy J. Perea, 39, 815 S. Cedar St., was arrested by police on Nov. 20 on a warrant charging her with possession of a controlled substance (heroin). Police said the arrest was made at Perea’s home at 3:21 p.m. and she was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Hugo Ernie Castellon, 44, 503 Bois D’Arc St., was arrested by police on Nov. 20 on a warrant out of Midland County charging him with driving while license invalid. Police said the arrest was made while Castellon was at the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Miguel Pesina, 33, 101 E. 13th St., was arrested by police on Nov. 25 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made in the parking lot of the Town & Country Food Store, 1219 S. Cedar St., at 4:08 a.m., and Pesina was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Clemente Jaramillo, Jr., 46, 411 N. Hickory St., was arrested by police on Dec. 2 on a charge of abuse of glue/aerosol paint, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after officers were called to the 400 block of South Pecan Street on a 911 hang-up at 10:46 p.m. and discovered Jaramillo with silver aerosol paint on his hands, face, lips and shirt and had used the paint as an intoxicant. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Agustin Soto-Hernandez, 36, of Santa Fe, N.M., was arrested by police on Dec. 1 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made at 8:38 p.m. in the 1200 block of South Cedar Street, and Soto-Hernandez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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