Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Commissioners to seek Madera water funding
Improvements to the water system to the residents living near Highway 17 in Reeves County are one step closer with the approval of a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant.
Peggy Cox, with Madera Valley Water, was on hand at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held Monday morning at the courthouse, to discuss the resolution.
Commissioners also discussed, but took no action, on a proposed multi-million dollar salt mining project in eastern Reeves County, while voicing concerns that the safeguards be put in place for the area’s aquifer before any mining occurs.
Commissioners approved the submission of a 2005-2006 Texas Community Development Program Grant from the Office of Rural Community Affairs that would help the water district make improvements.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo told Cox that he would like to discuss the possibility of the water district selling water to the county.
“It would be in the county’s best interest to have an alternate source of water and not continue to put more demands on this system for the city of Pecos,” said Galindo.
“What you have got to remember is that our rates are higher than the city, because we are non-profit and need all the funds to provide this service,” said Cox.
“We would appreciate Madera Valley Water to provide water to the Reeves County Detention Center and we could discuss rates and come to some agreement,” said Galindo.
“We have been analyzing their system and we could come up with a plan,” said Ramon Carrasco, with an engineering firm in Odessa/Midland area. “If it’s urgent we can work on it right away,” he said.
Galindo said that it was not an urgent matter, but something to consider for the future. “I don’t think it’s urgent, but we would like to have an alternative,” said Galindo.
The application grant is in the amount of $350,000 and Reeves County would provide $17,500 of in-kind services. Madera Valley Water Co. would also provide in-kind services.
In other business, commissioners tabled establishing an enterprise-re-investment zone and holding a public hearing on the use of land located in the Coyanosa area for an underground salt mining project.
“What I have heard is that they are going to drill wells, pump water and soder out cavaties and put water into it, to drain the salt out and then sell the salt,” said county auditor Lynn Owens. “The biggest concern is the aquifer,” he said.
Problems with salt infiltration of the aquifer have been reported in Pecos County, where oilfield related drilling around a salt dome is believed to have affected part of a fresh water aquifer there.
Owens said that from what he has heard the mining work would be a $90 million project. “And if we’re going to do this, we need to prepare the paperwork, advertise seven days prior that will establishing the enterprise zone.
“So the plan would be in Reeves County?” asked commissioner precinct 4 Hivi Rayos.
“Yes, and I think it’s a done deal, whether we grant them the enterprise zone or not,” said Owens.
“The first concern would be our water fields,” said Galindo.
“Could we get the county attorney to draw this up?” asked Owens.
Galindo said that before they even consider it, he would like to have a meeting with all those concerned.
“Well all of this is just what I’ve been told,” said Owens. “The aquifer seems to be the main thing about all this,” he said.
Owens suggested that the judge speak to the city manager to see what needs to be done about this.
“I think they’ve already contacted the Pecos Economic Development, so you probably need to get with them, too,” said Owens.
“That’s one of the things I’ve seen in Pecos, we don’t work together,” said commissioner precinct 3 Herman Tarin. “Everybody does their own thing and doesn’t share with the other entities.”
“This would be a county enterprise zone, anyway, and the city wouldn’t be affected,” said Owens.
“I’m talking about communication,” said Tarin.
Board members agreed to table the item, until more information can be gathered about the project.
T-NM workers aid in clean-up from hurricane
The Pecos area has seen a lot of rain and severe storms - for the Pecos area - in the past few weeks. But four Texas New Mexico Power Co. workers from the area got a close-up look recently at what some real rain and storm damage can do, when they were sent to help with repairs to utility lines following the series of hurricanes that hit the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts during the past two months.
Trevor Teague and Harvey Gonzales from T-NM’s Pecos office recently returned from helping with repairs from Hurricane Ivan, which hit the costal areas of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Two other workers, Kurt Long of the Pecos office and former Pecos resident Art Orona, who is working in the company’s Fort Stockton office, were scheduled to begin heading back from South Florida today, where they’ve been helping with repair efforts from Hurricane Jeanie, the last of the four major storms to strike Florida during the 2004 Hurricane season.
Teague and Gonzales were part of a team of T-NM workers assigned to help with efforts in the costal areas of Alabama. “We were just working on downed trees and downed lines mainly,” Teague said. “We were there 14 days. Ten days of that was work and it took two days to drive up there and two days to drive back in a line truck.”
He added that Long and Orona had an extra day’s drive in both directions to South Florida, and were involved in repair work on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts after Jeanie cut a path across the state two weeks ago.
Teague and Gonzales only had to make about half their trip by truck. “We flew into Houston and met up with the group in Texas City,” said Teague. “The trucks we used were out of Texas City, Friendswood and Clifton,” which are other sites where Texas-New Mexico operates in the state. Three other company workers out of New Mexico were also flown to Houston for the drive to Alabama.
Once there, the crews were based in area of Alabama north of the Gulf Coast, and just east of Meridian, Miss. Teague said they were mostly doing work repairing lines in rural sections to the north Mobile Bay, where they eye of Hurricane Ivan came ashore.
“You couldn’t get your truck into a lot of places there,” said Gonzales, while Teague added, “There was a lot of real remote stuff. You just had to pick it up and drag it in there.”
“They had some tree trimming crews that tried to go in and clean it up before we went it,” Gonzales said, referring to the downed trees that blocked many of the roads.
“Some of those oak tress have got to be over 100 years old. To knock them over like that was really something,” Teague said.
“The main thing that was so different was that here all of our workers have been together about 10 years. Down there we didn’t know anybody,” Teague said, while adding that the difference between the West Texas desert and the brush of south Alabama also was quite a change.
“Every day before work we just doused ourselves in bug spray because of all the ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes,” he said. “Some placed you could have used a machete to cut the paths, and the mold was growing on the poles. That was different.”
“With all the brush, when it got to be 7 o’clock at night it was pitch black out there,” Gonzales said. “The main thing was everyone came home safe and everything went all right.”
The T-NM crews were working for Alabama Power Co. and spent their rest time in Demopolis, Ala. “They were real nice. Whatever we needed we got,” said Teague. “A couple of trucks broke down, and they got them fixed, sometimes in the middle of the night.”
“The people were friendly, even though some of them had been without power for two weeks,” he said. Gonzales said local residents offered the workers food and drinks, and Teague said, “We were in town and some of the ladies got a hold of us and wanted to know who our boss was, because they wanted to feed us.
“They fed us in a fellowship hall at a Methodist Church and they fed us good,” he said. “They could have fed 100 with how much food there was.”
However, Gonzales said the crews spent most of their time working 16-hour days, so there wasn’t much free time available.
“We’d be getting out usually at 9 o’clock and you didn’t want to eat, you just wanted to shower and go to sleep,” he said.
Teague said their work in Alabama was done as part of a cooperative deal between costal power companies. “We’ve got some sort of an agreement between them and the Texas power companies. If a hurricane ever hits Texas City or Galveston, hopefully they’ll come and help us. It was the same thing when we had our big windstorm in 2001. Parts of our company came to help us out.”
Storms create some flooding, minor damage
While the Pecos River is surging higher and faster than it has in recent memory there is no danger of flooding at the moment, barring more heavy rains between Red Bluff Lake and the local area.
However, the heavy rains did cause some damage to the 86-year-old Barstow Dam, as trees killed off as part of a salt cedar eradication project were washed down the river, and new warnings for heavy rains in the area were issued by the National Weather Service on Monday afternoon.
A flood warning for the Pecos River, and arroyos and draws between Mentone and the Barstow Dam area was issued by the National Weather Service on Friday afternoon, but the high water did not affect any inhabited areas near the river in Reeves, Loving or Ward counties.
According to Robin LeBeouf with Ward County Irrigation District No. 1, Red Bluff Lake above Orla is not releasing any water and there are no plans for a release at the moment.
Without releases from Red Bluff it will take more heavy rains between the lake and Ward and Reeves counties to push the river higher.
Starting Friday the river was running near the edge of its banks as seen from bridges along Business I-20 and Interstate 20 near Barstow.
The river also escaped its banks near 16-Mile Dam north of Pecos, flooding low-lying areas with six or so inches of water.
LeBeouf said that it was not uncommon for the river to come out of its banks in that area.
Dead salt cedars have been more of a problem for the water districts than the extra water provided by record rains in the past weeks. The dead tress line the Pecos River from Red Bluff Lake to the Girvin area, as part of a project over the last five years to kill off the water-consuming trees.
While the project has been successful along most of the river’s path, there have been only a few areas where the dead trees had been removed before last week’s flooding, including one section just north of Barstow Dam.
LeBeouf said that the dead remains of the trees were stacking up at dams and choke points, and one complete set of gates was carried away when salt cedar debris stacked up against it at Barstow Dam, she said.
Irrigation district workers were busy Friday fishing the dead trees out of the dam gates, which are used to divert water to Barstow area farmers during irrigation season.
Ward County WID No. 1 and other groups have discussed ways to remove the dead trees, including the use of helicopters armed with flame throwers to burn off the trees along the banks of the river.
Chiropractor back in Pecos to start new clinic
A new downtown chiropractic business opened up in Pecos last month, and is run by a man who returned to town after working here three years ago.
Dr. Jay Haney opened his office in the Executive Building in Downtown Pecos on Sept. 7 and is inviting everyone to visit him.
Haney, a native of Midland, attended Parker College in College, for Chiropractic, graduating in 1999. The new clinic is Haney’s second job in Pecos, as he worked here for 10 months in 2001, at the Pecos Chiropractic Clinic.
His practice in downtown Pecos is currently open three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“I’m hoping to expand and include Mondays as well,” said Haney. “I invite all my patients back and welcome new ones,” he said.
Haney accepts all insurances and Medicare. “I work injuries, auto accidents, do spinal adjustments, massage and light rehab,” said Haney, just to mention a few of the techniques he practices.
Haney also accepts work comp and is one of the only approved doctors to treat work injuries. He is accredited by the Texas Workers Compensation Commission.
Haney also assists Dr. Bob Hollander in Odessa.
“Walk-ins are also always welcome,” he said.
Haney said he uses what little spare time he does have to do remodeling work. “I do all kinds of remodeling work, from re-tiling to construction,” said Haney.
When he’s not busy “working” he enjoys spending time with his two children, his son, three-year-old Braden and his daughter, eight-year-old Brooke.
Modern Study Club begins new year
The Modern Study Club opened their new club year recently with a meeting at the First Christian Church in Pecos with President Lena Harpham presiding.
Mrs. Harpham chose as her theme for the year - “Seeking Peace and Freedom for Our Nation and the World.”
The first page to greet club members as they opened their new yearbook was the dedication page which honored beloved members Etta Sullivan, 11-4-1916 through 10-25-2003, and Phyllis Stool, 8-5-1919 through 9-16-2003.
Mrs. Sullivan had served in almost every capacity of The Modern Study Club, including three terms as president, in 1972-1973, 1974-1975 and 1988-1990. She served on the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Western District Board and had been named a Western District Life Member, a very elite and difficult honor to receive. Mrs. Sullivan had 45 years of service to the Federation, becoming a member in 1958.
Mrs. Stool also served her club well, serving in areas of various departments and offices. She chaired the Operation Smile Project for many years, which assists children with birth defects. The project is a volunteer effort done in third world countries. She joined the organization in 1978, served as The Modern Study Club President 1986-88 and gave 25 years of local service and several years of service to the Western District Board of TFWC.
The dedication page also included the following poem - “Had Some Friends, Hearts of Gold, Always Kind, Never Cold. Common Sense, Happy Smiles; Gentle Waves, Lots of Style. Faithful Friends, Club Members; Faithful Friends, We Miss You.”
President Harpham presented on over-view of the programs, field trips, and various projects that are slated for the 2004-2005 club year after opening ceremonies in which the club collect was led by Margie Williamson and the pledges to the United States of America and Texas flags were led by Joyce Morton, as members repeat all in unison.
The LEADS (Leadership, Education and Development Seminar) Workshop to be held in Austin, with Cindy A. Simmons as chairman, was discussed.
Treasurer Betty Lee presented a report of club finances, Secretary Joyce Morton read previous minutes and correspondence was discussed.
Scholarship chairman Margie Willliamson reported that pertinent information from Richard Compton had been sent to Bobbe Mitchell of Sanderson, the Alma Van Sickle Scholarship Chairman, so that his monies could be sent to the university in Dallas.
It was reported that the books presented to the Reeves County Library by The Modern Study Club had been properly labeled when they arrived.
Copies of a history of The Modern Study Club written by Bonnie Cearley, which covered the years 1930-1977, was given to members. An effort to get a complete club history to be kept in the Archives of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Library on the campus of the North Texas State University in Denton, is underway. Each president, who is available since those dates, has been asked to write the history of the club years during their tenure in office. Among those to be contacted out-of-town were Loretta McNabb and Ruth Wells.
Roll call was answered with giving the name of a prospective club member.
The bi-monthly project emphasis was for all members to participate in a club program. Birthdays for September were Lena Harpham and Catherine Travland.
Delicious refreshments were served by hostesses Pearl Gustafson and Catherine Travland.
Museum hosts Thursday fundraisers
Friends of the Museum will sponsor a Bake Sale, beginning at 11 a.m., Thursday at the West of the Pecos Museum, First and Cedar Streets.
A wide array of delicious baked goods will be available.
At the same time, the West of the Pecos Museum will be holding “Lunch on a Spud,” from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Thursday at the museum courtyard.
A wide selection of your favorite toppings for your spud will be available, for $6, which will include a drink and dessert.
The event is sponsored by La Tienda Thriftway Store and Friends of the Museum.
Marriages for July 2004, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office.
Jimmy Ray Leonard and Stacey L. Arena.
Marriages for August 2004, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office.
Samuel David Urias and Maria Concepcion Ortiz.
Kevin Wayne Weatherby and Christie Lee Berry.
Rogelio Villagomez and Cynthia Rena Brewer.
Roger Steven Cross and Neyma Mendoza Garcia.
Josh Dominguez and Kimberly Jaramillo.
Divorces for August 2004, as filed with the Reeves County District Clerk’s Office.
Bertha M. Meierhoff and William Michael Meierhoff.
Wesley H. McCree and Sylvia Shirk Dannelly McCree.
Divorces for September 2004, as filed with the Reeves County District Clerk’s Office.
Martin Chabarria and Pamela T. Garcia.
Marlyn Prieto Rodriguez and Efrain Rodriguez.
Leticia Rodriguez and John Tall Chief Doctor.
Dolores Machuca, Sr. and Linda Renteria Machuca.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2003-04 by Pecos Enterprise