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Economic Development


Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 13, 2007

County studies $23 million list of colonia work

A comprehensive colonia study and plan for Reeves County were approved along with a request to forward to the Office of Rural Community Affairs for its review over $23 million in local needs, during the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held Monday at the courthouse.

Marilyn Shashoua of GrantWorks, Inc. did a PowerPoint presentation for the commissioners that outlined the plan and study for this area.

“With this plan, we are hoping to add all the colonias,” said Shashoua.

During the public hearing, Shashoua, outlined the plan’s purpose.

“The purpose is to provide ‘snapshot’ of current conditions, prioritize colonia areas, provide improvements list and to identify potential financing,” said Shashoua.

Reeves County Colonia Areas facts and figures showed 10 study areas, with over 1,000 residents, 589 housing units and 5,150 total acres.

The estimated current needs included over $17 million in housing needs. The list includes 218 rehabilitations, 188 reconstructions and 99 demolitions of abandoned properties.

Current water needs were put at over $800,000, which would include first-time service for Lake Balmorhea area, connecting residence there to Madera Valley Water.

The estimated sewer needs were put at over $5 million. Those included a bout 350 connections, with priority to denser areas of Brogado, Lindsay and Wilson near existing systems at a cost of $2.7 million, and Saragosa stand-alone system, estimated $1.8 million.

“These are just ideas, so that you can apply for the grants,” said Shashoua.

She said that the sewer system for Saragosa was very expensive and could be dealt with at a later date.

Other needs outlined: streets/drainage/debris, streets, paving and repaving, $469,000 and debris in different areas needed to be dealt with, according to the report.

“What’s the time frame on this?” asked Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras.

“We would send a complete plan to ORCA within a week and from there 3-4 weeks to be completed and approved,” said Shashoua.

Commissioners also heard a presentation from the Regional Coordinator for the Texas Pecos Trail. Keith Godman made a presentation, outlining her duties and the goals of the program.

Godman told the group that Reeves is one of 22 counties in central southwest Texas that are part of the Texas Pecos Trail.

“Reeves County is very important and the organization is committed to helping out,” said Godman.

Godman said that there are nine board members and that Reeves County’s representative, Bill Oglesby, of Pecos, is the treasurer for the organization.

“We are not to just protect and preserve, but to lobby, go after those specific issues,” said Godman.

She said that the goal of the organization was to promote programs and increase funding to those areas.

“These are the types of issues that we are lobbying for, issues that impact community development,” said Godman, who added that the organization will be having a meeting and that Pecos will be the host.

“The first annual meeting will be held here at the end of July,” said Godman. At that time the group will talk about their goals and ways to promote Reeves County.

She said that as part of her duties she travels to various events around the state and promotes the 22 counties within the organization.

“We do this at no cost to the counties, because that is my job,” she said.

County starts effort to find, fine dumpers

Littering on county roads is getting more expensive and local enforcement officers are busy finding violators.

“We have just had to much illegal dumping out on the county roads and we want everyone to know that there will be deputies out patrolling those areas and bringing those individuals in,” said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez.

Town of Pecos City officials began a crackdown earlier this year on illegal dumping, but city council members were told last month that some people who had been cited for dumping inside the city limits simply went outside the city to illegally dump items. County officials are now trying to locate and fine those violators.

Gomez said that one of his deputies had located one of the illegal dumpers this past Sunday, and that he was fined for littering in the county.

On July 8, at about 5 p.m., an employee with the Reeves County Road and Bridge called the sheriff’s office and advised that someone had dumped several pieces of cement on the roadway of County road 205 west of town. Estimated weight of the dumped cement was between100 pounds and 500 pounds.

The county employee stated that he had seen some people working with cement that matched the red and gray cement in the roadway and that they had been working at Seventh and Willow streets.

Deputy Reno Lewis contacted the owner of the home and he was told that two individuals had taken the cement from his house, and that they said they were going to take the cement to their grandmother’s place.

Lewis said that he had asked the owner of the home if the two individuals were Billy Ray Overcash and Dawson Flora and he said yes. The deputy then contacted Flora by phone and asked him if he could come down to the sheriff’s office to talk about illegal dumping.

According to the sheriff’s report, Dawson went to the office and after he was asked if he was hauling cement from the house on Seventh and Willow, he said yes. He stated that he was going to the field next to where he dumped it in the road and that he was going to come back and pick it up, but he went home and fell asleep.

The county Road and Bridge department issued a statement for the clean up of illegal dumping and estimated it at $319.

Flora was fined for the illegal dumping and other violators will face the same charges, according to the sheriff’s department.

Red Bluff eyes cause of water disappearance

Red Bluff district board members were updated on water vanishing from the Pecos River, and dead salt cedar trees they can’t get out of the river, during their July meeting, held on Tuesday in Pecos.

Managing director Randal Hartman said water being sent down the Pecos River from Red Bluff Lake was not getting to farmers in the Grandfalls area, and district workers weren’t sure where the water was going.

“I think it’s going into the gravel pits, but I don’t know,” he said. “There are 100 different things that can happen.”“We’re getting it over their weir, and then its disappearing,” he said, adding that they had looked at some of the canals in the area for possible leaks, but as of now had not found any.

Board member Ava Gerke said the loss of water could be due to changes in underground formations during the drought that lasted from the mid-1990s until two years ago, and mentioned a similar problem with water in a stream at McKittrick Canyon, which disappeared underground when the water table fell due to drought conditions.

“We’ve been so dry, it may take a while to fill those aquifers back up,” she said.

On the salt cedars, and the removal of salt water from the Pecos River, Hartman said he attended a meeting with New Mexico and federal officials in Carlsbad, and will have another meeting there in September. But he told the board not much was done at the latest meeting.

“The only thing that can possible come out of it is if New Mexico would pursue a clean-up of the bottomless lakes at Roswell,” he said. Salt springs from that area, and from the Malaga area near the Texas-New Mexico state line, flow into the Pecos River and lower the water quality of the river as it enters Red Bluff Lake.

Red Bluff is still awaiting action on plans to burn off salt cedars between Red Bluff Dam and Imperial Reservoir, which were killed off with the herbicide Arsenal between 1999 and 2005.

Hartman said federal officials are looking at trying to kill off the trees as well on the Pecos River south of Imperial to Amistad Reservoir, along with sections of the Rio Grande that have been choked by the non-native tree.

However, some objections have been raised over the burning of the dead trees. Red Bluff officials are concerned a period of heavy rains that caused flooding along the Pecos could tear away the dead trees and carry them downstream into bridges, diversion dams and canals between the lake and Imperial.

Also during the meeting, board members agreed to buy insurance for the new mobile home set up at Red Bluff Lake for the area’s maintenance man, Tommy Moseley.

“Do you think you can get it up there, without a fire hydrant?” asked Gerke.

“We can get it, but it will cost about $2,500,” Hartman said, while board member Jay Lee said a lower rate might be available by going through the Texas Municipal League.

“I’d feel silly to have something brand new up there without any insurance on it,” said Gerke, though she added as the value of the trailer home depreciates, the board might look at dropping the insurance sometime in the future. Red Bluff paid just over $90,000 for the mobile home to house Moseley earlier this year.

Elliott listed on distinguished list

The Distinguished Student lists for the Spring 2007 semester has been released by Tarleton State University. Dr. Gary Peer, provost and vice president of academic affairs, released the names of the recognized students.

Listed on the Spring Distinguished Students is Pecos resident, John M. Elliott.

Distinguished Students include freshman and sophomore students who have a minimum 3.25 GPR and no grade lower than a C, and juniors and seniors who have a minimum 3.5 GPR with no grade lower than a C. All must be in good standing with the university.

A member of The Texas A&M University System since 1917, Tarleton is one of Texas’ fasting growing academic institutions, with fall enrollment exceeding more than 9,000 students.

Tarleton is located in Stephenville, which is 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth. With a population of 16,500, Stephenville is known as one of the country’s most desirable places to live, and is include in Norman Crampton’s “The 100 Best Small Towns in America,” published by Prentice Hall.

Laras announce birth of daughter

Chris L. Lara and Amanda Mendoza announce the birth of their daughter, Aubree Jade Lara.

Aubree was born on Monday, July 2, at 11:06 p.m., in Odessa. She weighed six pounds, five ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Proud grandparents are Carlos and Deana Lara of Pecos and Norma Mendoza of Balmorhea.

Police Report

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.


Pecos Police arrested a female juvenile on June 26 on charges of evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, a Second Degree Felony, and deadly conduct, a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after the 15-year-old refused to stop for police on a traffic violation in the 1200 block of West Second Street. The teen was then turned over to the Reeves County Juvenile Probation officer.


Eleuterio Perez, 41, 617 S. Palm St., was arrested by police on June 24 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place in the 600 block of South Palm Street, and Perez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Jerardo Venegas Lujan, 36, 2106 S. Hackberry St., was arrested by police on June 24 on a charge of driving while intoxicated. Police said the arrest happened at midnight, following a traffic stop at Ninth and Cedar streets, when Lujan failed a field sobriety test. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Gil Vasquez, 36, 1212 S. Oak St., was arrested on June 24 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place at midnight at Ninth and Cedar streets. Vasquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Rosalie Negrete, 42, 116 W. Ninth St., was arrested by police on June 22 on charges of evading arrest or detention and failure to identify. Police said the arrest was made at Negrete’s home, and she was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Robert Dwight McCartney, 17, 711 S. Elm St., John Wesley Bagley, 19, 1619 S. Alamo St., Albert Jimenez Pastrana, 19, 1619 S. Alamo St., Gerardo Baeza Mendoza, 21, 220 W. 13th St., and two male juveniles were arrested by police on June 20 on charges of possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrests took place at 5:33 p.m. at 1619 S. Alamo St., following a call to officers about suspected narcotics use. The four adults were transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center, while the two juveniles were turned over to the Reeves County Juvenile Probation Department.


Raul Garcia, 34, 812 S. Cypress St., was arrested by police on June 21 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act. Police said the arrest occurred after police were called to Garcia’s home at 12:18 a.m. in response to a report of a disturbance. Garcia was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Jose Alfredo Lujan, 45, 624 S. Alamo St., was arrested by police on June 18 on a charge of violation of a protective order. Police said the arrest was made at 412 Bois D’Arc St., and Lujan was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Eddie Vela, 19, 816 W. Second St., was arrested by police on June 19 on charges of failure to signal for 100 feet before turning, a Class C misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made in the 200 block of South Oleander Street, and Vela was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.

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