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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

"Candy Cane Christmas" theme for Friday's parade

A "Candy Cane Christmas" is the theme for this year's Annual Christmas Parade scheduled for Friday.

"We do have some entries already, but they don't have to sign up to participate," said Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson. "They can just come and join the parade on Friday," said Gholson.

There will be one marching band, the Pecos High School Band combined with the Crockett 8th grade band, that will participate in this year's event.

Lineup is at 5:30 p.m., at the Pecos High School baseball field, (the parking lot, located next to the high school), and the parade will start at 6 p.m.

The parade will travel down Eddy and Third streets, and then south on Oak Street to the Reeves County Courthouse. "The courthouse will be lit and there will be cookies and hot chocolate," said Gholson.

Elsa Palomino is the chairperson for this year's event and she invites everyone to come out and participate, either in the parade or just to see it.

First place winners will receive $75 in Pecos Bucks; second place, $50 in Pecos Bucks and third place winners will get $25 in Pecos Bucks.

There will only be one Santa and the committee is asking that there be no other Santas in the parade.

"Also, no three or four-wheelers will be allowed," said Gholson.

Ex-county judge faces hearing on misdemeanor DWI charge

A case is still pending Reeves County Court-At-Law involving former Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo, who was arrested in late October on a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge.

According to a report filed by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Roy Lyttle, the incident occurred on Oct. 25 at 10:01 p.m. when Lyttle was northbound on State Highway 17 five miles south of Pecos and was passed by a 2002 Chevrolet pick-up driven by Galindo, 2122 S. Eddy St. Lyttle said he stopped the pick-up for having a defective license plate tail light, and determined Galindo to be driving while intoxicated.

The report said the charge was a first offense, and a Class B misdemeanor. Galindo was transported to Reeves County Jail, where he was formally charged, and then released several hours later on a $1,500 bond issued by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Amanario Ramon. The case is currently pending in the county court-at-law, according to a secretary in Reeves County Attorney Alva Alvarez's office.

Galindo served 12 years as Reeves County Judge, before deciding not to run for re-election in 2006. He currently serves as liaison with State Sen. Carlos Uresti, who was elected to serve as the area's state senator in 2006.

Several reports of the incident were called in to the Enterprise on Oct. 29, and a request for the report was sought the following day through an Open Records Act request to the Texas Department of Public Safety Headquarters in Austin. The DPS responded on Nov. 1 that they had received no report of such an arrest, but Lyttle said on Nov. 5 that the report had not yet been approved by DPS Sgt. Richard Jacobs, officer in charge of the Pecos DPS headquarters, and had not been sent to Austin.

The Enterprise filed a second Open Records request, which the DPS Office of General Counsel replied to on Nov. 27, while also sending a copy of the arrest report.

Council puts land up for bid, oilfield firm seeks I-20 land

Town of Pecos City Council members agreed to seek bids on two parcels of land that had previously been designated for other projects, during a special meeting on Monday at City Hall.

The council voted to seek bids land in the 700-800 blocks of Washington Street, which had been the planned site of 20 single family homes five years ago, and will seek bids on 4.24 acres of land along Interstate 20 near State Highway 17, which had been designated earlier this year for development by a group seeking to build a truck wash and convenience store.

Plans for the Washington Street site were not discussed during Monday's meeting, while representatives of a Lubbock-based oilfield service company said they wanted the land along I-20 for a planned regional yard.

The 4.24 acres had been turned over to the Pecos Economic Development Corp. earlier this year, with the idea that the land would eventually go to Dr. Arbind Ghandi and his brother Henry, who bought eight acres of land just to the east of that site last year for a planned Hampton Inn. The 4A PEDC, which was replaced by the new 4B corporation in October, was to negotiate a deal with the Ghandis, who said they wanted to put a service station/convenience store and truck wash on the site.

That action was taken in June, but on Monday, Pecos Mayor Dick Alligood said the Ghandis have not taken any further action on the property over the past five months.

"Since they have not come forward with any motion, it was decided to put forward the land to bid," Alligood said.

BOF Services of Lubbock is the company interested in the site, and had two representatives at Monday's meeting. One, Ben Burkholder, said he already is in the process of purchasing a house in Pecos, and will supervise the new yard when it is completed.

"We would like to come into Pecos and establish a year for our headquarters and base our satellite yards out of there," he said. The company already operates yards in Levelland and Lubbock in Texas and in Jal, Hobbs, Clovis and Carlsbad in New Mexico.

Burkholder said the company would like to begin operations in Pecos by next month, if they can purchase the site. "We plan initially on 15 people, but we plan to grow exponentially to meet our needs," he said.

Councilman Frank Sanchez asked about having BOF negotiate with the 4B PEDC for purchase of the land, instead of putting it up for bid, but city attorney Scott Johnson said due to the rules for a 4B corporation, it would take longer to do it that way than to put it up for bid.

"We can transfer (to the 4B PEDC), but you would have to hold a hearing in 60 days," he said.

The Washington Street site was where the city had hoped to build 20 low-income houses. Pecos took out a $400,000 grant for street and utility installation with the Office or Rural Community Affairs, but only one home has ever been built on the site. Plans last year and earlier this year to build up to 96 apartments on the site also fell through, and earlier this fall the city worked out a plan to repay the ORCA loan, in order to resume qualifying for other rural funding programs. "I'm hoping for one bid, which would make a big difference in our grant repayments," Johnson said.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez asked if the city could ask for at least the amount invested in the land through the remaining ORCA loan, which currently comes to $352,343, in the bid process. Alligood said the land currently is valued at just over $12,500, based on an appraised value of $1,500 an acre, but said that price would be reevaluated.

"When you bid a property at auction, it is assumed thatís the free market value," Johnson said, while adding, "We're happy for a bid comparable to what we have invested."

He also said the city would make sure it got whatever the land bids brought in payment, or it would get the land back.

"If it's bid on a payment-type basis, we'd have a deed of trust. If it's not complied with, we take it back," he said.

In other action, the council agreed to the abandonment of 414 feet of Starley Drive to Reeves County. The 60-foot wide street easement was closed off four years ago, and is now used as a cart path for two new holes of the Reeves County Golf Course. It had been unused for the previous 20 years, after the Airbase Apartments south of Interstate 20 were torn down.

Reeves County is now looking at acquiring the 9.02 acres of land the holes were build out outright from the Pecos Housing Authority, and selling it off for commercial development along I-20. the two holes would be replaced on the south side of the golf course, as part of a plan under discussion by the city and county to expand the facility from 14 to 18 holes.

Johnson read out an ordinance to abandon the street. A second reading at the council's Dec. 13 meeting will be required before the action is final.

Incumbents first to file for primary

Three incumbents have filed their treasurer's designation to enter their names to run in the March 8, 2008 primary.

Filing got underway Monday for the 2008 primary elections, with a one-month period for candidates to enter their names to run in the primary.

All local candidates were elected following wins in the Democratic primary races in either 2004 or 2006, and most candidates are again expected to file on the Democratic side for the 2008 election.

In Reeves County, candidates up for election include Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez, Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Alvarado and Precinct 3 Commissioner Saul Herrera. Alvarado and Herrera were first elected to the commissioners court in 2004, while Gomez have served four terms as Reeves County sheriff, having first been elected in 1992.

So far, Alvarado, Herrera and Gomez have filed their treasurer's designation with the Reeves County Clerk.

Gomez has also filed with Reeves County Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Dean and paid the fee, while Herrera filed with Dean and is filling out a petition. Candidates can also file to run for local seats in the Republican primary, and there will be primary elections at the regional and state level for president, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on both the Democratic and Republican sides.

Seats also up for election include those for 143rd District Attorney, where Randall Reynolds is currently completing his second term, and 143rd District Court Judge, where Bob Parks has served for Reeves, Ward and Loving counties since 1986.

The other local elections are for Reeves County tax assessor-collector and all four county constable positions. The deadline to file for the March 8 primary is Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008.

Dean said the filing fee would be $375 for the constable positions and $750 for all other county elections. He said candidates can also file by petition, based on the total number of voters locally in the 2006 gubernatorial election.

Dean said his office would be in the law office building in the 100 block of West Fifth Street, and he would be available by phone at (432) 940-4944.

Residents in Barstow seeking to run in the March primary have to file with Democratic or Republican Party officials in Monahans.

Anyone seeking to run in regional or statewide office has to file with the state Democratic or Republican parties in Austin. Area races include the 11th and 23rd Congressional District elections in Ward and Reeves Counties, and 74th Texas House District race, which covers most of the Trans-Pecos area.

School board approves new building plans

Plans are coming along great for the new buildings and additions at the various Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD campuses, and construction time is getting closer, school board members were told during a special meeting on Tuesday.

The board approved the release of the drawings and specifications for contractor proposals for the Computers and Advanced Technology Education (CATE) Building addition and the baseball/softball/tennis concession buildings and rest rooms, which will be build as part of the $30 million bond issue approved by district voters in May.

Architect Monte Hunter, with Hunter Corral Associates, was on hand for the regular meeting and told the group that things are coming along very well. "We need to schedule a meeting with everyone to discuss the cabinets and finishing touches to meet your approval," said Hunter.

Hunter told the group that plans for expansion of Crockett Middle School is a little bit further along than the Bessie Haynes Elementary School plans. "We're getting a lot of details out of the way that we need to before Christmas," he said.

New classrooms will be built at Crockett so that sixth grade students can be moved to the campus, while new labs and an expanded library are among the items to be built for fourth and fifth grade students at Bessie Haynes.

Hunter said that in about six months there would be five projects under construction.

"Since you approved the CATE and concessions, we'll move ahead with that tomorrow and bring back proposals in January," said Hunter. "It will take them a week or two after that, so if you want to plan something for then."

If proposals for both the CATE and the concessions are approved in January 2008, estimated completion is August 2008, according to Hunter.

In other action, Cindy Duke and Debbie Garcia of the new P-B-T "Lead Teachers, District Wide" program, provided a power points presentation to the board and members of the audience.

The teachers outlined curriculum, mapping and planning, benchmarking and syllabus.

Board members approved a request from Barstow resident, Robert Ortega, to place 10 or more trash dumpsters for community use, on the Barstow School property.

Ortega said that on behalf of the mayor and city council that they would like to request to place these dumpsters on the school property.

"The school board just needs to give their approval, the maintenance and everything else will be taken care of," said Ortega.

The proposed placement of the dumpsters would be at the west end of the main school building (in front of the fire hall), or the old track or near the old Quonset hut on the northeast end of the property, or all three locations.

In a letter to the board the group said:

For several years, the City of Barstow has had a contract with Duncan Disposal for solid waste pickup services. In order to renew the contract with Duncan Disposal, customers will have to pay triple the cost that they now pay, unless a compromise can be reached. In an effort to cut escalating costs to the disposal company, they propose six or seven locations for trash dumpsters to be placed within the city of Barstow where customers could take their trash.

Currently, Barstow has 150 dumpsters and the company plans to cut that number down to 50 or 60. The city of Barstow does not does not own enough property to place more than 10 dumpsters.

Some dumpsters can be placed on county property. However, the city and county property would not accommodate more than 20 dumpsters. The school property would e a very convenient location to place dumpsters.

"The only problem is that if someone will voice a concern," said Superintendent Manny Espino.

"If we do an agreement with the city of Barstow, and there are no in-kind services provided to them, we'll need an escape clause," he said. "Because if somebody complains that there aren't any in-kind services provided."

Espino said that he didn't see it happening, but that it was a possibility.

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