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Top Stories

Monday, September 25, 2000

RCDC completion date now set for Oct. 7

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 25, 2000 - Completion date on the 1,000-bed addition at the Reeves County Detention Center has been set for early October by the Reeves County Commissioners Court, a month behind the original completion date. However, the contractors for the project are questioning whether the work can be done by that time and the financial consequences they will be facing if they fail to meet that date.

"This has been an ongoing discussion, the completion date for the 1,000 bed addition," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo during this morning's commissioner's court meeting.

Galindo recommended to the court that the final completion date be set for Oct. 7, barring no unexpected weather problems.

But Chuck Smith, vice-president of Banes General Contractors, the contractors who have been working at the facility, called that "aggressive" and stated, "It's not a realistic goal, because it's only two weeks from now."

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards was at the facility this morning, inspecting the four buildings that have been completed and turned over to the prison staff.

"We're dealing with liquidation damages, in terms of maximum price and guaranteed completion date," said Galindo.

Smith told the group that modifications and additions to the plans, have taken more time.

The work will double the capacity of the prison to 2,000 inmates, almost all of whom come there under contract with U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The first new prisoners for the Detention Center were scheduled to arrive on Sept. 6, but that date has been pushed back twice since then.

"The goal was Sept. 1, you were here all year and you knew that was the deadline," said Galindo. "There were a number of actions taken by Banes that worried us, but we trusted you."

"In keeping with that line of thought, the final completion date should be Sept. 23, but I'm asking the court to allow another two weeks for the sewer line and to correct any problems," said Galindo. "That would put as at Oct. 7."

Galindo stated that Smith can describe this as "aggressive", but that he describes it as "fair."

"We're looking at implementing liquidation damages on Oct. 8," said Galindo.

"We would certainly disagree, because we had at least $800,000 worth of changes following the design," said Smith.

"Those should have been presented at the beginning of the job, instead of 18 months later, which is very unfair," said Galindo.

Trying to make all those changes in the plans, keeping the same GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) and keeping to the schedule, is what made the contractors need more time for completion, according to Smith.

"How many designers are there?" asked Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin.

"There are two designers, DRG and Frank Spencer," said Smith.

Galindo told the group that he recommended the completion date as Oct. 7 and any weather delays preceding would be handled accordingly.

Smith was asked when Banes though the completion date should be set at.

"From what I've seen now, realistically, we're looking at the end of October, another 20 days from what you're looking at," said Smith.

Smith said that the group had $800,000 worth of changes before the final plans were completed and that set them back.

"The difficult part is for Banes to realize everyone was expecting Sept. 1 as the completion date and they have gone past that," said Galindo. "And that costs us in terms of operating and that affects Reeves County."

"We're still finding defects in plans and still correcting them," said Smith. "As late as last week we found some."

Smith told the group that Banes' project supervisor Mark Schumacher had spent the weekend in Pecos in trying to correct the defects that were found last week.

"Mr. Schumacher spent the whole weekend here trying to correct the defect, so it would be ready for the Texas Jail Commission this morning," said Smith.

"My position and what I'm recommending to the court have not changed," said Galindo.

"We signed a contract and it shouldn't have to cost the county any money," said Tarin. "What's fair is fair and I think we've given you plenty of time."

"We're trying to do our part and we'll leave it at that," said Smith. "I realize what you're saying, but right now, we're just going to do our part."

"We had an agreement in the beginning that it would be accomplished in 18 months and you signed it," said Commissioner Precinct 2 David Castillo. "I think you should stick to that agreement."

Galindo said by not meeting the Sept. 1 completion date, the county is looking at a loss of $7,980 a day for over a 30-day period, in which inmates cannot be housed at the facility."

"That means over $200,000, that is the ramification, that the project was not finished on time," said Galindo.

If the Texas Jail Commission approves the buildings at the RCDC, the group will be able to move inmates in immediately.

"We could move in 400 more inmates," said Galindo.

In other action this morning, commissioners approved a bid on a new transportation bus for $325,545, from Motor Coach Industries for use by the RCDC.

"That's the demo bus that we had here and we're very pleased with this choice," said RCDC Warden Rudy Franco.

That bid was the only one received by the county, who had been looking at the bus for $350,000 originally, but the bid amount was less.

"We're looking at getting the bus by Nov. 13," said Franco, who added that transportation would be kept very busy, with the transportation of new inmates to the facility and other ventures.

Also approved were payments to DRG Architects and Banes General Contractors, for excluded amounts on a previous bill.

DRG's payment was for additional time, from Aug. 19, until Oct. 16, for $40,000 that will come out of the contingencies fund.

Youth football league's return a success

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 25, 2000 - Opening day for Eagle PeeWee Football was a great success, according to Eagle PeeWee Football Board President Randy Baeza.

"The community just came together and made it happen," he said.

The day started with a mini parade with floats displaying the eight teams. Each float was decorated in each team's colors.

Wal-Mart donated enough candy for each team to be able to throw to the crowd.

Baeza said he was not sure that anyone would show up to the parade but was pleasantly surprised after seeing crowds on both sides of the street.

He said the Pecos High School Varsity team even welcomed the kids.

"All the football players lined up and clapped for the kids," Baeza said.

Baeza said the crowds stayed throughout the day and packed into the stands.

There were some early problems with the public address system at the Crockett Middle School Field, but a lone trumpet soloist walked out of the crowd and played the National Anthem.

"He saved the day," Baeza said.

The only problem of the day was officials decided not to use the second field at Crockett because of ant beds and gopher holes.

Closing the second field forced the teams to play one game after another but that turned out to be better, according to Baeza.

He said more people and more of the kids stayed all day to watch the games, which lasted about 4 ½ hours.

The Pecos Downtown Lion's Club was on hand selling hamburgers, which made the day even more successful.

"It went so well that they'll be back next weekend," Baeza said. He also wants to assure the community that there would be trashcans at the field next weekend.

In the games themselves, the Colts defeated the Chiefs and the Bears downed the Lions in the third and fourth grade division, while the Vikings beat the Packers and the Cowboys went triple overtime to beat the Redskins in the fourth and fifth grade division's games.

Overall, Baeza said the day was a big success and all the teams are looking forward to this coming Saturday.

"It was a lot of hard work but at the end it was well worth it," he said.

Baeza said the day would not have been so successful without the support of the kids' families and the community.

"I've never seen this before, people actually getting together and enjoying something in their own backyard," he said.

Baeza said he believes this program will help the community and is glad that after a 19-year wait it is finally here.

"It's going to be worth the wait," he said.

Baeza said the kids as well as the community were excited during the games. He said some of the teams even made homemade banners for the kids to run through at the beginning of the game.

"The spirit was alive," he said.

Baeza wanted to thank the community for their support and for "allowing the coaches to coach and the kids to play."

The next round of game starts at 10 a.m., this Saturday. Baeza said this Saturday is also picture day for the kids.

Abatement request for planned motel

PECOS, September 25, 2000 - Roy Riggs of Lodging Enterprises will ask for a property tax abatement from the Reeves County Hospital Board of Directors in the regular meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday.

Human Resources Director for the hospital, Nadine Smith said Riggs is asking for the abatement to allow him to build in Pecos.

"He's wanting to build a new motel here," Smith said, adding that Riggs is hoping to affiliate the motel with the Oak Tree Inn chain.

The Board is also scheduled to discuss taking action on delinquent records and on the radiology contract as well as the contract for election services.


PECOS, September 25, 2000 - High Sunday 87. Low this morning 46. Forecast for tonight: Clear and cool. Low 40-45. Light east wind. Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High in the mid 80s. South to southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low around 50. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 50s. Highs in the mid 80s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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