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Thursday, October 12, 2000

Council approves motel abatement, bid on water field

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 12, 2000 - The Town of Pecos City Council approved giving a five-year tax abatement to Lodging Enterprises for during the regular Council meeting this morning at City Hall.

The council also approved a bid for drilling test holes at the city's proposed new water field, and agreed to look at a supplemental water field site during today's meeting.

Roy Riggs, Corporate Director of Development for Lodging Enterprises, asked the Council to consider the abatement so that the company could an Oak Tree Inn on Interstate 20. The 40-room motel would be for the purpose of housing Union Pacific employees.

Riggs assured the Council that the new motel, which would be located west of Flying J Truck Stop, would be staffed strictly with local people.

"We don't have anybody coming in from out of town," he said.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said he was not comfortable with giving the abatement.

"I don't see a lot of reason for it," he said. "Other local businesses have not received the same advantage."

Riggs said the construction and railroad crews would spend money in Pecos.

Anchor West plant manager Oscar Saenz said by not giving abatement to Lodging Enterprises that might send out the wrong message to other businesses.

"We are looking for businesses to come into town," he said.

"For one thing I'd like to see new businesses come in," Mayor Pro-Tem Danny Rodriguez said.

Riggs also asked the council to nominate the project to be within the enterprise zone in Pecos.

The enterprise zone's purpose is to encourage job creation and capital investment in Pecos by being able to offer state and local incentives and program priority to new or expanding businesses.

If the Oak Tree Inn is established by the state into the enterprise zone it would be eligible for a refund of state sales tax paid on machinery and equipment, building materials, labor for rehabilitations of existing buildings, and electricity and natural gas purchased for use in the enterprise zone.

Johnson said nominating Riggs' company would not cost Pecos anything. The city would just be supporting the company to be placed in the enterprise zone, he said.

Council members agreed to nominated Lodging Enterprises to enable Riggs to apply through the state for the enterprise zone.

In a related action today, the council discussed purchasing a portable building from Odessa College in Pyote for the amount of $10. OC has not had need of the building, since moving its area Training Center from the Pyote site to their larger facility on South Eddy Street in Pecos back in May.

Riggs said that he is willing to pay for the building to be moved to Pecos from Pyote if he is able to rent it from the city monthly for use as an on-site construction office building.

The council approved purchasing the building and to let Riggs and his company use it during the construction of the motel.

Council members also heard from Hugh Robotham, hydrologist for ARCADIS, Geraghty and Miller out of Midland, this morning. He made his recommendation to the council on the bids for the construction of six test holes and one water supply well for the city.

Robotham said he sent out five bid packets to different companies and only received one bid, from West Texas Water Well Service out of Odessa.

Robotham told the Council that the total cost would be approximately $167,000 and the test holes would go about 400 feet deep.

He said that is a little more that usual but because of the underground structures it would be worth going further. The city is drilling the test holes as part of its South Worsham Field project. The city has only until 2008 to find and develop a new water field to replace the existing Worsham and Ward County water fields.

City engineer Frank X. Spencer said the extra money for deeper holes would be worth it to look toward the long term.

"The investment to find out what the potential is, is money well spent," he said.

Robotham said if the Council approved his recommendation they are planning to start construction by the end of October.

"We're looking and hoping to get started by October 23," he said.

The Council approved Robotham's recommendation of awarding the bid to West Texas Water Well Service.

Finance Director Steve McCormick asked the Council if the city wanted to go ahead and take the extra $460,000 state loan as well as the $8 million loan to be used in the South Worsham project.

McCormick said that unlike the $8 million loan, the state would give the whole amount to the city at once.

He also said that money has a higher interest rate than the one- percent for the $8 million.

Councilman Ricky Herrera said he did not want to turn down the extra money in case of any extra costs that would not be covered by the $8 million.

"I don't want to cut ourselves short," he said.

McCormick said if the Council chooses to take the money, it could be invested in a certificate of deposit so it would be able to gain a little interest.

The Council approved taking the $460,000 and putting it aside until needed.

Steve Taylor also discussed water with the Council concerning the Duval Water Field.

He said he is a part of investors that are constructing new water holes and renovating old holes in that field, which is located on the land in northern Reeves and Culberson counties, where the Freeport McMoRan (Duval) sulphur mine was located.

Taylor said he wanted to discuss with the Council the possibility of selling some of the water to the city if needed.

"We feel like we have something to offer if Pecos is accepting," he said.

Taylor said he wanted to come to Pecos first because El Paso has showed interest in purchasing the water. El Paso is currently looking at pumping water from the Van Horn, Valentine, Dell City and Presidio areas to meet the city's growing water needs.

"We want to give first call to Pecos," he said.

He also said the city would not have to pay for anything beside the water itself.

Interim City Manager and Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said he believed buying from Taylor would be a good idea.

"If we were to buy water from them our field would last longer," he said.

Spencer said it is important for the city to consider purchasing water from Taylor and continue to look for new sources of water for the future.

"It's important that you look at every avenue of sources of water," he said.

The Council put of this item until Taylor could report some more information about how much could be sold to Pecos.

The Council also discussed the amendment to the water distribution and sanitary collection and treatment services agreement with Reeves County.

Johnson reported to the Council that the county signed off on the agreement adding some things they did not agree to but has since looked at the additions and approved them.

The city and county had a dispute over the payment that the county agreed to give to the city but has settled it.

They agreed that the county would place the payment in an escrow account until the city has closed the loan with the state and any interest gained on that account would be split between the two entities.

Since the city and county have agreed the Council approved the agreement.

The Council also approved the contract with Duncan Disposal for trash pick up and hauling with an adjustment to the original cost.

Jack Burns, representative of Duncan Disposal, said that since the Council turned down their original cost adjustment request, Duncan went back to the original contract and adjusted some numbers.

Burns asked the Council to look over two separate adjustments.

The first adjustment is made from the numbers on what it would cost Duncan to haul the waste to Odessa including fuel. Burns said that total came out to a $2, 030 monthly increase in cost.

The second adjustment is made from the cost of hauling it to the transfer station near Pecos and fuel, which came to $5,995, a month increase.

"Now you can see where we were coming from when we asked for such a high percentage," Burns said.

He requested that the Council approved the smaller of the two adjustments making the cost increase come out to less than one percent for the five years they have been in contract.

"It's a bargain for the city," Johnson said. "It's about $7,000 a month less than originally proposed."

Burns also told the Council that Duncan is willing to help the city in any way if needed.

"We want to help the city in any way we can," he said.

The Council approved placing Gary Ward, president of the Economic Development Board, on the city benefits plan.

Homecoming parade, bonfire set for today

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 12, 2000 - Homecoming activities have gotten underway at Pecos High School in anticipation for the Pecos Eagles' 2000 homecoming game Friday evening at Eagle Stadium, with this year's homecoming parade set to start at 5 p.m. today.

The Eagles will be facing the Clint Lions in the District 2-4A opener for both teams. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. High school students voted for the Homecoming Queen today, and she will be crowned at 7 p.m. Friday, prior to the start of the game.

Seniors Alexa Marquez, Diana Rubio and Michelle Romo are this year's homecoming nominees. Freshman duchess is Nikki Reyna, sophomore duchess is Abby Romo and junior duchess is Rebecca Wein.

Today is Tangle'em Up/Shock'em Crazy Hair/Mardi Gras Attire. Everyone was encouraged to "crazy up their hair" or to wear Mardi Gras attire. A prize was awarded to the person with the craziest hair and the best Mardi Gras Attire.

Mardi Gras is the theme of this afternoon's homecoming parade. Line-up was at 4 p.m. on the corner of Second and Eddy streets and the parade will start an hour later and proceed south on Eddy to Washington Street, then travel west one block to Park Street before continuing in front of Pecos High School. The parade will conclude at the PHS baseball field.

The homecoming bonfire was scheduled for 9 p.m. tonight as well and the public was invited to come to the Old Landfill on the south side of town and enjoy this year's event.

On Friday, everyone is encouraged to wear his or her purple and gold.

The Exes Tea will begin at 1 p.m., Friday, in the Pecos High School Library. Come by and visit before the Pep Rally.

After Friday's game, a homecoming dance for PHS students has been scheduled from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Riverside Ballroom on East Third Street.

Cop some free drinks as part of sobriety test

PECOS, October 12, 2000 - The drinks are on the house at the Pecos Police Department for the next two Tuesdays and Wedensdays and one more time next month, so long as you're willing to take a breathalyzer exam. But no one will be arrested if they fail to pass these tests.

The police are looking for men and women up to the task of getting drunk next Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 17-18 and once again on Oct. 24-25. The volunteers are needed as part of a training course being given to officers on field sobriety testing.

According to the police department, agencies from as far away as Odessa will be in Pecos for both training sessions, as well as for a third session scheduled in November. Police will supply the alcohol so the volunteers can be tested for various levels of sobriety.

Approved drinkers will be given 80 percent liquor to achieve a blood alcohol concentration between 0.06 _ which is under the legal limit for intoxication _ and 0.14, at which time a person is legally intoxicated. Volunteer drinkers may chose to stop consuming alcohol at any time.

Police said those volunteering:

_ Must be between the ages of 21 and 65;

_ Must not have any history of alcoholism;

_ Must not be suffering from any medical condition that may be exacerbated by alcohol, such as diabetes or hypertension;

_ Must not be taking any kind of medication or prescription drugs;

_ Should not eat for two hours before the testing begins;

_ Should not be more than 50 pounds overweight.

In order to participate, the volunteer must agree to sign an informed concent statement and expressed waiver form. Transportation to and from the testing site will be provided, and there will be male and female monitors present to ensure proper control and safety.

For further information, contact either Pecos Police Officer Jeff Green or Lt. Kelly Davis at 445-4911.

Big Bend planning Fiesta on Oct. 21

PECOS, October 12, 2000 - The 20th Annual International Good Neighbor Day Fiesta is set for Saturday, Oct. 21 at Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park.

Food and crafts will be available at the Fiesta from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The kids' fiesta will feature games and activities and will run from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 21.

School children will perform at the village from noon to 1 p.m. with professional entertainment beginning at 1 p.m. Performers include Valerio Longoria, a well-known traditional conjunto accordionist, and established Tejano guitarist Manuel "Cowboy" Donley, who will perform with his two daughters in Trio Romantico.

The Fiesta concludes with the annual "Dia del Rio" celebration which involves communities throughout the Rio Grande basin. This year's theme is "A Confluence of Cultures."

For more information, contact Big Bend National Park at 915-477-1108.


Loy Collier

Loy M. Collier, 79, died Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2000, at Odessa Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13, at the First Presbyterian Church in Pecos with Rev. Joe Fields officiating.

He was born Oct. 24, 1920, in Okemah, Okla., was a United States Army veteran who served in World War II, had lived in Pecos since 1948, was a farmer and a Presbyterian.

He was preceded in death by his wife Eugenia Grace Collier in 1984.

Survivors include his wife, Beth Collier of Pecos; one son, Ronny Collier and wife, Debbie of Kingwood, Tx.; two step-sons, Bill Harrison of Bakersfield, Calif. and Bruce Harrison of Carrollton, Ga.; one step-daughter, Sharon Jernigan of Pecos; one sister, Zelma Nemeth of El Paso; two grandchildren, Brandon and Tracy; eight step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren and his favorite dog "Boots."

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, October 12, 2000 - High Wednesday 78. Low this morning 52. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 55-60. South wind 10-20 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy and breezy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the mid 70s. South wind 15-25 mph. Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the 50s. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low from the upper 40s to the mid 50s. High 70-75.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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