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Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Commissioners OK field lights, anti-dump plans

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 3, 2001 - Reeves County Commissioner discussed installation of new lighting at local baseball fields and plans to increase their efforts to opposed a planned radioactive waste disposal site 14 miles northwest of Pecos, during the afternoon session of Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting.

"We recently purchased two lighting systems for the baseball fields," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo during the special meeting. He explained that about two weeks ago, Roland Pena, with West Texas Utilities had recommended someone who could do the installation of the lighting system.

Lighting Solutions, with Tim McMurray, proposed to provide Reeves County with a lighting system design for the Little League Baseball Field, also known as Chano Prieto Field, the Maxey Park Senior League Field and Martinez Field.

"He's a former employee of WTU, designs lighting systems for sports fields and comes highly recommended," said Galindo.

"Cost for the design for all three fields is $8,280," said Galindo.

In addition, McMurray would also supervise the installation of the systems. "It would cost us a lot more if we bid it out," said Galindo. "Under these circumstances, we accomplish it for $20,000 per field for brand new lights," he said.

The design package will include drawings that show pole/fixture locations, pole foundation details, pole and crossarm details, fixture aiming points and electrical riser diagrams for each of the three fields. The lighting will also be in compliance with IES and Little lighting requirements/regulations within the constraints defined by using the existing equipment.

Galindo said that the lighting would be considerably upgraded to where they can maximize everything that they have.

Lighting Solutions proposes to provide Reeves County with onsite supervision for the construction and installation of lighting systems for the Little League baseball field and the Senior League baseball field.

A representative will be onsite during the three weeks allocated for the installation.

Galindo said priority would be placed on the Little League and Senior League fields. Officials in San Angelo have banned the local Little League and Senior League teams from playing night tournament games in Pecos for the past several years because the light towers do not meet minimum height requirements.

Funds for the project will be taken from the major repairs to buildings line-item for the design of the lighting systems and the county will pay for the installation from recreation, parks and cemetery line-item.

"This gentleman knows how to do this, he's done this for other sports fields and is very knowledgeable," said Galindo.

On the radioactive waste disposal issue, commissioners agreed to hire lobbyists to help with the fight against Envirocare of Texas' plan to locate a low-level waste side eight miles north of Barstow, in western Ward County.

"As we have discussed the last few weeks, there are a number of initiatives and proposals that will be going to the legislature next week," said Galindo. "We're in a position where if we don't advocate on our behalf, it will be difficult to have an impact on this issue."

Commissioners agreed to hire three lobbyists to help in their fight against the dumping of nuclear waste in West Texas.

"What it will cost based on my conversations with these three people would be about $5,000-$7,000 per month," said Galindo. "We're looking at about a five-month period, from January through May, so that the cost will run from $30,000-$35,000 total."

"Where will we get the money?" asked commissioner precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo.

Galindo said the funds for this project could come from the ending balance. "Based on our predictions from last year, we ended up at a greater position, than we had predicted," he said.

Commissioners approved the hiring of Leo Aguirre Mgt. Of America and Aldrete Communications for $3,000 per month for a five-month period. It also includes payment to Leo Aguirre of $2,000 a month for management for a five-month period and $2,000 a month for Aldrete Communications for a five-month period. The proposal stated this would be a firm fixed price for this effort.

The motion was made by Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 2 David Castillo and seconded by Arredondo.

"Several years ago, we had a sludge opposition that we took on, we owe it to our future generation to preserve this part of the county safe from waste disposal," said Galindo.

Envirocare sought out the Ward County site after the state's planned disposal site near Sierra Blanca was rejected in late 1998 by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission due to concerns about earthquake fault lines in the area. An Envirocare site in western Andrews County, and one owned by Waste Control Industries, were then rejected in early 1999 after a University of Texas geology study showed underground aquifers in the area.

"What I would suggest is that this be an issue of urgent need and one that can have grave repercussions for our children and grand-children," said Galindo.

Faulty wires seen as cause of house fire

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 3, 2001 - No injuries were reported Monday night, after Pecos Volunteer Fire units responded to a house fire at First and Locust streets at about 10 p.m.

All units were called out to the fire at 111 S. Pecan St., which Pecos Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire said was caused by an electric wiring problem in the house.

"It started inside the wall in the living room," he said.

Brookshire said the fire went up the wall in the living room to the attic. He said firemen had problems getting to the fire after it burned between the old roof of the home and a new roof that had been built on top of it.

Most of the damage though seemed to be in the living room with more smoke damage in the attic, according to Assistant Fire Marshall Arturo Granado.

Granado said at the time of the fire, two people were in the house but were able to escape injuries by getting out when they noticed the fire.

The volunteer firefighters were able to contain the fire in about 45 minutes after responding.

Brookshire said the owners of the house would have to fix some minor damage caused by the fire.

"They're going to have to have a lot of electrical wiring replaced," he said.

The family was unable to stay in their home after the fire.

"They couldn't stay there because they didn't have electricity," Granado said.

Mayor Ray Ortega, who was at the scene of the fire, gave the family a place to stay for the night, according to Granado.

Last nights fire is the ninth fire in a two-week span, according to Pecos Fire Chief Roy Pena.

On New Year's Eve, fire personnel responded to four calls including a tractor-trailer rig accident, two dumpster fires and one fire in a 55-gallon drum.

GED sign-ups scheduled today at high school

PECOS, January 3, 2001 - GED testing is scheduled for this afternoon from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Pecos High School counselor's office, with the tests set for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 12-13 at 5 p.m. at the high school.

Those taking the exam must present a Texas driver's license or Texas Department of Public Safety ID card when they register. For further information, call PHS counselors Pat Cobos or Eva Arriola at 447-7229.


PECOS, January 3, 2001 - High Tuesday 39. Low this morning 27. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the upper 20s. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 60 to 65. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 30s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs 55 to 65.

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Pecos Enterprise
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