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Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Council to get water, landfill project update

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 24, 2001 - A representative from Frank X. Spencer & Associates is scheduled to give the Town of Pecos City Council updates on projects that the company has been working on for the city during the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., tomorrow at City Hall.

Spencer & Associates has been working on the development of the South Worsham Well Field as well as the maintenance on the original Worsham Well Field.

The city was told in 1994 that the Worsham and Ward County water fields would only be able to provide adequate water to the city until 2008. Work began at that time to locate a new field, and the city settled on development of the South Worsham Field two years ago.

The Council is scheduled to hear the status reports on both fields as well as a report on the city's arid exempt landfill permit and site development plan modification. City officials were in Austin on Tuesday to discuss the permit, which would sharply cut the cost to Pecos for building a new landfill trench southwest of town. The exemption would allow the city to put in a landfill without a clay/rubber liner, which had to be placed in the last trench dug by the city, at a cost of over $1.2 million.

Clark Lindley, local activist against Envirocare of Texas, will also give a report to the Council on the low-level radioactive waste facility meetings he has been attending.

Lindley and several other community members have been fighting against Envirocare's plan to place a low-level waste facility eight miles northeast of Barstow. The site would be 14 miles northeast of Pecos, in Ward County.

The Council will also consider adopting model subdivision rules of a municipality given to them by the Texas Water Development Board.

In other business the members will discuss public hearings on annexation and authorizing a signatory on city check accounts as well as discussing the city's franchise agreement with Classic Cable.

Town Hall focus on city's trash troubles

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 24, 2001 - Trash talk _ mainly about new projects and another landfill for Pecos _ were topics of discussion at the third meeting with the Rural Resource Team held Wednesday evening at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Darren Clark, with the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, was once again on hand to help those attending make decisions and plan ahead for Pecos.

Committees were formed following the meeting. The committees will head different projects and hopefully began planning on some new ones to improve Pecos.

Clark told the group on hand that it would take a lot of people to start on the projects. "What we need is to make a list of two or three things that you would really like to start on, and then began those projects," he said.

Elizabeth Schmidt brought the up the problem of old mattresses and junk being dumped everywhere.

"Well at the last meeting we talked about the landfill," said Clark.

Town of Pecos City Council member Gerald Tellez told the group that they are in the process of turning in a permit to open a new landfill.

"We're also in the process of planning a temporary burn, to burn wooden materials laying in alleys and having that once or even two to three times a month," Tellez said.

Council member Larry Levario said that Mayor Ray Ortega, new City Manager Carlos Yerena and Health and Sanitation Director Armando Gil were in Austin. The city is seeking an arid exemption permit to build a new landfill trench, a permit that was denied a decade ago, forcing construction of a more expensive clay- and rubber-lined trench.

"They are trying to speed up the process and possibly have a controlled burn, because that seems to be one of the problems, no place to put the debris," said Levario.

At the last meeting the group had also discussed old, abandoned houses that were posing hazards. "Even if they demolished the buildings, there isn't anywhere to put the debris and that's why we want to get a permit for a landfill," said Levario.

"All these old mattresses and sofas are hazardous and are a real eyesore," said Schmidt.

"We have to come up with some kind of a campaign or something that everyone wants to become a part of," said Christian Home Director Bruce Dury.

Landfill employee Jerry Millan said that each household is allowed one trip out to the landfill.

Town of Pecos City Marshal Jack Brookshire said that they had spoken to TNRCC about a possible burn. "They told us the only thing we could burn was brush," said Brookshire.

Aside from the debris around houses, there was also a discussion on what to do with dilapidated and unoccupied houses around Pecos.

"There's so many old houses that are really hazardous and something needs to be done about them," said Sally Perry.

She mentioned several such houses, including one on Fifth Street and another one on Sixth Street.

"We've been talking about tearing all these old houses down, but if we do that, the next problem is where to put the debris," said Brookshire.

"Most of those old houses do need to be torn down, but you have to separate the wood," said Brookshire.

"I think we should concentrate on downtown Pecos before we go looking at the houses on those side streets," said Richard Creasy.

Creasy said that one of his biggest pet peeves was all the plastic bags flying around. "Maybe we need to educate the public on where those bags belong, in the trash," he said.

"They are an eyesore and are everywhere, especially the area around Wal-Mart and Town and Country," he said.

Creasy said that the downtown area should be prioritized. "Some of those buildings bricks are falling out and are in really bad shape," he said.

What to do with white goods (large appliances) was also discussed during the lengthy meeting.

"Litter bags, white goods, hazardous materials, branches, debris, it's a whole lot of little problems, that make it a big problem," said Clark.

"How about forming a committee to come up with a plan and the first project that will be tackled," said Clark.

Clark suggested that the committee could come up with the first project, pick a date to do the project and work out the many details.

"For example, let's pick up all the white goods," said Clark.

The committee would then pick a date that all white goods would be picked up and if the people don't have a way to transport the items to the site, have trailers or appropriate transportation to pick up the products and safely dispose of them.

"Transportation is a problem, for getting rid of these items," said Perry.

Another idea was rather than have a cleanup go through the alleys and clean those things up, the mattresses, old sofas and cut up those branches to fit in the dumpsters or that can be taken to the landfill, according to Creasy, though some items will have to wait until the new trench is completed.

"It will be anywhere from 6-9 months before we get a landfill," said Tellez. Currently, the city contracts with Duncan Disposal to haul most of its trash to the company's landfill west of Odessa.

"Maybe at that time we can also identify hazardous materials," said Creasy.

"The city, county and schools all have trailers that we might be able to use," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board President Louis Matta. "I think we have the resources here, we just need to put them to good use."

"If we could use those vehicles we could clean up the alleys and pick everything up, but where are we going to put it is the problem," said Pecos Police officer Jeff Green.

Green also suggested bringing in new ideas to Pecos such as a pistol shoot or an air show.

Green said that a business downtown had closed down because people would prefer to shop in Odessa. "If we can't keep our businesses in town open, we're just going to die down," he said.

The Main Street project was discussed briefly, and past chamber president Jeannette Alligood told the group why the application had been turned down.

"They came in and toured Pecos without letting anybody know," said Alligood. "And they saw what we see, trash and old, abandoned buildings."

Alligood said that Pecos had been invited to be a self-initiated Main Street program.

"They want us to do some things, before we receive any funding, and the projects we do take on, the funding will have to come from the city," she said.

They have to see that the community is willing to help themselves first, according to Alligood.

Green said that he would try to gather more information from the pistol club and shooting match and report to the group at the next scheduled meeting, which will be held March 6.

Committees were formed with several individuals signing up to help with the different projects.

The committees will also report their findings and plans at the next meeting.

Women's Division membership drive set for Thursday

PECOS, January 24, 2001 - The Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce will hold their 2001 Membership Drive from 5:30 p.m. _ 7 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Weatherby House, located at 423 Oleander.

Anyone interested should contact Stella Ornelas at the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, 445-2406 or Laura Briggs at 445-5155.


PECOS, January 24, 2001 - High Tuesday 63. Low this morning 32. Forecast for tonight: Increasing cloudiness. Low in the mid 30s. East wind 5 to 10 mph. Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers. High in the mid 50s. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers. Low in the lower 30s. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Friday: Partly cloudy. High near 60. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Low near 30. High in the mid to upper 50s.

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