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February 28, 2001

RCH weighs addition of dialysis service

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 2001 - The Reeves County Hospital Board of Directors approved researching the possibility of providing a dialysis service in Pecos, during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night in the hospital classroom.

"What we did is authorize Mr. (RCH interim administrator Richard) Murphy to do a preliminary study on the feasibility of providing a dialysis service for Reeves County and the surrounding areas," board member Holly Key said.

Board member Leo Hung commented on the fact that many community members must travel to Midland or Odessa approximately three times a week in order to receive dialysis treatment.

Hung said each drive could easily turn into an all day trip because of the time it takes to get to the hospital and wait for the treatment, as well as the hours it takes to receive the treatment and then travel back to Pecos.

"It's very stressful," he said.

Hung said that some patients have even had to move to Midland or Odessa in order to receive the treatment because they do not have anyone who could take them each time.

He also explained that some patients who are considered "borderline" would rather wait to receive treatment when it is absolutely necessary.

Hung said that if there were a dialysis center in Pecos not only local patients would be able to use the center but also patients from surrounding areas including Presidio, Balmorhea and even Fort Stockton.

Murphy, who helped with the installation of a dialysis center in Port Lavaca, said that adding a center in Pecos would be very costly and would require a separate physician and staff trained in giving dialysis treatments.

Murphy said that the center in Pecos would most likely not make much money for the hospital.

"It would have to be managed tightly to break even," he said.

Despite that Hung said he believed that the center would help the community members.

"I think this is a good opportunity to look into it," he said.

Key said that having a local dialysis center would benefit the community and worth looking into.

"It would be beneficial to the community," she said. "It doesn't hurt to check it out."

The board also discussed authorizing Murphy to begin advertising for bids for an oil and gas lease on some property in Reeves County.

He told the board that he has received an inquiry from a company on leasing the hospital's mineral interest on the property.

Murphy explained that the property was given to the hospital as part of payment of services.

"These mineral interests were given to the hospital in lieu of payment," Key said.

However, Murphy said the hospital could not lease the mineral interests legally without advertising for bids, and the board then authorized him to do so on the mineral interests of the property.

The board also approved new substance abuse and harassment policies for the hospital. Key said the new policies only enhance the current policies in place at RCH.

The board also approved an agreement with Pecos Nursing Home for the transfer of nursing home patients to and from the hospital.

The board approved the agreement with Hung abstaining from the vote due to the fact that he is currently in the process of buying the nursing home from current owner Greg Johns.

The board approved banking resolutions with West Texas National Bank and Security State Bank allowing Board President Marcella Lovett, vice president/secretary Jesus Prieto and Murphy to sign and endorse checks as well as other documents on behalf of the hospital.

The board approved the order election for May 5, 2001, and the election judges and clerks for that election, and also authorized the adoption of a resolution for a flexible benefits plan for hospital employees.

Members approved numerous requests for purchase of property and tabled one request.

The board tabled the request from Pascual Olibas to purchase 495 acres of land in Reeves County for the amount of $750. The land has an appraised value of $14,850.

Properties approved for sale include:

n 605 S. Palm Street to Johnny Jordan for the amount of $1,000.

n 1101 S. Locust Street to Heriberto Rivera for the amount of $1,500.

n 2025 S. Eddy Street to Isabel Flores for the amount of $3,000.

n 616 Ross Blvd. to Isabel Flores for the amount of $3,000.

Other items approved included the joint conference committee report, the medical staff and administrator's report, the monthly tax report, the payment of bill, financial statements and budget amendments as well as the minutes from the previous meeting.

City delays annexation suit action

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 2001 - Town of Pecos City Council took no action on the pending litigation against the city by Hugh Box concerning possible annexation of property following an executive session of the special meeting this morning in council chambers.

The council has recently been discussing the possible annexation of land in and around the Pecos city limits in order to manage the growth of the perimeter of the city.

During public hearings held on Feb. 14 and 15, community members were invited to voice their opinion on the city's plan for possible annexation and many showed up in opposition of the plan.

Walter Holcombe, who represented some of those members, asked the council to drop the plans to annex after hearing the public comments, adding that if they did not they should prepare themselves for a lawsuit.

City Attorney Scott Johnson informed Holcombe that the city would not respond to threats.

The discussion of the suit was one of two main items on today's council agenda.

During open session of this morning's meeting Principal Scientist for Arcadis Geraghty and Miller, Inc., Hugh Robotham and Frank Spencer of Frank X. Spencer & Associates gave a groundwater exploration report for the seven test holes and one test production well in the South Worsham Water Well Field to the Council.

Robotham reported to the Council that the testing in South Worsham turned out results that were expected.

He said that they had planned that the groundwater quality would be there at South Worsham and said they were proven right.

"We found good quality of water," Robotham said. "We found the reserves are there but that the productivity was not there."

He explained that the productivity of the land was not as high as expected and that water would only last the community for about 20 years.

Spencer said that when the city acquired the land for South Worhsam they only acquired 10 sections of land when 17 sections were available.

Spencer and Robotham recommended to the Council that they pick up the remaining sections of land in order to gain many more years of water out of the water wells.

"You would be assured 40 to 50 years of water," Robotham said.

Spencer also said they recommended the city pick up the remaining sections plus one more section making the total number of section come out to 18½ sections.

"We need to acquire the additional seven and a half sections to guarantee a 40 year life," he said.

Councilman Ricky Herrera asked Spencer if the city would be required to go before the Texas Water Development Board in order to acquire the additional sections.

Spencer explained that the Board had already approved six sections and the city would only need to keep the Board informed on what they want and would do for the remaining sections.

City Manager Carlos Yerena said that the six could be easily acquired with only two left that would require TWDB approval.

"We would acquire six and then go back to the Water Development Board for the remaining two sections," he said.

The Council approved both the report and the recommendation from Spencer and Robotham to acquire additional sections of land.

County to house Marshal's prisoners at RCDC

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 2001 - Reeves County Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Bureau of Prisons to house U.S. Marshal's Service inmates at the Reeves County Detention Center.

"BOP has approached us in regard to the possibility of being able to house marshal inmates at the Reeves County Detention Center," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo, during the regular meeting held Monday morning at the Reeves County Courthouse.

Galindo said that he, along with RCDC Warden Rudy Franco, had spoken to BOP and assured them that they didn't think this would be a problem. "We just wanted to look into possibly keeping the bills separate," said Galindo.

The agreement will allow the housing of the U.S. Marshal's inmates, most of who are due to hearings and trials at U.S. District Court in Pecos. Galindo said the submission for billing will be made separately from other federal inmates kept at the detention center.

"We would like to honor the request of the BOP to house inmates at the RCDC," said Galindo.

"This will definitely be something good for the county," said Precinct 2 Commissioner David Castillo.

In other action on Monday, commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with the Town of Pecos City for a landscaping project at the intersection of Highway 285 and Interstate 20 in Reeves County.

In the agreement, the county will obtain all necessary permission from the State and or federal government and the city will provide the county with two water taps with meters on each side of I-20 at the city's expense. Pecos will provide water to the county at the tap at the city's cost of production and Reeves County will be responsible for maintaining the water line from the tap and for the landscaping.

The agreement will be for a one year term beginning March 1 and will be automatically renewed for successive one year terms unless either party gives 30 day written notice of termination.

Commissioners also approved payments to Banes General Contractors, who have the contractors for the RCDC II, construction, which is near total completion.

"All the freezers, laundry room and workshops are complete," said Chuck Smith, with Banes General Contractors. "The washers, dryers are all working."

Smith said the crew was still trying to figure out the purification system being used in the laundry room, but that all is going well.

The final work on the 1,000-bed expansion at the prison is almost complete and Smith will provide commissioners with a copy of the list of each of the subcontractors. "We should be getting relatively close to get it totally complete," he said.

In conjunction with the construction at RCDC II, commissioners approved payment to Trinity Engineering for testing fees. "These were all included in the budget and fees," said county auditor Lynn Owens.

Commissioners approved a golf tournament sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on July 21-22 at the Reeves County Golf Course.

"There's no conflict in having it that weekend," asked Castillo.

"No, everything was set up by the personnel at the golf course," said George Dominguez, spokesman for the Knights.

The Knights of Columbus provide scholarships for deserving Pecos High School seniors, try to help out at least five churches each year and help with other community projects.

A Balmorhea Clean-Up Project has been scheduled for Saturday, April 7. "The cleanups will be have to be done on public right of ways and not on private property," said Galindo. Reeves County Road and Bridges Crew from Pecos will be on hand to lend their assistance.

Commissioners look high and low at pest problem

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 2001 - Reeves County commissioners took time on Monday to discuss ways of solving problems with pests both above the roofs of county buildings and beneath their floors, as they heard an exterminator review ways of solving the "bird" problem in Pecos and the termite problem at the Reeves County Library.

Charlene Gunn, with Hert Exterminating Co., has been in the business for 20 years and spoke to the commissioners about the ongoing problem of termites at the library.

"The current problem at the library is a construction problem with the building that does not allow us to get good penetration for the termites," said Gunn.

Gunn told the group that they have been working on trying to solve this problem for several years.

"I've brought some very valuable information on a new product that's very expensive, but very successful," said Gunn, who told commissioners to look at the information and to possibly consider it. "Review it and we can come back with a proposal," she said.

"I want to strongly recommend that you consider this system, it's the only way you'll get control," she said.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo asked how much it would cost to get the termite treatment. "Normally, it would cost around $2,500, but since we've been treating that building and have dealt with you before we'll give you a discount," said Gunn.

The treatment would take place once a month, and then when the termites are more under control, change it to a quarterly basis.

Gunn also told commissioners that she had taken the liberty of including some information on the bird problem and the havoc that they can cause to buildings and employee's health. Pigeons have been a constant problem on buildings in the downtown area, including the Reeves County Courthouse.

"We had been told about the pigeons on the buildings and the mess and havoc they create not only to the buildings, but to health problems," Gunn said.

Gunn told the group that the birds carry over 40 different parasites and six different diseases.

"The feces they leave behind on the buildings, the streets, the pavement, get dry and become airborne and then you breathe that, which can lead to health problems," said Gunn.

"This is an opportunity and option available to you," she said. "I hope you give me the opportunity to come back and address you again, this is just for you to review and think about," she said.

Barstow incumbents file for new terms on council

Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 2001 - All three incumbents on the Barstow City Council whose terms are up for election on May 5 have filed to retain their seats.

Aldermen Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Lucio Florez have filed to seek new two-year terms in the upcoming local elections.

Council seats also will be open on May 5 in the Pecos, Balmorhea and Toyah city elections, along with the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea ISD boards and for two of the four precincts in the Reeves County Hospital District.

Three candidates, two of them incumbents, have already filed for seats on the Town of Pecos City Council. Gerald Tellez was the second incumbent to file to retain his seat on the council last Thursday. He joined former Pecos Mayor Frank Sanchez and incumbent Larry Levario, who filed earlier in the week.

Sanchez became Pecos' first Hispanic mayor in 1984, and served two terms. Levario is one of the three city council members whose terms expire this year. He is currently finishing his first term on the city council while Tellez will be seeking a fourth term on the city council.

Johnny Terrazas holds the other council seat whose two-year terms expire in May. March 21 is the final day to file in the area elections.

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board election, four of the seven seats will be voted on this year, and two incumbents already have filed.

Paul Deishler, who was appointed last year to replace Frank Apolinar, Jr., on the board, has filed for one of the full three-year terms along with incumbent Brent Shaw.

Three-year positions on the board up for election on May 5 are those currently being held by Shaw, Earl Bates and Louis Matta, who is president of the board. Deishler's unexpired term will also be up for election.

In the Reeves County Hospital Board election, only voters in Precincts 2 and 4 will be casting ballots this year. No one has filed for either of those seats, which are held by Marcella Lovett and Holly Key.

If there are no opposed candidates, along with no propositions and no vacancies to be filled by special election in the various city, school and hospital board races, the election may be canceled anytime after this date.

The last day a person may register to vote in the local elections is April 5. Early voting by personal appearance will be April 27 through May 1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Election Day, May 5.

Big Bend visitors told to book sites early for March

PECOS, February 28, 2001 - Big Bend National Park reminds people planning to visit in March to make their reservations early, because the month is usually one of the busiest at the park each year.

Large numbers of visitors historically travel. to Big Bend National Park during Spring Break, Superintendent Frank J. Deckert said. "The Presidents' Day holiday weekend is expected to kick off the busier Spring Break season this year, which is anticipated to extend through the month of March," he said.

The busiest time during Spring Break this year should be March 12 through 23, when most of the Texas public schools and universities are scheduled to be closed for the break the demand for campsites and overnight lodging will be far greater than the number of campsites and rooms available within the park.

Visitors seeking lodging without reservations may have difficulty finding a room. The Chisos Mountains Lodge, the only lodging facility in the park, reports that few reservations are available. A fortunate few may be able to take advantage of last minute cancellations. Potential visitors should call the lodge at (915) 477-2291 for more information.


Jose Botello


PECOS, February 28, 2001 - High Tuesday 72. Low this morning 33. Rainfall last 24 hours at the Texas A&M Experiment Station .14 inch Forecast for tonight: Cloudy and cool with a chance of rain, possibly mixed with sleet or freezing rain late. Low near 30. East wind 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation is 30 percent. Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain. High in the mid to upper 50s. East to southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low near 40. Friday and Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows 35 to 40. Highs in the mid 50s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Highs 55 to 60.

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Pecos Enterprise
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