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Friday, July 20, 2001

P-B-T boosts teachers' salaries, stipends

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 20, 2001 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD employees got some good news  in the form of pay raises on Thursday, following action taken at during  a special meeting of Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board.

Following a lengthy discussion, board members agreed to give school administrators a three percent raise; raise the salaries of all auxiliary and professional personnel by five percent, and increase stipends for all coaches, UIL sponsors and class sponsors.

P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don Love presented the board with different pay scenarios and told the members to proceed with caution when approving the pay scales and the tax rate.

"I urge you to proceed with caution tonight," said Love, who has warned that recent property and mineral valuation increases may only boost the district's tax revenues for one year.

Several teachers, employees and coaches were on hand for the special meeting.

Head Coach Bubba Williams made a special presentation to the board requesting that head coaches be paid a higher stipend.

"These coaches stipends haven't changed much since I first came to Pecos in 1981 and was coaching," said Love.

Williams told the board that he would like to see all head coaches and all sports in the district receive the same stipend. "This is for all the head coaches, women and men," said Williams.

He said that there are a total of 32 coaches, with 14 of those head coaches.

"We did a survey and compared it with other schools in this area. We're way under what the other schools are getting," Williams said, adding that he just wanted to see the coaches get a little bit more.

"This is just getting us in the ball park," he said.

School board president Crissy Martinez said that she would like to see the teachers and other personnel get "in the ball park" as well. "But we have to do this in increments, because as Mr. Love said we have to proceed with caution," she said.

"The teachers are facing the same dilemma, we're trying to get them in the ball park also," said Martinez. "We do want to keep the coaches, but we need to keep the teachers as well."

"The coaches stipends are in this budget," said Love.

"These people waited a long time for this. I know they are out there on Saturdays and Sundays and even holidays," he said.

"If we've got the money to do it, I'd like to see the stipends go up," said Williams. "But I don't want to get in a situation, where I'll have to lay off some of the staff the following year."

Williams said that he would go by whatever Love recommended.

"If it wasn't possible he would be the first one to say so, he would tell us straight out, that it wasn't possible," he said. "I've gone back and revised and re-evaluated and taken off some money here and there and really broke it down."

Assistant Superintendent Gome Olibas said that when he and Love came on board they were facing a big deficit in the budget.

"We had to do layoffs and make budget cuts," said Olibas. "And now we've gotten to a point that we can take of our people and I would really like to see that done."

Coach Joe Flores said that if they wanted to do this in increments, the coaching stipends were an increment. "This is an increment and we would really like to see this done," said Flores. "The parade is passing us by and we need to catch up."

Teacher Carolyn Bynum said that these coaches work very hard and bring home more championships. "They need to be rewarded," she said.

Teacher Priss McNutt said that Love had pulled the district out of a big financial bind. "And if he says it can do this, then we should," she said.

She said that a lot of these coaches had grown up in Pecos and chose to come back and coach. "I think we should do everything we can to keep them," she said.

Along with the salary and stipend changes, the school board also approved personnel and personnel changes including a new Pecos High School assistant principal. John Fabela, who has Master of Arts/Education Administration/University of Texas of the Permian Basin with eight years experience.

Reassignments include: Olga Abila from Austin Elementary School first grade teacher to Austin Elementary School second grade bilingual teacher and Michelle Acosta from Austin Elementary School second grade bilingual teacher to Bessie Haynes Elementary School fourth grade bilingual teacher.

Other appointments: Bethel Cook Covington, Bachelor of Science/Elementary Education/ Arkansas State University, seven years experience, assignment: Austin Elementary School first grade teacher;

Stacy Valencia Ebmeier, Bachelor Arts/Sociology/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, two years experience, assignment: Pecos Kindergarten teacher;

Alvino Garcia, Bachelor of Science/English/Physical Education/Sul Ross State University, 16 years experience, assignment: Pecos High School English teacher;

George Grant, Bachelor of Business Administration/Business Administration/North Texas State University Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Teacher/Certification/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment: Bessie Haynes Elementary School fifth grade teacher;

Michael Ortiz, Bachelor of Arts/Physical Education/Special Education Endorsement/Southwest Texas State University, 19 years experience, assignment: Zavala Elementary School special education teacher/coach;

Charles Keith Windham, Bachelor of Science/Criminal Justice/Physical Education/Sul Ross State University, no experience, assignment: Crockett Middle School Physical Education teacher/coach.

Change of contract: Joan Capshaw from continuing contract to one-year term dual assignment contract.

School board looks to keep current tax rate

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 20, 2001 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah School Board members voted for  a preliminary 2001-2002 tax rate that would be the same as the  current rate, while also approving calculation of rollback tax rate and  a tax rate adoption planning calendar during a special meeting of the  board Thursday evening.

Superintendent Don Love told the board that he would for them to consider the proposed tax rate of $1.50 for 2001-2002, although an increase of nearly $140 million in mineral valuations in the past year means the district will collect about an extra $2 million in taxes under that plan.

"I feel like with this we'll be in the black when the smoke clears," said Love.

The superintendent explained after the preliminary valuations were released in May that the extra money the district collects in taxes for the 2001-2002 school year would be offset by a corresponding decline in state aid beginning with the 2002-2003 school year.

On Thursday, Love said the district had lost 145 kids, which will also cut into the district's state funding, and that they didn't know what the valuations were going to be in the coming years.

Love told board members to proceed with caution. "We need to look to the future and be very cautious because we don't know what 2002-2003 will look like," he said.

Board members approved the $1.50 proposed tax rate and the calculation of rollback tax rate and planning calendar.

"I think this will secure the future of our school district," said Love.

P-B-T and school districts across Texas with substantial oil and gas mineral valuations face the prospect of rollback elections this year, because the increase in oil and gas prices sharply increased all of those school district's estimated tax collections under their current tax rates.

School board members were told the calculated rollback maintenance and operation tax rate, which would bring in the same amount of money as last year under the new valuation levels, would be $1.18 per $100 in valuations.

Along with the preliminary tax rate, the board also approved the certified appraisal values and certification of anticipated collection rate by tax collector.

"According to the Reeves County Appraisal District, the overall increase from last year is $139,941,460," said school tax assessor-collector Lydia Prieto. "The estimated collection rate fort he current tax year rate is 95 percent."

"I anticipate a 98-100 percent collection rate of tax revenue needed for this new school year," said Prieto "This includes taxes, delinquent taxes, penalty and interest."

The 2001 tax rate adoption planning calendar includes: on July 19, to certify appraisal values and certify anticipated collection rate, calculate rollback rate P-B-T ISD; on July 23 through July 27, a Notice of Public Meeting; on Aug. 3, post meeting notices; Aug. 7, hold public meeting to discuss budget and proposed tax rate and a special meeting to adopt budget, adopt tax rate and order election to ratify tax rate; Sept. 5-18, early voting for Sept. 22 election and Sept. 22 Election date and Sept. 25-28, Canvass election returns. Tax statements will be mailed out by October 1.

Smithers' land donation boosts city's water rights

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 20, 2001 -- Pecos' potential water supply for future needs has been  increased following Thursday's Pecos Economic Development  Corp. meeting in which the board accepted the donation of the  5,800-acre Smithers Automotive Testing Center, located east of Pecos.

"We will be retaining the water that is underground," said PEDC President Gari Ward. "The two wells that are already out there will be used to help purify the water."

City manager, Carlos Yerena, said that the big reason PEDC accepted the donation made to them by Smithers was because of the underground water supplies that have been found to be out there out there.

"In obtaining the Smithers property, it gives the City of Pecos an alternative source of water," Yerena said. However, he added that they would still have to do a lot of exploration and testing on the water found out on the property.

The property is located to the northeast of one of the city's two current water fields, the Worsham Field. City officials were told in 1994 that the Worsham and Ward County Water Field, located southwest of Pyote, could only provide adequate drinking water supplies for Pecos through the year 2008. The city is currently in the process of developing the South Worsham Water Field, which is located southwest of the Worsham site, near the Reeves-Pecos County line.

Both the city and Reeves County have looked into acquisition of water rights on the land owned by Freeport McMoRan, which closed its sulphur mine 40 miles northwest of Pecos in 1999. City officials said the water tested there wasn't as good as that at the South Worsham site, and the cost to purchase and develop the Freeport water field was estimated at around $8 million.

Though the city has not yet obtained the water rights for the Smithers property, they are working on obtaining them, Yerena said.

After the acceptance of the land, Ward was appointed by the board to negotiate the contract in which several points are still to be discussed.

The Smithers property, located about 20 miles east of Pecos, was closed in May due to an inadequate business volume over the last several years, which adversely impacted operations, the company said. It has moved its Texas operations to a test track in Laredo under an agreement with the track's operator, a subsidiary of DailmerChrysler.

The Ohio-based Smithers employed over a hundred local residents since 1988, as engineers, technicians, mechanics and test drivers.

Target shooters put scare into Anchor workers

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 20, 2001 -- Target practice got a little bit too close for comfort for some  workers near the Anchor West plant this morning. 

Police officers responded to a gun shot call out by Anchor West employees working near the plant's wastewater disposal area this morning, which turned out to be coming from the shooting range used by local law enforcement officials, and which is located just to the west of the wastewater site.

Employees from the Reeves County Detention Center where out in that area practicing there training exercises, Custody Administrator Mike Lecuyer said.

"The class is an armed escort training class from RCDC," Lecuyer said. "It is a specialty training for guards who transport the prisoners."

Lecuyer said that not everyone gets chosen to be a part of this class. Those selected must have good qualification skills in order to be selected.

Though the class was just doing their exercise, the workers out at Anchor were not aware that the class was out there and therefore the police was called, after they heard the sounds of bullets in the area.

"The police officer that came out here told me that someone from Anchor had gone out into the field to do something," Lecuyer said. The firing area at the shooting range is pointed towards the southeast, close to the area of the wastewater site and away from the nearby Pecos Municipal Airport, Tra-Park RV Park and the Reeves County Golf Course.

Lecuyer told police that the class would be out at the range until a little past noon.

RCDC III architect's payment, field project on agenda

PECOS, Friday, July 20, 2001 -- Requests for payments to an architect, transportation crew payments and lighting for Martinez Field are among the items on the agenda for the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting scheduled for Monday.

The group will meet at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the third floor courtroom to discuss several items and the public is invited to attend.

Requests for payments invoices No. 89 and 190 to LMD Architects, involving plans for the 960-bed RCDC III expansion project, will be discussed an approved; along with a request for proposals 12-01 Martinez Field Lighting Projects; declaring sheriff's office items as surplus salvage and modification of bid award No. 11-01, category 04 bread products.

Commissioners will discuss and approve transportation crew payments; reclassification of foreign medical graduate and canon copy machine for county clerk's office.

Regular items on the agenda for discussion and action include:

Reports from various departments.

Budget amendments and line-item transfers.

Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, JP Precinct 1, Sheriff's Department and county judges' department).

Minutes from previous minutes.

Semi-monthly bills.

Spread on the minutes: Continuing education certificate Justice of the Peace #3 Elodia Garcia; continuing education certificate justice of the peace #2 Nelda Mondragon; continuing education certificate sheriff's department, Michelle Carrasco; execute all necessary closing documents between Reeves County and Carlisle Capital Markets, Inc. for financing of RCDC III Project and professional services contract between Vertex Targeted Opportunities, Inc. and Reeves County Juvenile Board.

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report  is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department,  Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.


Benjamin Maldonado, 41, was arrested at 7:18 p.m., on July 19 at Sixth and Ash streets for warrants of a possession of a controlled substance within 1000-feet of a school.


Victoria Renteria, 39, was arrested at 9:32 p.m., on July 19 at the 200 block of West 14th Street for warrant of Capias Pro fine.


Frank Rivera, 52, was arrested at 9:33 a.m., on July 19 at the police department for warrants of parole violations.


Daniel Fuentes, 42, was arrested at 10:04 p.m., on July 19 at the police department for warrants of parole violations.


High Thursday 104. Low this morning 74. Rainfall past 24  hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station .07 inch. Forecast for tonight:   Partly cloudy with 20 percent chance of showers  and thunderstorms. Low in the lower 70s. Southeast wind 5 to 15  mph. Saturday:  Partly cloudy. High around 106. South wind 5 to 15  mph. Saturday night:  Mostly clear. Low in the mid 70s. Sunday  and Monday:  Partly cloudy. Lows 70 to 75. Highs in between 100-105.

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Pecos Enterprise
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