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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Friday, August 10, 2001

Ward, PEDC milking dairy farming for Reeves County

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, Aug. 10, 2001 -- Reeves County's booming dairy business has been chosen for  a feature article in an upcoming issue of a  statewide dairy publication.

Pecos Economic Development Board Director Gari Ward said that Sherry Webb of Texas Dairy Review magazine is writing a feature article about the dairy business in Pecos and Reeves County that will run in September.

This week Ward drove to each dairy located in Reeves County to take pictures for the publication because Webb is unable to travel to the area.

"She called me and asked me to send her some pictures," he said.

The magazine is circulated to all the dairies in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

There are currently three dairies in Reeves County: Trans-Pecos Dairy, Jersey Dairy and Boicourt Dairy. Two more are ready for construction, Ward said.

"Reeves County ranks 18th in the state among other counties for dairy production according to a USDA publication," Ward said.

Reeves County has seen a boom in the dairy business recently with the Jersey Dairy and the Boicourt Dairy going into production.

Ward said that dairy owners want to set up shop here because of the warm, dry weather and the availability of water.

Although this area does not have much rain, Ward said that there is plenty of water for dairies.

"It doesn't take as much water to support a dairy as it does to farm a crop such as cotton," he said.

He also said that there are enough farmers that can grow alfalfa and silage to feed the cattle.

The oldest dairy in this area is Trans-Pecos Dairy, owned by Charlie and Greg Mitchell, that milks approximately 1700 cows each day.

Boicourt Dairy, owned by Tommy Boicourt, operates with about 400 head while the newest dairy, Jersey Dairy, operates with 1100 head of cows.

Ward said that Reeves County also has a "finishing" plant, Kesey Feeders, where heifers are grown specifically for dairies.

While the other dairies have standard rows for milking cows, the Jersey Dairy has a carousel that holds 50 cows at one time.

Ward explained that the carousel allows a cow to walk into a stall while it is rotating and be milked.

The cows stay in the carousel for one rotation and walk off on their own.

Ward said that E.E. Norwood has already purchased 45 sections of land at Flattop, 18 miles south of Pecos on U.S. 285 from A.B. Foster in order to build another dairy.

He said that Norwood wants to start production of the new dairy as soon as possible.

"He should start construction within the next 30 days at Flattop," he said.

Once that dairy is operational, Ward said Norwood plans to build another one.

"As soon as the first one is completed, he's going to build another one," he said.

Milk production is going well here in West Texas, according to Ward.

He said that a tank truck goes to the dairies each day to deliver milk to San Antonio for HEB food stores.

Although Pecos and Reeves County does not seem to have much going on, the area is able to provide dairy owners with ideal environments for the multi-million dollar operations, Ward said.

Now Reeves County is being recognized in the dairy magazine while Ward along with the PEDC will continue to recruit new dairies to move into town.

"The dairy farm is a means to diversify the agriculture economy in Reeves County," he said.

RCDC II and III top commissioner's agenda

PECOS, Friday, Aug. 10, 2001 -- This months Reeves County Commissioner's Court will be begin with discussion and action of DRG Architect Invoices No. 268 and No. 269 as reimbursement expenses for Reeves County Detention Center-2 for May as well as for the month of June.

The group will meet at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the third floor courtroom at the courthouse to discuss several items and the public is invited to attend.

Other topics include:

Requests for payments on invoices No. 193, No. 194 and No. 195 to LMD Architects, involving fees, survey fees and NEPA survey fees of the RCDC III expansion project, will be discussed.

Frank X. Spencer & Associates will be present to discuss RCDC-3 Engineering fees. Following the Spencer & Associates presentation, commissioners will also discuss and approve the fee for the transportation department bus drivers.

The items following the fee of the bus drivers will be about digital key set card for the RCDC telephone system, the contracts agreement between Reeves County and Protell Systems International, Inc. and with Lutheran Social Services of the South.

Regular items on the agenda for discussion and action include, appointing a tax assessor to calculate effective/roll back tax rate, and discussion of the fiscal year 2002 budget workshop.

The commissioners will also discuss the agreement made between Reeves County and West Texas Centers for MHMR, hear reports from various departments, discuss the budget amendments and line-item transfers and personnel and salary changes for county departments including RCDC, the Juvenile Department, the Road & Bridge Department, the library and for the Treasurer's Office.

Country Club cotton patch

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, Aug. 10, 2001 -- The Pecos Valley Country Club wanted to spruce up the country  club building. In particular the area around the wall that borders the north  edge of the pool. 

Weeds had been the primary inhabitants of the area in recent years. A. B. Foster decided that he would try growing cotton in the patch.

"One day we were just out there cleaning and I thought it would be good to grow something to help keep the weeds down," Foster said. "We wanted to add a green affect to the area."

The area in which the cotton plants have been cultivated in is three feet wide by 60 feet long, according to Foster.

"We just went in there with a hoe and planted them by hand," Foster said. "They are growing good."

Foster said that they began to plant the crops in mid-May and that the plants will be ready to be harvest at end of November.

"We just planted the seeds and we water them on occasions," Foster said.

Martinez explains rollback election to Rotarians

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, Aug. 10, 2001 -- Pecos residents will get to choose between rolling back their  property taxes for a year or spending a short-term surplus of tax money to  make renovations and buy equipment in September. 

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah School Board President Crissy Martinez explained the in's and out's of the upcoming school tax rollback election to the Rotary Club yesterday.

Martinez said that property owners were currently paying $1.50 per $100 valuation in school taxes but that because of increases in mineral valuations this year the district would have to set the tax rate at $1.18 for the coming year unless it held a rollback election.

The rollback election allows taxpayers to decide whether to leave the tax at the current $1.50 or to lower it to $1.18.

Martinez said that she favored leaving the tax at $1.50.

Martinez said that although mineral values were up, real property values continued to drop in the area, so that property owners would pay the same or even less in school taxes this year as they did last year if the tax rate remained the same.

"The extra tax money that we are seeing is coming from the oil and gas interests, not property interests," she said.

Martinez also said that the tax rate was only one part of the complex state funding formula and that there were hidden dangers to allowing the rate to fall to $1.18.

While the $1.18 rate would allow the school district to function this year the rate would also be used by the state to calculate state funds for the district in coming years, she said.

Martinez said that the potential loss in state revenue was several million for the 2002-2003 school year. That figure does not include the loss in potential tax revenue, just the state funds that would be lost if the tax rate was dropped to $1.18.

"If we can maintain the current tax rate then Pecos won't pay anymore in property taxes that it did last year, and the district will have a 2-million dollar surplus for a year," she said.

Martinez said that the district hoped to spend the majority of the surplus on renovations at the High School and at Bessie Haynes elementary school. Other projects include air conditioning the Crockett gym, renovating the high school tennis courts, buying two new school buses and new buying new playground equipment for either Pecos Kindergarten or Austin Elementary.

The rollback election is scheduled for September 22 and early voting begins on September 9.

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.


Joanna Arredondo, 30, was arrested at 6:51 p.m., on August 9 in the 800 block of Daggett Street on two warrants for theft by check over $20 and under $500.


Dante Cerna, 22, was arrested at 12:35 a.m., on August 10 in the 1000 block of East 10th Street for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance-cocaine.


Daniel Paredez, 22, was arrested at 10:25 a.m., on August 9 in the 400 block of Mesquite Street on warrants for aggravated assault with a motor vehicle (felony 2), no driver's license, and violation of a promise to appear.


Felipe G. Mata, 17, was arrested at 2:16 p.m., on August 9 in the 500 block of South Oak Street on Ward County Sheriff's Office warrants for engaging in organized criminal activity (felony 3), unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (state jail felony) and graffiti (state jail felony).


Rodney R. Rodriguez, 18, was arrested at 2:39 p.m., on August 9 in the 900 block of Oleander Street on Ward County Sheriff's Office warrants for engaging in organized criminal activity (felony 3), unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (state jail felony) and graffiti (state jail felony).


A female juvenile was arrested at 3:44 p.m., on August 9 in the 2300 block of Cactus Street for running away.


Geronimo J. Menchaca, 57, was arrested at 9:20 p.m., on August 8 in the 200 block of Sycamore Street for public intoxication enhanced-class B.


James L. Sharp, Jr., 41, was arrested at 10:20 p.m., on August 8 in the 1200 block of South Elm Street for disorderly conduct.


Alfredo C. Lira, 33, was arrested at 11:31 p.m., on August 8 in the 400 block of South Alberta Street for assault under the Family Violence Act.


Michael Wilson, 40, was arrested at 3:33 a.m., on August 7 at mile marker 42 on Interstate 20 for parole violation, aggravated assault and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.


Tommy Chee, 26, was arrested at 3:33 a.m., on August 7 at mile marker 42 on Interstate 20 for parole violation for sex offender and kidnapping.


Jose Edmundo Orona III, 32, was arrested at 8:55 a.m., on August 8 at Reeves County Sheriff's Office on a warrant for possession of cocaine.


Yolanda Rodriguez, 31, was arrested at 2:17 p.m., on August 8 in the 500 block of Oak Street on a warrant for delivery of a controlled substance-cocaine (state jail felony), and for delivery of cocaine (felony 1).


PECOS, Friday, Aug. 10, 2001 -- High Thursday 105. Low this morning 75. Forecast for  tonight Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers  or thunderstorms. Low 70 to 75. Saturday:  Partly cloudy with a  20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the mid  90s. Saturday night:  Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers  or thunderstorms. Low around 70. Sunday and Monday:  Partly  cloudy with a slight chance of showers or Thunderstorms. Lows around  70. Highs in the mid 90s.


Lucile Prewit Camp

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