Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, November 2, 2001, PECOS ENTERPRISE
Gas back below $1 in some parts of SE Texas
From Staff and Wire Reports
Got a buck? In San Antonio and other places around Texas these days,
that's all a driver needs to pump a gallon of regular into the gas tank
- and still have change left over for a piece of Bazooka Joe.
Robert de la Cruz filled up both his pickup and his wife's sedan at
an HEB outlet on San Antonio's west side Thursday. The price: 93.9 cents
"I try to save every penny I can, and when I see these prices, I know
someone is working with me," he said. "I'm going to be stopping here for
Statewide, the average price for self-service regular is $1.18, about
7 cents below the national average, according to AAA Texas. But in San
Antonio, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley, as well as in part of Houston
and Fort Worth, drivers are finding stations asking less than $1 a gallon.
Gas prices cover a wide range across the country, from Hawaii's $1.93
average to the $1.10 found in Indiana and Georgia. Generally, the highest
prices are on the West Coast and northern Rocky Mountain states.
Locally, gas prices in the Pecos area haven't dropped as low as those
in Southeast Texas, but they're 40 percent below the levels prices hit
on Sept. 11, the day of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington
and below the statewide $1.18 average.
Prices for unleaded regular that afternoon reached as high as $1.79.9
for a gallon of regular unleaded. This morning, regular unleaded was going
for as low as $1.07.9 at the two Allsup's stores in Pecos, and between
$1.10.9 and $1.17.9 at most other gasoline stations in the city.
Prices elsewhere in the area can still range as high at $1.37.9 a gallon,
mainly in the rural area to the south and west of Pecos.
Back in mid-May, gasoline prices in the state were at a record high
of $1.61 a gallon, and experts were predicting that number would continue
to climb. But prices ended up going the other direction. By early August,
the Texas average was down to $1.26.
Several factors help explain the downward movement in prices in recent
months, beginning with that most basic of economic principles - supply
Refineries running at near capacity for months produced more gasoline
than the driving public needed, so prices went down, said Scott Fisher,
spokesman for the Austin-based Texas Petroleum Marketing and Convenience
On top of that, Fisher said, oil prices have fallen significantly and
the competition in gasoline retailing continues to grow as more companies
like HEB, Albertson's and Wal-Mart open up pumps that yield only pennies
per gallon in profit.
"The new entrants into the marketplace have built their facilities to
be high volume with low margins," said Fisher, whose members sell some
9 billion gallons of gas annually. "They've definitely driven down the
price of fuel."
Generally speaking, prices tend to be lowest where there are a number
of retailers in an area. When a station is off by itself, he said, it typically
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks also put pressure on gasoline demand
and prices, said Rose Rougeau, a spokeswoman for AAA Texas in Houston.
"People are not traveling as much after the attacks," she said. "It's
after the summer travel season, and now they tend to wait until the holidays
to start traveling again."
So does that mean drivers can expect to see prices rise in the coming
"We don't know which way prices are going to go," Rougeau said. "We're
dealing with something we've never dealt with before, and that's the uncertainty
following the attacks."
That uncertainty includes the fortunes of the national economy, which
at best is teetering on the edge of recession. Consumer spending fell nearly
2 percent in September and companies continue to lay off workers and cut
Tara Ford, spokeswoman for Ultramar Diamond Shamrock, the state's largest
gasoline retailer, said Thursday that her company hasn't felt any impact
from a slowing economy, though she wouldn't provide any numbers on the
volume of gasoline being sold.
Of course, drivers are always on the lookout for cheap gas, regardless
of what the overall economy is doing.
Beatrice McHazlett lives in LaPryor, about 85 miles southwest of San
Antonio. Gas there is selling for about $1.20 a gallon, so when she brought
her sister back to San Antonio on Thursday, she made sure to fuel up.
"I'm going to fill it to the top," she said.
Hospital board gets report on dialysis center for RCH
By LEIA HOLLAND
The Reeves County Hospital Board of Directors received a report on the
feasibility of constructing a dialysis center in Pecos to serve dialysis
patients in the community and the surrounding areas during the regular
meeting last night in the classroom at the hospital.
Former Interim Administrator Richard Murphy gave a report on the feasibility
study that was done by a consultant, and told the Board that having a dialysis
center in Pecos would be very feasible due to the number of dialysis patients
in the state at this time.
"Right now there is a lot of activity in the dialysis business all over
the state," he said.
The consultant researched the number of patients in Reeves County and
the immediate surrounding areas and discovered that there are 25 people
who have to travel to Odessa to get dialysis treatment.
"Right now it's apparent that there is a significant number of patients
in our immediate service area," Murphy said.
He added that there could be more potential dialysis patients who right
now choose to not receive treatment because of the time it takes for the
treatments and having to make the trip to Odessa.
"My concern is how many patients that choose not to go to dialysis,"
Murphy explained that if the hospital built a 12 to 15 station dialysis
unit it would be enough for the hospital to break even on the cost to build
and run the facility.
"This is really more of a service to the citizens of the community than
to make money," he said.
Board President Linda Gholsen said that she wants the community to know
that the Board has considered the importance of having a dialysis center
in Pecos well before steps are taken to start construction.
"It's important for the community to know that this has been considered
well before anything is done with it," she said.
Gholsen also agreed with Murphy in saying that it is more important
to the Board and the hospital to provide this service to the community
rather than to just make money.
In other action on Thursday, the board renewed the interlocal agreement
with the City of Pecos for the use of the ambulance service.
Board members told several representatives from the ambulance service
who were present that they appreciate the work the ambulance crews do for
the community and the surrounding areas.
The Board also approved purchasing a new 50-ton chiller to replace two
current units that have deteriorated and need replacing.
Administrator Robert Vernor informed the Board that Honeywell, the company
currently maintaining the hospital's cooling system, submitted two proposals,
one to replace the system and another to rebuild the current system.
"I would recommend to go ahead and replace the chillers with a new one,"
Vernor assured the Board that replacing the chillers is a budgeted item
at the amount of $50,000.
Honeywell's proposal to replace the chillers totals $52,000, just over
the budgeted allowance, which Vernor said would not be a problem because
it would save money on repairs in the future.
The board also approved advertising for bids on an oil and gas lease
for property owned by the district in Culberson County, as well as the
financial statements and the payment of bills.
Church schedules annual garage sale Saturday morning
Members of St. Catherine Church are having their annual garage sale from
8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Saturday at the church.
Money raised from the garage sale will go toward buying blankets for
the needy in Pecos this winter.
Firemen select new officers for 2001-02
New officers were elected at the regular meeting of the Pecos Volunteer
Roy Pena was once again elected as fire chief, with Arturo Granado chosen
to be first assistant.
Second assistant will be Jim Riley; secretary, Javier Contreras and
fireman rep., will be Salvador Carrera.
Flower girls, or members on the benevolent committee will be Cesar Zermeno
and Noe Ybarra. Rocky Matta will serve on the pension board.
Training officer will be Lynn Foster; safety officer one is Gabriel
Gonzales and safety officer two, Harvey Gonzales.
PECOS, Nov. 2, 2001 - High Thursday 88. Low this morning 56. Forecast for tonight: Becoming cloudy.
Lows around 50. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Highs
70 to 75. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Mostly cloudy. Lows around
50. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Highs 65 to 70. Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows
45 to 50. Highs 70 to 75.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise