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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

New business owners hope customers 'Got Laundry'

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- The question around Pecos is not whether you "Got Milk?" but  rather if you "Got Laundry?"

Local Pecos residents, Arlene and Mark Bragg, are the owners of the second laundromat named "Got Laundry?"

The new laundromat, which is located on Eddy Street next to the Allsup's Convenience store, opened it doors on July 17.

A laundry had operated at that site in the past, but has been closed in recent years. Others also have closed, leaving the city with only one operating laundromat, the Wash and Dry Gulch, before the Braggs reopened the Eddy Street business.

"She always wanted a Laundromat," Mark Bragg said of his wife. "Pecos needed a second choice of laundromat."

Though the laundromat has only been opened for about three weeks, Bragg said that business has started to pick up every day since they first opened.

After being closed almost five years, Bragg said that even though they had to do the plumbing, it was cleaning up the dirt inside the building that was the biggest problem.

"The dirt was really bad," Arlene Bragg added. " After removing the dirt it really wasn't that bad."

Mark Bragg said that they repaired some of the machines but it was finding the parts to the machines that was the biggest problem. The couple has ordered new machines for the store, and are awaiting their arrival.

"We would like to invite everyone to come and join us," Bragg said.

Arlene Bragg said that everyone is welcomed to come and join them even if it just to visit while drinking coffee. And according to her, the coffee pot is always full.

The owners also added that people can come and drop off their laundry and they will take care of it for you.

"We can iron and fold your cloth," Mark Bragg said.

"I can also hem and sew buttons on," Arlene Bragg said.

According to the Braggs, they iron a dozen shirts for $6 and a dozen pants for $8. To fold your laundry it will coast you $3 a basket. The washing machines cost $1 a load and the driers are 25 cents.

The laundry mat is opened from 7 a.m. till 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 1 p.m. till 9 p.m. on Sundays.

City jail doing OK, but expansion still a year away

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- Things are going well at the newly-constructed Pecos Municipal  Justice Center, but plans to add to it won't take place for another year or so.

"We're doing very well, the U.S. Marshal Service has been keeping us busy with their inmates," said Town of Pecos City Manager Carlos Yerena.

Yerena said that the group had discussed expanding the facility, which was completed this February.

"We talked to the marshals, but they told us, that even though we were doing so well, this was not a good time to expand," said Yerena.

The project of building the 96-bed facility began two years ago with planning the construction, and was made possible with a $2.4 million grant from the Marshal's Service, which had been keeping inmates awaiting trial at U.S. District Court in Pecos at out-of-town jails.

"We've been having 93 and sometimes more inmates, so it's to capacity, which is really good news," he added.

At the time the facility opened, Pecos Mayor Ray Ortega said the city decided to build the justice center after they determined it would create 18 new jobs and bring at least $1.5 million into the local economy. Ortega and council members also discussed an expansion of the facility just after it opened, but decided to table the issue until the jail was fully operational.

Yerena said that they still plan to expand the facility, but that it will be another year or so before the subject is discussed more seriously. "We'll have to wait on that," he said.

"Eventually we plan to do that and we hope we can, but now is not the time," he said.

Council to discuss new landfill, housing projects

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council will discuss and consider the position for city secretary during their executive session of their regular meeting Thursday at 7 a.m. in council chambers at City Hall, and will also take steps to begin work on the city's new landfill and housing subdivision.

The council members will go on to discuss and consider the authorization to start advertising for the construction of two trenches at the Pecos landfill location, south of town. The city is building the new trenches after receiving an arid exemption for the project that had been denied by the state in previous years.

The arid exemption allows the city to build the trenches without costly additions such as rubber liners. The city has been sending its waste to a regional landfill near Odessa in recent years due to the cost of the trenches without the exemption

The council will also discuss and consider the authorization for starting advertising for bids for the FY2001 Pecos subdivision housing infrastructure improvements projects. The city is seeking to construct 20 new homes in a currently vacant area between the 700 and 900 blocks of Washington Street.

During the open session of their meeting, the council will discuss the approval of accounts payable report.

The 2002 planning calendar will be discussed and considered by the members as well as the Texas Property Tax Code 26.04 submission of roll to governing body.

During the open session the council members will also discuss and consider ordinance designating certain areas of the city as the Town of Pecos City Historical District.

The council members will end their meet by discussing and considering items to be placed on the next agenda.

School board to discuss budget, hear updates

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- Budget and proposed tax rate for the 2002-2003 school year and certification of anticipated collection rate by the tax collector will be discussed and approved during the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting.

The group will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, at the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy Street.

A report on renovations at Pecos High School, Crockett Middle School, Zavala Middle School, Bessie Haynes Elementary, Austin Elementary, Pecos Kindergarten and Lamar-AEP will be read and under old business the group will discuss and approve paid holidays/non-professional employees.

Board members will discuss and approve date for public meeting to discuss and hear public comment on 2002-2003 budget and proposed tax rate; 2002 District Accountability Date Tables; 2002-2003 Teacher Appraisal Calendar and PDAS appraisers; 2002-2003 bus routes; Title III Shared Service Arrangement Agreement for 2002-2003 with Region 18 Education Service Center and request by Pecos Downtown Lions Club to name the new Technology Center after Larry Sloan who recently retired as the district's Technology Coordinator.

During the meeting they will recognize FFA students and Pecos High School cheerleaders.

The group will discuss and approve competitive sealed proposal for fuel; elementary and middle school handbooks; 2001-2002 budget amendments and an interlocal cooperation contract with the Texas Association of Public Schools for general liability and educators' liability.

Board members will meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code 551.101 et. seq., Section 551.074 (a): 1. To deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee; or 2. To hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.

The group will return to open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session under Section 551.074.

Under regular agenda items board members will discuss and approve:

Professional personnel: resignations, retirements, appointments, and reassignments, change of contract.

Tax report.

Depository securities report.

Investment transaction report.

Current bills and financial report.

Reconciled bank balance report.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Time and date for next regular meeting.

Calendar of events.

Request for items for next agenda.

City's sales tax rebate check up double-digits

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- Sales tax rebate checks for Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos cities  showed no pattern this month, as some cities reported double-digit increases  over their August 2001 checks while others saw their rebate checks drop by  10 percent or more.

That includes all three towns in Reeves County. Pecos saw its sales tax rebate check for August rise by over 11 percent, while Toyah's check was up almost 74 percent compared to last year. At the same time, Balmorhea's rebate check for the month was down by over 20 percent, according to figures released today by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.

Pecos' 1½ cent share of Texas' 8¼-cent sales tax for the month, which was based on June sales, came to $86,077, up 11.21 percent from last year, when the city received $77,330 from Rylander's office. Of this month's total, one sixth of that amount, or $14,346, is earmarked for the Pecos Economic Development Corp.

Balmorhea's rebate check for the month was $1,074, down 21.92 percent from last August's $1,375 check, while Toyah's check for $949 was up 73.82 percent from August of 2001, when the city received $546 back from Austin.

However, for the full year, Balmorhea's total remains up by double-digits over 2001, while Pecos and Toyah have seen their tax rebates rise by single digits through the first eight months of this year. Pecos has gotten back $524,492 so far in 2002, up 4.4 percent, Toyah has received $5,199, up 3.1 percent, and Balmorhea has gotten $8,117, an increase of just over 42 percent.

The Reeves County Hospital saw their tax rebate totals increase slightly for August, while taxes for all of 2002 from the hospital's ½-cent sales tax are up nearly 19 percent. The hospital received $33,972 this month, up 3.22 percent from last August's $32,911, while for the year the hospital has gotten $244,450 from sales tax collections.

Andrews, Big Spring, Crane, Presidio, Van Horn and Wink were other cities that saw double-digit increases in their August tax rebate checks, while Alpine, Fort Stockton and Odessa saw their rebate checks for the month drop by 10 percent or more.

Andrews reported the biggest increase for the month, continuing a trend that started earlier this year. The city got back $120,249 in taxes, a 50 percent increase over last year, while Big Spring and Crane saw their rebate checks increase by one third. Midland again had the area's largest tax rebate check, for $1.89 million, up 7.76 percent from a year ago.

Statewide, Rylander's office said rebate checks to cities and counties were down 4.7 percent from a year ago, at $257.5 million. Houston's check for August was $30.9 million, the largest in the state, but 7.57 percent lower than last year, while Dallas had the second largest tax rebate check, $19.4 million, which was down 7.59 percent from last year.

Bessie Haynes sets registration times

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- Bessie Haynes Elementary will be having registration from 6-8 p.m. next Tuesday, Aug. 13, in the school cafeteria for incoming fourth and fifth grade students.

If the student is new to the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, please bring the child's birth certificate, social security card, immunization record and report card of previous school attended.

Food Service Personnel will also be on hand to process free and reduced lunch applications.

Fall gym hours set by rec department

PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- The Pecos Community Recreation Department has set fall hours for the old Pecos High School gym, which will begin on the opening day of school, Aug. 19.

The gym will be open to the public from 4 to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays, with the exception of days when the gym is used for high school activities.


PECOS, Wed., August 7, 2002 -- High Tues. 92. Low this morning 74. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy  with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. East winds 5 to 15 mph.  The chance of rain is 20 percent. Thur.: Partly cloudy with a slight chance  of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 90s. SE winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of  rain is 20 percent. Thurs. night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance  of thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Fri.:  Partly cloudy. Highs 95 to 100. Sat.: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Highs 95 to 100.


Rita Carrasco

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