Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, August 9, 2002
School board OKs budget, plans to maintain tax rate
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Friday, August 9, 2002 -- The new budget and proposed tax rate for
the new school year was approved during the regular meeting of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD board meeting.
The group met at 6 p.m., Thursday evening to discuss several items, including
the budget and proposed tax rate, which the board voted to tentatively maintain
at its current level.
P-B-T ISD Finance Director Cookie Canon presented the budget to the board,
which had already been discussed during workshop held in recent weeks.
"This won't be exact, but it will be pretty close," said Canon, who had
worked out a 2002-2003 tentative budget with Superintendent Don Love that
showed a $7,000 surplus.
"So we are still $7,000 in the black?," asked board member Paul Deishler.
"We're actually $17,000 in the black," said Canon.
During a special meeting held on July 18, Love told board members that
that the elimination of two assistant principals would put the District
$7,306 in the black when total revenues and expenditures were taken into
Personnel Director Gome Olibas had talked to Victor Tarin, new principal
for Crockett Middle School, who assured him that he could handle seventh
and eighth graders without an assistant. The other assistant principal position
that was eliminated was at Austin Elementary School first through third
Love told the board that the main responsibilities of an assistant principal
is discipline and textbooks. If it is later found that the position is needed
to be re-established, they could be put in just prior to mid-term.
Board members also approved a date for a public meeting to discuss and
hear public comment on 2002-2003 budget and proposed tax rate. The date
has been set for Aug. 29 and the public notice is published in today's Pecos
"To bring in same amount of money per child it would take a tax rate
of $2.11," said Love. "The tax rate is currently $1.50."
The difference is due to the loss of students in the district and the
loss of state aid due to increased mineral valuations for P-B-T ISD a year
ago. The changes cost the district over $2.5 million in state funding, but
the loss of money already had been taken into account by school officials
when drawing up the new budget.
The extra money received last year mostly went into paying for repairs
for the district's seven campuses.
Along with the budget, board members approved the 2002 Certified Appraisal
Roll during last evening's meeting and with the anticipated collection rate.
The Appraisal Roll comes from the Reeves County Tax Appraisal District
and showed a gross of $248 million in real estate; and $345 million in mineral,
with net taxable on real estate set at $114 and on mineral at $345 million.
Combined total gross was set at $593 million and net taxable at $460 million.
"This shows an overall decrease of $48 million from last year," said P-B-T
ISD Tax Assessor Collector Lydia Prieto.
"The estimated collection rate for the current year is 95 percent," said
Prieto. "I anticipate at 98-100 percent collection rate of tax revenue needed
for this new school year," she said.
This includes current taxes, delinquent taxes, penalty and interest,
according to Prieto.
"Lydia does a great job for this district and we're very happy with the
work she does," said Love.
P-B-T campus repair projects nearly finished
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Friday, August 9, 2002 -- School campuses will have a new look by
the time Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students start the new school year in 10
days, according to a project report on the renovations being done at the
"We're winding down a long summer," said architect Monte Hunter, with
Hunter Corral Associates. "They're in good shape, we've started doing walk-throughs
and punch lists."
P-B-T ISD campuses have undergone a number of renovations since late
last year, using extra funds the district received in 2001 due to a sharp
rise in mineral valuations compaired with 2000's valuation numbers. The
money was a one-time windfall, and was offset this year by a cut in state
At Austin Elementary School, electrical outlet/data raceway installed
and completing wiring. Most of fire alarm system installed but still need
to hook up and install main control panel. Roofing replacement substantially
complete and it appears the project will be substantially completed on time,
according to Hunter.
Bessie Haynes Elementary, the abatement contractor needs to re-install
speakers and lights, and repair finish at tops of classrooms wall. "Ninety
percent of electrical raceways and fire alarm has been installed," said
Hunter. "Air conditioning units are installed and in process of connecting
roof top air condition units," he said.
The roof repair at that school has been completed and the project is
The fire alarm system at Crockett Middle School is 90 percent complete.
Gym air conditioning units and ducts are installed. About 95 percent of
electrical raceway and fire alarms have been installed. "They still need
to install window in-fills around new ductwork," said Hunter.
At Pecos High School, the replacement ceiling and air conditioning units
have been installed and the A/C units are being connected. Electrical raceways,
lighting and windows are almost completely installed, painting is in progress,
lockers are installed and carpet has been installed in most areas of the
"We began punching rooms on Aug. 6," said Hunter.
About 95 percent of the work is complete at the Pecos Kindergarten. "Everything
is coming together great and I think it will be completed by the time the
kids come in," said Hunter. "They're doing a real good job," he said.
In other action Thursday, the board reviewed the 2002 District Accountability
Data Tables, based on the recent reports by the Texas Education Agency.
Pecos High School was named a Recognized campus; Crockett Middle School,
Acceptable; Zavala Middle School, Recognized; Austin Elementary School,
Recognized and Bessie Haynes Elementary School was named an Exemplary Campus.
The ratings were based on TAAS results and other factors, such as dropout
rates, during the 2001-2002 school year.
"The district was named as acceptable, we need 80 percent or more at all
campuses to be recognized," said Love. "I think they did an outstanding job
and we're very proud."
Board members approved bus routes for the new school year and tabled a
request to name the new Technology Center after a recently retired P-B-T
The Pecos Downtown Lions Club had made the request to name the new center
after Larry Sloan, who most recently held the position of Technology Director
for the district.
Board president Billie Sadler requested permission to speak on the item
and told board members that she felt that this would set a precedent, and
others would want to name other buildings after individuals that they knew.
"This is just my opinion, but I think a committee should be formed to
look into this," said Sadler. "They could establish some form on naming
buildings after people, instead of bringing it to us."
Love said that he agreed with Sadler. "I think she has a point," he said.
"Larry did a super job for the district while he was here, we worked side
by side for four years and he is a very dedicated, intelligent individual
who gives his all.
"He lived for Career and Technology and did an outstanding job for the
community and the district," said Love. "I just don't think this is a Lion's
Club or Rotary Club decision to make."
Love said he had visited with TASB about the issue and had three sample
policies for naming buildings, that the district could follow.
"We have a committee that will be meeting soon and they could be asked
to look into this," said Love. "There's no policy out there right now."
"When we do local policies, we do what's best for the district, if it's
a state policy, then it's the law," said Love. "I think our people can come
up with some sort of policy."
Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez said that forming a committee
and letting them decide and then bring it to the board was a good idea. "I've
had a few individuals come up to me and request that we name the new gym
after someone," said Rodriguez.
Elementary and middle school handbooks were approved during the regular
meeting. The books will be handed out to all the students on the first day
KPEJ says work underway to restore station's signal
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Friday, August 9, 2002 -- Dallas Cowboy fans in Pecos may have to
wait until almost game time to find out if they will be able to watch tonight's
preseason opener versus the Oakland Raiders.
The game, which is scheduled be broadcast on KPEJ (Cable Ch. 8) at 8
p.m. tonight, may have local fans a little bit upset due to the poor reception
the station has been providing in the Pecos area recently.
KPEJ's signal has not been coming in very clear for the past week. Viewers
can only get a white snowy image and a buzzing noise on the audio, making
it impossible to view any show, much less a football game.
According to the receptionist for KPEJ in Odessa, Sandra Cabarobio, the
station has been working on repairing the problem.
"The chief engineer has been working on the problem for the past two
days," she said.
According to Cabarobio they do not have many problems out in this area.
She just said that sometimes things just break.
"Things just break down," Cabarobio said. "It's just like a computer."
Pecos residents might disagree with Cabarobio's statement, since signal
problems have been a common complaint since the station went on the air
in the area seven years ago.
KPEJ broadcasts in the Midland-Odessa area on Ch. 24, but the signal
it beams from an antenna north of Midland International Airport cannot reach
the area because the city is at a lower elevation. As a result it transmits
a signal for Pecos further west, to an antenna on 6,500-foot Gomez Peak,
which then broadcasts that signal over UHF Ch. 20 to the Pecos, Balmorhea
and Van Horn areas.
Bad weather caused the signal to fail often over between 1995 and 2001,
when the UHF translator station was on UHF Ch. 18. It was taken off last
June when Univision began broadcasting in Midland-Odessa over Ch. 18 (seen
in Pecos on Cable Ch. 38). Pecos cable customers then received Fox via a
satellite link for the next five months, but that station failed to carry
most of last fall's Cowboy games.
In November, KPEJ began sending their signal to Pecos via a microwave
relay, the same method ABC affiliate KMID uses to get its signal into Pecos.
However, the microwave relay option is far more expensive, and only served
Classic Cable customers in Pecos.
When KPEJ received permission earlier this year to resume broadcasting
from Gomez Peak on Ch. 20, the microwave signal was terminated.
Though they have been getting complaints since Monday, Cabarobio is hopeful
that they will have made the necessary repairs by game time tonight.
"Hopefully it will be repaired before the game tonight," Cabarobio said.
KPEJ was not the only station that has had problems out in this area
providing a clear image during the past week. KMID has also been having
problem with their microwave signal, which is relayed to Pecos from a transmission
tower near Notrees.
White screen images have been causing KMID's signal to fade out in recent
days, due to problems with the microwave signal which began after severe
thunderstorms passed through the Notrees area last week.
The station, which hosts Monday Night Football, has been fixed and is
ready for its second Monday Night Football game against San Francisco and
Denver scheduled for August 19.
However, Cowboy fans won't have to worry about KMID's signal this year.
Dallas is not scheduled to play on Monday Night Football in 2002, with all
16 of their regular season games either on KPEJ, KOSA (Ch. 7) or on ESPN's
Sunday night cable telecast.
Registration Monday for 6th grade students
PECOS, Friday, August 9, 2002 -- Parents whose child will be attending
the 6th grade this year can register them on Monday in the Zavala
Elementary cafeteria from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m.
Fall athletics scheduled Tuesday for Crockett girls
PECOS, Friday, August 9, 2002 -- All seventh and eighth grade girls planning
to participate in fall athletics need to bring their physical forms, pick
up work out clothes and fill out athletic paperwork from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday
at the Crockett Middle School gym.
A short parent/athlete meeting will be held at this time.
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 2002 by Pecos Enterprise