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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, August 13

Commissioners look at tax totals for budget

Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 13, 2002 - Reeves County Commissioners were given final numbers on 2002 tax valuations and preliminary estimates on the 2003 budget, while appointing a tax assessor to calculate the effective tax rate for the upcoming year, during their regular meeting Monday at the Reeves County Courthouse.

Commissioners also tabled any action on a presentation on a supplemental county retirement plan made by a local investment firm representative, due in part to limitations in the county's computer software.

Reeves County Tax Assessor/Collector Elfida Zuniga was appointed to calculate the effective tax rate for the county.

Zuniga read a summary of the values and told the court that the estimated collection rate was 93 percent and 95 percent was collected this year.

Estimated 2003 tax revenue based on 2002 certified values and current rate of 40.513 per $100 value was 2002 appraised value, real was set at $144 million; mineral, $307 million with a total appraisal value set at $451 million.

"We did get the railroad rolling stock in last week, which was $1.9 million," said Zuniga. "Using the same tax rate we had a decrease in revenue of about $100,000," she said.

"I haven't calculated the tax rate, but the county auditor used last years to calculate it," said Zuniga, who said she would have the calculated tax rate in soon.

This past year's tax rate was 40.513 cents per $100 in valuations. "This is probably the lowest rate the county has had in years," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

The county's rate had stayed around 57 cents per $100 in valuations during most of the 1990s, but a sharp jump last year in mineral valuations allowed the county to cut its tax rate.

"We had a very good collection rate this year," said Zuniga. "It's up two percent and I'd like to keep the 93 percent, I'm always very cautious on that," she said.

Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo asked Zuniga if more properties have been struck due to unpaid taxes this year than last.

"We have a few properties, it's similar to last year," said Zuniga.

Commissioners listened to a presentation by local Edward Jones Representative Crissy Martinez on the supplemental retirement plan for county employees the company was seeking to provide, but decided to take no action at Monday's meeting.

In her presentation Martinez outlined the many benefits of having an optional supplemental retirement plan and all that it would entail.

"I'll try to make it as easy as possible for the county and plan to individualize each plan and meet with each and every employee," she said.

However, county auditor Lynn Owens said that the employee deductions options were full on the county's computer program

"We have 14 lines and they are all full, we would have to drop something," said Owens. "There is also one insurance company that a few county employees have and they can't drop it no matter what."

This would pose a problem, because the software developer had stated that no new items could be added, according to Owens.

"We'll have to create the software space for the deduction to be made and I don't know where we could do that, or what we could drop," said Owens. "There are a number of things that have to be on there, like child support, student loans and things like that," he said.

The group tabled the item until more information can be gathered and to see if the space can be created for such a deduction.

"I would like to table this for now and work to resolve the software issue, and other issues that might come up," said Galindo.

"Talking with each employee would also interrupt the work schedule, but there may be an opportune time when you can talk to a group of them," he said.

Commissioners approved consolidating voting Box 9 with voting Box 8. "This would eliminate Orla," said county clerk Dianne Florez. "These individuals would vote at Lamar Elementary School."

The Orla box, located at Red Bluff Lake has usually had fewer than 10 persons cast votes in recent elections.

Voters there will now have to make the 40 mile drive to Lamar AEP campus at Oak and `F' streets in Pecos to vote in future elections.

Commissioners also approved the relocation of voting Box 2 and voting Box 11.

"Box two would be from Pecos Elementary to Odessa College due to the closing of the school," said Florez. "This was also done in the primary elections."

Florez said that voters who used to vote at Box 11 in Bessie Haynes Elementary School would now cast their votes at the neighboring Sidney Sadler Community Center for all future elections.

Balmorhea to offer free student meals

Students attending Balmorhea Independent School District will be receiving meals at no charge throughout the academic school year of 2003.

According to a letter sent out by Balmorhea ISD all children will be provided with a free breakfast and lunch regardless of their family's income or family size.

According to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, Business Manager, Cookie Canon, in October of last year 1,735 students of the district's 2,600 students were either on free or reduced lunches.


Joe Carpenter

PECOS, Aug. 13, 2002 - Alfred Joseph "Joe" Carpenter, 85, of El Paso, formerly of Pecos, died Sunday, Aug. 11, 2002, at White Acres Nursing Home in El Paso.

Services are scheduled for 1:15 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 15, at Harding Orr McDaniel Funeral Home Chapel, 320 Montana Ave., with burial at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery with military honors.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, at the First Christian Church in Pecos.

He was born Oct. 13, 1916, in El Paso, graduated from El Paso High School and Texas College of Mines, worked for Fabens Motor Company and McCormac Tractor and Implement Company, retired from the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Murphy DD-603 during the Invasion of Normandy, including the bombardment of Cherbourg from June 6-25, 1944, moved to Pecos in the early `50's where he owned the Ginger Blue Ranch until the early `70's, also retired from the Texas Employment Commission where he was manager from 1963 to 1978. In Pecos he was a member of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post, the American Legion, the Pecos Gun and Rifle Club, and Leroy's Coffee Club.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Marion McCormac Carpenter and one daughter, Linda Carpenter Faulkner.

Survivors include one brother, Andrew H. Carpenter of Indian Valley, Calif.; one daughter, Nancy Tyler and two grandchildren.

PECOS, Aug. 13, 2002 - High Monday 100. Low this morning 72. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, some storms this evening may be severe with large hail and damaging winds. Lows 65 to 70. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs near 90. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Thursday: Partly cloudy and warmer. Highs in the mid 90s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Lows 70 to 75. Highs near 100.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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