Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 18, 2002
Commissioners discuss budget, pool repair costs
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 18, 2002 -- A conservative attitude with no additions to
the budget were being asked of Reeves County employees and department
heads, during a budget hearing held this morning on the third floor
of the courthouse.
But commissioners were also told that at least one county recreational
facility would need considerably more money than budgeted in order to meet
state operating standards.
The hearing, along with adoption of the 2003 county budget and tax rate,
were to be topics of discussion during a special Reeves County Commissioners
Court meeting scheduled for today.
Throughout the morning, commissioners went over the budget, line-item
by line-item in each department, as they sought to maintain the county's
current tax rate despite a decline in valuations during the past year.
"Try not to add to this budget and be as conservative as we can be," said
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
The proposed 2003 budget is based on a tax rate of 40 cents per $100 valuation,
which is the same as last year's rate. An estimated 93 percent collection
rate was assessed for the new budget.
The budgets for the different departments were also set essentially the
same as last year, under the proposal discussed during the hearing.
"The budget was done on existing salaries," said county auditor Lynn Owens,
during a line-item discussion.
Commissioners also were given a report on the North Side Pool during this
morning's hearing. The county has budgeted $11,940 for the pool, but Road
and Bridges Administrator Russ Salcido said over $60,000 more would need
to be spent in order to get the facility back into operation.
"It's been closed for the past two years," said county auditor Lynn Owens.
"It needs some renovations to see if it will open up in May."
"We've done a lot of repairs out there, but there is still a lot that
needs to be done to bring up to standards," Salcido told commissioners.
He said his department had gotten an estimate on bringing the pool to
up to standards at one time and that it was set at $74,000.
"That's the first I hear of this," said Galindo. "What is the 74 for?"
"We actually got two quotes and one was for a little less, but not to
bring it up to standard," said Salcido. "It'll be like re-doing the whole
Salcido said that they've done most of the plumbing and corrected other
problems out at the pool, which was built 20 years ago, but that it still
doesn't meet the state's standards. "As far as being usable, yes, but it
doesn't meet the requirements," he said.
"The city had similar problems with their pool and they just seal coated
and fixed the leaks," said Galindo. "Could we maybe do something like that?"
"I don't know if it will work on this one," said Salcido.
"The next step is to see what will keep us in compliance and if it needs
improvements how much it will cost," said Galindo. "Why don't you look into
it and bring it back to the court."
Salcido said that he would contact the appropriate companies to come check
out the pool and see exactly how much it would cost to bring it into compliance.
"Then we can find out if we can re-open it next year," said Galindo.
Galindo said that $10-$15,000 could be used for repairs at the pool. "But
we can't afford $74,000," he said.
"Operating and being up to standards are two different things," said Salcido.
"But I'll check it out," he said.
Jobless rates still affected by Anchor's closing
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 18, 2002 -- The end of the harvest season in the Pecos
area helped lower the number of workers and the number of jobs in the
city and in Reeves County last month, but did nothing to change the
area's high unemployment rate following the closing of the Anchor Foods
plant at the end of May.
The numbers released by the Texas Workforce Commission on Friday showed
the number of workers in Reeves County dropped from 7,905 in September to
6,579 last month, while the number of jobs went down from 6,473 to 5,339,
which left the county's jobless rate at 18.8 percent. That's up from September's
18.1 percent, but down from the previous three months, when the jobless rate
in the county was over 19 percent.
TransPecos Foods has reopened the former Anchor onion processing facility,
and entered into an agreement last month to supply onion rings for Dairy
Queen restaurants across Texas. But the workforce at the plant is still well
below the 700 level it was at a year ago when McCain Foods announced it would
close the facility, which it acquired after buying Anchor Foods in September
The 6,579 workers in Reeves County is about average for recent years,
based on the TWC's figures for October. Since 1990, the county's workforce
has ranged from a low of just over 6,000 workers in 1997 to over 7,200 in
October of 1999, and stood at 6,360 a year ago. But the 5,339 jobs within
the county is the lowest total for October since at least 1990, based on
figures available at the commission's website. Last year, Reeves County had
6,014 people working in October, giving the county a 5.4 percent jobless
The jobless numbers for the Town of Pecos City are even higher. Unemployment
for October was 21.2 percent, up from 20.4 percent in September and from
6.3 percent in October of 2001. Despite the Anchor layoffs, the city's labor
force is up by over five percent from last year, from 4,950 to 5,229, but
the number of jobs in the city has fallen by almost 12 percent, from 4,640
In September, the city had 6,276 workers and 4,994 employed. As with the
county, the drop in workers and jobs is due in part to seasonal employment.
The rise in unemployment for both the city and county came while other
areas of the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos saw their jobless totals drop
last month. Midland-Odessa unemployment fell from 6.2 to 5.6 percent, while
in the two nearby counties that also had people working at the Anchor plant,
Ward and Winkler counties, unemployment also declined. The jobless rate fell
from 11.7 to 10.7 percent in Winkler and from 9.3 to 8.2 percent in Ward
Last October, unemployment stood at 5.5 percent in Ward County and 5.4
percent in Winkler County. The number of jobs in Ward County was unchanged
from September while the labor force declined, while Winkler County gained
jobs while its workforce remained unchanged.
Pecos County's jobless rate last month was 6.8 percent, down .1 percent
from September, while the jobless rate in Andrews County fell from 5.2 to
4.9 percent. Presidio County continues to have the area's highest unemployment
rate, though is also dropped in October, falling from 22.7 to 22.3 percent,
according to the TWC's figures.
Hospital plans two seminars about diabetes
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 18, 2002 -- Two separate diabetes seminars will be held,
at 6 p.m., Wednesday and next week in the classroom at the Reeves County
There will be free admission and many topics covered.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes will be discussed by Dr. Oladele "Dele"
Olusanya and nutrition by Christine Little, dietician.
The other seminar will be held on Monday, Nov. 25.
Topics will be: exercises for diabetics and foot care by Steve Cavitt,
RCH Physical Therapist and other problems resulting from diabetes (eye, kidneys,
sexual function) by Dr. Olusanya
For more information or to register call Reeves County Hospital at 447-3551,
ext. 242 or 350.
PECOS, Mon., Nov. 18, 2002 -- High Sun. 74. Low this morning 55. Forecast
for tonight: Clear. Lows around 30. NE winds 5 to 10 mph. Tues.: Mostly
sunny. Highs 65 to 70. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Tues. night: Clear.
Lows 30 to 35. Wed.: Sunny. Highs around 65. Thurs.: Mostly clear.
Lows 35 to 40. Highs 65 to 70.
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