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Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Commissioners OK TransPecos abatement, loan

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 27, 2002 -- Reeves County Commissioners took steps towards reviving what  was the county's largest single employer until earlier this year, granting  the maximum tax abatement for a 10-year period to TransPecos Foods  during their regular meeting held Monday.

"We granted the maximum tax abatement, using the City of Pecos charter," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

TransPecos Foods purchased the former Anchor Foods onion processing plant this past summer from McCain Foods, which had acquired both Anchor and the facility last year. McCain announced on Nov. 12, 2001 it would shut down the plant in the spring of 2002, putting 700 employees out of work.

TransPecos Foods reopened the facility in September, and last month secured a contract to provide onion rings to Dairy Queen restaurants across Texas. However, production and employment remains below last year's levels, and company officials were seeking the tax abatement to help TransPecos Foods with any future expansion.

The conditions under which a business can get the maximum tax abatement include that the company implement the creation of 15 jobs and investment of over $100,000.

In addition, Reeves County loaned TransPecos Food Company $500,000 from the county's Revolving Loan Fund for a 10-year period at three percent interest.

"We're serious about trying to help stimulate the economy and hopefully help this very productive industry thrive again," said Galindo.

TransPecos Foods President Patrick Kennedy was on hand to make a presentation to the group and meet with the commissioners.

"The action taken by the commissioners court showed the extension of local support of economic development efforts," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said the company looked forward to working with other governmental entities that are legally permitted to provide tax abatements in support of new business in the community, which are creating new jobs.

"We're confident that as our sales grow at TransPecos Foods we will be able to increase the work force and we are working very diligently to increase sales volumes," he said.

Kennedy said that they have been in contact with or touched close to 3,000 people, big sales companies in food distribution, all over the U.S. by mail. "In personal calls, contacting foodservice operators has been close to 1,000," he said.

Kennedy said that the company has a goal that will be pursued aggressively beginning in January.

The group made a presentation on the company's market aspects and production line.

"It's great that they have already contacted close to 5,000 potential customers, just in Texas," said Galindo.

The company is also a part of the GO-Texas campaign sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

In their presentation Trans Pecos Foods listed their philosophy as having the finest ingredients: top quality onions, batter and breading; gourmet hand-packed product versus Machine packed and highly skilled and experienced production staff. Value: production and shipping within Texas means high fill rates and product availability and as manufacturer, can offer competitive pricing.

The company is Texas owned, a privately held company and major life force to the Pecos community.

As part of the Go-Texas Program, the Trans Pecos Foods supports and participates in GO-TEXAN Program, buying and selling primarily Texas products and the program is endorsed by Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs.

Onion varieties used by the local facility include Cimarron and Vaquero, the finest "select" long day varieties of sweet Spanish yellows, good "ringer" onions, grown especially for use as onion rings and Texas onions grown in Rio Grande Valley, West Texas Plains and TransPecos area.

Onion ring varieties produced at the plant are gourmet crumb, homestyle, beer battered, batter-dipped, performed ring and cowboy cut.

The company also plans production of appetizers similar to those offered by Anchor. They include vegetable appetizers; okra, corn nuggets and zucchini; for breakfast, French toast; cheese appetizers, cheese sticks and stuffed jalapenos.

Hospital board briefed on new insurance law

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 27, 2002 -- Reeves County Hospital District board members were given  a presentation on pending health insurance laws and rejected a bid  for property during the board's Tuesday meeting at the classroom in  Reeves County Hospital.

The board was given a presentation on the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) by Lilly Serrano, who spoke for about 15 minutes about the basics of the program.

According to Serrano everyone from the administration staff to the volunteers at the hospital must be trained on the HIPAA, which is a new federal law designed to improve health insurance coverage.

"There are five titles to HIPAA," Serrano said. "Title two is for the hospital."

Title two deals with the Administration Implementation, which deals with patient information that should be kept confidential.

"HIPPA effects everyone," Serrano said. "A news release will be sent out to all the newspaper once HIPAA is final."

In discussing the property sale, the board heard from Administrator Robert Vernor about the bids on property located at block 32, L&W Sub, Pecos, Reeves County, Texas.

One of the bids that the board had received was for $1500 of which Vernor advised the board not to accept the bid.

Out of the $1500, the hospital would only receive 1/6 of the bid, Vernor said.

Director Chel Flores made a motion not to accept the bid with Director Hugh Box seconding it.

Box later made the motion to accept the sale of property located at 525 Martinez Street.

In other business, Vernor said that after asking the staff if they would rather have a Christmas party or Christmas Appreciation Awards the majority of the staff said they would rather receive awards. Box then made a motion to accept the awards with Director Leo Hung seconding it.

Vernor also gave an investment report that consists of two parts.

Part one consisted of certificates of deposit and part two consists of a memo that covers the current investment policies.

In explaining the investments, Vernor told the board that they are $36,000 ahead from last year.

"We have increased our cash flow from last year," Vernor said.

With that said Box made the motion to accept the investment report and Flores seconding it.

Regarding the administration report, Vernor told the board that they are having problems with Southwest Medical and have talked to another emergency room company based out of Dallas. He added that he has talked to other people who have said that they are pleased with their services.

Vernor told the board that the emergency room company has a document system that helps by cutting down a lot of the writing.

"I have given them (Southwest) 90 days notice," Vernor said.

Vernor added that the current emergency room doctors are doing a good job and hopes they will continue to stay.

Vernor also said that in preparing for refurbishing and modernization work at the hospital, they are trying to contract a construction company with health care experience.

By having health care experience, Vernor said that it would help with infection and noise control.

So far some the companies that have sent in their information about their health care experiences are based out of Houston, Dallas, El Paso, San Angelo and San Antonio.

"By next meeting the board can accept or reject any or all the bids," Vernor said.

Bids would then open for the January meeting, Vernor said.

According to President of the Board, Linda Gholson, the board approved the minutes from the previous meeting and the consent agenda.

Gholson also said that the hospital auxiliary reported on their district meeting in Big Spring.

Thanksgiving closings planned, officials advise caution on roads

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 27, 2002 -- Some local businesses will be closing early and most will be closed  on Thursday, while Texas Department of Transportation officials want  travelers to be prepared for any possible delays on the roads, as people travel to  and from the Pecos area and across West Texas for Thanksgiving.

City, county, state and federal offices will be closed on Thursday, along with all U.S. Post Offices and both Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea ISD schools.

People wanting to do some last minute grocery shopping will have time to do so early on Thursday, between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. at La Tienda Grocery Store and from 8 a.m. until 12 noon at Bob's Thriftway. Local convenience stores will remain open all day for last-minute Thanksgiving Day items.

The Family Dollar will also be open tomorrow between the hours of 9 a.m. till 4 p.m.

The Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce will be closed both Thursday and Friday, while West Texas National Bank and Security State Bank close at 3 p.m. today and will reopen on Friday. Security State will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., while West Texas National Bank also hold its regular hours lobby on Friday from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. and its drive thru hours of 7:30 a.m. till 6 p.m.

The Pecos Enterprise will also be closed in observance of Thanksgiving but will reopen for regular business hours on Friday.

For people who'll be traveling out of town for Thanksgiving today or Thursday, Texas Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety officials urge caution on roads, especially in areas where construction is currently underway.

In Reeves County, that includes U.S. 285 in a 21-mile section north of Pecos, between Orla and the State Highway 302 intersection west of Mentone, where the highway currently is being resurfaced.

In West Texas, other sections of highway where construction work could cause delays include:

n I-10 _ Ten miles east of Ft. Hancock, between mile markers 80 and 90 with one lane open in each direction.

n I-10 _ Eight miles east of Sierra Blanca, between mile markers 112 and 120, with one lane open in each direction.

n I-10 _ In El Paso, one mile east of Lee Trevino Blvd, at mile marker 30, on eastbound lane closed.

n I-10 _ In El Paso, one mile east of Cotton St, at mile marker 20, one eastbound lane closed.

n I-10 _ In El Paso, Eastlake Ave, three miles at mile marker 30, east and westbound lanes detoured at Gateways.

n I-20 _ In Nolan County (Sweetwater), down to one lane of traffic both east and westbound for approximately four miles between FM 1856 and SH 70 south.

TxDOT and the DPS also remind drivers that with thousands injured or killed by drunk drivers every year, motorists to refrain from drinking and driving. The legal limit for intoxication is a .08 blood alcohol level for those 21 and over. But for anyone under 21, it's zero tolerance.

Drivers and passengers also should always use safety belts properly. In addition to driver and front seat passengers riding in a car or light truck, Texas law also requires that all children 12 and under are safest when secured in the back seat.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers and other local law enforcement officials plan to enforce the second phase of "Click It or Ticket" as part of a national effort to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday. The program began this past Sunday and continues through next Sunday, Dec. 1.

Little League sets Sunday meeting to plan for 2003

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 27, 2002 -- The Pecos Little League will be holding a meeting at 7 p.m. Sunday at Saragosa Hall, Sixth and Peach streets, for anyone interested in helping with the 2003 Little League, Junior League and Senior League seasons.

The meeting will concern the league's constitution and amendments, by-laws, reports on members and finances, along with new business. The league is also looking to fill its executive positions for 2003, including president, vice-president, secretary/treasurer, safety office, player agent and coaching positions.

Anyone interested in helping out is urged to attend Sunday's meeting.

School bands hold Christmas concert

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 27, 2002 -- The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD bands will be performing their Christmas Concert at 7 p.m., Monday in the Pecos High School Auditorium.

The concert will begin with the sixth grade band, followed by both Crockett Middle School Bands, and both high school bands.

Sixth grade band members need to be on stage at 6:30 p.m., seventh and eighth grade band members need to be in the cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.

Get in the Christmas spirit and support the student's hard work by attending. Admission is free.


PECOS, Wed., Nov. 27, 2002 -- High Tues. 43. Low this morning 38. Forecast for tonight:  Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Light and variable winds.  Thanksgiving Day: Partly cloudy. Highs 55 to 60. NE winds 5 to 15 mph. Thurs.  night: Increasing cloudiness. Lows in the mid 30s. Fri.: Mostly cloudy.  Highs near 60. Sat.: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Highs near 60.


Irene Holm

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