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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Commissioners asked to start search for new agents

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Aug. 12, 2003 -- Reeves County Commissioners discussed getting a new county extension agent and a family and consumer sciences coordinator for the county during their regular meeting, held Monday morning at the Reeves County Courthouse.

Brenda Rue, District Extension Director, was on hand to discuss the positions and the responsibilities of both agents for Reeves County.

"We're considering moving forward to open the positions," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

The extension agent position has been vacant since the beginning of the year, while the family and consumer sciences post has been open since last summer. Galindo said that earlier this spring there were a number of budget cuts at the state level and the state froze this hiring.

"We're waiting for the outcome of the Texas Legislative Session to move forward," said Galindo. "As partners with them we have gotten this position funded."

Rue said that other counties had had the position cut, but that the funding for Reeves County to have both positions was approved.

"It's very important that we maintain an extension position in Reeves County, both the agriculture and the ASC," said Rue. "They did not touch those two positions."

Rue said that they felt that the agents were very important in the West Texas area.

"The county extension agent brings researched information in your city pertaining to agriculture," she said. "Issues such as information on cattle, livestock, farming and horticulture."

Pest control and anything pertaining to agriculture will be researched and information provided on by the county extension agent.

The family and consumer sciences agent will bring information and help with issues pertaining to the family, financial issues, Better Living for Texas, programming on diabetes, education and child education. "The agent will also provide information on clothing and youth," said Rue.

"We see a very important need to improve youth activities," said Rue. "There's a lot of money put aside in correctional youth, so it's equally important to invest money in youth opportunities."

Reeves County is responsible for paying the county extension agent a particular sum of money, according to Galindo.

Rue said that the county was responsible for a third of the funding and the state would fund the other two-thirds.

"What we contributed was $10,000 and also fund the administrative assistant," said Galindo. "The total is about $50,000."

The court will need to submit a letter to open the county extension positions on agriculture and consumer science to new applicants.

Rue said that graduates from universities such as New Mexico, Texas Tech and Texas A&M are now going out into the work force. "We like to select individuals from these colleges, because they do major in this," said Rue.

Rue said that the position could possibly be filled by November and that Reeves County was welcome to participate in the selection process. "You also need to be comfortable with the individual that is selected for this position," she said.

In other action, Reeves County Tax Assessor-Collector Elfida Zuniga was approved to calculate the effective tax rate.

Zuniga reported to the court that the exemptions would remain the same and the two payment option plan for paying taxes was still available.

"We met our goal for tax collection, which we had estimated at 93 percent," said Zuniga. "I believe last year it was 94 percent," she said.

"Our values were down some this year with real estate and minerals, but the railroad stock went up," said Zuniga.

Commissioners also approved a property bid at 1100 S. Pecan St. for $750 and a grant for the Criminal Justice Department.

"This is the third year we utilize this grant," said county auditor Lynn Owens.

The grant is for $10,920 and the county has a fund match of $1,113.

An agreement between Reeves County and ProTELL Systems was approved. "This is to provide electronic monitoring for the youth at home," said Owens.

Reeves County has an agreement with Hays County Juvenile Center for the past two years and will continue to utilize their services. "We have an existing contract with them, one for substance abuse and one for sexual abuse," said Owens.

Cost for utilizing the facility will be $94 per day for the substance abuse and $104 for the sexual abuse. "That's a $6 increase for the substance abuse," said Owens. "We had one detainee there and have not had to use Reeves County money for it, because we had a grant," he said.

Payments to different construction providers for the Reeves County Detention Center III were approved.

Final payment to ACME Electric Company in the amount of $180,754 was approved. "All the documentation for closure was there, all the figures checked out and it was approved by both the architect and Carothers Construction (who was in charge of the construction at the new facility)," said Owens.

Final payments were also approved for ABCO Fire Protection in the amount of $32,837; ISI Detention Contracting Group in the amount of $101, 641 and Jarratt Dirt Work in the amount of $17,521.

A change order for Carothers Construction was approved. "There was a savings on the project on the Guaranteed Maximum Price," said Galindo.

The Guaranteed Maximum Price on the facility had been estimated at $30.3 million, but the price was actually $29.6 million. "That's a savings of $647,809," said Galindo.

That sum will be split 70-30, between Reeves County and Carothers Construction, with Carothers Construction receiving $194,342 and Reeves County $453,466.

"In other words, we came in under budget," said Owens. "Carothers has applied for a third of it, which is $64,781," he said.

New hires for the county included: Diane Tersero in the tax assessor-collector's office at $20,000 per year and Amanda Matta as a part-time employee at the Reeves County Library at $5.25 per hour for 171/2 hours per week.

Drugs, stolen items found in south side raid

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Aug. 12, 2003 -- A large quantity of illegal drugs and numerous stolen items were confiscated Monday evening by officers from the Pecos Police Department at a home on the south side of town.

One person was arrested as a result of the raid, which occurred at approximately 7:07 p.m., and involved the seizure of both heroin and cocaine from the residence.

According to Pecos Police, officer executed a search warrant at the home of Ruben Barreno, 2217 S. Hackberry St.

"During the search of the residence, officers found inside of Barreno's bedroom 65 balloons, which contained a substance believed to be black tar heroin," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

Each balloon weighed approximately one gram and the street value of this heroin has been estimated at approximately $26,000, according to Deishler.

"We also found several balloons, which contained a smaller amount of a substance to be heroin," said Deishler.

Also found inside the bedroom, was an undetermined quantity of a substance believed to be cocaine.

"Officers also located various types of men's and women's jewelry, which is believed to be stolen property," said Deishler. The items included a number of watches, along with earrings and other assorted jewelry.

Deishler said that among the items found were also different types of power tools, a weed eater and other types of assorted tools, which are also believed to be stolen.

Officers completed their search of the residence and the investigation is continuing. Charges will be filed on Barreno, 52, of Pecos, according to Deishler.

If anyone is missing jewelry, power tools, or assorted tools contact Lt. Kelly Davis or Investigator Olga Lopez at the Criminal Justice Center to identify the property.

"If you have a photograph of your jewelry or some other type of identification please bring it with you," said Deishler.

He added that serial numbers would help in identifying the stolen items so they can be returned to their owners.

Barstow given grants to buy fire equipment

PECOS, Tues., Aug. 12, 2003 -- The Texas Forest Service has awarded the Barstow Volunteer Fire Department two cost sharing grants totaling $4,150 for purchase of equipment through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program.

The Barstow VFD was given a $1,000 grant for purchase of computer equipment and a grant for $3,150 to purchased two self-contained breathing apparatus. The funds come out of the rural program, also known as the 2604 Program, which is a $15 million cost-sharing program funded by contributions from the insurance industry and administered by the Texas Forest Service.

According to Joe Fox, program manager with the TFS in Bryan, over $14.4 in grants for equipment and training have been awarded under the 2604 Program since Sept. 1 of last year. "Requests for $80.7 million in assistance have already been received, and additional requests are likely," Fox said. "These requests clearly indicate that the 2604 Program addresses an unmet need of the state's volunteer fire departments. The program will obviously have a backlog of requests for several years."

The requests by the Barstow VFD were approved in June, and the checks totaling $4,150 were sent to the fire department last month.

Season ticket sales for Eagles football underway

PECOS, Tues., Aug. 12, 2003 -- Pecos Eagle season tickets have gone on sale for the five originally scheduled 2003 home games, for fans wanting to renew their tickets from last year.

The tickets are $25 each and are for the home games on Sept 4 against Alpine; Sept. 25 versus Crane; Oct. 10 against Kermit, Oct. 24 against Monahans and Nov. 7 against Midland Greenwood. The just-added Aug. 29 game against Midland Christian is not currently part of the season ticket package.

Season ticket holders from 2002 will have until Aug. 22 to reclaim their seasons. Season tickets for the rest of the general public will go on sale on Aug. 25 at the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD business office, 1302 S. Park St. For further information, contact the business office at 447-7204.


PECOS, Tues., Aug. 12, 2003 -- High Monday 107. Low this morning 79. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. Northeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows near 60. Thursday: Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. The chance of rain 30 percent.


Beverly Burton, Janie Rodriguez, Cipriano Dominguez, Cypriano Gomez and Ermine E. Hourigan

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