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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Council to seek bids on planned sewer extension

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council voted to begin the process of extending sewer lines on the north, south and east sides of Pecos as part of a discussion of several ongoing water projects, during their regular meeting this morning at City Hall.

Council members also addressed the city's policy concerning the accumulation of sick leave by employees and hear a complaint about the removal of security partitions in the lobby area of City Hall.

First the city council voted to approve advertising for bids on the extension of wastewater lines to outlying areas near the city. The proposed locations of construction are sections of 'F' and Hickory Streets on the north side of town, the east side of 13th Street and portions of West County Road.

The additions would satisfy state required extensions of the sewage system. These areas had previously been grandfathered to allow the residences to keep the cesspool waste elimination systems already in place before the mandate.

The bids will be for the construction alone; the final connection costs will have to come from any overage left over from the difference between the bids and the actual cost of construction, council members were told.

"The bids are expected to be high enough, however, if they are not it might be necessary to take the money needed for the final connections out of the contingency fund for the project," said engineer Edgardo Madrid with Frank Spencer and Associates.

Also the city approved additional funds to pay for the engineering hours that Madrid said the South Worsham Water Field has needed. The city is developing the water field to partially replace the current Worsham and Ward County water fields.

"The construction has exceeded the time estimation for services, only recently in the final phase of construction; the coordination of the telemetry that will eventually automate and regulate the valves on the pumps is taking more time than expected," Madrid added.

The money for the extra hours will come out of the Texas Water Development Board grant that was awarded for the project.

"Typically the cost of engineering services are around 8 percent, this increase will exceed that level slightly, but it doesn't all have to be used and Spencer and Associates have a good track record of keeping change orders to a minimum and projects within budget," city manager Carlos Yerena said.

"The grant still has $727,000 left in it, the $52,000 for the seven weeks of engineering work will be drawn form there," Yerena added, "we have allotted another $52,000 for change orders and the implementation of caliche roads around the field, with the remainder we hope to keep as a grant matching fund for future projects."

The council then discussed the current city sick leave policy that allows employees to accumulate a maximum of 30 paid sick days. Councilman Danny Rodriguez expressed his concern that employees would be left short of the needed time off and money needed when there is a long-term or serious illness in their family.

The council decided unanimously to extend the accumulation of sick days to 120, an amount that would allow employees to have enough paid leave days to cover the 120 day sick leave that the state requires employers to allow employees before termination.

In other business the council went into an executive session to discuss the duties of the water department superintendent. The council moved "to have city manager Yerena and Utilities director Octavio Garcia review employment options for the position."

The motion carried on a 3-1 vote, with councilman Danny Rodriguez in opposition to the motion.

During the public comments section, held at the start of the meeting, two local residents voiced their concerns about recent city actions.

Lupe Acosta expressed her displeasure over the city taking down the Plexiglas security partition in front of the utility department tellers.

"The council has turned its back on the women who work here," Acosta said. "The three council members that voted in favor of the change should be ashamed of themselves."

"We hear of terrorism happening around the world, Johnny Mata died because of terrorism, and you were wrong to endanger these women like this," she added. Mata was killed during combat in Iraq in March.

City employees, however, said that the removal of the partition was a nice change.

"I think that the loss of the windows will make the public feel more welcome here in city hall," said utilities department clerk Emma Carrasco. "I like the openness of it; I feel less boxed in now."

The removal had come from the numerous complaints that the city had heard over the security widows. Specifically Rodriguez had received complaints that residents felt like they were not welcome or wanted.

Council members then heard from city employee Richard Bonilla, who stated that he had not received any kind of raise since the council had approved a 3 percent salary increase for all city employees that was due to go into effect on Oct. 1. Bonilla also felt that the Town of Pecos should do more to celebrate Veterans' Day next month.

Mayor Dot Stafford assured Bonilla that the raise was across the board, but that it would be added at an individual employee's evaluation, for those evaluations happening after the Oct. 1 effective date. As for the veterans, Stafford applauded him coming before the council and pledged her assistance in doing more for "those that have fought to keep this country free."

Overnight rains cause flooding in area

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- Light, but welcome rains, passed through Pecos Wednesday night and early this morning, while heavier showers hit areas to the south of Reeves County, causing flood warnings for areas near both the Pecos River and the Rio Grande.

A flash flood warning for the Trans-Pecos areas of eastern Pecos and northern Terrell Counties was put in effect last night, and warnings were also issued for Presidio County in the Big Bend area.

"We've adjusted the warning for Presidio County," said National Weather Service Technician Eddie Brite.

He said that the showers that had been in the Pecos area have now moved east, after about a half inch of rain fell in the area during the past 24 hours.

"Today it will be mostly cloudy, with scattered showers," said Brite. Temperatures today are expected to top out at about 80 degrees, with a 40 percent chance of rain.

Weather for tomorrow calls for light and variable with a 20 percent chance of rain. "It will be mostly cloudy tomorrow with a 20 percent chance of rain, but most of it has moved from the Pecos area, east," said Brite.

The National Weather Service has continued the river flood warning for the Rio Grande below Presidio.

Other points along the river remain near or above bank-full. Rainfall amounts of over two inches have fallen in the watershed upstream of Presidio since Wednesday morning, and water is expected to reach up to the toe of the levee on the Rio Grande at Redford, 15 miles southeast of Presidio. However, no damage to the levee is expected, and the 9 foot crest is still a foot below a crest that occurred during the last significant rains on June 13 of this year.

Additional rainfall will be possible over the next 24 hours. However, rainfall will be scattered in nature, therefore river levels near Presidio are expected to fall below flood stage Friday morning, according to the NWS forecast.

The flood warning for Pecos and Terrell counties covered the sections nearest to the Pecos River. Bakersfield, Iraan, Sheffield and rural areas adjacent to the Pecos River, arroyos and creeks between Iraan and Sheffield in eastern Pecos and northern Terrell County.

The weather service said an observer in Sheffield reported water from Four Mile Draw covering Highway 349, four miles north of Sheffield. In addition, water from the Pecos River was nearing, but not covering Highway 349, on the southern outskirts of Iraan.

The Texas Department of Public Transportation reported several locations on Farm to Market 2400 washed out along a 40-mile stretch in Northern Terrell County. It is likely that portions of highway 349 and Farm to Market 2400 are covered with water where Independence Creek intersects these roads.

Map cuts part of Laredo out of Bonilla's district

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- Reeves County remains a part of District 23 and Ward County remains paired with Midland and Odessa in the compromise redistricting plan Texas legislators agreed to early this morning in Austin. But the new plan moves Ward County into District 11 and out of District 19, while also removing some of the more heavily Democratic areas in the southeastern part of District 23.

San Antonio Republican Henry Bonilla, who narrowly won re-election over Laredo Democrat Henry Cuellar in 2002, represents District 23. The Republican-backed redistricting plan is expected to help Bonilla by splitting Webb County and the city of Laredo into the 23rd and 28th Congressional Districts, while adding more of northwestern Bexar County, which gave Bonilla his margin of victory last year, to the 23rd District.

The 23rd District will continue to extend westward to the eastern part of El Paso County, and will include Reeves, Pecos, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster counties.

District 11 will run as far west as the Pecos River, and will include Ward County and the city of Barstow, along with Loving County. The largest cities in it will be Midland, Odessa and San Angelo, and the district will continue eastward to include Brownwood and Fredericksburg, and will extend slightly into the South Plains to take in Dawson and Scurry counties, and the cities of Lamesa and Snyder.

District 19 will now pair Lubbock and Abilene, while the northern Panhandle will be in District 13, which will include Amarillo and stretch southeastward to include Wichita Falls.

Clear skies expected to greet parade, bonfire

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- Rain showers which have been in the Pecos area since Wednesday are expected to let up this afternoon and evening, in time for the annual Pecos High School homecoming parade and bonfire events.

Lineup for the 2003 homecoming parade will be held today starting at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of Second and Eddy streets. The parade will travel south, along Eddy Street beginning at 5 p.m.. Judging of the parade floats will be conducted in front of Rediger's Pharmacy at Eighth and Eddy streets, and the parade will conclude at the Pecos High School baseball field.

The bonfire is scheduled to begin around 8:30 p.m. after sunset, and will take place at the former Town of Pecos City landfill, located south of the Reeves County Golf Course.

The 2003 Homecoming Queen and King will be crowned during halftime of Friday's game between Pecos and Kermit at Eagle Stadium. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Homecoming queen and king nominees this year are Alessandra Carrasco and her escort, Joe Marruffo, Natalia Ornelas and her escort, Pablo Rodriguez, and Stephanie Herrera and her escort, Oscar Parada.

Duke and duchesses for this year are Booker Fobbs and Liza Vejil from the junior class, Luis Nunez and Tiffany Tarango for the sophomore class and Francisco Ornelas and Raquel Barreno, representing the freshman class.

PHS Exes Tea, pep rally planned

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- The Pecos Eagle Homecoming 2003 Pep Rally will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 10, in the PHS New Gym, while a PHS Exes Tea will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in the lobby of the new gym.

The event will include PHS Calss of 1953 graduates who are holding their 50th reunion. All former PHS graduates are encouraged to attend both the tea and the pep rally.


PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 -- High Wed. 77. Low this morning 65. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. Lows 60 to 65. East winds near 10 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Fri.: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 75 to 80. East winds near 10 mph. Fri. night: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Sat.: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. East winds near 10 mph. Sat. night: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s to near 60.

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Pecos Enterprise
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