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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 17, 2003

City given OK to open new landfill

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 17, 2003 -- Old structures that pose a hazard to the community will be one of the first things to go into the new landfill, when it goes into operation in the next few weeks.

"We received verbal authorization to use the new landfill," said Town of Pecos City Manager Carlos Yerena.

The new landfill is located at the site of the landfill the city opened 14 years ago, two miles south of Pecos, but whose use was then limited by state regulations.

Yerena said that Pecos had received the verbal consent from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, the state agency that governs landfills in Texas.

"They did a final inspection and told us that it had passed and was ready to be used," said Yerena.

Yerena said that although they did receive verbal consent, the city had not received the consent in writing. "We don't have any documentation yet," said Yerena.

Yerena said that the city will first take some of the old buildings and burned out structures out to the landfill. "That's our first priority, to demolish those old buildings and take the debris to the landfill," said Yerena.

Yerena said that after that project the city would open up the landfill to the public. "We want to do that first, before we open it up to the public, because we really need to get rid of these old buildings, they pose a hazard to the community," he said.

Construction of a new landfill became possible when the Town of Pecos City was able to obtain an arid exemption from the state of Texas for its construction. When the city attempted to obtain a similar exemption in the late 1980s, the Texas Commission on Natural Resources, the forerunner to the current commission, denied its request.

The state denied the permit, saying the site was too close to the Pecos River, even though the city was able to produce 30-year-old newspapers from the landfill that showed no water deterioration. As a result, Pecos had to spend additional funds to build a landfill with a rubber liner for the trench, a project that ran into construction problems and came in over is projected $1.2 million budget in 1992.

Faced with similar costs, the council voted against building a second rubber-lined trench in 1995 and contracted with Charter Waste Management, now Duncan Disposal, for transportation of the city's waste to the company's regional landfill near Penwell. Grant funds earmarked for the landfill at the time were diverted to construction of transmission lines for the South Worsham water field, which is now nearing completion.

State approves city's Main St. application bid

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 17, 2003 -- Three years after its first application was turned down, the Town of Pecos has received approval from the Texas Historical Commission for the city's designation as one of the new Texas Main Street Cities.

The THC designated the cities of Grand Saline, McKinney, Pecos and Pharr as the 2004 Official Texas Main Street Cities. The announcement was made today during the THC's fall quarterly commission meeting in Amarillo.

"The Texas Main Street Program is one of our most successful and recognized programs," said THC Chairman John L. Nau, III. "We have seen tremendous accomplishments in both large and small Main Street communities in the past 22 years and believe these four cities will be among our most notable programs," he said.

The newly designated cities join more than 70 other Texas cities in the downtown revitalization program sponsored by the THC. Each 2004 designated Main Street city will have a kick off for their program with a visit from the Texas First Lady, Anita Perry. Each city will also receive free technical assistance, design assistance and training from the THC's Texas Main Street Program staff.

Pecos first applied for inclusion in the Main Street program in 2000, but was turned down. The THC encouraged the city to reapply the following year, and commission members held a tour of the downtown area in February of 2001. But the application again was denied, and another attempt in 2002 also fell short.

In an effort to increase the city's chances of winning approval, Pecos City Council members created the new position of Main Street Coordinator in April of 2002 and named former Pecos Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Rivera to run the department.

Rivera has been in charge of attempting to get the city the Main Street designation, and also has sought to attract new businesses to the downtown area.

"Now that we're an official Main Street city that's going to open the doors for a lot of things we haven't had in the past," Rivera said, referring to the state assistance with technical help and financial aid.

"I think main thing is should bring a sense of pride to community that the state recognized we're making effort to revitalize the downtown area and making an effort to preserve history," he added.

The Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. It is based on a four-point approach organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring, all within the context of historic preservation. Implemented in 1981, the program has assisted more than 130 communities throughout the state.

In addition, a Main Street resource team will visit each city and offer short and long-term recommendations for rehabilitating buildings, attracting new business and promoting tourism.

Since its inception, the Texas Main Street Program has worked with more than 130 cities across the state, many of which are now popular visitor destinations. The program has stimulated more than $900 million in private sector downtown reinvestment, helped retain, expand or recruit more than 4,800 businesses and created more than 19,000 new jobs in Texas.

The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas.

Rivera said he would be in Austin first week of November for the official announcement of the new Main Street cities. City Manager Carlos Yerena, Mayor Dot Stafford and several members of the Chamber, including Main Street Porgram Chairwoman Debbie Thomas are also expected to attend the ceremony.

Sixth grade students arrested

for marijuana found at school

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 17, 2003 -- Pecos Police took two sixth grade students into custody on drug charges on Wednesday, after officers were sent to Bessie Haynes Elementary School following a call from the principal at that campus.

"We received a call on Oct. 15 and a request to visit the campus," said Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney.

McKinney said that at 1:07 p.m., Officer Oscar Machuca and his drug-sniffing dog Nouska responded to the call and visited the school.

"The principal, Ruben Cervantes, received some information that one of the students had some type of cigarette and was showing it around," said McKinney.

Cervantes also requested the canine when he called the police, according to McKinney.

After the search of two classrooms where the students under suspicion were located, Nouska alerted to a blue pouch that was on one of the desk tables, according to the police report.

"After the canine alerted, the students were questioned and one juvenile did produce a small clear plastic baggy believed to be marijuana," said McKinney.

McKinney said that after further investigation, a second juvenile was also taken into custody. "They were both transported over here to the police department and processed, then they were transferred to the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center and released to their staff," he said.

The two juveniles were charged with possession of marijuana under two ounces, in a drug-free zone.

Eagle Band marches Saturday at UIL competition

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 17, 2003 -- The Pecos Eagle Marching Band will be in Saturday afternoon competing against area schools in the UIL Region 6 Marching Contest.

Pecos will perform at 4:30 p.m., at Ratliff Stadium during the Class 3A portion of the competition. Everyone is invited to attend.


PECOS, Fri., Oct. 17, 2003 -- High Thursday 96. Low this morning 57. Forecast for tonight: Clear. Lows near 50. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 85 to 90. Southeast winds near 10 mph. Saturday night: Clear. Lows 50 to 55. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Sunday: Sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Southeast winds near 10 mph. Sunday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 85 to 90. Monday night: Mostly clear. Lows 50 to 55.


Ruben Guzman

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