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Archive 2003

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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, October 23, 2003

RCDC management offer draws firms' interest

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- The Reeves County Detention Center may be having trouble attracting new inmates to its RCDC III facility, but with prison management proposals due next Friday, it's not having any problems attracting interest from private firms around the nation.

After seeking ways for three months to find inmates to fill the new $40 million RCDC III, the Reeves County began accepting proposals at the beginning of October from private vendors for the operation, management and/or lease of all three units of the 2,960 bed prison or each unit individually.

"The proposals aren't due until next Friday, but yes there has been interest expressed," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Galindo said that interest has been expressed by several correctional management companies including, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) of Nashville, Tenn., Wackenhut of Boca Raton, Fla., MTC (Management Training Corporation) of Utah, Emerald Management Corporation of Shreveport, La, CSC (Correctional Services Corporation) and CiviGenics of Pennsylvania.

"There is considerable interest, but we won't know until we open the proposals," said Galindo.

Representatives of CiviGenics, which operates Ector County's detention facility and also one in Bell County in Central Texas, were in Pecos today looking over the facilities, according to Galindo.

"Jack Brewer, that used to manage the RCDC, (through CCA) is the warden of the facility in Odessa," said Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens.

He said that he believed that Brewer would be among those in Pecos for the company today.

Galindo said that the proposals would first go through Owens, who would open them and prepare them as a package to present to the Reeves County Commissioners Court. "We would then review them as a group and make a decision," said Galindo.

Galindo said that as a group they would come to a consensus as to which is the best way to go.

"Depending on what the proposals are, that will determine how long they will manage the facilities," said Galindo. "They may want to manage it for just two years or they may want to do it for 20."

Galindo said that there are a variety of options open to the county, once the deadline for offers passes.

A public notice was officially posted on Sept. 30 by the Reeves County Commissioners Court as a request for proposals, with a deadline of Oct. 31 for the proposals to be submitted.

"We have had several phone calls about the facilities," said Owens.

Owens said that the facilities would be leased to the private vendors if any proposals were received.

"They're seeking private companies to take over as management and operation," he said, adding that Reeves County would still get lease fees from the company that would manage the facility.

"Until we get the proposals, we won't know how much," Owens said, referring to the lease payment.

The county completed work on the $40 million RCDC III addition in March, which holds 960 inmates. County officials built the facility believing that they would be able to fill the facility with U.S. Bureau of Prisons inmates, after the BOP quickly filled the 1,000-bed RCDC II prison when it was completed in 2001.

But the BOP has balked at placing any new prisoners in the facility, which has left the county short of money to make bond payments on the latest addition. Galindo said in August that because the RCDC III is cross collateralized with the other two units, a default on the bond payments of RCDC III would affect the status of the other two prisons as well.

The management/lease offer would take away some control of the prison from county commissioners, but would allow the county to maintain its ownership of the facility.

RCDC I was built in 1986 to house 300 inmates, and over the next 12 years was expanded to hold 1,000 inmates. During that time, several disputes broke out between then-Reeves County Sheriff Raul Florez and county commissioners over which group would oversee the prison, and as a compromise in 1989 the prison operations were turned over to CCA. That company ran the prison for three years, until the contract was terminated and the sheriff's department regained control.

However, several prison escapes and two riots over the next three years led the BOP to remove some prisoners from RCDC I. County commissioners then took over supervision of the facility and hired former La Tuna Federal Prison Warden Rudy Franco to be in charge of the prison in late 1995.

Before deciding on the prison management offer, Galindo and other county officials visited Washington D.C., twice during the summer, seeking both agreements to find new inmates for the facility, and a higher man/day rate on the BOP inmates housed at RCDC I and II. The county ended up agreeing to a man/day rate of $47.32 for those two prisons, though Galindo had sought a $54.72 rate, saying that private prisons operated by management companies in other parts of the United States received man/day rates of over $60 from the BOP.

Since then, the county has looked at several other options, including inmates through the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Arizona. The Marshal's Service has placed over 100 inmates in RCDC III, but that total has not been enough to meet the future bond payments on the facility.

Proposals for management and/or lease of the RCDC are due to be received no later than 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, according to the proposal put out by commissioners.

"Christmas for Kids" starts taking applications

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- Christmas is two months away, but Pecos "elves" have already begun working on making this a merrier holiday for the less fortunate.

Applications are being accepted for the Christmas for the Kids Program, a program aimed at making Christmas a happier time for all the children in the community.

Applications can be picked up at the Sheriff's Department office, located behind the Reeves County Courthouse.

"We began taking applications on Wednesday and will continue to take them until Nov. 26," said Christmas for the Kids organizer Sofia Baeza. "We urge everyone that wants to, to come out and fill out an application soon."

"Individuals will have to meet certain criteria and requirements in order to be a recipient," said Baeza.

"We want to provide the essentials for as many children as possible, this Christmas season," said Baeza. "We want to help as many families as we can."

The group works hard every year to bring a brighter and happier Christmas to the children in the community by providing the essentials for them. "We enjoy handing out those gifts on Christmas, to children who would otherwise not receive any," said Baeza.

Volunteers are already planning their first fundraiser, a barbecue beef plate sale scheduled for Oct. 31. "This is just one of our fundraisers," said Baeza.

"We always need a lot of volunteers and I encourage any group or organization that wants to, to come out and help us raise funds for these kids," she said.

Last year, Christmas for Kids helped out 492 children, with 173 families benefiting from the special project.

Baeza said that they had a lot more families and children on the list last year than the year before. "The number just keeps growing," she said.

"Since 1996, when we started this program, our community has always been there for us, I know it will be here again this year," she said.

"We provide the essential items such as shoes, clothes, jackets and we want to help every child that is on our list every year," said Baeza. "We want to make it a 'Happy Holiday,' for these less fortunate children in our community."

For more information on the program call the Reeves County Sheriff's Office at 445-4901.

Depot getting new windows for Rodeo Hall

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- Workers began the installation of windows in the old Missouri-Pacific Railroad depot today, as part of the effort to convert the downtown building into a new museum for Pecos.

The depot has been designated as the future home of the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame. Two windows are up in their frames and work on the front doors is continuing.

Planners need the windows to be installed before the site can be considered for a historic monument.

The display of rodeo memorabilia will begin as soon as possible in the West of the Pecos Museum until work on the depot is complete. Planners are hoping to have items on display by next year's West of the Pecos Rodeo, during the July 4th holiday.

The windows themselves are up for sponsorship, with each window dedicated costing $200. Prospective sponsors can do some of the work themselves, if they like, to offset some of the cost.

The Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce and the museum are sponsoring a barbeque luncheon next Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the meal is $8.50 per plate, and the revenue from it will go towards the restoration of the depot and the procurement of memorabilia.

The luncheon will be held in the depot to help raise public awareness about the site and to help in locating sponsors for the windows.

Public donations of time and money are actively being sought by organizers; if someone would like to contribute, contact Linda Gholson at the chamber for information.

"There is a place and job for everybody in this project," Gholson said. "We greatly appreciate the help we have already gotten and would appreciate any we receive in the future."

The Town of Pecos City and the Chamber of Commerce have been working on the project for the past four years, since local businessman John Rediger first proposed the idea of a Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Funding for the project had to await the city receiving title to the depot from its then-owner, Union Pacific Railroad, and earlier this week, Town of Pecos City Main Street Program manager Tom Rivera said funds and technical help from the Texas Historical Commission could go towards that downtown project, after the city was approved for inclusion in the state's Main Street Program last Friday.

Ward County deputy probing burglary incidents

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- The Ward County Sheriff's Department is investigation the burglary of tools, rifles and more during two incidents that occurred in Barstow recently.

The first incident happened sometime between Oct. 6 and Oct. 10. "I received a report at 4 p.m., on Oct. 10," said Ward County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Deishler.

Taken during the burglary were a Stratacaster Guitar, Bass Guitar, Makie Pie Mixer, 14 inch chop saw for metal, 12 inch chop saw for wood, Makita reciprocating saw and a Miter Saw.

The incident took place at a residence located on County Road 140 in Barstow.

"We hadn't had any burglaries, except the one that occurred in my office, in about six years," said Deishler. "We've done pretty good, because we don't have a lot of crime in Barstow."

The second incident happened on Oct. 12, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on County Road 170, the home of Minerva Lopez.

"She reported that several firearms were stolen at the time," said Deishler. "She was worried," he said.

Stolen items included, a 330 short barrel Winchester; 1330 long barrel Winchester; two 22 Rifles; a 120 Gauge Shotgun; a 410 shotgun; an RCA Video Camera; a collection of spoons and coin dating back from the 30's and 40s. Also taken were flannel sheet covers.

If anyone has any information on the two burglaries, they are urged to call 943-6703.

"We'd appreciate any kind of information on these two burglaries, because Barstow is relatively quiet and we haven't had any burglaries in a long time," said Deishler.

Council plans vote to change sick days rule

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council will discuss changes in employee sick days and will study the budget for the Pecos Economic Development Corporation today, during their regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The council will discuss approval of the addition to the city employee personnel manual to include the increased allowable accumulation of sick days. The council approved in its last meeting the increase of an extra 60 days, on top of the 30 previously allowed, that may be accumulated by an employee.

The Pecos Economic Development Corp will also have its budget looked at for approval. The budget is similar to last year's, with some of the only difference coming from the movement of the line item for car expense to be combined directly with the salary line item for the president of the corporation.

The meeting is scheduled to open with the presentation of the monthly reports from the various municipal departments. Council members will hear from the Municipal Court and the Juvenile Court on their monthly activities.

The council is also set to consider errors and corrections for the 2002 tax roll and to set the 2003 tax roll. Errors and corrections stem from late filed over 65 homestead exemptions, disabled exemptions, deleted properties, double assessments, clerical errors, tax refunds and the sale of foreclosed delinquent tax properties. Total corrections for 2002 total $2,697 that is to be paid to the city, but that is offset by the $10,026 owed by the city to certain taxpayers.

And finally, the Council will discuss the possible installation of additional of Christmas lights to be added to the city's preexisting decorations.

Applications sought for Youth-Advisory Commission posts

PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City is now accepting applications for the Pecos Youth Advisory Commission.

Students from 7th through 12th grades that are interested can go to their school office or to Town of Pecos City Hall to pick up an application.

Deadline to submit an application is Nov. 3.

The purpose of the youth group is to assist in minimizing community problems relating to youth, and to encourage the positive growth and development of youth by involving them in healthy enlightening, empowering, social, cultural and recreational activities that are drug and alcohol free.


PECOS, Thurs., Oct. 23, 2003 -- High Wednesday 94. Low this morning 50. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 55 to 60. South winds near 10 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs 85 to 90. Southwest winds near 10 mph shifting to the northwest 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower to mid 50s. South winds near 10 mph shifting to the north 10 to 20 mph in the evening. Saturday: Decreasing cloudiness. Cooler. Highs in the mid 60s to the lower 70s. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower to mid 40s. Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs near 70. Sunday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 40s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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