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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 27, 2004

City to start home demolitions as landfill opens

Staff Writer

Town of Pecos City has opened the newly completed municipal dump on the south side of town to accept construction debris. However, the dumping of household garbage is still on hold for the moment, as city officials continue negotiations with Dunkin Disposal, the city's current waste disposal provider.

Residents may now make one trip per month and dump up to 2,000 lbs of construction materials for free upon presentation of their monthly water bill to officials at the landfill site, and the city has begun demolishing condemned homes and other buildings next week now that a local dumping site is available. The different types of trash are classified and are held under different restrictions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Type I is considered all waste coming from household sources, while Type IV waste is material such as roofing shingles, boards, pipes, etc.

The city has received permits from the TCEQ on both of its dumpsites. Due to the different restrictions regarding the dumping of each, the two types are kept in separate locations on the same site.

The dump still does not accept tires, batteries, or dead animals, but is accepting used motor oil and filters for the moment. The rate on the type IV waste is $35 per ton, after municipal residents use up their monthly free ton. Work was begun on the new landfill over two years ago, and most of the job was completed by last April. However, use of the dump has been delayed due to both the TCEQ rules and the negotiations with Duncan.

Pecos contracted with Duncan's predecessor, West Texas Waste, in the mid-1990s after the TCEQ's predecessor, the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, denied the city an arid exemption permit for construction of any new landfill trenches. That forced the city at first to put a costly rubber liner in their new trench to prevent water seepage and then to contract out their waste disposal for disposal in an Odessa area landfill.

The city was able to gain the exemption in 2001, which allows trenches to be built without the rubber liner, because of the low risk of groundwater contamination in desert areas.

The landfill site is manned by a three-man crew, who utilize a scraper to cover the trash with earth and a compactor to compact the trash. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The dump is closed on Sunday.

The opening of the site has allowed city crew to restart the demolition project going on throughout town. The project began over a month ago, but crews were called off to work on the South Worsham Water Field. Now however, Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire has earmarked eight houses for demolition that is scheduled to start on Monday.

Brookshire has slated the house located on the southwest corner of Seventh and Bois' D Arc streets, as the first to be torn down. According to Brookshire, the house burned a little less than a year ago, but due to it central locations to the rest of town, it has been chosen as the first home for removal.

Crews completed the demolition job located at Fifth and Alamo Streets last month, but paused before moving onto the next one, in lieu working on the water field.

Williams enters P-B-T race, incumbents file for city slots

Staff Writer

A former Pecos High School athletic director has become the fourth person to file to run for a position on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board, while two incumbents have filed to retain their seats in the Town of Pecos City Council election.

Former Pecos Eagle baseball coach and P-B-T athletic director Bubba Williams filed for a position on the board. He will be joining all three incumbents in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board who have also filed to retain their positions in the May 15 elections.

The three-year terms currently held by Crissy Martinez, Lila Cerna, and Saul "Chip" Florez will be up for election. All three have filed to retain their seats on the board. Williams retired from the P-B-T ISD last May after working as a teacher and coach for over 30 years, including 21 years as head baseball coach for the Pecos Eagles. He was athletic director for the district from January 1998 until his retirement.

Along with the P-B-T ISD election, voters will be deciding city and hospital district races on May 15. Candidates have until March 15 to file to run in the hospital district election, the Pecos, Barstow, Toyah and Balmorhea city races, along with the Balmorhea ISD school race.

In the Town of Pecos City election, Mayor Dot Stafford has filed for re-election along with city council incumbent Angelica Valenzuela. The other incumbent whose term is up this year, Michael Benavides, had already filed for reelection to his seat on the Town of Pecos City Council. Benavides and Valenzuela currently are completing their first two-year terms on the council, while Stafford was returned to the mayoral position in 2002, after being defeated for re-election in 2000.

In the Reeves County Hospital District board election, two of the three incumbents have filed to retain their seats. Bill Wendt is seeking another two-year term as Precinct 3 representative on the board, after first being elected in 2002. He joins incumbent at-large member Leo Hung, who filed for a third two-year term.

The other seat up for election in May is in Precinct 1, a seat currently held by Chel Flores. He has held his seat for a decade, but is currently running in the Precinct 1 race for Reeves County Commissioner in the March 9 Democratic Party primary.

In the Barstow City elections the three incumbents have filed to retain their position. The three places to be filled are one full term for mayor, one for council and one unexpired term. Angel Abila filed for the positions of mayor, Robert Ortega for the full two-year term and Abram Flores for the one year unexpired term.

In the Balmorhea City elections three individuals are up for re-election, including the mayor's position. The positions are for two-year terms and those currently serving are mayor Ruben Fuentes and council members Eddie Roman and Rosendo Galindo.

Galindo is currently running for Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3. Balmorhea School Board members up for re-election are Armando Mondragon and Paul Ward. As of early this afternoon nobody has filed for a position on the board, which is a three-year term.

Woman burned in house blast dies in Lubbock

Staff Writer

A woman who was injured two weeks ago in a trailer home explosion and in Balmorhea died Thursday in a Lubbock hospital, where she had been since the accident.

Sylvia Velasco died yesterday from complications stemming from serious burns received in the Feb. 14 explosion that destroyed the trailer home, located in the 300 block of El Paso Street in Balmorhea.

Valasco and Manuel "Manny" Rayos were flown to the burn unit of University Medical Center in Lubbock following the explosion, after being first transported by EMS personnel to Reeves County Hospital.

Velasco's body will be brought to the Martinez Funeral Home in Odessa, today, where viewing will take place throughout the day until they close at 10 p.m., according to a family member. She will then be transported to Mexico and her burial will be there.

"What they told us was that her blood sugar got too high and she had a heart attack," said Enriqueta Prieto, who is the sister of Rayos.

Prieto said Rayos is still at the Lubbock hospital, listed in stable condition. "He is really fighting for his life, but he is not out of danger yet," said Prieto.

Rayos is undergoing treatment in the hospital's ICU Unit.

Investigators with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department said they suspect that a gas leak in the house supplied the fuel, and the lighting of a cigarette provided the spark, for the explosion, which destroyed the couple's home. Reeves County Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said he couldn't confirm that was the cause of the explosion until further investigation.

Pecos High School GED tests planned

GED Testing will be held at 3:30 p.m. next Tuesday and Wednesday at Pecos High School.

Registration is from 1-4 p.m., Monday at the Pecos High School Counselor's Office. Examinees must present a Texas Driver's License or Texas Department of Public Safety ID Card.

For more information, contact Pat Cobos or Eva Arriola, Pecos High School counselors, at 447-7229.


High Thursday 67. Low this morning 41. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 75. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 30s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Windy. Highs near 60. West winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to near 50 mph. Sunday night: Mostly clear. Windy. Lows in the mid 30s to the lower 40s. Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower to mid 60s. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s to the lower 40s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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