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February 25, 1999

Council moves on tax abatement proposal

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 25, 1999 -- Pecos City Council this morning ordered an ordinance drafted to provide for tax abatement on a proposed building for the Immigration and Naturalization service.

M. Brad Bennett, who owns the land fronting I-20 where the Border Patrol office is located, said the INS wants to build a separate building nearby to house up to 18 employees.

INS' nine employees now share the building with the Border Patrol and there is no room for either to expand, Bennett said.

He proposed to pay 10 percent of the city, county and hospital district taxes the first year; 20 percent the second, and adding 10 percent each year for 10 years.

The present criteria calls for abatement of all taxes for five years, decreasing over the next five years, he said.

"We would be paying taxes all 10 years, and it would be a much higher rate than proposed," Bennett said.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said he would review the tax abatement criteria and work with Bennett to draft an ordinance acceptable to both. It could then be presented to the county and hospital district for their approval, since all three entities have to approve the same abatement, he said.

The property lies within the enterprise zone where tax abatement is allowed.

Oscar Saenz, chairman of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation, said the board is working with a business prospect who may share the La Nortena Tortilla Factory building on West Third Street, which is not in the enterprise zone at this time.

PEDC director Gari Ward is working with City Manager Kenneth Neal to gerrymander the enterprise zone to take in that factory.

"It would help them both," he said.

The prospect, Jerry Redfearn of Whitehouse, near Tyler, proposes to hire 90 employees in the first year to bottle barbecue sauce. He asked for free rent and for the PEDC to pay interest on a $300,000 loan he would need to purchase equipment and supplies.

Saenz said that Redfearn's references check out, but Ward has not visited his current operation because PEDC has no operating funds. Reeves County pledged $20,000 but is holding back the final $8,000 "until they see some progress."

"It is tough to show progress in the first three months you are in existence," he said. "We are appealing to them to see if we can liberate those $8,000 so we can have more cash flow.

But Odessa College is the hottest prospect PEDC has, Saenz said.

Their maintenance staff looked over the White's building Wednesday and were "awed," and want to get started remodeling it right away.

"OC is serious," he said. "They said they could put in nine classrooms and use the shop area for vocational training. They loved the location. It is centralized with lots of parking and close to the high school.

"They already have 400-600 students from Pecos. They are sure they can get at least 1,000 if they bring it over here. They said they hope the city is willing to participate and help us out."

Negotiations are planned with the Odessa doctor who owns the building. It is estimated that it would cost $150,000 to repair the roof and remodel the interior, he said.

An earlier estimate of $500,000 was made to build a new building or modify an existing one to OC's specifications.

The OC campus and all other prospects will require cooperation of all local entities, Saenz said.

"It is a give and take situation. The city, county and hospital are going to have to want to do something to make this happen. We are just the vehicle and the contacts, but without the support, we are helpless," he said.

The council updated its ordinance on the enterprise zone to include the designation "reinvestment zone" and added provisions required by the state of Texas.

Utilities director Octavio Garcia reported that two wells in the Worsham Water Field were shut down due to poor water quality, and another is in danger because of deteriorating casing.

The council agreed to advertise for bids to drill a new well in a portion of the Worsham Field where the water quality is better.

Randy Graham said that should be done before the summer's heavy water use begins.

Valerie Cox of Graham was approved as a grant writer. She said she has had 95 percent of her grant applications in the Permian Basin approved, including several for Toyah, Pyote, Wickett and other small area towns.

She met with Neal after the council adjourned to discuss possible grants for city parks, including the new downtown park started by Jesse Stephens.

A public hearing on the Texas Community Development Program grants for 1999 was canceled because grant writer Carlos Colina-Vargas was unable to be present.

No action was taken on the Type IV landfill because Charter Waste has not completed their research.

The council voted to amend an ordinance to make Good Friday a full-day holiday instead of half day; learned that the ambulance service's new billing software is working, and they expect to collect intensive care accounts denied last year by Medicare; learned the Girl Scout Hut is ready for occupancy; that Holloman Construction Co. has crossed Cedar Street and should move faster on replacing sewer line after spending more than a month on the first block; and granted an easement for a natural gas line to the medical building owned by Dr. W.J. Bang and Dr. David Lovett.

Staff making plans for Public Schools Week

PECOS, Feb. 25, 1999 -- Texas Public Schools Week will be celebrated is scheduled for next week across Texas, and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school officials are urging parents to get involved in the week's activities.

"Our Pride is Showing" has been designated as this year's Texas Public Schools Week theme, to demonstrate the commitment to preparing and educating today's students to be the leaders of tomorrow. Parents and community members are invited to visit schools between March 1-5 during that time.

The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD staff and the Board of Trustees are committed to providing quality public education for all children of our community, according to Superintendent Don Love.

"We believe a collaborative effort must be made by parents, schools and the community to work together toward a common commitment to support our public schools," said Love.

"Special activities for Texas Public Schools Week are being planned by our local schools," said Love.

TP&W computer program targets young hunters

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 25, 1999 -- Pecos High School students went big game hunting this week courtesy of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Joe Wallace, a training specialist and retired game warden with the Department, brought a laser shooting simulator to the school this week, as part of the agency's effort to improve both gun safety and shooting skills among young hunters.

Depending on the computer driven scenario, the kids can practice target shooting or simulate various hunting scenarios.

"Our program concentrates on three areas: gun handling and safety skills, making a lethal heart shot on various types of animals, and the overall shooting process in a hunting situation," Wallace said.

"Along with basic gun safety we want to expose youngsters to hunting situations where they must pay attention to their surroundings and think about when it would be safe to shoot and when it wouldn't be," he said.

The simulator, which is housed in a long trailer, utilizes a modern bolt-action rifle fitted with a laser device.

When the shooter pulls the trigger the laser is activated and registers on the video screen at the other end of the range.

"The computer technology really adds a new dimension to a training, program," Wallace said. "The shooter has to do everything right he must be safe, shoot at the proper moment, aim the rifle and place his shot."

The video screen is similar to a large-screen television.

As the hunter watches, computer-driven scenarios play out on the screen and place the student in the position of a hunter who must decide whether or not to shoot and when to shoot.

Once the hunter decides to take a shot, the screen registers where his bullet struck and grades the shot according to the vital zone of the animal.

Wallace said that he has scenarios that depict everything from deer hunting to an African safari.

"The system is an excellent training tool that allows the kids to learn and have a lot fun at the same time," he said. "It is also safe. If a student makes a mistake we can correct the mistake in a safe situation."

Wallace said that just as importantly, the program is meant to introduce kids to the shooting sports and show them that the sports can be fun, safe and an activity that can be pursued throughout their lives.

"Most of the kids we work with have never had the opportunity to learn firearm safety or go hunting," Wallace said. "These kids are old enough to be responsible. Many of them have driver's licenses. It is a good time to introduce them to marksmanship and safety."

Wallace spends nine months a year on the road with his laser range.

"We primarily visit 4A and 5A schools all over the state," he said.

It takes about four years for Wallace to make the circuit around the state, so he said that the range won't make it back to Pecos until 2003.

"The Department only has one of these. It cost about $40,000 four years ago," Wallace said, adding that an average of about 2,000 kids a month get to shoot on the range during the school year.

According to Rick Bracy, an instructor in the Pecos High School agriculture department, more than 200 local students participated in the program this week.

Bracy applied to participate in the program more than two years ago.

"This is a great program the kids who participated enjoyed it and learned a lot in the process," Bracy said.

County Clerk's office to close Friday afternoon

PECOS, Feb. 25, 1999 -- The Reeves County Clerk's Office will be closed Friday afternoon, from 1-5 p.m., due to training.

The office has acquired several new personnel and the group will have a training session during this time.

County clerk Dianne Florez apologized and stated that the office will resume normal business hours on Monday.

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.


Araceli Armendariz, 18, was arrested at 1:05 p.m., on Feb. 18, on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine). She was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Jeremy Renteria, 18, was arrested at 11:07 p.m., on Feb. 18, near Allsup's on South Eddy Street, on Capias warrants. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Melinda Ann Ornelas, 32, Lisa Ann Gonzalez, 35, and Nicole Anaya, 25, were arrested at 2:10 a.m., on Feb. 19, on mile marker 43 Ornelas on a DWI refusal, the others for public intoxication. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Luis Armando Armendarez, 40, was arrested at 3:20 p.m., on Feb. 19, in the 500 block of Lincoln Street, on a Sheriff's Office warrant. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Michelle R. Corrales, 17, and Edna M. Rubio, 19, were arrested at 9:33 p.m., on Feb. 19, at the corner of Plum and Washington streets, as minors in possession. Rubio was also arrested on an Ector County warrant (gone off bond/burglary of a vehicle). They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Rudy Paul Freeman, 24, was arrested at 10:40 p.m., on Feb. 19, on Highway 17 (South of Interstate 20), on a warrant out of Presidio County for a probation violation. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Anivel Pando, 24, and Juan Daniel Martinez, 21, were arrested at 12:05 a.m., on Feb. 20, on County Road 205, for public intoxication. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Hector Raul Castillo, 56, Ramon Noriega, 39, and Gilberto Lopez, 62, were arrested at 12:07 a.m., on Feb. 20, at the Offecina Club, for public intoxication. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Daniel Marquez, 38, was arrested at 1:44 a.m., on Feb. 20, at Offecina Club, for public intoxication. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Ester H. Marquez, 38, was arrested at 3:48 a.m., on Feb. 20, in the 2300 block of Cactus Street, for public intoxication.


Jack Fuentez, 18, was arrested at 10:37 p.m., on Feb. 20, on County Road 116, on a Sheriff's Office warrant (possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility). He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Jose Alfredo Mendez, 25, was arrested at 4:06 a.m., on Feb. 21, at the corner of Thirteenth and Ash streets, for public intoxication. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Jose Reyes (the third), 31, was arrested at 3:44 p.m., on Feb. 21, in the 500 block of Ash Street, on a warrant for possession of marijuana. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Carlos Madrid, 18, and Ricardo Madrid, 20, were arrested at 3:58 p.m., on Feb. 21, in the 2000 block of Scott Street, as minors in possession. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Two male juveniles were arrested at 8:54 p.m., on Feb. 22, for criminal mischief. They were taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.


Adan Ramirez Garcia, 34, was arrested at 11:54 p.m., on Feb. 22, in the 400 block of South Pecan Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act and possession of a controlled substance, a third degree felony. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Christopher Rodriguez was arrested at 1:45 a.m., on Feb. 24, in the 1200 block of South Cherry Street, on a Capias Pro Fine warrant. He paid the fine and was released.


Enrique Romero, 27, and Rene Florez, 31, were arrested at 11:41 p.m., on Feb. 24, in the 300 block of East 14th Street Romero for assault by threat under the Family Violence Act; Florez on a warrant for no liability insurance. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Elodia Orona

Services are incomplete for Elodia Orona, 73, who died Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1999, at Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, Feb. 25, 1999 -- High Wednesday 82; low last night 38. Tonight, mostly cloudy. Low around 50. South to southwest wind 5-15 mph. Friday, partly sunny and breezy. Continued warm with a high in the upper 70s. Southwest wind 15-25 mph and gusty.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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