Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, May 27, 1999
Council tentatively OKs water rate hike
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, May 27, 1999 - Pecos City Council this morning approved on first
reading ordinances raising water rates and regulating fire department elections.
They approved a franchise with Classic Cable, but tabled an ordinance on
truck routes for further study.
Classic's area manager Ben Hernandez said that they have no intention
of closing the Pecos office, and that wording was included in the new franchise
Classic also agreed to the 1 percent increase in franchise fees requested
by the council. However, they refused to consider a five-year franchise,
stating that 10 years is the minimum they could agree to because of financing
Hernandez said that Classic plans to upgrade equipment in Pecos, and
five years is not enough to play back the full cost.
Several volunteer firemen were present to either support or oppose an
ordinance proposed by the fire department that called for election of officers
for one-year terms and required the chief to have basic certification through
the State Fireman's and Fire Marshal's Association plus seven years experience
in the local department.
After much discussion, the council approved annual elections for all
officers except the chief, which would be for two years. They changed the
qualification to read seven years experience with the local department
Councilman Danny Rodriguez said that an experienced fireman moving into
the community should be considered for chief if he has the support of fellow
Finance director Steve McCormick estimated the increased water rates
would generate $471,493 in increased annual revenue, which would be enough
to make payments on an $8.4 million loan to develop a new water field.
McCormick asked the council to consider at the next meeting also raising
sewer rates to increase annual revenues by $66,928.
The water rate increase will affect Reeves County, its detention center
and Anchor West Inc. more than private citizens, McCormick said.
Based on $5.50 per 1,000 gallons of water used, RCDC would pay $38,291
per month for the 2,000 prisoners they will have when the bed space is
doubled, he said.
Reeves County's $5 per connection would increase their rates $4,149
Anchor West's increase would be $1,350 per month, while 475 other commercial
accounts would generate an additional $3,333 per month, McCormick estimated.
Commercial rates would increase $1 per month for the first 2,000 gallons
and 20 cents per each 1,000 gallons used.
Residential rates would increase $1 for 2,000 gallons. The $1.70 rate
for each additional 1,000 gallons would remain the same for the 3,300 connections.
Rates for Barstow are based on the cost to produce and distribute water.
McCormick said that with the increased costs associated with water field
development, Barstow rates will increase considerably.
Other out-of-town rates are double those for residents and businesses
inside the city.
Lindley thinks nuke dump bill killed
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, May 27, 1999 - House Speaker Pete Laney on Wednesday skipped
over a Senate-passed bill that would have allowed radioactive waste disposal
without public input on the site, Clark Lindley told the Pecos City Council
With the legislative session near an end, Lindley predicts the bill
is dead for this session.
"The Senate bill takes away the right of the public to have a public
hearing in regard to safety issues and referendum," he said. "Generally
it is a bill that had been designed by Waste Control Specialists of Andrews
in their struggle with Envirocare."
Envirocare of Texas is seeking to develop an above-ground storage site
in Ward County.
"The site in Ward County definitely has water in it," Lindley said.
"One of the primary purposes is not to site radioactive waste over an aquifer.
"Our water is in this same aquifer. We are being watchful. We are certainly
concerned about the possibility that they may come back and decide it won't
be the end. They may broaden the bill again to alternative sites, and likely
Ward will be reconsidered."
Lindley made the report in the public comments portion of the meeting.
Pauline Moore also addressed the council on the acquisition of Texas-New
Mexico Power Co. by an investor group, stating that the acquisition will
not change agreements with the city, but actions by the Legislature on
community choice may.
Farris Murphy and Jo Cooksey presented a letter from Reeves County Commissioner
David Castillo requesting the council appoint a member to a golf course
Mayor Dot Stafford appointed councilman Larry Levario, who will serve
with county representative Ken Winkles Jr., Cooksey for the women's golf
association, and Paul Hinojos for the men's golf association.
The council also approved Police Chief Clay McKinney's grant application
for federal funding for one full-time and one part-time police officer
to work with the gang problem; a lease rental agreement with the Ramon
Dominguez family to operate the miniature golf course; advertise for bids
for one pickup for the water and sewer department, transfer $30,000 into
the employee health fund (insurance); and in executive session reviewed
the utilities director, health department director and duties of city police
They deferred action on purchase of a backhoe and a vehicle for the
Trans-Pecos opts out of weakened water bill
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, May 27, 1999 - Trans-Pecos Underground Water Conservation District
opted out of an omnibus bill that would severely limit authority of individual
districts, said an aide to State Rep. Gary Walker Wednesday.
Walker had authored a House bill that would allow Reeves and Loving
counties to create an underground water district. Many other counties sought
single-county district. However, the Senate combined all the individual
bills into one bill that creates temporary districts with few powers until
the Legislature meets again.
Walker notified Trans-Pecos chairman A.B. Foster of the upcoming Friday
vote in the house last Thursday, Lindley said.
"We spent three hours looking at the omnibus bill, but we weren't able
on that short notice to bring in all the directors," said Clark Lindley,
secretary. "We didn't even have time to post notice of meeting.
"The reason the omnibus bill was created is that Presidio County was
asking to create a district," said Lindley. "El Paso evidently went to
Sen. J.E. "Buster" Brown and tried to get that stopped. Brown said he didn't
want 254 underground water conservation districts."
Lindley said that Brown, R-Lake Jackson, represents metropolitan areas
who want to take water from rural areas, and they don't want the rural
areas to have authority to control their aquifers.
"The bill prevents local districts from creating any kind of rule that
would make it illegal to move water out of local districts," he said. "That's
what I see this bill is all about."
Lindley said the omnibus bill does not create permanent districts.
"This leaves all those proposed districts in jeopardy for two years,"
Brown is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
"The committee will evidently re-visit this bill in two years," Lindley
Hearings Friday on court reporter, auditor's salaries
PECOS, May 27, 1999 - Two public hearings on wage compensation for
non-elected officials have been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Reeves
The two hearings will be on the amount of annual compensation for the
Reeves County Auditor and Assistant County Auditor, and on the amount on
annual compensation for the 143rd Judicial District Court Reporter. Both
hearings are scheduled for the same time in the 143rd District Courtroom,
on the second floor of the courthouse.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 1-3-23-29-33-44. Estimated jackpot: $7 million. Number matching
six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 65. Prize: $1,801. Matching four of
six: 4,483. Prize: $94.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 7-0-4 (seven, zero, four)
PECOS, May 27, 1999 - High Wednesday 90. Low this morning 63. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. a
few possibly severe. Low in the upper 50s. East to southeast wind 10-20
mph. Friday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
High 80 85. East to southeast wind 10-20 mph. chance of rain 20 percent.
Forecast for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend, partly cloudy with a
slight chance of late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Highs in the
90s. Lows in the 60s.
Celestina Ortiz, 44, of Pecos, died Monday, May 24, 1999, at Medical Center
A rosary is scheduled for 8 p.m., today at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, May 28, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
She was born June 23, 1954, in Pecos, was a housewife and a Catholic.
Survivors include her husband, Manuel Ortiz of Pecos; two brothers,
Gerardo Bustamante of Imperial and Guadalupe Bustamante of Peocs; and three
sisters, Conseulo B. Ortiz of Hobbs, N.M., Nieves B. Ortega of Pecos and
Norma Bustamante of Frederick, Okla.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Eva Garza Nevarez, 82, of Pecos, died Monday, May 24, 1999, at Odessa Medical
Graveside services will be held at 4 p.m., today at Greenwood Cemetery
with Father Mike Alcuino officiating.
She was born Jan. 3, 1917, in Pot Wilson County, Tx., was a lifelong
Pecos resident, retired, and a Catholic.
Survivors include her husband, Guadalupe Nevarez of Pecos; one son,
Guadalupe Mongia of San Antonio and one daughter, Gloria Dominguez of San
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise