Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, June 10, 1999
Water fee hike to pay back loan
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June, 10, 1999--Pecos City Council this morning took the first
step toward obtaining an $8.2 million loan from the Texas Water Development
Board to finance a new water well field, raising water and sewer rates
to pay for it.
Financial advisor Larry Skiles told the council it will take a year
to steer the loan application through the maze of state regulations and
will cost about $40,000 in financial service fees.
He said the city will guarantee payment through revenues, but may be
required to obligate taxpayers as well to secure the loan with 1 percent
With a $1 per month increase in basic water rates and a sewer rate hike
of 55 cents per month, the city should be able to repay the loan from revenues,
said finance director Steve McCormick.
The council adopted on first reading an ordinance increasing the basic
sewer rate to $6.50 per month with an additional 30 cents per month for
water usage above 2,000 gallons average during November, December and January.
Charges for new water and sewer taps will also be increased if the ordinance
passes on second reading June 24. The one-time charge will be $225 for
a 3/4 inch water line, $300 for a one-inch line and the actual cost incurred
but not less than $700 for a two-inch line.
Sewer taps will be $150 each.
Utilities director Octavio Garcia said that the taps are for new construction,
and the city has not had any new construction in recent years. The increase
is necessary because the present charges are not enough to cover materials,
A story in Wednesday's Enterprise incorrectly stated the water and sewer
tap charge is a monthly fee.
Passed on second reading, the water rate ordinance sets a minimum monthly
charge at $7.25 for single-family residence, $14.50 for duplex, $21.75
for triplex, $29 for quadplex, $8.25 for commercial, $5 on city-owned and
operated properties, and $15 for wellfield line taps for untreated water.
The charge for each additional 1,000 gallons remains the same at $1.70
for residence and $2 for commercial.
Property outside the city limits not subject to ad valorem taxes (Reeves
County Detention Center) will pay a minimum of $20 per month plus $5.50
per thousand gallons.
For other property outside the city limits the rate is doubled.
Councilman Johnny Terrazas read from a Texas Municipal League survey
report on water rates in surrounding counties, nothing that Pecos is below
In the survey, costs for 5,000 gallons are $11.35 in Pecos, where the
average is $14.99, he said.
"So all in all we are doing pretty well," he said. "The nearest comparison
is Andrews, and it is hard to compare because their water field is inside
the city limits. We bring water 30 miles."
Andrews' charge for 5,000 gallons is $9.95. Fort Stockton's charge of
$10.20 is going up considerably because they have added a reverse osmosis
system that is expensive to operate, he said.
Engineer Abidur Khan reported that plans for replacement of 6,680 linear
feet of the 24-inch water transmission line from the Ward County well field
are complete, and the estimated cost exceeds the budget by $16,000.
The council accepted his recommendation to advertise for bids and then
consider whether to eliminate some of the work to keep costs down.
Grant administrator Carlos Colina-Vargas said that a pre-bid conference
will help contractors to understand the scope of the work and perhaps keep
their bids from going too high.
He said that this addition will bring the six-mile project within one
mile of completion.
"We are applying for another grant right now," he said. "It should take
care of all the problem area."
Garcia said that sandy soil in the Ward County is so hot, it is getting
into cracks in the concrete pipe and into metal portions, breaking up the
Khan said the Third Street sewer project is complete except for replacement
of highway base and asphalt on excavated areas. Holloman Construction Co.
hired a sub-contractor to replace fill and pavement patching that failed
to hold up to traffic, he said.
That project should be completed before the rodeo, but seal coating
will be underway on Eddy Street, said councilman Larry Levario, maintenance
foreman for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Honor students eye careers
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June, 10, 1999--Two young ladies from Pecos are getting a head
start in learning more about careers in Austin next week.
Alessandra Carrasco and Sarah McKinney will be attending the Careers
in Engineering for Women '99 on the University of Texas at Austin Campus
The program is designed to introduce sixth and seventh grade girls interested
in math and science to careers in engineering.
Both girls are seventh grade students at Zavala Middle School and will
be attending Crockett Middle School next year. Their seventh grade math
teacher, Olivia Herrera, nominated them.
The girls were selected out of 200 applicants in the state of Texas.
Both girls wrote essays and their grades were considered in the selections.
"Both of them are highest honor students," said teacher Olivia Herrera.
During the week the girls will spend their time on the UT Campus involved
in several activities. The sponsors of this program pay for all expenses
(except travel), according to Herrera.
"I am very proud of Sarah and Alessandra. I know that they will represent
Pecos well," said Herrera.
The activities and classes will teach the girls what they need to know
about engineering problem-solving.
"I've always been very interested in both math and science," said Alessandra
Carrasco participated in UIL math and did very well. She enjoys reading,
all sports, shopping and talking on the phone.
At Zavala, Carrasco played volleyball and basketball, and was in the
Peer Mediation Group.
"I'm glad I'm going. It's been a goal of mine to go to school there,
and it will be a wonderful experience getting to be there," said Carrasco.
Carrasco plans to attend UT following high school graduation and possibly
major in journalism.
She is the daughter of Sylvia and Jesse Carrasco.
Sarah McKinney is an avid sports player and fan. She participates in
volleyball, basketball and golf.
She was also in the Peer Mediation Group and the student council.
McKinney does really well in both math and science and enjoys both subjects
In her spare time, she enjoys talking on the phone and shopping. She
also shows lambs at the local stock show and loves to ride horses.
"I'm excited, nervous and happy," said McKinney. "I think it's a good
experience for me," she said.
McKinney said it will be great going to the big city, but said she knows
she will be homesick.
She is the daughter of Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney and his wife,
Home ownership offered to low-income families
PECOS, June, 10, 1999--In celebration of National Home Ownership week,
USDA-Rural Development will a meeting Tuesday to discuss the possibility
of home ownership for families of very low and low to moderate income.
The meeting in this area is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday in the Texas-New
Mexico Power Company Conference Room.
The Rural Housing Service of United States Department of Agriculture
works to improve the quality of life for rural Americans by ensuring that
they have access to safe, well-built affordable homes.
A house is more than a roof over our heads; it is often the cornerstone
upon which rests our ability live near good jobs and to gain access to
good schools and other public services. Home ownership builds economic
stability. RHS thus not only helps rural people acquire homes, it helps
build better lives and stronger communities, according to RHS representatives.
RHS offers two types of home ownership loans: guaranteed and direct.
The purpose is to provide financing - with no down payment required, and
at favorable rates and terms - either through direct loan with RHS or with
a loan from a private financial institution which is guaranteed by RHS.
These loans are for the purchase, construction, and related facilities
for low and moderate income rural persons.
The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating
against credit applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national
origin, sex, marital status, age (provided that the applicant has the capacity
to enter into a binding contract), because all or part of the applicant's
income is derived from any public assistance program, or because the applicant
has in good faith exercises any right under the Consumer Credit Protection
The Federal agency that administers compliance with this law is the
Federal Trade Commission, Equal Credit Opportunity, Washington, D.C. 20280.
Rural Development is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Complaints of discrimination
should be sent to: Secretary of Agriculture Washington, D.C. 20250.
Home ownership loans are available through the Fort Stockton Local Service
Center of Rural Development located at 2306 W. Dickinson Blvd. Street,
Fort Stockton, Tx. 79735.
To determine whether or not you qualify for a home loan attend the scheduled
Those not able to attend and would like to schedule an appointment can
call, 915-336-7585, ext. 4 and a representative of Rural Development will
complete a pre-qualification in about five minutes.
Council OKs cable franchise
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June, 10, 1999--Classic Cable will keep its franchise for 10
years, with the option to renew for 10 years, following adoption of the
agreement this morning by the Pecos City Council.
"I did get a few phone calls when service went out Monday," quipped
Councilman Johnny Terrazas.
Ben Hernandez, Classic area manager, said that a power line surge knocked
out some of their equipment and they had to go to a backup system. The
changeover took several hours, he said.
"You have to change all the main powering for that whole area," he said.
"it affected quite a chunk of the town."
Hernandez said it is unusual for Classic to lose the power supply.
"Normally there is a surge and a fuse will take it," he said. "This
time it was a whole unit that went out."
Classic agreed to keep their Pecos office open and to pay 4 percent
franchise fee to the city. Hernandez said he is looking into special rates
for senior citizens as requested by the council.
The council also approved on second reading an ordinance setting the
terms of officers for the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department, awarded the
fuel contract to West Texas Gas, the sole bidder. Their rates will remain
At the request of Pecos Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Rivera,
the council agreed to close First, Second and Oak Streets for the Night
in Old Pecos and Cantaloupe Festival on June 26. Rivera said that Oak Street
will be closed from First Street to about midway between Second and Third
streets. The stage will be placed south of the Second Street intersection,
Mayor pro tem Danny Rodriguez asked for nominations for the airport
consultant selection committee for engineering/designer services on the
Year 2000/2001 project, in which the Texas Department of Transportation
plans to invest $1.5 million.
TXDOT is moving their area office from its Third Street location to
a tract of land along the north edge of the airport.
Appointed to the committee were Bill Hubbs, Isabelle Blanchard, Gerald
Tellez Jr. and Ricky Herrera.
Mayor Dot Stafford will be the city's contact person for the project.
In the absence of Mayor Stafford and Councilman Tellez, the council
rescheduled employee review of the city manager and city secretary to the
June 24 meeting.
Other agenda items will include an update on the Odessa College project
being pursued by the Pecos Economic Development Corporation, second reading
of the sewer rate ordinance, Eastside Community Center, and the July 1
"We need plenty of candy," said Rodriguez. "The kids really enjoy that."
Hot, sweet sale to benefit Munoz
An enchilada and bake sale will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday
in the Santa Rosa Hall, 600 E. Third St.
Deliveries will be made on three plates or more ordered.
The event is being held to benefit Carol Munoz, a cancer patient, to
help with medical expenses.
An account has also been set up for Munoz at First National Bank, and
donations can be made to the account, No. 05-1598-1.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 2-6-20-26-33-47. Estimated jackpot: $4 million. Number matching
six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 52. Prize: $1,953. Matching four of
six: 3,502. Prize: $106. Matching three of six: 64,645. Prize: $3. Next
Lotto Texas game: Saturday night. Estimated jackpot: $7 million.
PECOS, June, 10, 1999--High Wednesday 98; low last night 64. Tonight, partly
cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. low around 70. Southeast
wind 10-20 mph. Friday, partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of afternoon
thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. Southeast to south wind 10-20 mph.
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