Andrews County judge verifying signatures on recount petition

County Judge Richard Dolgener said 25 signatures are required to formally request a recount.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
By the Midland Reporter-Telegram

ANDREWS -- The Andrews County judge is verifying signatures this morning on a petition submitted late Monday requesting a recount after the bond to fund construction of a radioactive waste site passed by a three-vote margin Saturday.

County Judge Richard Dolgener said 25 signatures are required to formally request a recount and he is in the process of verifying the signatures received Monday are all from registered voters before he accepts the petition.

The request came at the prompting of Melodye and Peggy Pryor, who started the non-profit No Bonds for Billionaires, and spent the last weeks campaigning against the $75 million bond that would help Waste Control Specialists build a low-level radioactive waste site.

With 642 votes for the bond and 639 against - or 50.12 percent for and 49.89 percent against - the Pryor sisters said they don't see the win as a clear victory.

The bond would be taken out by Andrews County and repaid by Waste Control Specialists who requested the measure be put on the May ballot after failing to secure a private loan. Stock from WCS, its parent company Valhi Inc. and a year's worth of principle and interest will be put in an account for Andrews County as collateral while the bond is repaid to ensure taxpayers don't end up with the burden of the loan, WCS officials said.

*Financing through this method, the Pryor sisters said, is not something they think the county should be involved at a time when several companies are struggling and no others are receiving help from local government.

Plus, they said, they have long opposed the entrance of WCS and its waste into their county. Even if the recount confirms the victory, they said, they will continue working against WCS as the company secures its state licenses in order to begin construction this summer.

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