The Competitive Assessment Study for Big Lake, which was commissioned by the Big Lake Economic Development Corporation four months ago, is complete.

The 32 page document is meant to serve as a ‘baseline’ for strategic planning as the community continues to grow due to the booming oil economy.

“After looking at the finished product I think it is wonderful,” Gloria Baggett, director of the BLEDC said. “The document itself is just a tool though. It will be up to the various groups in Big Lake to use it. If they fully utilize the study it can be a very powerful thing.”

The study, which was compiled by Knowledge Engineering of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), is a comprehensive collection of information about Big Lake that comes with few surprises for those living here.

“The EDC plans on using the study to reach out new retail businesses around the state and country,” Baggett said. “Big Lake is far more likely to garner the attention of national chains with this study than without.”

Baggett said that the study will also be a major benefit to the City of Big Lake.

Big Lake’s Reata McClain and Bethany Reyes, both 11, enjoy rain soaked Montana Avenue Saturday evening. Just two blocks north of them vendors were packing up their wares at the Santa Rita Festival. Rain settled into the Big Lake area at around 3 p.m. Saturday with one cloud stalling directly over the town. There were reports around town of as little as 1.5 inches and as much as 4 inches of rain dumped by the storm. Most of that water traveled down Montana Avenue on its way north out of town through Reagan County’s North Park.

With the 2014 school year in full-swing at RCISD, local moms are working diligently to create and launch the Reagan County Elementary Parent Teacher Organization.

What started out as a mere idea in the mind of long-time Big Lake resident Gladys Ortiz is quickly turning into a reality.

“I have two kids in elementary school and one in high school,” Ortiz said. “And I know that we haven’t had a PTO for several years.”

Feeling very strong about sharing the load of education equally between parents and school staff, Ortiz had high expectations for support from the community.
As talk of a PTO spread, more and more parents showed interest.

Ortiz said the group has faced a few challenges in structuring the new organization, but solid committees have been formed and a board selected.

Sheriff Jeff Garner pins on the badge of Reagan County’s first female deputy, Judy Gutierrez.

Gutierrez comes to Big Lake from Sonora where she worked 10 years for the Sonora Police Department.

Garner said that Gutierrez will be a major asset to his department.

“She has a lot of experience working crime scenes,” Garner said. “It is also a huge service to our community for us to have a female officer. She will be able to help when their are female or children victims who may not feel comfortable dealing with a male deputy.”

Gutierrez rounds out the department’s roster with a total of 14 officers on staff.