by Roma Vivas
FORT STOCKTON- There are about 300 bunk houses all over Fort Stockton divided in seven lots. The city is working around the clock to provide better houses for these workers.
"That's my goal as the Mayor of the city is to try to make the city bigger, bring in more families, get the kids enrolled in school and increase the tax base," Fort Stockton Mayor Ruben Falcon, said.
But it's easier said than done, between the oil and gas industry they have brought into Fort Stockton more than 4,000 workers and the city just doesn't have enough homes to go around.
"Yes, we are building homes slowly, but it's not fast enough so companies are forced to do one or two things. Number one is to put these men and women in hotel rooms or by bunk houses," Falcon said.
And with workers occupying a big percentage of the hotel rooms available, it has slowed down tourism.
"We lost a very big baseball league tournament that we had here for several years; which is the regional little league baseball tournament. We had teams form Lubbock, Tucson, San Antonio. We needed 200 rooms and we lost that tournament, because we did not have room for all the parents and teams that come for that," Falcon said.
But the positive outcomes of having these workers in the city out shine the negatives.
"Our sales tax is the highest of any town in West Texas. In some places, it might spike up and down, we are forty percent above from last year, we are constantly going up," Falcon said.
Mayor Falcon also says that at the end of the year Fort Stockton will have seven new hotels to provide better housing.