Community Profile

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Welcome to Big Spring

Big Spring is located at the crossroads of U.S. Interstate Highway 20, State Highway 87, State Highway 350 and State Highway 176 in West Texas. It is the County seat of Howard County and home of caring residents, friendly families, beautiful landscapes, and a multitude of cultural, sporting, recreational events to engage individuals looking for a wonderful place to call home.

Big Spring’s unique topography is a mixture of wide open plains mixed with the convergence of the northern limit of the Edwards Plateau and the southern most hills of the Caprock. Big Spring is nestled in a gorge between two high foothills creating beautiful vistas and an oasis in the West Texas prairie.

Big Spring has a diverse and varied economy. Early settlers began ranching operations and soon began to farm the land. Oil and gas production became a major economic force in the early 1900’s and continues today. Today the economy has grow to include refining, manufacturing, wind energy production, transportation, governmental services, and a broad range of health care services.

Community Profile

The mission of Oncor's Economic Development group is to be a catalyst for economic growth and effective utilization of infrastructure through business recruitment, retention and valued community services.

Community Profile Report

Property Tax Rates

The following is a list of property tax rates for taxing entities in the Big Spring area. 

Taxing Entity Tax Rate
Howard County $0.33
City of Big Spring $0.865043
Howard College $0.176616
Big Spring ISD $1.3565
Total Tax Rate

$2.728159

Actual taxes are calculated by multiplying the rate shown above times every $100 in value of eligible taxable property. 

This information was last updated November 2012.

Climate

The Big Spring area is located on the southern extension of the South Plains of Texas at an elevation of 2,547 feet and is approximately halfway between Ft. Worth and El Paso. The terrain is generally level with only slight changes in height.

The climate is typical of a semi-arid region. The vegetation of the area consists mostly of native grasses and a few trees, mostly of the mesquite variety.

Most of the annual precipitation in the area comes as a result of strong spring and early summer thunderstorms. These are usually accompanied by excessive rainfall over limited areas with occasional hail.

Daytime temperatures are quite hot in the summer, but there is a large diurnal range of temperature and most nights are comfortable. The temperature drops below 32 degrees in the fall about mid-November and the last temperature below 32 degrees in spring come early in April.

Winters are characterized by frequent cold periods followed by rapid warming. Cold frontal passages are followed by chilly weather for two or three days. Cloudiness is at a minimum, with annual percent possible sunshine at 73%. Summers are hot and dry with numerous small convective showers.

The prevailing wind direction in this area is from the southeast. This, together with the upslope flow of the terrain from the same direction, causes occasional low cloudiness and drizzle during winter and spring months. Snow is infrequent. Maximum temperatures during the summer months frequently are from 2 to 6 degrees cooler than those at places 100 miles southeast, due to cooling effect of the upslope winds.

Summer afternoon temperatures frequently exceed 90 degrees, but low humidity results in comfortable conditions. The climate of the area is generally pleasant with the most disagreeable weather concentrated in the late winter and spring months.


 

Community History

No one is certain who was first to come upon the big springs that later gave the town its’ name.

It surely was visited by prehistoric creatures seeking water in the arid region and later hunters with pointed sticks and crude stone tools and primitive Indians following herds of bison used for food, clothing and shelter.

Cabeza de Vaca may have been the first white man to look upon the spring which was chronicled in his journals of his journey in 1535.

Captain Randolph Marcy was the first to chronicle his visit to the spring in October of 1849 as he sought to establish a leg of a transcontinental trail. Marcy noted that the spring appeared to be a favorite place of the Comanche Indians. The spring subsequently became the base for many army expeditions to the new territory and remained home of several Indian tribes. Many skirmishes between the two were recorded by several army officers including Col. Robert E. Lee in 1856 later to become commander in chief of the Confederate forces.

Buffalo hunters unintentionally accomplished what the Army had sought to do. The hunters vanquished the Comanche's by destroying the herds of bison that had been the Indian mainstay. Behind the hunters came a few herdsman the predecessors of the first rancher/settles to the Big Spring area. The news that the railroad was soon to push through the area brought the springs first real settlement of buffalo bone hunters which gathered abandoned bones from the vast herds of slaughtered bison. The approach of the railroad became the end of the times when Indians an Army patrols trooped to and from the spring in their migrations.

The Texas & Pacific Railroad named the little village a division point between Ft. Worth and El Paso from which water was supplied from the spring. This meant jobs for shops and road crews, and corresponding growth and stability for the new town. By 1881 the rail had reached Big Spring and beyond creating a sustainable economic base.

Big Spring flourished, local County government was established, businesses sprang up, farming and ranching operations were established all in a short period beginning in the early 1880’s.

Big Springs’ next big influence came with the discovery of oil in the county. In 1926 the Otis Chalk No. 1 came in after several earlier attempts to find oil and the boom was on. Many of the early wells produced 3,000 to 4,000 barrels of oil a day. Hundreds of workers came to the area for work and new oil related businesses sprang up along with refining.

Today oil, rail, farming, and ranching still provide the economic base for the community and Big Spring remains poised for the next influence, perhaps wind energy.

Sources: “Howard County...In the Making” John R Hutto “Getting Started Howard County’s First 25 Years” Joe Pickle
 

Demographics

The following demographic information was sourced primarily by www.factfinder2.census.gov

Education

Big Spring has been blessed with a desire for sound education even before there was a Howard County. This was reinforced by the creation of Big Spring Independent School District in 1901 and Howard College half a century ago. 

Our earliest settlers around 1880 recall that the first "school" functioned under a buffalo hide fly tent, possibly at the Historic Big Spring and surrounded by buffalo bone haulers, crude merchant tents, and one of which may have passed as a saloon. 

When Howard County was organized in 1891, one of the first actions was to provide a two-story frame building to house a school on the west side of the 300 block of Scurry Street on the condition it also would house court proceedings at various times until a courthouse could be built.

Howard County at the time had jurisdiction over several adjoining unorganized counties. Howard therefore became school district No. 1, a number that passed to the Big Spring Independent School District when it was created. 

Even in its earliest days, the county’s records reflect a commitment to education, including a school—even though separate—for a handful of African-American children. Common schools proliferated because there was almost no transportation access until there were 28 unites in the county.

There was an increasing sentiment in the late 1890s for a special status for the village schools referred to as the “reorganized No. 1 school,” because Big Spring was the largest community between Abilene and El Paso.

When B. Reagan, a recent graduate of Baylor University, became superintendent in 1898, he began organizing the curriculum that would earn affiliation with the State University (of Texas) and make us a “first class district.”  Hardly had he left the teaching profession to enter private business when voters approved the creation of Big Spring Independent School District in December 1901.

This led immediately to a $15,000 school house bond issue on February 12, 1902 (which had to be shaved temporarily by $5000 because property values would not support the full amount). The financial strain of getting underway was indicative that resources within the 100 square mile district (less than 10% of the county area, but with 90% of the population) would create financial problems for years to come. Virtually all the wealth from successive future oil strides lay outside the district.

Nevertheless, Professor S.E. Thompson, a former vice-president of Reagan’s alma mater, was optimistic when named first superintendent on June 11, 1902 that “we will make such additions as will enable us to affiliate with the State University.” He assembled a faculty of five teachers, which grew to six by end of the first school year in 1903, when the school term was set at nine months, and the compulsory attendance ages were set at six through eighteen.

By June 1904, May Cherry, Lillie Potton (daughter of first school board president Joseph Potton), Jed A. Rix, A. C. Hayden, Jenny Bell Ethel Atwood and Della Stephens became the first graduates of Big Spring High School.  At the same time, the district’s first catalogue was published, vowing "to raise our curriculum so that graduation shall be worth striving for and have meaning." Immediately, "elocution and physical culture" were added, along with books for a library, but music instruction did not make the cut for lack of space.

The District continued to grow through the oil-boom, the Great Depression and War years. There have been many examples of boldness and leadership by trustees and administrators, none more outstanding that the decision in 1955 to become the first public school in Texas to integrate all races.

Like many schools, striving for quality, BSISD has experienced ebbs and flows on standardized test, but never on the most important test of all; that of the end products—its graduates.  The District has turned out an army of graduates imbued with a sense of responsibility to participate actively to preserve our democratic society and to serve the common good.
 

Healthcare

Big Spring is blessed with a broad and varied array of health care providers and services.

From a 150 bed private hospital serving the general public to a Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, a State mental health facility and a Texas State Veterans Home Big Spring is a center for health care.

Big Spring is home of one of the premier rehabilitation facilities in West Texas providing physical therapy, occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, audiolgy, wellness programs along with a multitude of other services.

Big Spring offers several facilities that provide housing for the elderly, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and in home health care.

Big Spring has long had the reputation as being a center for health care in West Texas.

Major Employers

 

Weatherford - A & M Composites

1409 E Hwy. 350
Big Spring Texas 79720
(432)267-6599

Production includes fuse tubes, instruments housings for exploration, grain sleeves, antenna and propellant tubes, reverse osmosis housings and antenna housings, and frac and bridge plugs.

 

 

Alon USA

P.O. Box 1311
Big Spring, TX 79721-1311
(432)263-7661 Fax: (432)263-3966
www.alonusa.com

Alon USA primarily produces regular mid and premium grades of gasoline, and low sulfur diesel fuel. In addition, jet fuel, kerosene, benzene, propane, propylene and aromatic solvents are produced. Various grades of asphalt are produced. Sulfur is a by-product.
 

 
Delta Lightning Arrestors, Inc.

3204 East I-20
Big Spring, TX 79720
(432)267-1000 Fax: (432)267-1035
www.deltala.com

Delta Lightning Arrestors help to protect electrical equipment from lightning damage. By attaching to residential electric service to protect home wiring and appliances. Attaches to industrial motors to protect from lightning. And also protects water well motors.
 

John Crane Production Solutions Inc.

3604 Bethel Dr.                                                  Big Spring, TX 79720
(888)342-3726
(432)267-9800
Fax: (432)263-6673
www.fiberod.net and www.productionsolutions.net

The mission of FIBEROD is to allow oil producers to consume less energy in the form of electricity while producing more energy in the form of oil, with the most durable sucker rods on the planet.
 

Sid Richardson Carbon & Energy Co.
1211 N Midway Rd
Big Spring, TX 79720
(432)263-7389
www.sidrich.com/Corporate-History.htm

The company provides an annual production capacity in excess of 970 million pounds (440 thousand metric tons) of furnace carbon black, including over 30 grades of ASTM and specialty carbon blacks.
 

Blue Bell Creameries

401 E I-20
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)263-8500
bluebellcreameries.com

Big Spring Texas is a distribution center for Blue Bell Creameries, which is the manufacturer of Blue Bell brand ice cream and has been noted as the number 3 ice cream manufacture in the United States. Blue Bell Creameries have been in business for over 100 years. The Big Spring distribution center has made a great impact by service to over 300 mile radius of Howard County.
 

Robinson Drilling of Texas Ltd.

PO Box 311
Big Spring TX 79721
(432)267-5277

Robinson Drilling of Texas Ltd. Specializes in oil and gas well drilling and exploration.
 

Co-Ex Pipe Co.

714 Anna St.
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)263-8721
www.coexpipe.com

Manufactures polyethylene pipe, High nickel alloy pipe, High yield steel pipe, Ferrous alloy pipe, Aluminum pipe, Brass pipe, Bronze pipe, Concrete pipe, Copper pipe, Cast iron pipe, Lead pipe, Magnesium pipe.
 

Southwest Tool Co.

901 E 2nd St
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)267-7612

Furnishes oilfield supplies oilfield connections, and industrial machine shop service to the oilfield. Welding for business such as farmers, oilfield as well as wind turbine companies.
 

Nabors Well Service Co.

2900 N Highway 87
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)263-8444

Nabors Well Service provides maintenance services on the mechanical apparatus used to pump or lift oil from producing wells. These services include, among other things, repairing and replacing pumps, sucker rods and tubing.
 

Western Container

1600 1st Avenue
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)263-8361
www.westerncontainercoke.com

Western Container Corporation is dedicated to being the premier manufacturer of PET containers for the Coca-Cola Bottling
Systems. Western Container Corporation, a P.E.T. bottle
manufacturing company, was established in 1979 by a group of Coca-Cola bottlers who acted on the long- term need for a central distribution point and a reliable source of high quality low cost
plastic bottle.
 

Noltex Trusses

1700 Richabaugh
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)267-4700
www.noltextruss.com

Noltex Truss provides roof, floor and trimmable end trusses for commercial and residential construction projects.
 

Phillips Fabrication, Inc.

1305 E Airpark Dr
Big Spring TX 79720
(432)264-6600
 

Phillips Fabrication, Inc. is experienced in a number of different fields in the plant construction industry. One area is the installation of peripheral chillers, air handlers, heat exchangers, cooling towers, and hydronic piping. Another specialty is the installation of plastic injection mold and blow machines for the bottle manufacturing industry.
 

Moventas

604 N. Owens St
Big Spring TX 79720
(432) 517-4072
www.moventas.com

Moventas provides leading mechanical power transmission technology. We develop, manufacture and market wind turbine gears and mechanical drives for the process industries. Comprehensive life cycle maintenance services complete our offering.
 

PCCA

1004 NW 10th St
Big Spring TX 79720
(800) 333-8011
www.pcca.com

The warehouse division continues to perform an important role in the cotton supply infrastructure as storage and shipping facilities. Combined storage capacity at all locations is 950,000 bales of cotton. This capacity provides consistent annual dividends paid to PCCA members whose cotton is stored at these facilities, thus adding value to their cotton.
 

 

 

 

Certifed Retirement Community

Certified Retirement Community Information

Workforce

Workforce

Area Area Type Latest Month Year Ago
    December December  
    2011 2010
    Labor Force   Unemployment Rate Labor Force Unemployment Rate  
Howard County

13,911

  844 6.1 14,059 936 6.7
Big Spring City 9,565   654 6.8 9,658 709 7.3

 

Transportation

Big Spring is known as the Crossroads of West Texas. It is situated on Interstate Highway 20 mid distant between Dallas and El Paso. Interstate Highway 20 serves as the east-west artery with U.S. Highway 87 as the north-south corridor. Big Spring is also served by State Highways 176 and 350. Ranch Road 700 serves as a loop connecting west I.H. 20 to South U.S. 87 and continues east to I.H. 20 and then north to U.S. 87 north.

Big Spring is serviced by Union Pacific Rail providing freight services.

Utilities

Electricity:

Reliant Energy
1-866-222-7100

TXU Energy Delivery
1-800-242-9113
Retail Company of Choice
1-866-797-4839 For any connects/disconnects
www.powertochoose.com

Gas:

Atmos Energy
1-888-363-7427
Pay Atmos Energy bills at:
HEB- 2000 Gregg St.
Sparenburg Building – 309 S. Main
Neighbors Convenience Store – 3315 FM 700

Water:

City of Big Spring
432-264-2542
501 Runnels
Water is billed per 1,000 gallon
Sewer is billed per 1,000 gallon
Sanitation: commercial accounts are based on
size of container and frequency of collection

Cable:

Suddenlink
432-267-3821
2006 Birdwell Lane

Telephone:

Wes-Tex Telecom.
432-263-0091

AT&T
1-800-288-2020  www.attinternetservice.com
Pay phone bills at:
HEB – 2000 S. Gregg St.
Neighbors Convenience Store – 3315 FM 700
Sparenburg Building – 309 S. Main – cash only + $1 fee

Satellite:

AT&T Dish Network
1-866-722-7500

DirectTV
1-800-280-4388

Basin 2-Way Radio
432-264-7034
 

Targeted Industries

Oil & Gas and Energy Related Industry

Transportation & Distribution

Agriculture

Renewable Energy

Plastics, Manufacturing, Composites

Health Care

 

Geography

Big Spring and Howard County are located in an area where three ecological regions merge. To the north and east are the Western Rolling Plains, to the south is the Edwards Plateau, and to the north are the Southern High Plains (also know as the Llano Estacado or the Staked Plains). The merging of these ecological regions results in a variety of plant and animal life with representatives from each region overlapping in Howard County. The merging of these regions has also created some very scenic terrain around Big Spring, including Scenic Mountain offering a panoramic view of Big Spring, South Mountain and Signal Peak.

The region consists mostly of level plains with some canyons interspersed over the landscape. The Caprock escarpment in the region is caused by surface erosion. Along the edge of the high plains, this escarpment is a striking feature rising abruptly 2,500 feet above sea level and as much as 1,000 feet above the plains creating dramatic vistas.

The plains are fairly dry with low lying bushes, small areas of grass, and small clusters of wooded plants. On the Southern High Plains, the dominate vegetation types are woody plants and grasses. The woody plants consist of mesquite, lotebush, catclaw, junipers, and shinery oak. The grasses are primarily of the buffalo grass and plains bristle types. Grain sorghum, cotton, and a variety of small grains have been successfully cultivated. The Western Rolling Plains accommodate similar vegetation to the Southern High Plains with the addition of chinaberry, pecan and little leaf sumac. Prickly pear cactus and cottonwood are common in this area.

Soil types are dominated by sandy loams and clays. Howard County is located in the
Colorado River watershed.