Thursday, November 16, 2017

Von Ormy sets record for sales tax collection

VON ORMY-- The economy is booming in Von Ormy.  The City of Von Ormy has set an all time record for monthly sales tax collection in November 2017.  The city's collection of $56,249.00 beat the previous record of $48,428 collected during December of 2013.  With one more month to go, the City is also on pace to surpass 2013 as its best year for sales tax collection.  $404,000 was collected in 2013, the height of the Eagle Ford Shale boom. Through the first 11 months of 2017, the city has collected $380,000 and has been averaging $34,500 per month this year.  If the city has an average December, the annual collection will be near $414,000.   Von Ormy has no city property taxes and is debt free.   

Monday, October 9, 2017

Von Ormy passes 2018 budget, keeps zero property tax rate; is debt free

VON ORMY - Residents of Von Ormy will continue to be the only city in Bexar County to enjoy no municipal property taxes. The Von Ormy City Commission unanimously adopted its fiscal year 2018 budget on September 29 and maintained the city's property tax rate at zero percent.  The budget prioritizes the reestablishment of the Von Ormy Police Department and animal control services and provides funding for long term park improvements.  The budget assumes a 5% growth in sales taxes, a conservative estimate following two years of rising sales taxes. Von Ormy is on pace to have its highest sales tax collection in its history in 2017.  The 2018 budget also completes payment on the city's sole outstanding tax note, Series 2011, which was issued to purchase land for the municipal park and city office complex.  The final payment on this note leaves the City debt free. 
     Von Ormy's 2018 budget is $581,248.00.  Additionally, the city maintains reserves of over one year's operating budget.  This allows the city to operate without property taxes and withstand the variability of sales tax revenue. 2014 saw the sharpest decline in sales tax collections  at 10% less than the prior year.  However, during its 10 years of existence, Von Ormy has run a budget surplus each year and has never had to dip into reserves for city operations.  In addition to providing a safety net against declining revenue, these surpluses allow the city to avoid long-term debt.  In 2017, the City purchased a city hall, a police station and three new police vehicles and paid cash for each.     

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Loop 1604 to be expanded to 4 lanes

VON ORMY-- Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) conducted a public hearing on a project to expand Loop 1604 from Highway 90 to I-35 in Von Ormy.  The meeting was conducted at Southwest High School on Thursday, September 28.  Attendance was heavy. TxDOT plans to expand Loop 1604 into a 4 lane highway with overpass bridges at all intersections.  The expansion project is in its earliest stage of planing. Construction is tentatively set to begin in 2022 with completion in 2025.  The proposal includes creating "round abouts" at 1604 and I35 to eliminate traffic signals and to allow for traffic to flow without stopping in any direction, including onto two way accesses roads of I-35.  The expansion will only include access roads at intersections.  Roadways not part of an intersection will have direct access to 1604.   At some time in the future 1604 will be converted again into a full freeway with access roads along its full length.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Somerset ISD Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

VON ORMY – Savannah Heights Intermediate School fifth grade science teacher Tabatha Grohman has been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Grohman was nominated by a colleague, Deborah Gonzalez. She is known as a staple in her community because of her tremendous ability to mentor and guide students to success, while cultivating a strong relationship with their parents. A UIL coach and a robotics coach, she is constantly searching for new avenues to empower students. She regularly gives model lessons to her fellow teachers, and has recently completed her Master’s Degree and passed her principalship tests.

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • (1) Grand Prize Winner – will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (4) Grand Prize Finalists – will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (10) LifeChanger Award Winners – will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (1) Spirit Award Winner – This award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (1) Spotlight Award Winner – This award will be given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2017-2018, the award will be given to a nominee who works in a support role, such as a secretary, administrative assistant, or office manager. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district in fall 2017.
Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.

Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees. To be considered for an award, nominees must
  • Make a positive impact in the lives of students
  • Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride
  • Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level
  • Possess a proven record of professional excellence
  • Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning
  • Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards

Friday, June 30, 2017

City Restores Von Ormy City Park

VON ORMY - The City of Von Ormy has begun cleaning and repairing the city park from damage caused by Quarterhorse Street improvements.    The large pile of fill dirt and gravel are being removed and the land leveled, restoring access to the area between the walking trails.
    The repairs are expected to be finished this weekend.

Von Ormy Applies to Reinstate Police Department

VON ORMY-- The Von Ormy City Commission has applied to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCLOE) for reinstatement of the Von Ormy Police Department (VOPD). The application is hefty, nearly an inch thick of paperwork.  The procedure to process the application could take up to several months. In the mean time, volunteers have been busy performing maintenance on the police vehicle fleet and preparing the new Police Station for service.  The City expects operations to be able to being shortly after the license is reinstated.

   The VOPD lost its license following a dispute over who would serve as Chief of Police. Former Mayor Trina Reyes repeatedly nominated interim Chief Pedro Rosario to serve as Chief, but City Commissioners denied the nomination on multiple occasions.  The Commission subsequently re-hiring former City Marshal Greg Reyes.  The Von Ormy Star confirmed with Bexar County that former Mayor Reyes contacted them for cancellation of the City's dispatch agreement with them.
     TCLOE, the state agency that licenses law enforcement agencies, requires all agencies to have dispatch services.  The cancellation of the city's agreement with Bexar County triggered an automatic revocation of the VOPD license with TCLOE.
   The Von Ormy City Commission voted to apply for reinstatement soon after VOPD had its license revoked, but TCLOE would not accept an application without the Mayor's signature.  Former Mayor Reyes declined to sign the application.  The City Commission next voted to grant signing authority to City Commissioner Alex Quintanilla.  Due to the uniqueness of the situation, TCLOE referred the question of whether a Commissioner could sign an application for reinstatement, rather than a Mayor to their agency attorneys.  That process had not been completed by the time of the recent Von Ormy elections.  With the election of a new Mayor and City Commission, the path was cleared to reinstate both the dispatch agreement with Bexar County and the VOPD license.  The request for resumption of dispatch services has also been filed with Bexar County.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Von Ormy Voters Elect New City Government, Renew Street Maintenance Sales Tax

VON ORMY-- Von Ormy voters went to the polls on Saturday May 6, 2017 to elect a new city government and decide whether to re.  Sally Martinez was elected Mayor by a vote of 82 to 45 (64.5% to 35.5%) over challenger David Farr.  The two City Commissioner positions were won by Deborah Ivy and Alex Quintanilla, both of whom ran unopposed.  Ivy previously served on the City Council in 2014 - 2015.  Alex Quintanilla is a veteran on the Von Ormy City Council having previously served as a City Councilmember, City Commissioner and Mayor-Pro Tem.     The new officials will take office following a canvassing of the election, which should take place by the end of the week. Voter turnout in Von Ormy was comparable to the countywide turnout of 11%.
     Voters also renewed the City's street maintenance sales tax by a vote of 85 to 26 (76.5% to 23.5%).  The street maintenance sales tax is 1/4 cent tax that is used to repair and maintain roads, right of way maintenance, street lighting, signage and litter control.  The tax must be renewed by voters every four years.  Von Ormy is the only city in Bexar County without a property tax and it's sales taxes play an essential role in funding the city.  Von Ormy sales tax collections have been rising over the last two years.  March and April 2017 set record highs for sales tax collections.

Von Ormy Monthly Sales Tax Collection Since Incorporation.