Decrease in City Property Tax Valuations for 2016

By Edna Clark

The Town of Van Horn City Council met on Tuesday evening to the sound of much needed rain and thunder with all members present. City Secretary, Fran Malafronte, announce that the next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 30, at 7:00 p.m.

Council approved a new tax rate of $0.486304 per $100.00 valuation and a tax base of $68,065,350.  This came as a result of a decrease of property tax valuation of $498,430 in 2016.  Ms. Malafronte assured Council that the valuation decrease did not affect the City because the City has other revenue options.

Continued Lamar billboards on Interstate 20 and Interstate 10 near Fort Stockton were approved at the monthly rate of $435 and $420, respectively.  Council requested that Ms. Malafronte contact the company for updating the signs more frequently.

After extensive, lengthy discussions between Council, Ms. Malafronte, and City Attorney, Steve Mitchell, no action was taken on payment for a billboard by the Hampton Inn.  Ms. Malafronte told Council that Brune & Burnett have sent a new bill for the billboard which conflicts with a previous contract that had been received and signed by the City.  Mitchell & Malafronte were asked by Council to get the situation straightened out and report at the next Council meeting.

McDonald made Council aware that the new Fire House had been flooded with sewage due to a backed-up grease trap.  He stated that extensive cleaning had been required due to feces and other trash filling the Fire House.

Alderman Ryan Martinez asked Ms. Malafronte asked when flag poles would be installed by the City County Library, to which Malafronte replied that the poles were in town and ready to be installed.

Alderman Rudy Hinojos asked Malafronte about the status of marking lines on East Fire Bush Street behind the Pilot Travel Center.  Malafronte assured Hinojos that the necessary striping material had been received and was ready to be applied.  Additionally, TXDOT has agreed to put concrete barriers along the street to prevent trucks from using the street as a parking lot.

Alderman Pam Young again requested that the walking paths in Okie Lucas Park be leveled for the safety of persons walking in the Park after dark since the lighting had not been corrected.  Malafronte replied that was one more thing to add to Corralez’s to-do list.