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Helotes Economic Development Corporation Community Announcement

224390702 Helotes News Helotes Economic Development Corporation Announcement July 7 2020 Web

The Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) requested the information in this article be published to ensure the widest possible audience is reached in Helotes. Please share this article with friends who own or work for a Helotes based business.

Business Resource Survey

The HEDC is conducting a survey in the community for local businesses. The survey is accessible here: https://forms.gle/gUTzDynPif2dTqBt7

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Alert the PPP was reopened on July 6, 2020.  If you haven’t already applied, do so by August 8, 2020. You can find more information and a list of lenders on the HEDC website: https://www.helotesedc.com/about/incentives

HEDC SBLAP Loan

Zero interest loans are still available to all sales tax producing businesses within the corporate city limits of Helotes.  This program will end August 28, 2020. For more information visit https://www.helotesedc.com/about/incentives

Questions?

If you have questions about the survey or the programs above, please contact the HEDC Assistant Director, Glenn Goolsby at 210-695-5910.

Regular Meeting Helotes City Council June 25th, 2020 Recap

251979002 Recap Regular Meeting Helotes City Council June 25 2020

This recap is based on the June 25th, 2020 Regular Meeting Helotes City Council. If you find errors, please let us know.

Public Hearing

2. Citizens to be Heard.

  • No one signed up to speak

Consent Agenda

3. Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting dated May 28, 2020. (Staff)

4. Approval of a Stormwater Management Plan, pursuant to Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 34 Environment, Article IV Stormwater Detention and Drainage, and an associated fee-in-lieu of detention in the amount of $16,213.18 for Iron Horse Townhomes being a 5.09 acre tract of land out of the Charles Stolz Survey No. 431 ½, Abstract No. 734 of the Official Public Records of Bexar County, Texas, more particularly described as BCAD Prop. ID Nos. 240904 & 240908. (Applicant)

  • CM Buys asks Mayor question about Item #4, When is the project going to start?
  • Mayor Schoolcraft replies it will be up to the County [Inaudible]
  • CM Buys motions to approve items 3 & 4. CM Holmes seconds. Motion passes unanimously.  

Items for Individual Consideration

5. Discussion of and action on the proposed Bexar Appraisal District 2021 Annual Budget. (Staff)

  • CM Buys motions, CM Blue seconds.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft comments before council discussion. The resolution is included in the packet in the even council votes against. If council approves, then resolution unnecessary.
  • CM Blue comments highlight how the resolution in the packet is written for a disapproval vote, and also notes how council historical disapproval votes are negative when we [council] feels it’s not appropriate for the budget.
  • Mayor explains the resolution is included in the packet in the event council votes against as we [Mayor and staff] have no idea how councilmembers will vote.
  • CM Buys amends motion to approve the Bexar County Appraisal District 2021 Budget. CM Blue seconds. Mayor calls for further comments. None. Calls question, motion approved unanimously.

6.  Discussion of and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas approving an Interlocal Grant Agreement for the distribution of federal coronavirus relief funds between the City of Helotes and Bexar County, Texas. (Staff)

  • CM Massey motions, CM Holmes seconds.
  • CM Massey comments concerning letter from Judge Wolff. Discussion between CM Massey and Mayor Schoolcraft. Mayor sums up discussion between Judge Wolff and himself, Bexar County wants the funds back as soon as they can so they can spend it all by the end of the year. So, whatever the suburban cities don’t spend, the county will get back to spend on their own projects.
  • CM Massey asks to confirm that we [city] can’t ask for funds up to December 31st.
  • Mayor speaks and states only end of October. Elaborates on a phone call with Judge Wolff in that seems as if funds may have a leeway to be requested after September, but funds in November and December go back to the county.
  • CM Holmes comments on the nonresponse from the county.
  • CM Buys comments that again we have to play the game and hopes this is the last time.
  • Mayor calls the question. Aye votes CMs Holmes, Blue, Buys, Friedrichs. CM Massey unsure if she say aye. CM Massey asks question about the vote if was to pass or ask questions. Mayor replies with the question he called and that it was passed.

7.  Discussion of and action on a Declaration of the City of Helotes, Texas extending the declaration order of local disaster and public health emergency for the City of Helotes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Staff)

  • CM Massey begins with asking question. States he understands we need to have emergency funding. CM Massey asks what the emergency management authorities have been doing.
  • City Administrator discusses the multiple video meetings daily and weekend they have had.
  • Mayor discusses the meetings he’s attended and highlights how Fire Chief/EMC Scott Moreland is handling the brunt of the meetings.
  • Mayor highlights that Helotes has not enacted anything more restrictive than County Judge or Texas Governor. States we have only cancelled city events that were required to be cancelled by executive orders.
  • CM Massey states she’s concerned about Cornyval.
  • Mayor states he discussed with Bert and county would still have to approve.
  • CM Massey isn’t happy with how the order correlates with how it extends to October.
  • CM Buys states Cornyval decision coming towards July.
  • Mayor calls question. Motion carries unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 7:21pm.

Regular Meeting Helotes City Council May 14th, 2020 Recap

251979002 Recap Regular Meeting Helotes City Council May 14th 2020

This recap is based on the May 14th, 2020 Regular Meeting Helotes City Council. If you find errors, please let us know.

Helotes News abbreviates “Councilmember” as “CM” in our articles.

This recap is based on the May 14th, 2020 Regular Meeting Helotes City Council. If you find errors, please let us know.

Public Hearing

2. Public Hearing on a proposal for the City of Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) to fund a Small Business Assistance Program that will offer zero (0%) interest loans to businesses in the City of Helotes that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The program qualifies as an economic development “Project,” as defined by Texas Local Govt. Code Chapter 505 Type B Corporations.

  • No one signed up to speak

Recognition

3. Proclamation by Mayor Thomas A. Schoolcraft recognizing the City of Helotes Public Works Department in observance of National Public Works Week occurring May 17 -May 23, 2020.

4. Proclamation by Mayor Thomas A. Schoolcraft recognizing the City of Helotes Fire / EMS Department in observance of National EMS Week occurring May 17 -May 23, 2020.

Open Session

5. Citizens to be heard.

  • No one signed up to speak

Consent Agenda

6.  Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting dated April 23, 2020. (Staff)

7.  Approval of the Fiscal Year Ending (FYE) 2020 City of Helotes Revenue and Expense, Balance Sheet, and Encumbrance Reports dated May 7, 2020. (Staff)

8.  Approval of a preliminary and final subdivision plat, pursuant to Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 78 Subdivisions, establishing Goat Hill Subdivision, being a 11.249 acre tract of land out of the J.M. Ross Survey No. 224, Abstract 645, County Block 4524, and being a portion of land conveyed to the Polk Family Trust recorded in Volume 12696, Page 347 of the Official Public Records of Bexar County, Texas. (Applicant)

  • Motion by CM Holmes motions to approve items 6, 7 and 8. Second by CM Blue. Motion passes unanimously.

Items for Individual Consideration

9. Discussion of and action on resuming the Spring 2020 brush pick up by C-6 Disposal Systems, Inc. to a rescheduled date, or, omitting the Spring 2020 brush pick up and providing compensation to Helotes residents for the cancelled service. (Council Member Massey and Council Member Holmes)

  • Motion by CM Massey to discuss and take action on the Spring 2020 brush pickup to rescheduled date, second by CM Holmes.
  • CM Massey states that on April 2nd “we” learned that it was cancelled. Believes this should have been a City Council decision. Cited state and county executive orders and how there was not anything that prohibited brush pickup.
  • CM Massey spoke with owner of C-6, states that no one had become sick prior to the cancelling.
  • CM Massey believes there was no compelling reason to cancel the brush pickup.
  • CM Holmes states he was disappointed to find out a letter to the citizen has been issued before council was notified.
  • CM Holmes states he is one of the citizens whose lot generates a lot of brush, and currently his brush is sitting in a pile becoming a fire hazard and area for rodents.
  • CM Holmes states he has been approached over 25 times about the cancellation issue.
  • CM Holmes wants the spring brush pickup reinstated. States we serve the public and citizens of Helotes and would like to continue doing so by reinstating brush pickup.
  • CM Blue states he heard about it [cancel brush pickup] after multiple citizens had and was not clear on how the events transpired.
  • CM Blue states there is multiple issues, such as who has the authority to make the decision, how notifications are made.
  • CM Blue states he is in favor of reinstating brush pickup.
  • CM Blue asks mayor and city administrator is there capacity for C-6 to resume, second question what was the original date, and proposed date for reinstatement.
  • CM Blue asks that moving forward that brush pickup begin earlier in the year prior to buds sprouting.
  • CM Buys curious if C-6 has the ability to resume at a later date.
  • CM Buys states despite the unique times we are in, believes decision on brush pickup could have waited.
  • CM Friedrichs inquiring if C-6 can put us back on the schedule.
  • CM Friedrichs doesn’t want to put C-6 in the middle of a disagreement of our [City Council] making, but also consider their ability to resume brush pickup at a later date
  • Mayor Schoolcraft responds to CM questions:
    • Original pickup from May 4th through June 19th
    • Notice went out about 5 weeks before the first date brush pickup allowed to be put out
    • Several years ago citizens stated it was too hot in June and July to get the brush pickup out, and C-6 had staffing issues safely in the heat and dealing with vacations. Stated January and February were cold months and had complaints from citizens that streets were unsightly because other citizens would place brush out early and make it unsightly during Christmas and even sometimes Thanksgiving holidays.
    • States why May and June were selected because of numerous complaints, holidays and C-6 ability to perform. Provides further history on why decisions made in the past and highlights how January and February pickup was moved to September and October prior to Thanksgiving holiday.
    • States always having conversations with C-6. Helotes City Administrator Marian Mendoza, Scott Moreland Fire Chief & Emergency Management Coordinator, and Mayor Schoolcraft began attending daily conference calls and briefings with county, state and federal agencies mid-March concerning COVID-19.
    • Lists several more conference calls Mayor was in attendance.
    • States we are still in this ongoing learning stage. Cases were on the rise and cites commentary from surgeon general at press conferences when the decision was made to cancel brush pickup.
    • Looked at this issue in the same way as canceling Cornyval, Marketplace, etc.
    • At that time seemed like it a very real issue with people becoming seriously ill.
    • Reminds everyone there is an option that there is have three bundles for every pickup day for regular trash or totter.
  • CM Massey not sure how Mayor can equate social events to brush pickup.
  • CM Massey states spoke with C-6 owner in April and says she didn’t see any compelling reason and call the Mayor to reinstate it. States the C-6 owner didn’t say anything in response, and at that time CM Massey determined this [request to call the Mayor] wasn’t going anywhere.
  • CM Holmes states discussed with the owner of C-6 employee safety was a concern. However, last four or five pickups was a single-person operation.
  • CM Holmes states sees far more possibility for someone to get sick during regular trash and recycle pickup than the one-person operation of brush pickup.
  • CM Blue in favor of rescheduling.
  • CM Blue states it’s a matter of C-6 can reschedule and should trees be trimmed now. Would like City Arborist to weigh in.
  • CM Friedrichs in favor of rescheduling brush pickup if possible but considering C-6 capability to do so in light of an issue the City Council created.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft states not equating brush pickup to social events, but rather the decisions on those items were all made within a short time of one another.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft states brush pickup is a two-man operation and times when you see only one person is when C-6 is short a person.
  • City Attorney Frank Garza states based on Chapter 14 of Government Code under emergency declaration is the ultimate authority, further elaborates that this is local and not state-wide.
  • CM Massey reads Governor Abbott’s executive order concerning essential services, and asked if there was conflict.
  • City Attorney Garza states Mayor had authority and was not in conflict with the governor’s executive order.
  • CM Blue asks about any legal option to put pickup back on C-6.
  • City Attorney Garza states doesn’t see any issue with asking C-6 to reschedule brush pickup for the summer.
  • City Attorney and Mayor discussion summary; same authority Mayor had to cancel is same authority Mayor will need to use to reinstate the brush pickup, not a council vote, and depends on if C-6 will be able to provide services.
  • City Attorney states the Mayor is the Emergency Management Officer during a state of local emergency declaration.
  • Mayor discusses future agenda item about year-round brush collections program, and possibility of C-6 contract changes.
  • CM Massey states would have been nice to know, have been trying to get in contact with the Mayor in the last six weeks, sounding frustrated thanks the Mayor for finally putting this on the agenda.
  • CM Blue follow up questions to City Attorney.
  • City Attorney Garza states while the City has a local declaration of disaster the governing body’s presiding officer, the Mayor, is the Emergency Management Director, so while this is in effect the Mayor is the Emergency Management Director. States not every provision has to be stated in the declaration.
  • CM Buys elaborates on agreement between his neighborhood association and C-6 and would need to be discussed further regarding monthly pickup.  
  • CM Massey amends motion to postpone this item to May 28th. CM Holmes seconds.
  • This item is postponed unanimously until May 28th.

10. First reading on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas, approving a project of the Helotes Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to establish a Small Business Assistance Program that will offer zero (0%) interest loans to businesses within the corporate limits of Helotes that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19); and authorizing the HEDC Executive Director to take all necessary steps to implement the provisions of this Resolution. (Staff)

  • City Administrator presents first reading which is a process item.

11. Second and final reading, discussion and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas, approving a project of the Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) to establish a Small Business Assistance Program that will offer zero (0%) interest loans to businesses within the corporate limits of Helotes that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19); and authorizing the HEDC Executive Director to take all necessary steps to implement the provisions of this Resolution. (Staff)

  • City Administrator presents history information on what county and SBA programs provided.
  • City Administrator presents information about the HEDC small business assistance loan program.
  • Mayor calls motion and second. CM Buys motions and seconds by CM Holmes.
  • CM Buys asks if 20 or fewer employees is appropriate, citing how El Chaparral may not qualify.
  • CM Holmes askes about recovery rate and are we prepared for a loss rate around what is marketed.
  • City Administrator states in reply to CM Holmes is that city will review applications.
  • CM Blue asks about availability of funds via BCL of Texas at $200k now or later with another vendor.
  • CM Massey inquires on who is paid and what are the costs.
  • Mayor calls question, all in favor Aye is approved unanimously.

12. Discussion of and action on a Declaration of the City of Helotes, Texas extending a declaration order of local disaster and public health emergency for the City of Helotes as a result of the COVID-19 virus. (Staff)

  • CM Massey motions to discuss and take action on this item as written. Second from CM Buys.
  • CM Massey reads a prepared speech. 1:25:15 in video. Advocates continued disaster declarations is unacceptable due to data and civil liberty restrictions based on actual to-date pandemic impact on Helotes.
  • CM Massey appeals to fellow council members to repeal the state of local disaster.
  • CM Buys concern is what is the cost if we [City of Helotes] didn’t apply for funding, FEMA.
  • CM Blue asks if what expenditures have we already had above and beyond are.
  • City Administrator explains what expenditures have occurred.
  • Council members follow up with questions about time to renew declaration.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft elaborates on what Helotes is qualified to apply for in term of relief funds. States has to provide receipts to recoup funds from Bexar County and the State of Texas.
  • CM Massey asks about what funds are being spent on COVID.
  • City Administrator states part time employees are not available.
  • CM Buys stats has to play the game to get the funds from [Bexar County]
  • Mayor states we [City] is subordinate to county judge and state governor.
  • CM Massey proposes amendment from 60 to 30 days.
  • Mayor calls question. Ayes 4, Nay 1, Massey opposes.

Meeting adjourns. 9pm.

Helotes Economic Development Corporation Approves Resolution to Establish a Small Business Loan Assistance Program Providing a Total of $300,000 Available for Zero Interest Loans

103149217 Helotes EDC Small Business Assistance Loan

At a Special Meeting of the Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) on March 13th, 2020, the HEDC Board of Directors unanimously passed Resolution No. 20-001, A RESOLUTION OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (EDC) OF THE CITY OF HELOTES, TEXAS, ESTABLISHING A SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA TO PROVIDE IMMEDIATE, SHORT-TERM FINANCIAL AID TO QUALIFIED SMALL BUSINESSES THAT HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY COVID-19 IN THE CITY OF HELOTES; APPROPRIATING $336,000 TO ESTABLISH THE PROGRAM; AUTHORIZING THE HEDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY STEPS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS RESOLUTION; INCORPORATING RECITALS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; REPEALING ANY OTHER CODE PROVISIONS, RESOLUTIONS, OR PARTS OF RESOLUTIONS, AND OTHER PROVISIONS IN CONFLICT HEREWITH; AND SETTING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

The Resolution will allow the HEDC Executive Director Marian Mendoza the authority to negotiate and execute a contract with BCL of Texas, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). A total of $300,000 will be available to Helotes small businesses in the form of zero interest loans ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.

City-of-Helotes-Economic-Development-Corporation

HEDC Executive Director Marian Mendoza commented on the process, “We presented two CDFI options to the board of directors at the April 30th HEDC Special Meeting, one being BCL of Texas. One of the reasons the HEDC Board of Directors decided to work  with BCL of Texas is their ability  to provide their own capital  to  underwrite loans for our Helotes businesses immediately until the HEDC can release funds. This option provides much needed help to our community’s small businesses sooner rather than later.”

Small business disaster loan assistance is nothing new for anyone who watches  mainstream media. Yet, this is the first of its kind for Helotes. The HEDC is funded by sales tax dollars and with most of the City’s businesses being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay-in-place order, the HEDC  felt now more than ever the Helotes business community needed support to retain employees and cover other working capital.

HEDC Assistant Director Glenn Goolsby commented on the need for this program, “From about mid-March I started receiving calls from local businesses voicing their concerns and asking if the city had any plans in the works. I was aware of other cities in Texas similar in size to Helotes who either already had loan programs establish for other uses or had a disaster loan program in the works. Early on we knew there was a need for such a program and so we started getting the pieces together.”

EDC-Assistant-Executive-Director-Glenn-Goolsby-Web

 “I brought a loan and grant idea up to Marian one morning in March after reading yet another news article covering the uncertainty around the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Disaster Injury Loan and Paycheck Protection Program loans. Several of our Helotes small businesses I was in contact with were uncertain if they qualified for the programs, a few applied but didn’t hear anything from their banks, and several were so confused by the SBA’s guidelines they’d rather risk maxing their credit cards to keep going than criminal charges if they misunderstood anything in the programs’ guidelines.” Said Glenn Goolsby.

Glenn continued, “Later that evening I received an email from Matt McCrossen who sits on the HEDC Board of Directors outlining a disaster relief program and asked if I could pass the email around to the board to see if there was interest. The next day Marian and I started working to get all the research, legal, and board meeting packets ready to make this program a reality for our Helotes small businesses who are not able to obtain federal assistance for one reason or another.”  

With several questions about this program now answered, the ball was rolling for a small town of under 10,000 residents to have its own small business disaster loan program. There was a known need, at least one voting board member interested in establishing the program and HEDC staff was already researching other EDCs small business relief efforts.

“There was about a week left in March when I emailed Glenn to see if there was any interest in establishing a relief program for small businesses.” Said Matt McCrossen, a Helotes resident, small business owner and who serves on the HEDC Board of Directors. Matt continued, “At that time I had spoken with all my clients of McCrossen Marketing & Consulting on how their businesses were performing, what their outlook was and if we needed to modify contracts. It was tough to hear the concern in their voices as the pandemic unfolded. I do not have any clients in Helotes, but that did not matter. One of the hats I wear is a volunteer as director on the HEDC board. So, it was logical to ask staff to see if there was any interest in a small business loan and grant program for Helotes businesses based on what my clients are going through.

The Resolution will be read tonight at the Helotes City Council Regularly Scheduled Meeting. Once approved the HEDC Executive Director Marian Mendoza will work with legal counsel, staff and BCL of Texas to execute a contract that will provide assistance to the Helotes small businesses who have been financially effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt McCrossen shared insight into the small business community, “As we prepared for our HEDC Special Meetings, I launched a survey on my personal blog asking small business owners some very intimate questions about their stat of affairs. I kept it anonymous from the board and staff, aggregated the data and reported it on the record at the board meeting to balance privacy, but get the point across that our neighbors are hurting and very concerned about their future.”

“Of the Helotes businesses I surveyed, only 42% were considered essential after the March 25th, Stay at Home Work Safe Measures were enacted,” Said Matt McCrossen. Matt elaborated on the survey results, “71% reported they reduced staff, 85% reported they had stopped owner draws or salary, applied for SBA assistance, and had not received SBA funds. 71% said they believed they would close business by June of this year. The data show our community small businesses are hurting and need help. It shows the federal government is unresponsive to our community businesses with a cut-off on my survey of April 30th. That said, this program was an easy Aye vote for me as it supports our local businesses in a way that other national programs have not.”

For more information on the Helotes Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Assistance Program visit helotesedc.com.

University Health System Launches Gozio Health COVID-19 Fast Track Solution

San Antonio, TX – Patients of  University Health System now have access to a full-featured mobile app that meets the critical communications demands of the COVID-19 crisis. Developed in collaboration with Gozio Health, the platform allows University Health to deliver real time push notifications directly to smartphones and gives patients immediate access to virtual triage, real time notifications, navigation to  locations and more. Download the app for free by searching for “University Health System Go” on the Apple App store, or the Google Play store.

“During this pandemic, real time mobile communications are essential to the health and safety of our community,” said Selene Mejia, University Health System digital marketing manager. “With this platform, we can reach patients with the resource they are consulting the most during this crisis – their smartphones. It allows us to manage our patient flow and streamline resources and gives patients fast access to health screeners, and connection to health professionals if needed.”

“We rolled out our COVID-19 Fast Track solution because hospitals need dynamic, reliable mobile communications now,” says Joshua Titus, CEO and founder Gozio Health. “Leveraging our existing extensible platform, Gozio is able to turn around a mobile app that delivers push notifications, chat bots, virtual triage, access to telehealth, navigation to testing sites and more in a matter of days. We make implementation for hospitals as easy as possible to get essential mobile communications in the hands of patients as soon as possible.”

Helotes News Gozio Health App Screens

Leading healthcare systems are adopting digital front door platforms to provide an anytime, anywhere connection to patients. Gozio’s Fast Track solution is a focused version of their extensible digital front door platform that can be quickly deployed for healthcare systems to respond immediately to the communication and operational challenges posed by COVID-19. Once hospitals have launched Gozio’s COVID-19 Fast Track solution, they can build out the platform to include appointment scheduling, physician directories, electronic medical records, and indoor navigation featuring locations of doctors’ offices, cafes, pharmacies and the closest restrooms.

Gozio Health
Gozio Health develops full-featured, customizable digital front door platforms exclusively for healthcare systems. Gozio’s extensible mobile platform enables seamless consumer interactions and provides an anytime, anywhere connection to patients that improves their overall experience and access to care. Popular patient engagement features include push notifications, chat bots, turn-by-turn navigation, virtual visits, physician directories, appointment scheduling, access to electronic health records, Urgent Care and ED wait-times, bill pay and extensive analytics capabilities. For more information, visit www.goziohealth.com or find Gozio Health on Twitter and LinkedIn.

University Health System
University Health System is a nationally recognized teaching hospital and comprehensive network of outpatient healthcare centers throughout San Antonio, Texas, and is the region’s only civilian Level 1 trauma center. University Health System is owned by the people of Bexar County and partnered with UT Health San Antonio, making it South Texas’ only academic medical center.

Cullen/Frost Reports First Quarter Results

Helotes News Cullen Frost Logo

Board declares second quarter dividend on common stock.

SAN ANTONIO, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (NYSE:CFR) today reported first quarter 2020 results. Net income available to common shareholders for the first quarter of 2020 was $47.2 million, compared to $114.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. On a per-share basis, net income available to common shareholders for the first quarter of 2020 was $0.75 per diluted common share, compared to $1.79 per diluted common share reported a year earlier. Returns on average assets and average common equity were 0.57 percent and 4.88 percent, respectively, for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 1.48 percent and 14.08 percent, respectively, for the same period a year earlier.

For the first quarter of 2020, net interest income on a taxable-equivalent basis was $268.5 million, down 1.0 percent compared to the same quarter in 2019. Average loans for the first quarter of 2020 increased $790.0 million, or 5.6 percent, to $15.0 billion, from the $14.2 billion reported for the first quarter a year earlier. Average deposits for the quarter were $27.4 billion, up $1.3 billion, or 4.9 percent, compared to the $26.1 billion reported for last year’s first quarter.

“Our first quarter showed accelerating growth in business volumes which can be seen in our increased loans and deposits,” said Phil Green, Cullen/Frost Chairman and CEO. “We will continue to utilize our strong balance sheet and liquidity to meet our customers’ demand for new loans. We also continue to do our part helping our communities deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including working hard to keep our employees and customers safe, donating $2 million to charitable organizations to help provide relief, and going above and beyond to supply 10,500 customers with $3 billion in PPP loans. I am extremely proud of our employees who have performed at heroic levels in difficult conditions to provide this help to businesses and families in our communities.”

Noted financial data for the first quarter of 2020 follows:

  • Adoption of the new Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) standard on January 1, 2020 resulted in an after-tax reduction to retained earnings of $29.3 million. Excluding the impact of CECL adoption, we experienced a $134.3 million build in our allowance for credit losses on loans in the first quarter of 2020.
  • For the first quarter of 2020, credit loss expense related to loans was $172.9 million, compared to net charge-offs of $38.6 million. This compares with $8.4 million in credit loss expense and $12.7 million in net charge-offs for the fourth quarter of 2019, and $11.0 million in credit loss expense and $6.8 million in net charge-offs in the first quarter of 2019. Our credit loss expense related to loans was elevated in the first quarter as a result of COVID-19-related business closures and the challenges faced by our energy industry customers due to recent commodity price declines. Credit loss expense related to loans was also impacted by the adoption of CECL which utilizes an “expected loss” methodology as opposed to the incurred loss methodology under the prior accounting standard. The allowance for credit losses on loans as a percentage of total loans was 1.72 percent at March 31, 2020, compared to 0.90 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 and 0.95 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2019. Non-performing assets were $67.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, compared to $109.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 and $97.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2019. Credit loss expense related to off-balance-sheet credit exposures was $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2020.
  • The Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1 and Total Risk-Based Capital Ratios at the end of the first quarter of 2020 were 12.02 percent, 12.02 percent and 13.97 percent, respectively, and continue to be in excess of well-capitalized levels and exceed Basel III minimum requirements.
  • Net interest income on a taxable-equivalent basis was $268.5 million, a decrease of 1.0 percent compared to the prior year period. Net interest margin was 3.56 percent for the first quarter of 2020, down 6 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 net interest margin of 3.62 percent. Net interest margin decreased 23 basis points compared to 3.79 percent in the year-ago period.
  • Non-interest income for the first quarter of 2020 totaled $212.9 million, an increase of $116.1 million, from the $96.8 million reported for the first quarter of 2019. First quarter non-interest income was impacted by a $107 million gain from the sale of $500 million in 30 year Treasuries purchased in the fourth quarter of 2019 as a hedge against falling interest rates. Excluding the gain on sale of these securities, non interest income in the first quarter would have increased approximately 7.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. Trust and investment management fees for the first quarter increased $2.8 million or 8.8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. The increase in trust and investment management fees was primarily the result of increases in estate fees (up $1.1 million), trust investment fees (up $749,000), real estate fees (up $641,000), and oil and gas fees (up $475,000). Other non-interest income increased $4.1 million compared to the first quarter of 2019. The primary driver of the increase in other non-interest income was a $6.0 million gain realized on the sale of certain non-hedge related, short-term put options on U.S. Treasury securities with an aggregate notional amount of $500 million. These increases were partly offset by a $1.9 million decrease in insurance commissions and fees. The decrease was related to commissions income (down $1.3 million) and contingent income (down $591,000). The decrease in commissions income was primarily related to decreases in benefit plan commissions, life insurance commissions and commissions on commercial lines property and casualty policies.
  • Non-interest expense was $224.2 million for the quarter, up $22.4 million, or 11.1 percent, compared to the $201.8 million reported for the first quarter a year earlier. Total salaries and wages rose $6.3 million, or 6.9 percent, to $98.8 million, primarily due to an increase in the number of employees and normal annual merit and market increases. First quarter net occupancy expense increased by $6.1 million, or 31.7 percent, compared to the same period in 2019, primarily driven by our move starting in June of 2019 into our new corporate headquarters building in San Antonio and other leases related to existing facilities and to our expansion within the Houston market area. Other non-interest expense increased $5.2 million, or 12.5 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2019. The increase was composed of increases in professional services expense (up $1.5 million); donations expense (up $912,000); and advertising/promotions expense (up $548,000), among other things. Technology, furniture and equipment expense for the first quarter increased by $3.6 million, or 16.5 percent, from the first quarter of 2019. The increase was primarily related to increases in cloud services expense (up $1.5 million), software maintenance expense (up $1.2 million), and depreciation of furniture and equipment (up $995,000).
  • Net income available to common shareholders in the first quarter was reduced by $5.5 million of deferred issuance costs associated with $150 million of Series A cumulative preferred stock that we issued in 2013 and redeemed during the first quarter of 2020.

The Cullen/Frost board declared a second-quarter cash dividend of $0.71 per common share, payable June 15, 2020 to shareholders of record on May 29 of this year.

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. will host a conference call on Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 10 a.m. Central Time (CT) to discuss the results for the quarter. The media and other interested parties are invited to access the call in a “listen only” mode at 1-800-944-6430 or via webcast on our investor relations website linked below.

Playback of the conference call will be available after 2 p.m. CT on the day of the call until midnight Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 855-859-2056 with Conference ID # of 7379004. The call will also be available by webcast at the URL listed below after 2 p.m. CT on the day of the call.

Cullen/Frost investor relations website: www.frostbank.com/investor-relations/

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (NYSE: CFR) is a financial holding company, headquartered in San Antonio, with $34.1 billion in assets at March 31, 2020. Frost provides a wide range of banking, investments and insurance services to businesses and individuals across Texas in the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Permian Basin, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio regions. Founded in 1868, Frost has helped clients with their financial needs during three centuries. Additional information is available at www.frostbank.com.

Forward-Looking Statements and Factors that Could Affect Future Results

Certain statements contained in this Earnings Release that are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), including statements regarding the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, notwithstanding that such statements are not specifically identified as such. In addition, certain statements may be contained in our future filings with the SEC, in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by us or with our approval that are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Act. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii) statements of plans, objectives and expectations of Cullen/Frost or its management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products, services or operations; (iii) statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as “believes”, “anticipates”, “expects”, “intends”, “targeted”, “continue”, “remain”, “will”, “should”, “may” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:

  • Local, regional, national and international economic conditions and the impact they may have on us and our customers and our assessment of that impact.
  • Volatility and disruption in national and international financial and commodity markets.
  • Government intervention in the U.S. financial system.
  • Changes in the mix of loan geographies, sectors and types or the level of non-performing assets and charge-offs.
  • Changes in estimates of future reserve requirements based upon the periodic review thereof under relevant regulatory and accounting requirements.
  • The effects of and changes in trade and monetary and fiscal policies and laws, including the interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve Board.
  • Inflation, interest rate, securities market and monetary fluctuations.
  • The effect of changes in laws and regulations (including laws and regulations concerning taxes, banking, securities and insurance) with which we and our subsidiaries must comply.
  • The soundness of other financial institutions.
  • Political instability.
  • Impairment of our goodwill or other intangible assets.
  • Acts of God or of war or terrorism.
  • The timely development and acceptance of new products and services and perceived overall value of these products and services by users.
  • Changes in consumer spending, borrowings and savings habits.
  • Changes in the financial performance and/or condition of our borrowers.
  • Technological changes.
  • The cost and effects of failure, interruption, or breach of security of our systems.
  • Acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses.
  • Our ability to increase market share and control expenses.
  • Our ability to attract and retain qualified employees.
  • Changes in the competitive environment in our markets and among banking organizations and other financial service providers.
  • The effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the regulatory agencies, as well as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and other accounting standard setters.
  • Changes in the reliability of our vendors, internal control systems or information systems.
  • Changes in our liquidity position.
  • Changes in our organization, compensation and benefit plans.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and any other pandemic, epidemic or health-related crisis.
  • The costs and effects of legal and regulatory developments, the resolution of legal proceedings or regulatory or other governmental inquiries, the results of regulatory examinations or reviews and the ability to obtain required regulatory approvals.
  • Greater than expected costs or difficulties related to the integration of new products and lines of business.
  • Our success at managing the risks involved in the foregoing items.

Further, statements about the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may constitute forward-looking statements and are subject to the risk that the actual effects may differ, possibly materially, from what is reflected in those forward-looking statements due to factors and future developments that are uncertain, unpredictable and in many cases beyond our control, including the scope and duration of the pandemic, actions taken by governmental authorities in response to the pandemic, and the direct and indirect impact of the pandemic on our customers, clients, third parties and us.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made. We do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

A.B. Mendez
Investor Relations
210.220.5234

or

Bill Day
Media Relations
210.220.5427

For the full Press Release including tables click here.

Mortgage Forbearance Insight From Rhonda Howerton

Helotes News Rhonda Howerton Realestate Web
Source: Rhonda Howerton, REALTOR®

Today, we interviewed Rhonda Howerton to see what her perspective is on mortgage forbearance. This is a difficult time many in our country in so many ways and more so for families who have or are missing mortgage payments. We thought Rhonda’s perspective as someone who helps clients work with banks to close real estate contracts would be unbiased than if we interviewed a banker.

Rhonda is a sixteen year resident of Cedar Springs subdivision in Helotes and is a licensed real estate agent in Texas with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®. Before we get into the interview, we’re sending a big thank you to another Helotes resident for helping keep our news as local as possible, thank you Rhonda.

Interview

Matt: What company do you represent and what is your industry experience with mortgages?

Rhonda: I’ve been a Realtor for over 20 years and in the 1% of Realtors San Antonio wide for the last 12 years. I currently work for Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Realtors.

Matt: Can you explain to our readers what a mortgage forbearance is?

Rhonda: A mortgage forbearance is when a lender/bank/credit union permits you to temporarily pause or lower your mortgage payments. It is not loan ‘forgiveness.’ The missed payments must be repaid. Some lenders will call all missed payments due at the end of the forbearance period ie: In July, the July payment will be due, PLUS all missed payments. Others, will allow all of the missed payments to be paid over a 12 month period. (IE: If your regular payment was $1500/mo and you missed 3 payments, then you’d have to pay an extra $375/mo on top of your regular mortgage payment starting in July. There are a few that will allow the $4,500 in missed payments to be tacked on to the end of the loan. It is important to know how your particular lender handles a forbearance situation.

Matt: We know another option is to refinance a mortgage at a lower rate. How does mortgage forbearance under the CARES Act prevent someone from refinancing to a lower rate? 

Rhonda: A forbearance is reported to credit agencies. Even though it does not affect the overall credit score, because of the CARES Act… it does still show a new potential lender that you were not able to make your mortgage payments. If they are considering loaning you money for a new loan, they will want an explanation of why you needed that, and for you to prove that you can make the payments on a new refinanced loan. In some cases, this might be hard to prove and explain to a loan underwriter.

Matt: How long does it take to refinance a mortgage?

Rhonda: The process can be started immediately, but most lenders are promising a 45-60 day turnaround time on completing a refinance at this time because they are flooded with refinance loans and trying to prioritize their new loans.

Matt: How does someone refinance a mortgage to a lower payment?

Rhonda: It is a simple process. They contact a mortgage provider (I can furnish recommendations). It involves an online application that takes 10-15 minutes to complete. The information is reviewed and then you are contacted by the lender to clarify any questions they might have about the application and request proof of some of the information (ie: Tax returns, paycheck stubs, verification of employment, etc.) Completing a loan refinance application does not affect your ability to apply for a forbearance if you decide to go that route… however applying for a forbearance CAN affect your ability to be approved for a refinance.

Matt: Who is in the best position to refinance? 

Rhonda: Someone that can prove their current ability to pay (income), and has a credit score within the normal range for lending, and doesn’t have too much debt to income ratio for a loan.

Matt: If someone has more questions who should they contact for assistance in answering questions?

Rhonda: I’d be happy to chat with your readers who are looking at refinancing or forbearance as an option. I can have a conversation about their specific situation and direct them to the correct person to contact for the next steps.

Matt: Before we finsih the interview is there any other thoughts you’d like to share that we haven’t covered?

Rhonda: Most people are in the prime situation to refinance their home. They’d only need about 95-97% equity (depending upon the sales price) to be able to do a no out of pocket cost refinance. This would potentially allow them to lower their current monthly payment for the entire life of their loan, and actually skip a month of payments without any negative credit reporting.

Have More Quesitons?

We hope you found this interview helpful and insightful. If you have more questions please reach out to Rhonda as she is willing to help.

Rhonda Howerton, REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®
18756 Stone Oak Parkway #101
San Antonio, TX 78258
210-269-4663 Cell

Helotes Election Center Update April 24th, 2020

Screenshot-149-Friday-April-24-2020-19.40
April 24th

Tonight we’re posting the current results from our Helotes Election Center poll that closes on May 3rd.

The last time we posted results was April 6th. Since then we’ve added the poll to the right-hand sidebar of our website on all the articles. The poll on the Helotes Election Center page was moved down to the bottom of the page so we could move the candidate profiles to the top of the page.

Here are the results since April 6th, 2020 with a cut-off of April 24th, 2020 7:40 pm CST. Reported as a percentage of total valid votes per place. The results below are being compared April 24th vs. the 6th. We’ve provided links to the candidate’s who have responded to our interview questions part one.

Place One

Incumbent Councilmember Holmes gained 4.86% on challenger Mr. Craig Sanders.

  • Councilmember Holmes is up to 15.79% from 11.11%
  • Mr. Craig Sanders is down to 84.21% from 88.89%

Place Two

Challenger Mrs. Linda Salazar gained 30.41% on incumbent Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Blue.

  • Incumbent Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Blue is down to 47.37% from 77.78%
  • Mrs. Linda Salazar is up to 52.63% from 22.22%

Place Four

Incumbent Councilmember Cynthia Massey gained 4.1% on challenger Mrs. Brandi Morgan.

  • Incumbent Councilmember Cynthia Massey is up to 26.32% from 22.22%
  • Mrs. Brandi Morgan is down to 73.68% from 77.78%

Regular Meeting Helotes City Council April 23rd, 2020 Recap

251979002 Recap Regular Meeting Helotes City Council April 23 2020

This recap is based on the April 23rd, 2020 Regular Meeting Helotes City Council. If you find errors, please let us know.

Helotes News abbreviates “Councilmember” as “CM” in our articles.

Private citizen names may not be spelled correctly and will be updated when the minutes for this meeting are approved by council, if they contain the spelled name. The full address stated on record to Helotes City Council has been omitted in our article. We are only using the subdivision name.

Public Hearing

2. Public Hearing to give all interested persons the right to appear and be heard on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas continuing a curfew for minors under seventeen ( 17) years of age and over ten ( 10) years of age; providing for a triennial review of the Ordinance; and adopting an effective date.

  • No one signed up to speak

Citizens to Be Hears

Andrew Height – Didn’t check-in.

Jeff Felty – Helotes Crossing. Calling about cancellation of brush pickup by C-6. Requesting refund for services not rending. C-6 said will not do a refund. (Mostly inaudible due to teleconferencing IT issues.) Reviewed city contract. Stated City Council needs to pick-up brush, if not, (inaudible).

Consent Agenda

4.  Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting dated April 9, 2020. (Staff)

5.  Approval of the Quarterly Investment Reports for the City of Helotes and the City of Helotes Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for the quarter ending March 2020. (Staff)

  • Motion by CM Buys motions to approve both items, CM Holmes seconds. Motion passes unanimously.

Items for Individual Consideration

6.  Presentation by Armstrong, Vaughan, & Associates, P.C. and discussion of and action on the Fiscal Year Ending (FYE) 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the City of Helotes and the City of Helotes Economic Development Corporation. (Auditor)

  • Slide presentation by auditor based on information in the agenda packet.
  • CM Buys, asked questions if City has done anything wrong referencing a slide. Auditor replied, no, lots of information (inaudible) providing information standard format.
  • CM Buys, asked about paying back sales tax based on presentation by auditor. Auditor explained payback related to 380 agreements and not lawsuit.
  • Motion by CM Buys motion to discuss and take action, Second from CM Blue. Motion passes unanimously.

7.  Discussion of and action on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas continuing a curfew for minors under seventeen ( 17) years of age and over ten ( l 0) years of age; providing for a triennial review of the Ordinance; and adopting an effective date. (Staff)

  • Motion by CM Massey, second by CM Buys. CM Massey thanked staff for inserting the recommended changes she asked for at the last meeting to the ordinance’s final language.
  • CM Buys asked if this the three-year requirement was Texas state law? Mayor, stated yes required by Texas law Local Government Code found in the agenda packet.
  • Mayor asks council if any further discussion. Technical difficulties encountered and CM Friederichs unable to voice comment during session. Texted staff during Yay/Nay vote. Stated thinks ordinance is unnecessary and votes against it. Motion carries 4 Yay to 1 Nay (CM Friedrichs)

8.  Discussion of and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas approving the terms of an Agreement between the City of Helotes and RX Technology for the provision of information technology services; and authorizing the City Administrator to all necessary steps to implement the provisions of this Resolution. (Staff)

  • Motion by CM Buys, second by CM Friedrichs.
  • CM Buys thanks Mrs. Mendoza for saving over $14,000 a year through her negotiations.
  • CM Friedrichs
  • CM Massey found typo, misspelled Helotes. Conducted research on company, states it looks like a good agreement, and a year is a good evaluation for this contract.
  • Mrs. Mendoza covered several process management changes in the IT service provides to the city, more proactive, and having weekly on-site support.
  • Mayor calls question, contract approved unanimously.

No further discussion or executive session and the meeting was adjourned.

Survey Reveals Most Medical Practices are Now Using Telehealth Due to COVID-19 But Visit Volumes Remain Low and Many Practices are Closed

Helotes News 2020 Sevocity custom EHR solutions Facebook Cover

SAN ANTONIO, April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As medical practices are struggling with how to continue to serve their patients during the global COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey released today by the Sevocity® division of Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. reveals that telemedicine use by practices has increased dramatically, but patient volumes remain low.

The nationwide survey, conducted by Sevocity in April 2020, consisted of an online survey of nearly 2,700 medical practices. Two Hundred and Seventy (270) complete responses were received from twenty-seven (27) different states and representing nearly all specialties.

Sevocity conducted the survey to determine the impact of the COVID-19 on office closures, patient volumes, and the use of telemedicine. Highlights from the Sevocity survey include:

  • Nearly 23% of practices reported being currently closed due to the pandemic.
  • 85% of respondents reported conducting some telehealth visits compared with only 6% prior to the pandemic.
  • The number of telehealth visits per day per provider varies considerably by specialty.
  • Significant barriers to telehealth exist with practices ranking patient access to video technology as the #1 barrier.

“Practices have been valiant, to move to offer telehealth visits quickly,” said Catherine Huddle, Sevocity Chief Marketing Officer. “That said, findings indicate not all visits lend themselves to telehealth, and patients need to be equipped to be able to participate in telehealth effectively, so more work needs to be done,” added Huddle.

Huddle said Sevocity, through its electronic health record (EHR) product, is committed to assisting clients with telehealth workflow and documentation. “We have been talking with our practices to learn how we can help and responded quickly with product features and support. Our agility has enabled us to create specialized documentation content for telehealth and continue to adjust this based on feedback from our customers, optimizing this modality.”

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Sevocity is a division of Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. (CMI). CMI specializes in providing exceptional biotechnology and medical informatics services and solutions. CMI is a recognized leader developing healthcare technology and has supported the Department of Defense initiatives since 1990.