Sutton County Commissioners met to discuss the findings of mold in county offices Tuesday morning, and agreed to move forward with abatement during a special meeting May 28, 2019.

In their last meeting, commissioners approved a motion to hire Service Master Restore for the remediation of mold in two of the county offices located in the Courthouse Annex building. Following recent flooding of the building, mold was found in the Offices of the Tax Assessor-Collector and the District Tax Appraiser.

Tuesday, Judge Steve Smith reported that additional mold was revealed when the vinyl wallpaper covering the walls was removed. Mold was found around the windows of both offices and on the walls, according to Smith.

Further testing confirmed that there was no evidence of asbestos or other harmful contaminants, according to Smith.

In fact, there was less mold identified in the two areas than expected. Additionally, it is not exactly known when the mold first appeared in the building, Smith said. Further, other offices as well as the commissioners court room were not damaged by water in the building.

Therefore, Commissioners agreed to go ahead with retaining Service Master to abate all of the affected areas at a cost not to exceed $31,000. This amount includes to expense of $6,000 already incurred for containing the area and removing the wall covering. Once started, the work should only take about three days to complete. The matter will be discussed again in the future to decide on repairs to sheetrock and floors prior to the completion of the remodeling.

Immediately after flooding occurred in the building with the September 21, 2018 flood, the office of the Tax Assessor-Collector relocated to the Sutton County Library. Tax Assessor-Collector Kathy Marshall said she notified the regional and state and the state came in to move the state-owned computer equipment as required by law. Despite having posted notices on the doors at the Annex and on the county’s website, Marshall said she is still concerned that people will not know where to go to renew their vehicle registration or take care of other business as handled by her office.

“My biggest concern as it has been all along is the community not knowing where I am,” Marshall said. “They only see me once or twice a year. It is more of an inconvenience for the community than it is for me. Mrs. Brown has been wonderful to us and the library is a great place to be, but I worry that people are not able to find us.”

The phone number and email address for the office of the Sutton County Tax Appraisal District is the same, 325-387-2342 and sutton.tac@verizon.net.

Additional heavy rains in recent months caused more flooding in the building, then mold was discovered as more sheetrock was cut away and removed resulting in the eventual need for the Tax Appraisers Office to also relocate to the Sonora ISD Vocational Building earlier this month. The office is now located at 805 Prospect Ave.

Sutton County Tax Appraiser Mary Bustamante said she and her staff remained in their office throughout the winter months after the flooring and some of the sheetrock along the bottom of the walls was removed while waiting to hear about remodeling. However, it became necessary to relocate once the mold remediation began. She said her biggest concern was in getting the appraisal notices mailed out on time. Unable to meet the requirements of printing and mailing notices, she said she hired out the job. As well, she has had to rely on posting notices in the building and online to let the public know how to contact her and her staff. The Tax Appraisal Office will remain at the Vocational building until they can return to the Annex.

The phone number and email address for the office of the Sutton County Tax Appraisal Assessor-Collector is the same, 325-387-2809 and mgbustamante@verizon.net, dorothyaperez@verizon.net and yolandaravila@verizon.net.

Commissioners also took care of some additional business listed on Tuesday’s agenda including approving reports as presented for Accounts Payable and Treasurer and the acceptance of the annual investment policy.

They also approved a request to waive the fee for the Sutton County Rodeo Arena for the purpose of hosting the Devil’s River Play Day.
Smith also reported that Road and Bridge Department Supervisor Standley Anderson has announced his intent to retire October 1 and the county’s acquisition of the property overlooking the Sheriff’s Office and Sutton County Jail. With no further business or visitor comments, the meeting was adjourned.

Judge Smith presided over the meeting. Commissioners Bob Brockman, Mike Villanueva and Fred Perez were present. Commissioner Carl Teaff was absent.

The next regular meeting of the Sutton County Commissioners is set for Monday, June 10, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. at the County Annex Building.