Sutton County Commissioners handled a lengthy agenda of business as usual Tuesday morning, October 13, which included review and approval of expenses, tax roll numbers, a grant resolution and county department reports.

District Attorney Laurie English addressed the commissioners and asked for their signature on a resolution in support of a Border Prosecution Grant. The grant assists with salary funding for employees.

Without hesitation, commissioners approved the resolution as presented.

Commissioners also voted in favor of continuing the County Source Silver Renewal policy, a medical plan available to retired county employees.

Retirees are responsible for paying in full the annual policy premium.

In addition, commissioners approved the Sutton County tax roll as presented. This will levy $3,621,427.24 for the General Fund and $798,571.57 for the FMFC Fund, according to County Judge Steve Smith.

In regular business, reports including Accounts Payable and Treasurer were approved. Treasurer Janell Schniers reported an ending balance of $9,198,235.44 to close out this past fiscal year. Schniers noted that amount was higher than last year’s ending balance.

County Auditor Maura Weingart noted that the county realized a significant savings by participating in the Indigent Health Services Program. She said the county paid only $10,083.40 compared to the total amount billed of $30,797.85. The program covers costs for inmate medical care at reduced rates.

Individual department reports were also reviewed but did not require approval by vote.

Pascual Hernandez gave a quick update on the Extension Office activities. Hernandez also asked the commissioners to look for volunteers to help with the 4-H Food Nutrition Project.

Judge Jody Harris gave an overview of his report for the Office of Justice of the Peace. Harris noted 647 new cases for the month of September. Of those, the Sheriff’s Office generated 405 cases and DPS 242 cases. There were 687 cases closed for the month and $186,983.34 was collected in fees. The county retained $106,421.99. Harris also noted that there will be more than 200 cases heard in the JP court in October and November.

For the Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy DuWayne Castro reported 133 dispatch calls logged during the month of September. The jail had a daily average of 7.1 inmates at a cost of $1.50 per meal to taxpayers. In addition, deputies issued 592 citations and warnings this past month, served two civil processes and arrested six individuals. DPS made two arrests and Sonora PD arrested two people. Castro also mentioned that one employee has tested positive for COVID-19. No one was exposed and the individual is under quarantine for 14 days.

Librarian Deborah Brown reported a total of 706 adult patrons visited the library this past month. Circulation, especially electronic books, continues to be high as well as computer usage. The library profited $109 from the sale of books at the community garage sale. The money will be applied towards the purchase of new books, according to Brown.

Road & Bridge Supervisor Robert Hughes reported that his department has begun maintenance on area conservation dams. Workers have also completed seal coating 11.88 miles of road.

County Clerk Rachel Duran updated commissioners on election activities. Early voter turnout was higher than usual for the first day of early voting, she said. Voting will continue at the County Annex Building until Election Day. Voters will cast ballots at individual precinct polls on November 3rd.

Duran also noted $3,014.26 and 6,651.58 was collected for district and county court, respectively, during September. Consistent with past months, the clerk’s office collected $4,006 in fees for public records and documents, she added.


On a final note, commissioners and visitors alike applauded Commissioner Mike Villanueva for his 37 years of service to Sutton County.

Commissioners Villanueva, Carl Teaff and Fred Perez recently took part in a conference where Commissioner Villanueva was recognized by his peers.

Before adjourning, Judge Smith updated everyone on the toilets for the jail. The county learned that it must purchase the toilets directly from the Department of Criminal Justice. Separately, the county will obtain a bid from an independent contractor to install the toilets in the jail, according to Judge Smith. Thus, there will be two expenses associated with replacement of toilets in the jail.

With nothing to follow, the meeting was adjourned.

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

Commissioner elect Lee Bloodworth was also present.

The next meeting of the Sutton County Commissioners is scheduled for Monday, October 26, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the County Courthouse Courtroom.