A growing number of abandoned dogs in Sutton County have Commissioners scratching their heads as to what to do about the problem.

In past weeks the number of dogs left unattended in Sutton County has increased, quickly becoming a burden to the county and ultimately taxpayers. Just the past week, almost a dozen dogs were found as a result of being ‘dumped’ or unclaimed. Sutton County Commissioners discussed the growing expense to rescue and board these animals and ultimately the cost to have them euthanized. Commissioners weighted options considering everything from contacting animal shelters in the area to come get the dogs as well as ordinances and laws to hold individuals responsible for abandoning the animals. No action was taken. However, commissioners plan to discuss the matter again the next time they meet.

In other business, commissioners talked about the recent outbreak of Anthrax and the effect on livestock already seen by local ranchers. More than 20 cases of Anthrax have been confirmed in the Southwest part of Sutton County according to Commissioner Bob Brockman.

In light of the recent hot and dry conditions, Judge Steve Smith reinstated a burn ban for Sutton County effective immediately. Commissioners will ratify the decision at their next meeting.

Moving forward with repairs and renovations of the County Annex building, commissioners approved a motion in favor of advertising for remodel of the Tax Assessor and Tax Appraisal offices as well as advertising for concrete sidewalks at the Annex.

In regular Business, commissioners heard reports from individual department leaders and took action where necessary.

They approved the accounts payable and treasurers reports for June and May respectively as presented.

Additionally, commissioners approved a dental insurance policy for county employees at the same rate as last year. That rate is $20.56 per employee/per month.

Next, the court reviewed a report for the Justice of the Peace Office. County Auditor Maura Weingart read aloud the collection numbers. For the month of June 2019, the JP’s office collected $169,837.56. Of that amount $102,778.95 was retained by the county.

Sheriff Oscar Chavez reported a daily average of 12.5 inmates for the month of June at a cost of $1.73 per meal. The SO received 16 civil process and served 10. He also reported a total of $790 collected in fees, 523 citations and warnings issued, 16 Deputy arrests, 6 DPS and 1 PD arrest made in June.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Standley Anderson updated the court on paving projects. He advised the court that the water at the Cemetery will be shut off on the weekends beginning in two weeks to avoid standing water in areas where paving will be taking place.

Librarian Deborah Brown reported on the consistent growth in library patrons and use of library resources. She reported a total of 1,089 adults and 504 children visitors to the library in June and $93.40 collected in fines, fees and lost book amounts. Additionally, Brown informed commissioners about upcoming events.

Extension Agent Pascual Hernandez commented on the current threat of Anthrax. He said there is a threat presently “in the southwest corner of Sutton County and part of Edwards County” and more information is being gathered before considering a public meeting on the matter.

District and County Clerk Rachel Duran reported collections for District court, county court and Open Records for June totaled $5,043.54, $9,633 and $4,084.50 respectively.

County Attorney David Wallace advised the court of no hot check recoveries for June and upcoming JP court trials being scheduled.

Two individuals spoke in the same topic during public comments. Cynthia Schiotis voiced concerns over the construction of a 5G tower by West Central Wireless near her home. Schiotis said she and others in the area have concerns for the long-term health of individuals living in the area closest to the tower as well as worries about property values declining because of the tower. She requested that commissioners add the matter to their next meeting agenda to further discuss.

Likewise, Mike McGuffin voiced concern over the construction of the cell tower and the lack of notification by WCW to the public.
Commissioners listened without comment.

With no further business or visitor remarks the meeting was adjourned.

Judge Steve Smith presided over the meeting. Commissioners Carl Teaff, Mike Villanueva, Fred Perez and Bob Brockman were present.
The next regular meeting of the Sutton County Commissioners is set for Monday, July 22, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. at the County Annex Building.