The city council met on Monday, July 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the city council chambers located at city hall. Mayor Juanita Gomez called the meeting to order, following the invocation and pledges City Manager and Police Chief Art Fuentes updated the council and prepared for the swearing in of the newly hired police officers.

Art Fuentes, Chief of Police was sworn in by Melissa Fuentes, Administrator of the Sonora Police Department. Officers Alex Chuey and Cody Miles were sworn in by Belia Faye, City Secretary.

The council then addressed the consent agenda and heard multiple action items. Charlotte McElwain reported that she and her team have replaced all but 37 active water meters. Noting that some residents have contacted city hall due to the change in their water bill, but McElwain explained this is to be expected due to the placement of new water meters.

Art Fuentes, Chief of Police delivered the monthly police department report noting that with addition of the two new officers and the K-9 officer the police department plans to be focusing on drugs, stating “If you are dealing drugs in Sonora, there will be a price to pay.”

Armie Sanchez presented the board with the May senior citizen report noting that there were 11,033 meals served in the month of May.

Briggs Simms, Code Enforcement officer, reported that for the month of June two houses were removed as well as a white semi-trailer that was in the draw.

Hector Ortiz, resident was present to request an easement for his property located at 107 Bellview Street, to build a fence. The city approved this request pending the city attorney drawing up a contract for Mr. Ortiz to sign.

Miss Sutton County Queen Candidate, Abigail Rodriquez requested permission to close an area of Main Street for a fundraiser on Friday, July 23 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., the council approved this request.

David Smith with Sonora Economic Development Corporation provided the council with the second reading of the 2021-R-07 A resolution authoring the SEDC to enter into an agreement with the city’s Keep Sonora Beautiful Committee. The SEDC will be providing funds, not to exceed $12,000 for landscaping. The resolution was approved.

Chief of Police, Art Fuentes, requested approval from the council to purchase a new police vehicle stating that the current vehicle has high mileage and there is now a need for a Tahoe that has a cage for the new K-9 officer. The council approved the purchase.
Art Fuentes informed the council that Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative made a $500.00 donation to the volunteer fire department, the donation was accepted.

Mr. Fuentes along with T.J. Thorp, EMS Director presented the board with a proposal to purchase a rescue vehicle for the volunteer fire department. Thorp explained to the council that the current rescue vehicle is outdated, unsafe and does not fit the departments needs.

The new vehicle would have safe storage space for tools, a water tank and the ability to provide lighting to the scene. The council approved the purchase of the F-550, $187,600 rescue truck, it is currently in production with an expected completion date in September of 2021.

After discussion and approval of the accounts payable and finance report presented by Belia Faye, City Secretary and the budge approval for the police department the council moved into executive session to discuss the responsibilities and duties of the city manager.

Upon reconvening into open session, the council approved an adjustment to the city managers salary.

The meeting was adjourned with Mayor Juanita Gomez presiding over the meeting and councilmen Harold Martinez, Lionel Cervantez, Jr. and Mike Sanchez in attendance. Darrel Barker was absent but teleconferenced into the meeting.

The next meeting of the City Council of the City of Sonora will be held on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers located in City Hall.

These meetings are open to the public.