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City Council Discusses Soil, Lawsuits, Surplus

The city of Sonora will be opting out of participating in the Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District.

Tuolumne County Farm Advisor Jay Norton appeared before the council to ask them to join with county supervisors in the establishment of Resource Conservation District, or RCD. The purpose would be to monitor and assist with problems related to flooding, soil loss, and erosion. Norton told the council there was grant money available to areas that participate in an RCD, but the majority of council members felt it was an unnecessary layer of government bureaucracy.

The motion by councilwoman Marlee Powell to approve an RCD´s establishment died for lack of a second at the special meeting of the Sonora City Council Monday afternoon.

The Sonora City Council also voted to support amending the Americans with Disabilities Act. City Administrator Greg Applegate says it´s a way of allowing the city a good-faith chance to fix whatever might be wrong.

“Before a claim is filed, we need to know as a public entity what that claim is, so we have an opportunity to go out and take care of the problem, before there´s a lawsuit filed over the problem,” Applegate explained Monday.

Applegate´s memo to the city council says that the intent of the amendment is to curb the abusive practice of certain attorneys by providing a “due process” provision for property owners.

So what do the cops do with the physical evidence that´s left over following a trial?

Sure, the illegal stuff gets destroyed, but Sonora Police Chief Mace McIntosh says, from bicycles to tools, a lot of other stuff builds up too.

“Over the course of time, we collect a lot of property and maybe some evidence that we can´t quite get rid of. That stuff, we just kind of throw away as best we can. This company will come get it from us and sell it online,” said McIntosh.

The property can range from “a found bicycle, or a found pipe wrench on the street, to maybe some evidence, legal evidence, that we would get in a case that we no longer need to hold for court purposes,” McIntosh described.

McIntosh says while there is a fee for the service, it´s still some revenue the city might otherwise have lost.

“It saves some labor on our end, and then it also makes some income for the city at the same time.”