Discussion on water quality a big part of Trenton City Council meeting

City of Trenton

The Trenton City Council last night approved an ordinance authorizing an agreement for Burns and McDonnell to provide engineering services for financial planning for the city’s water department.

The five-year plan is to determine needed revenues, including what would be needed if ConAgra closes with water rates are to be part of the study. The cost of the engineering services is slightly over $11,500.

The ordinance was approved by all seven council members attending the meeting.

The approval came after councilman Brad Chumbley expressed concerns about raising water rates after the council just approved an increase in sewer rates. Chumbley said he does not want to get to the point where people cannot afford to reside in Trenton, however, he also indicated he does not want to get behind on infrastructure needs.

Trenton Municipal Utilities Comptroller Rosetta Marsh cited a need to find revenue for water main replacements and water tower painting. The cost to paint the water tower near Iowa Boulevard is estimated around $500,000. The other water tower is projected to be painted the following year at a lower cost.

The council, in July, approved a five-year plan for several water main replacement projects to be submitted to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a permit. It’s envisioned around $400,000 a year would be spent on the water line work, although the specific amounts would vary from year to year.

During the discussion, water plant Supervisor Steve Reid cited a need to paint the Iowa Boulevard water tower, noting the tower is losing chlorine, which means there’s a paint issue. He also said the tower should be white, noting darker colors cause heat build-ups.

Discussion on infrastructure and rates included higher replacement costs, revenue shortfalls, and a need to make greater rate hikes when replacements and rate increases are delayed over the years.

Mayor Nick McHarge mentioned the effects of government regulations on water and sewer rates. He also noted some things do not get replaced if they are working.

Water plant Supervisor Steve Reid has announced temporary changes in the water disinfection process which will affect customers of Trenton Municipal Utilities, Grundy County Public Water Supply District, and the cities of Galt and Spickard for one to two weeks.

Reid explained, over time, minerals and metals, which are naturally present in water, can increase and attach to pipe walls releasing when there are changes in pressure, resulting in discoloration and affecting taste.

Reid said other processes such a nitrification and the growth of biofilm can occur in the water distribution system. The biofilm can cause a reduction in the effectiveness of residential disinfectants over time.

Beginning Friday, October 28, TMU ‘s water treatment plant will begin using free chlorine, or what’s called a free chlorine burnout, in its water system. Reid said this entails feeding free chlorine, instead of chloramines, as the disinfectant. Chloramines are chlorine combined with ammonia

The process is to cleanse the pipe walls, reduce the occurrence of nitrification and biofilm, and ensure quality water for customers.

Reid said there are no associated health risks because of the process, indicating there will be times of lower water pressure, possible odor, changes in taste, discoloration, and small particles in the water.

TMU and/or other water services will attempt to flush the particles, color, taste, and odors from the mains with directional flushing. However, there is a possibility some of the color, odor, and taste will get into service lines.

Reid said the TMU water department is dedicated to ensuring water is safe to drink, and will monitor disinfectant levels continually during the burnout. He said it does not mean the water is unsafe to drink if there are odor and taste. Reid said odors are caused by the free chlorine disinfectant cleansing the system with nuisance issues to disappear when the work is completed.

The chlorine is to be increased to four parts per million from the current three and one-half parts per million.

In other action, the council approved an additional $30,000 in engineering expenses for the city’s sewer-related bypass elimination plan. It’s part of an amended agreement with Burns and McDonnell for those engineering services which completes the plan.

The council also approved an ordinance amending city code regarding wastewater pre-treatment to meet state and federal laws involving the federal clean water act. The amendment involves a change in the language requested by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

23-year old Luke Dapra of Belton was approved as a police officer. It’s the first police job for Dapra who’s a graduate of Missouri Western State University at St. Joseph.

Trenton Police Chief Tommy Wright said Dapra is to start in a couple of weeks, noting Dapra was at the top of his class and the department still has one job opening.

The council also approved Mayor Nick McHargue’s appointment of Tracy Utley to the Tree Board.

Among various reports, councilman Allan Quilty congratulated the Missouri Day Festival committee and volunteers for their work.

Park Superintendent Jason Shuler said there have been five or six applicants for the Assistant Park Superintendent. He plans to start interviews at the end of this week. Applications continue to be accepted.

The Trenton Fire Department is expected to have a meeting next month regarding training facility planning.

Fire Chief Brandon Gibler noted training for grain bin rescues is to be included due to a high demand for grain bin rescue training. Trenton city sales tax revenue for fire department equipment, training, and services is to be received beginning in November although a greater amount is expected in December. The city sales tax for those purposes began October 1st.

Trenton airport manager Donnie Vandevender said airport work has been postponed until the spring. Vandevender, who’s also Trenton’s Code Enforcement Officer, said the health department is responsible for safety inspections of hotel and motel rooms.

Another utility committee meeting is to be held when cost figures are obtained for what needs to be done to produce electricity at Trenton when the power TMU purchases iIs disrupted.

Street Department Supervisor Martin Scheib reported the department sold more than 15,000 tons of asphalt this year, double of what was projected. Profits from asphalt sales were near $159,000.

The council also held a closed session regarding legal and personnel matters.

The Trenton Building and Nuisance board have referred four properties to city attorney Tara Walker for legal proceedings because of a lack of work on structures determined to be dangerous. Troy Hanes is listed as the owner of three of those properties described as 1309 Tinsman, the corner of Tinsman and Donaldson, and the west side of Donaldson. Stephan muff is listed as the owner of the other property located at 306 East 10th Court.

The board voted to have a public hearing regarding a structure at 817 East 19th Street that’s been declared a nuisance.

No action was taken regarding properties at 1719 Oak and 2323 Webster because of efforts at those sites with another look at them planned next month.

During a public hearing regarding 1809 Cherry Lane, it was noted nearly all the concerns have been addressed. No further action was taken with the property owner, Mike Arnold, attended the public hearing.

The Trenton Police Department has made 159 nuisance violation reports this year which is 49 more than a year ago.

Chief Wright said, of the 159 nuisance violations, 92 involve grass and weeds, 49 trash and debris, 17 vehicles, and one in the public health/building category.

One hundred eight of the nuisance violations have been abated, 33 citations have been given, and 18 are pending re-inspection or are in-progress.