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News : City Council Addresses Various Issues
Posted by Randy on 2014/2/26 4:05:33 (354 reads) News by the same author

The Trenton Building and Nuisance Board and the Trenton City Council, in separate meetings last night, both discussed the process for renters to file a complaint with the City regarding the interior condition of their residence.

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Rental properties are to be inspected by the City every time there's a change of occupants to check for structural and safety issues---which are covered by City Code.

There's also a procedure in cases when renters are unable to get their landlords to make a repair. Renters can go to City Hall, file a grievance, and talk with Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer, Donnie Vandevender. When that happens, the renter provides a $15 deposit. Vandevender contacts the landlord who then has 5 days to address the concern of the renter. If the landlord makes repairs, the renter gets the $15. deposit back. If Vandevender makes an inspection of the property and requires the landlord to make repairs, the renter get $10. back.

The topic was first discussed in the Building and Nuisance Board which is chaired by
City Councilman, Larry Huffstutter. Huffstutter brought the topic up again during the portion of the City Council meeting when Councilmen give reports on meetings they've attended. Huffstutter mentioned the Buildings and Nuisance Board does not deal with the interior grievances.

The Building and Nuisance Board deals mainly with safety concerns that can be seen from the outside of structures---plus nuisances on the grounds.

In other news from the Building and Nuisance Board, Stan Lowrey was chosen a co-chairman. Vince Neal held that position before resigning from the Board. New Board member, Dave Mihalovich, attended his first meeting last night.

Board Chairman Huffstutter said the Building and Nuisance Board has a goal of keeping Trenton looking nice and clean so more businesses and people will locate at Trenton.

Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Vandevender said interest has been shown in having 6 houses torn down in a cooperative agreement involving the property owner and the city. The property owner and the City each would pay 50% of the demolition costs. The property owner is responsible for asbestos-related expenses.
The City of Trenton traditionally budgets $20,000 a year for demolition projects---although $40,000 was budgeted for the fiscal year ending this April 30th. The higher amount this fiscal year was to help do more projects partially funded by a state Community Development Block Grant. The grant money has been used up. Trenton City Clerk, Cindy Simpson, says the City budget for the fiscal year beginning May 1st is expected to return to $20,000 available for demolition work.

The Trenton City Council had a light agenda. In the only action items, the Council approved 2 ordinances relating to classifications and types of signs for mixed use zoning, and permitting requirements. The same topic was addressed last October for other types of zoning---but mixed use was left out as 1 of the categories. The Councilmen, by a 7 to nothing vote, last night added mixed use zoning. Councilman,
Travis Albert,was absent last night.

The only other specific item on the agenda was an update on requests made by ConAgra representatives last month regarding cleanliness and traffic-related pedestrian safety in front of the plant.

Community Development Director, Ralph Boots, during the February 10th City Council meeting, said he'd met with representatives of some of the Amish communities who planned to purchase bags to prevent horse manure from being left on City streets. Boots, on February 10th, also said he planned to talk with other Amish about that topic.

Boots was not called upon to give an update last night regarding the horses. Mayor McHargue opened the horse discussion by saying maybe there should be enforcement, and maybe vaccination papers should be required to be with the horses. However, Mayor McHargue said it's up to the Council and the public to decide what to do.

Police Chief, Tommy Wright, said he has not noticed bags nor manure.

On the subject of pedestrian safety in front of the ConAgra plant, Councilman, Jim Bush, said it's difficult for motorists to see pedestrians coming out of the plant when vehicles are parked in front of the building.

Councilman, Larry Huffstutter, said he's received a lot of complaints about the 20 mile an hour speed limit in front of the plant. He noted it's difficult, at that speed, to get up the hills when there's snow and ice on the street.

Councilman, Mark Robinson, indicated he's heard from persons questioning how there could be a 20 mile an hour speed limit in front of ConAgra when the speed limit in front of the Middle School and High School is 35 miles an hour.

Mayor McHargue said pedestrians crossing the street in front of ConAgra need to look both ways.

No action was taken by the City Council on the topic.

Trenton Fire Chief, Rick Morris, said the Fire Department's efforts in extinguishing a blaze at the Hoffman and Reed south plant earlier this month resulted in a savings of
more than $3 million.

Mayor, Nick McHargue, praised the presentations given at the February 10th City Council meeting about the Fire Department's Fire Explorer program for high school age students. Fire Chief, Rick Morris; Firefighter, Logistics Officer, and Fire Explorer Instructor, Robert Romesburg; and Fire Explorer Truman Elbert gave reports on February 10th.

Police Chief, Tommy Wright said there have been 7 applicants for a police officer vacancy. The application period closes March 3rd.

Chief Wright also promoted the Police Department's basketball game with the Trenton Fire Department the night of March 14th at 6:30 at Trenton High School. Money raised goes to the Police Department's Relay for Life effort to benefit the American Cancer Society. Chief Wright said a Trenton Police versus Trenton Fire Department basketball game last year raised around $2500 for American Cancer Society Relay for Life efforts.

Councilman, Mark Robinson, noted preliminary efforts are moving forward for the proposed replacement of the 17th Street bridge in Trenton. Another meeting involving
representatives of the City, Grundy County, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the Missouri Department of Transportation is expected in about 4 months.

City Councilman, Kenneth Ewing, complimented Community Development Director, Ralph Boots. for overseeing the Leadership Trenton program. 3 recent leadership Trenton graduates---Amanda Hibner, Donita Youtsey, and Jeb Walker last night gave brief remarks praising the program. Another member, Teresa Cross, could not attend the City Council meeting, but wrote a letter of support for Leadership Trenton.

Street Supervisor, Larry Griffin, said no interest has been expressed in asphalt millings the Street Department has for sale.

A report from McKinstry Company said more than $30,000 was saved in energy costs in the first year following energy savings projects at Trenton. They included work at City Hall, Trenton Municipal Utilities buildings, the Fire Department, and the Life Flight hanger costing nearly $328,000. The reported savings were over $6600 greater than what McKinstry guaranteed for the first year.

City Administrator, Kerry Sampson, said similar savings are expected in future years. However, Trenton may not know the outcome since the City would have to pay
$2100 a year to receive future reports. The first report was free.

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