The Trenton City Council last night approved budgets for the City of Trenton and Trenton Municipal Utilities which contain no pay increases for employees.
The Board of Public Works last week passed and sent to the City Council a TMU budget which included a 1 1/2% pay increase for its workers. The City Council last night removed the pay increase, but approved the remainder of the TMU budget.
The votes on the City and TMU budgets were unanimous among the 8 City Councilmen---including outgoing Councilman, Jacob Black, who did not seek
The Oath of Office was given later in the meeting to 4 persons voters elected last Tuesday to the Council----incumbents Kenneth Ewing, Chuck Elliott, and Larry Huffstutter---and newcomer Allan Quilty.
With the new Council in place, the members---by a 7 to 1 margin---approved the re-appointment of Rick Morris as the Trenton Fire Chief. Mark Robinson voted no.
The Council also approved Councilman Kenneth Ewing to continue as president pro-tem.
In addition, Mayor Nick McHargue named committee and liaison appointments.
Although the City Council did not approve pay raises for workers, the Council is expected to re-consider the possibility of pay raises after health insurance costs are known. The health insurance figures are expected to be available next month.
Mayor McHargue said feedback he's received from the public favored a specific dollar amount of pay increase instead of a percentage to better help those on the lower end of the pay scale. Councilman Travis Elbert indicated it was City Administrator Kerry Sampson who suggested having a specific dollar amount instead of a percentage.
Outgoing Councilman Black said developing a budget is not an easy process. He said the City budget is not perfect, but he described it as very good. Black also said a lot of effort was put into it.
Earlier in the meeting, Black gave thanks for being able to serve on the City Council. Members of the Council, City Administrator Kerry Sampson, and Fire Chief Rick Morris, thanked Black for his service.
Among other news from the Trenton City Council meeting, Economic Development Director, Ralph Boots, indicated there has been an increase in potential retail contacts---with a ‚Äúdo not disclose‚ÄĚ agreement signed on 1 of them. Boots also gave a report on Great Northwest Day held at the State Capital last week.
TMU Director, Chad Davis, said TMU continues efforts to determine whether TMU could produce electricity for the City should it lose the power it receives from an outside grid.
TMU is trying to determine how to make such a test. Cost factors also are involved.
Trenton Municipal Utilities also is examining how to make the front office at City Hall more secure from potential angry members of the public.
Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer, Donnie Vandevender, said it's possible the 17th Street bridge may need to be closed while core drilling is done in that area. It's part of the process to eventually replace the bridge.
Vandevender also is the Trenton Airport Manager. He noted there are various types of aircraft at the airport. They total 15, includes planes, ultralights, a balloon, and a helicopter. Mayor McHargue said just 3 Trenton residents have hangars at the airport. Higher hangar rental fees are scheduled to be effective May 1st.
Trenton resident, Virginia Briegel, asked about the status of a having a security fence installed at Eastview Manor Care Center---which includes a Behavioral Unit. Although no specific date was given, Vandevender indicated it would be when the weather permits. He also said the facility will be secure. Several representatives of Reliant Management Company attended a public hearing at a Trenton City Council meeting in January to discuss it's plans for the Behavioral Unit at Eastview Manor. Vandevender, last night, noted the management company has several similar units in other communities---and safety is taken seriously by the company.
Trenton Chamber of Commerce President, Debbie Carman, noted clean-up efforts at Trenton are planned April 28th through May 3rd, a recycling event is the morning of May 3rd at the former Maggie's Mess location, and ConAgra Food plant manager, Joe Boxer, is to talk about the Trenton plant during a Chamber luncheon April 30th at the
KCPL community room.
Mayor McHargue again asked the public to sweep sand from the streets and put it in their yards.
Later in the meeting, Councilman Mark Robinson criticized the Mayor for not canceling a special meeting of the City Council on April 2nd when it was known there would not be a quorum. With just 3 councilmen in attendance, no official action could be taken April 2nd. Mayor McHargue did outline about $100,000 of spending cutbucks he would make. There also were questions, answers, and comments during the April 2nd meeting.