The Trenton City Council last night approved an increase in business license and building contractor fees, then overrode a veto by Mayor Nick McHargue regarding that vote.
Six Councilmen voted in favor of increasing the business license and building contractor fees. Councilman Jim Bush, who's a businessman, abstained. Councilman Mark Moore was absent.
Mayor McHargue, during the discussion before the vote, questioned raising the business fee at a time the City is attempting to attract businesses. After he vetoed the council vote, Dr. McHargue indicated he does not believe fees should be raised without a public vote.
The vote to override the mayor's veto was 6 in favor, Bush opposed, and Moore absent.
The business license fee was raised by $15. The new rate is $50 for gross receipts under $250,000. The charge for each additional $250,000 in gross receipts, or part thereof, is
Persons and businesses acting or providing services as a building contractor in Trenton are required to pay a fee. The charge for contractors residing in, or having a business in Trenton, is $50, while those outside the city are to be charged $100. That's up from $50 for those outside the city. Those charges are for gross receipts under $250. For each additional $250,000 in gross receipts, or part thereof, the charge is
$50. The maximum fee is $300.
All 7 Councilmen at the meeting voted in favor of an ordinance to give the Building Inspector power to have utilities disconnected from non-owner dwellings which do not comply with City Code for minimum maintenance standards.
The ordinance also clarifies an existing inspection access requirement. It says, if any owner, occupant, or other person in charge of a dwelling or a dwelling unit does not allow free access to a structure or premise for an inspection, the Inspector may seek a search warrant or other appropriate court order authorizing an inspection.
Rental dwellings are to be inspected when there's a change of occupancy or a change of owner.
During the discussion regarding inspections of rental dwellings, Councilman Bush said
Building Inspector Donnie Vandevender has done a super job.
All 7 City Councilmen in attendance also approved an ordinance to amend the language for when occupancy permits are required for rental properties. It adds wording that â€śrentâ€ť includes any sale, contract for deed, rent to own agreement, or any other arrangement in which the owner of the dwelling allows a non-owner to occupy the dwelling in exchange for fees or services. Applications are to be made to the City Clerk. A fee is to be paid, and the Building Inspector is to make an inspection before a permit is issued.
Grundy County officials, earlier this month, announced a dozen taxing entities would be asked to return money sent to them after a computer software problem in the County Collector's office resulted in money being distributed to those entities. Involved are property taxes paid under protest by Wright Memorial Hospital regarding its physician group's 2013 property tax assessment.
No settlement has been reached, and no ruling by the State Tax Commission has been made regarding the taxes.
Nearly $70,000 is involved. Information presented to the Trenton City Council shows the City and its park system are being asked to return nearly $11,000. That breaks down to nearly $8,100 from the City, nearly $1,500 from the parks, and more than $1,000 listed as surtax.
County Collector Harris is asking for the money to be returned so it can be put back into a protest account until a decision is made.
The Trenton City Council discussed the topic during last night's open portion of the Council meeting but took no vote at that time.
An agreement was reached last year by the County and Trenton Senior Housing, doing business as Adams Park Apartments. It also involved a property tax assessment. It was noted at last night's City Council meeting property taxes are being paid on the apartments.
The City Council discussed, but took no formal vote regarding the tax issue. Grundy County Collector, Barbara Harris, in a letter requesting the money be returned, mentioned she, County Clerk Betty Spickard, and Presiding Commissioner, Rick Hull, sought the advice of the Missouri State Auditor's office. Mrs. Harris said the State Auditor's office said the money should be returned and put in the protest account until a decision has been made.
Among various reports, Councilman Larry Huffstutter---who chairs the Building and Nuisance Board---is requesting the public participate in Clean-up Week activities this week at Trenton. Another reminder was given that City ordinance prohibits grass clippings from being left in City streets.
Street Department Supervisor, Larry Griffin, reminded the public, the Street Department will be accepting brush at its maintenance facilities Saturday morning from 9 until Noon.
City Administrator, Kerry Sampson. reminded the public about the Solid Waste Collection event Saturday morning in Trenton for Grundy County residents. It's
from 9 until 12 at the North Missouri Solid Waste Management District facilities near 7th and Kavanaugh. That's the former Maggie's Mess business location. The Trenton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Solid Waste Management District are coordinating the event.
Sampson noted the 17th Street bridge is to be temporarily closed while core samples are taken as part of preparations to replace the bridge. The dates have not been announced yet.
The Trenton City Administrator is requesting the Trenton Airport and Streets be among recipients from Missouri Department of Transportation funding. MoDoT is to determine how it would allocate funds from a transportation sales tax, should it be placed on the ballot for voters to decide. Regional Planning Commissions are providing MoDoT with recommendations on how to allocate those funds.
Mayor Nick McHargue mentioned a potential Economic Development project. Community Development Director, Ralph Boots, indicated guidelines must be followed to receive state incentives, including not starting a project before the incentives are granted.
On another topic, Mayor McHargue suggested the City could save money by purchasing bulk oil and doing its own oil changes, rather than paying someone to change oil. The Mayor referred to the Police Department. The Street Department already does its own oil changes.
The Mayor also promoted having the public get involved in doing community service projects.
Trenton Police Department Sergeant Jeb Walker represented the Police Department last night at meetings of the City Council and Building and Nuisance Board.
Sergeant Walker suggested better signage to prevent large trucks from getting lost because of problems attributed to GPS systems. City Administrator, Kerry Sampson, is to discuss the matter with MoDoT.
Sergeant Walker also mentioned Cops and Bobbers fishing event June 7th.
Airport Advisory Board Chairman, Dyle Wilson, said a breakfast and fly-in are planned July 4th at the airport. The Preceptor Nu Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi is to prepare the breakfast, which is to include pancakes and sausage.
Councilman Larry Huffstutter indicated he's heard from persons not wanting hay ground in residential areas. Huffstutter mentioned City Administrator Kerry Sampson was to talk to City Attorney Tara Walker about the topic.
Huffstutter also expressed a desire to start, as soon as possible, a new list of dilapidated structures to be demolished.
Briefly looking at the Building and Nuisance Board meeting, the Board took nuisance related actions involving properties at 1214 Shanklin, 431 West 13th Street, and 427 West 13th Street. They require improvements to the properties.
A property at 1216 Shanklin has had a change in ownership. The new owner wants to have the property included in the City's demolition program.
The owner of property at 1427 Merrill attended the meeting and pledged to do clean-up work there. He said he's been waiting for a dumpster from Advance. The Building and Nuisance Board wants improvements made by the end of May, although no formal vote was taken.