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News : Trenton City Council Addresses Numerous Issues At Latest Meeting
Posted by Randy on 2014/5/13 10:22:27 (317 reads) News by the same author

The City of Trenton wants to reach an agreement with Grundy County regarding the lease for the County ambulance service to be housed at the City's fire station.
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That was the message Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue gave Grundy County Commissioners during last night's City Council meeting. The Commissioners were invited to attend the meeting.

Doctor McHargue said the City wants to work this out. County Commissioner Rick Hull said City Administrator Kerry Sampson is to provide some figures to enable the county to know what its utility costs would be. Hull noted Sampson was gone last week.

Sampson was at last night's meeting. He said the City is asking for the city and county to work together to negotiate the lease.

The Commission received a letter last month from the City Administrator seeking higher rent, and for the county to help pay utility costs at the safety complex based on the amount of space the county uses there.

The letter attributed high maintenance and energy costs for the need to ask for a new lease. The existing lease requires a 60-day notice if any changes are made.

On other topics, the Council, by a margin of six to one, defeated an ordinance that would have raised the occupancy permit charge for rented dwellings. Larry Huffstutter was the only councilman voting in favor of the increase. Councilman Travis Elbert was absent. The ordinance called for an increase from the current 15 dollars to 50 dollars. The ordinance also called for the charge to be 25 dollars for each additional inspection or change of occupancy inspection during the calendar year. Five landlords spoke in opposition to the size of the increase.

City Administrator Kerry Sampson said the charges have not been changed since 1997. The proposed rate came about during the finance committee process of developing a budget. Sampson said it was an effort to recover some of the city's costs.

Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue, before the landlords spoke, said he was basically opposed to the higher charges. Doctor McHargue said the city does not need to set higher fees at a time it's attempting to promote building.

With the six to one defeat, the topic is expected to go back to the Finance Committee for further discussion.

All seven councilmen in attendance voted in favor of an ordinance to raise the fees for building permits, inspections, and plan reviews. Prior to the vote, Mayor McHargue said, at a time the city is attempting to promote building,the council does not need any increases of the fees, or any fees at all. City Administrator Sampson estimated the fees last were increased around 2004.

The new rates earlier had been approved by the Council's finance committee. Building Inspector Donnie Vandevender indicated the charges were proposed after a review of fees in similar sized communities.

Mayor Nick McHargue indicated, at a time when the city is looking at tax increment financing and grants to promote building, the city does not need any increases in fees---or any fees at all. Councilman Mark Robinson said it's not out of line to have building permit charges.

All seven councilmen in attendance, approved an ordinance granting zoning change requested by Eric and Rachel Lorenz. It's to make better use of existing residential property and allow for an addition to their home at 1217 Harris. The zoning change is from heavy industry to one and two family dwelling, lower density. The Trenton Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the Council approve the request.

The Council approved a bid from Knapheide Truck Equipment for snowplow equipment costing about 61-hundred dollars. That was the middle bid among three received. The low bid did not meet specifications.

Among other topics, City Administrator Kerry Sampson said persons should contact their insurance company before agreeing to have hail damage work done.

Building Inspector Donnie Vandevender handed out information saying all contractors doing work in Trenton must be licensed. He said persons should ask for proof of licensing and insurance before contractors quote or perform work. No more than two layers of any type of roofing materials is acceptable. Cedar shingles are not an approved sub structure for application of composition shingles or other roofing. Composition shingles are required to be applied to solid sheeting.

Permits are not required to replace roofing or other minor storm damage repairs—such as replacement of windows, exterior doors, siding, and guttering. Any tornado or
major wind storms resulting in structure damage do require building permits.

There have been occasional reminders about a need to keep grass clippings and leaves from getting into the storm water system and plugging it up. Street Department
Supervisor Larry Griffin indicated some tubes could not handle the rain water yesterday.

Councilman Kenneth Ewing gave a report on an administrative committee meeting earlier in the day. He said there was a two-to-two-tie vote regarding a motion to send to the full council discussion regarding liquor at the fairgrounds during the fair.

A proposed ordinance is to be developed regarding parking restrictions for vehicles licensed over 24-thousand pounds and trailers.

No changes are proposed regarding hay permits, bed and breakfast , and cutting trees on city land.

Community Development Director Ralph Boots again asked property owners with buildings for sale or rent to contact him so he can list them.

Persons with complaints about dogs may call the Trenton Police Department's non-emergency number.

The city council met last night in closed session regarding legal matters.

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