Grundy County Commissioners met on Friday with representatives of the City of Trenton and offered to pay an additional $50 a month rent for the ambulance service to continue to be housed at the City's fire station building.
The Commission last month received a letter from Trenton City Administrator, Kerry Sampson, saying the City is unable to lease space for the ambulance at the fire station under the current terms---due to higher maintenance and energy costs. The letter said the City would be willing to enter into a new lease beginning July 1st with higher rent and the County sharing the utility costs based on square footage occupied---the same as the Law Enforcement Center. The County currently pays $1,150 a month rent. The letter from City Administrator Sampson in April requested a $300 increase in rentâ€”plus sharing utility costs.
The County Commission is proposing a $50 increase in rent, with the utility costs continuing to be included in the rent. The Commission is proposing a monthly rent of $1200.
The County Commission also is proposing a 6 month period in which the lease can be canceled, instead of the current 60 day notice.
The City is to consider the Commissioners proposal after the County provides a written proposal of what the Commissioners said verbally in this morning's meeting.
The meeting was attended by all 3 Commissioners, County Clerk Betty Spickard, City Administrator Sampson, City Clerk Cindy Simpson, Fire Chief Rick Morris, Police Chief Tommy Wright, Community Development Director Ralph Boots, and City Councilmen Alan Quilty, Kenneth Ewing, Travis Elbert, and Jim Bush.
The meeting opened with Presiding Commissioner, Rick Hull, and Commissioner, Joe Brinser, providing much of the remarks about the County proposal. Trenton Fire Chief,
Rick Morris, also made several remarks. In addition, Sampson and members of the City Council participated in the discussion.
Prior to the close of the meeting, Commissioner Gene Wyant mentioned the statewide debate on whether or not tax cuts passed by the Missouri legislature will hurt counties and cities if they go into effect.
Regarding the county ambulance service being housed at the City fire station building, Commissioner Brinser said the preference is to have the ambulance service stay where it is , but the County is looking at other options if an agreement cannot be reached. The options include construction of another building.
City Administrator Sampson said the City also is looking at other options.
Fire Chief Rick Morris said he wants the ambulance service to stay at the fire station. He said it's good to have those emergency services under one roof. He said rising utility costs require being proactive. The Fire Chief also indicated he's been stressing to workers there about the need to take steps to hold down utility costs.
Commissioner Brinser mentioned the County and City employees work together great. He also said the Rural and City Fire Departments have an amazing agreement.
There also was discussion at the meeting about a need to work together for the benefit of taxpayers.
Among other notes, it was mentioned the City is provided free courtroom space and the Grundy County Rural Fire Department gets free rent at the fire station.