Trenton City Council Addresses Various Issues At Latest Meeting
Date 2014/3/11 7:20:43 | Topic: News
|The process for renters to file a complaint with the City of Trenton regarding the interior condition of their residence was repeated at last night's Trenton City Council meeting. |
That process was outlined at the city council meeting Two weeks ago. It was repeated last night when four members of the public spoke about the topic.
Chris West of Trenton said he's not a renter, but indicated he wants to help renters having problems with their housing conditions. West referred to a recent story on WDAF-TV in Kansas City regarding renter complaints about properties owned by Bob Morgans. West asked the city council “what's going to happen?”
Natasha Ingersoll of Trenton, who was among two renters featured in the television report, briefly spoke at last night's city council meeting about the condition of her residence and indicated the proper process of filing a complaint was not relayed to her.
Trenton building inspector and code enforcement officer Donnie Vandevender, like he did at the February 24th city council meeting, repeated the procedure when renters are unable to get their landlords to make a repair. They should go to city hall, file a grievance, and talk with Vandevender. When that happens, the renter provides a 15 dollar deposit. Vandevender contacts the landlord, who then has five days to address the concern of the renter. If the landlord makes repairs, the renter gets the 15 dollars back. If Vandevender makes an inspection of the property, and requires the landlord to make repairs, the renter gets ten dollars back.
Vandevender indicated no one has come to his office to talk with him about that process.
Vince Hahn, who does work for other landlords in Trenton, suggested a lot of people don't have 15 dollars to spend.
Another member of the public, Cindy Jennings, indicated a desire to help people who have problems with the housing they rent. She also indicated persons could come up with 15 dollars if the money were not spent on unneeded things.
In addition to the possible inspection of housing when a renter has a complaint, rental housing is to be inspected when it's vacant before a renter moves in. Failure to have
properties inspected before a new renter moves in can lead to the landlord being taken to municipal court.
Members of the city council and Police Chief Tommy Wright also participated in that discussion, Wright said everybody needs to work together, and renters with problems with their housing need to come forward and document their complaints.
Two other topics discussed by the city council recently came up again last night at the request of Mayor Nick McHargue, the possibility of requiring Coggins testing for horses, and how to deal with horse manure left on city streets.
City administrator Kerry Sampson indicated more information needs to be obtained regarding state law for Coggins testing for horses. Regarding horse manure still being left on city streets, Sampson indicated discussions have not been held yet with all the horse operators. An ordinance would be needed to allow action to be taken against those leaving horse droppings, although it was noted the operator may not have identification. Although no action was taken, Mayor McHargue asked the council members to think about those horse related topics.
The city council agenda also listed a request by Mayor McHargue to discuss shoveling snow on sidewalks. It turned out to be a citizen request for the sidewalks over the 9th street bridge to be cleared of snow. It was noted that's the Missouri Department of Transportation's responsibility.
In action items, the city council approved ordinances authorizing an agreement with CSE Enterprises of Rolla to install equipment on 12 diesel powered electric generators to meet government air quality standards, and for Olsson Associates to certify the government requirements are met from the CSE work. Both votes were six in favor, councilman Mark Moore opposed, and Larry Huffstutter absent. The board of public works, last week, had approved both companies for the work, but the city council to give the final approval.
The CSE bid was 231-thousand dollars. It includes labor and some of the materials. Other equipment for the project was approved by the board of public works in December, at a cost more than 325-thousand dollars. It was purchased from a Houston Texas firm, DCL America. Ollson associates is to be paid up to 48-thousand dollars to test the equipment installed by CSE.
Board of public works chairman Robert Day said additional air quality testing is required every Three years, which will mean getting somebody to do the testing.
All seven city councilmen attending last night's meeting voted in favor of purchasing an asphalt paver at nearly 130-thousand dollars. The bid from Roland Machinery Company was the only one received It included a trade-in valued at 12-thousand dollars. The company is from Bridgeton in Suburban St. Louis.
All seven city councilmen also approved this year's Summer street program for hot mix overlays by city personnel, seal and chip by city workers, Asphalt spot milling by a contractor, and repairs by city employees.
Street superintendent Larry Griffin indicated needed street work in the past has been postponed to later years because of financial reasons. He mentioned there are a lot streets needing the seal and chip work to prevent potholes, but they're not on this year's list.
Griffin said streets will be swept during the last part of this month. Trenton Mayor McHargue asked the public to remove the sand from the street in front of their residence.
Building inspector Donnie Vandevender said Truitts Dirt Works soon is to demolish six structures in Trenton the council approved the work in late November
Among topics in his report, community development director Ralph Boots mentioned the rural development division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is to be represented at Trenton city hall at 11 o'clock this morning. It's regarding a grant for the construction of a farmers market type of pavilion in downtown Trenton. Boots said it's a 94-thousand dollar project, with USDA providing 54-thousand dollars. The local match is 40-thousand. Boots said the Trenton Downtown Improvement Association has committed 15-hundred dollars and the Veterans of Foreign Wars is considering a donation.
Boots is attempting to seek additional funding, and plans to talk with USDA about possibilities. He indicated the city of Trenton does not have available money. Boots also repeated information he gave the Trenton park board last week about efforts he's making to increase the amount of consumer spending in Trenton, which in turn would provide the city with more sales tax revenue. The sales tax revenue helps city departments provide services For citizens.
Boots is asking persons with business space for rent to contact him so he can publicize it. Businesses considering an expansion also are asked to contact boots.
Trenton councilman Travis Elbert commended the Trenton Fire Department for its help in fighting a blaze on the Gallatin square last week. Trenton City Administrator Kerry Sampson said a thank you for the Trenton Fire Department's work at Gallatin was received from a Gallatin city councilman.
Trenton Fire Chief Rick Morris commended the city council for purchasing a ladder truck that was used at Gallatin. Morris said the nearly 30-year old truck helps Trenton and other communities. Morris also mentioned the Grundy County Rural Fire Protection District has purchased a fire truck. A picture of the rural departments' fire truck was presented to the councilmen.
City councilman Jacob Black indicated budget-making efforts for the fiscal year beginning may 1st have trimmed a deficit to 90-thousand dollars thus far. He said it's good to see sales tax revenue up.
Mayor McHargue expressed concern about a declining fund balance despite transfers from Trenton Municipal Utilities. He indicated the decline was nearly 400-thousand dollars during the last few years.
Park Superintendent Jason Shuler expressed optimism that efforts will move forward to seek donations for a proposed tennis court project at Moberly park. He estimated the cost of the project around 100-thousand to 120-thousand dollars. On another topic, Shuler said it takes eleven persons to staff the operations of the Trenton Family Aquatic Center. He said normally 40 to 50 persons are employed, each of them lifeguard certified. It allows the personnel to be moved around. Shuler was responding to questions from Mayor McHargue
Trenton city sales tax receipts for the first eleven months of the fiscal year show revenue from the one percent tax for general purposes is up 20-thousand dollars compared to last year at this time, income from the one-half percent tax for capital projects is up ten thousand dollars, and receipts from the one-half percent tax for parks are up five thousand dollars compared to last year at this time.