Trenton City Council: 17th Street bridge replacement hits another snag

City of Trenton

The proposed 17th Street bridge replacement project in Trenton has hit another funding challenge as earlier this month, Trenton City Clerk and interim Administrator

Cindy Simpson said the project did not receive a federal grant being sought.

At the meeting last night, Simpson noted Governor Nixon has cut funding for a Missouri Department of Transportation program that Trenton had sought grant money from for the 17th Street bridge project. Other communities also had applied for funding through that MoDOT program however, the program was among cuts made by the governor this month to balance the state budget after the Missouri Legislature overrode some of the governor’s vetoes.

Mrs. Simpsons indicated the Union Pacific railroad will need to be contacted to find out how long it will maintain its offer of financial assistance for the proposed 17th Street bridge replacement project.

There have been seven or eight applications received for the combined city administrator/Trenton Municipal Utilities director position with those applications expected to be reviewed next month.

Jeremy Summers and Shawn Gott are returning to the Trenton Fire Department next week as the department had two full-time job openings.

The Trenton Police Department has received three applications for a police officer position with one background check remaining to be completed.

The Trenton street department is to begin repair work today on the multipurpose trail that runs through Eastside Park, the fairgrounds, and the Trenton high and middle school campus areas. The project to repair cracks is expected to take a couple of weeks which includes milling and asphalting.

The Trenton Street Department’s profit from asphalt sales this year is now around $130,000 with asphalt sales described as up quite a bit compared to last year.

A change in Trenton’s drinking water treatment process that’s recommended once a year is planned next month and is expected to last about a week. It’s anticipated there will be some taste and odor complaints. The change is to prevent a nitrate buildup. A public announcement is to be made when the water treatment process change takes place. It will affect Trenton and Grundy County public water supply district customers.

The city council’s utilities committee is to look at whether to seek other engineering help to allow Trenton Municipal Utilities to generate electricity for the community. That would be when power the city purchases is disrupted. The topic has been discussed for years. TMU tests to get the equipment to work have been unsuccessful.

Trenton city workers were thanked for clean-up efforts following last week’s storm and the Serve Trenton area community service work by citizens this past weekend also was praised. Councilman Allan Quilty suggested organizers for the Serve Trenton work should be recognized with a “Tidy Up” award from the city.

Trenton also has ongoing clean-up along streets through the clean sweep program organized by the police department. Twenty-three streets are adopted with financial contributions towards the program go for trash bags and street signs recognizing the volunteers.

TMU observes public power week next week and a program is to be presented to kindergarten students. TMU customers donating to a utility share program will be eligible for a drawing for a $50 reduction in their utility bill. An open house also is planned.

Community Development Director Ralph Boots gave an update on north Missouri business facilitation efforts and what he learned from other communities when he was a judge in the Missouri Community Betterment competition.

In action items, the council, by a vote of seven in favor and Brad Chumbley opposed, approved two ordinances involving airport repairs. One ordinance makes official the city council action taken September 12th in which a bid was accepted from Ameriseal of Ohio to do the work. The bid was nearly $400,000 to seal the runway, apron, taxiway, and turnaround areas. The other ordinance is an amendment to a block grant in which the state pays 90% and Trenton 10%.

The council unanimously approved the re-appointments of Doctor Andy Cox, Gary Shuett and the appointment of Josh Lisle to the park board.

The council unanimously approved Cindy Simpson to be a representative for a certificate of participation financing program that began in 2012. Kerry Sampson had been a representative before he retired as city administrator. TMU Comptroller Rosetta Marsh also is a representative.

The council’s administrative committee is to look at developing an ordinance that makes homeowners responsible for the care and upkeep of right of way areas next to their property. Examples of what other communities do are to be examined. Trenton city code is not specific on the right of way responsibility.

City Attorney Tara Walker is being asked to examine whether the city council can adopt an ordinance to require motel rooms to have safety inspections similar to Trenton’s rental housing requirements.

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

The council is to meet again at 5:30 Monday evening, October 3 to discuss and approve a sewer-related bypass elimination plan and to set sewer rates.

Mayor Nick McHarge, referring to a recent workshop regarding the bypass elimination plan, told council members to take their billfolds out because of what needs to be done.

The Building and Nuisance board met briefly prior to last night’s city council meeting.

Properties at 1809 Cherry Lane and 2323 Webster are to be scheduled for public hearings. A certificate of a dangerous building has been filed at 1005 West Crowder Road.

Code enforcement officer Donnie Vandevender needs two more signatures from property owners before structures are inspected for any asbestos and lead paint.

If necessary, bids then would be sought to determine costs to remove those materials. It’s part of the process to determine which structures can be torn down this fiscal year with available funds.

Trenton Police Chief Tommy Wright reported 144 nuisance violation reports have been field this year, which is 41 more than last year.

The breakdown shows 86 of those nuisance violation reports involve grass and weeds, 42 trash and debris, 15 nuisance vehicles, and one a public health/building issue because of roaches.

a further breakdown of the nuisance reports shows 88 abatements, 33 citations, with 23 pending re-inspection or in-progress.