Trenton City Council meets with a variety of topics on the table

City of Trenton

The Trenton City Council met for about ninety minutes in closed session last evening prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.

The closed session involved continued work towards a settlement agreement with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a sewer-related bypass elimination plan.

Among those in attendance for the closed session were representatives of Trenton Municipal Utilities, an engineer for the bypass elimination project, and a special attorney.

During the regular council session, TMU Director Chad Davis said there was no action taken during the closed meeting. The topic is to be discussed again during the next city council session on august 22nd. It’s hoped there will be a plan by November 1st.

The council’s administrative committee meets Thursday afternoon at 5:15 in closed session to review applications for the vacant city administrator position.

City Clerk and interim City Administrator Cindy Simpson, after last night’s council meeting, said there have been 17 to 18 applicants who have city administrator experience. The number has increased after the city expanded the area where it advertised the job opening.

Member Scott Blair suggested the city also needs to look for a TMU director as Chad Davis is leaving the TMU director’s position September 2nd to become the operations manager for Rolla Municipal Utilities.

Mrs. Simpson said she believes Trenton should first look at the city administrator job.

One possibility for the council is to consider employing one person to be both City Administrator and to oversee TMU. Mayor Nick McHargue indicated he prefers one person to do both jobs.

The administrative committee also is being asked to consider a policy regarding absenteeism at meetings held by the city’s various boards and commissions. The Mayor indicated it’s a tough topic because it involves citizens who serve despite being busy.

He said there have been members who are absent at meetings.

He noted planning and zoning commission meetings require advertising the topics, so when there are not enough members attending for a quorum, re-advertising is needed. He also said persons involved with the topics, some of them from out of town, have to come back.

Although councilman Mark Moore said he thought there was a policy about missing three straight meetings, city attorney Tara Walker said there’s no ordinance and recommends an ordinance be adopted.

The topic would need to be added to the administrative committee agenda if it’s to be discussed this Thursday.

In action items, the council last evening approved a one-year agreement for Lifeflight Eagle helicopter service to continue leasing a hangar at the Trenton airport. The monthly rent is being increased to $1,500, which is up $370 a month compared to the past year. Community development director Ralph Boots said Lifeflight signed the agreement on Friday.

Although the Chillicothe City Council, in early May, approved an ordinance authorizing a lease with Lifeflight Eagle for a hangar to be constructed at the Chillicothe airport, that project remains in the pre-bidding stage. Chillicothe City Clerk Roze Frampton,

Late last week said bids had not been sought yet for the construction at the Chillicothe airport.

The council last night also approved an ordinance granting division of a parcel of a minor subdivision at 903 and 905 Main Street. The planning and zoning commission recommended the approval which was requested by Steve Richman and Greg Freeman.

The council approved a bid from Denali Water Solutions of Russellville, Arkansas to

Remove lime sludge at the water treatment plant. The company’s price for 1500 dry tons was near $74,000, which the lowest of six bids received.

Since $100,000 was budgeted for the project, that amount of sludge removal is to be done. Denali’s bid was about $8,000 less than the second lowest bidder and about $16,000 less than second lowest bidder. With those prices, TMU officials are to talk internally, and with the contractor, about the possibility of removing additional sludge.

The council actions were unanimous among the six members in attendance with Larry Porter and Travis Elbert absent.

In various reports, police Lieutenant Rex Ross said it’s been a struggle to attract applicants for a police officer position.

Among other remarks, Lieutenant Ross encouraged the public to attend the Trenton Police Department’s Citizen’s Academy August 30th through October 18th.

Street department supervisor Martin Sheib said asphalt sales have been good this year. Between April 7th and July 22nd, more than 8,100 tons were sold at a profit of nearly $78,000.

Although no vote was taken, acceptance was indicated by the council for a request to rent a maintainer and pay for an operator to work on Serendipity lane.

Councilman Allan Quilty complimented the TMU water department for the water quality this Summer, he also indicated two people he wanted to recognize with a “Tidy Up Award” did not wish to be singled out, remarking they did not wish to be recognized for what they said people should be doing anyway.

Trenton Community Development Director Ralph Boots reminded the public that volunteers are sought for “Serve Trenton” projects September 24th and 25th. That’s the effort in which local churches, non-profits, service organizations, and other volunteers are to do various projects to serve the elderly, orphans, and the impoverished.

Community construction and beautification projects also are to be considered with project requests due August 26th, and registration forms due September 2nd.

Doug Franklin is among the contacts. Contacts also can be made online at [email protected].

Mayor McHargue said he and Boots would make an out of town trip in September with no expense to the city.

The mayor also suggested TMU should do some of the labor for its projects instead having contractors do it.

The city council agenda listed a closed session for personnel following the regular meeting. However, that closed session was not held.