Three police officers hired by Trenton City Council; discussion continues but no action taken on trash service

City of Trenton Website

Three representatives of Rapid Removal Disposal met last night with the Trenton City Council and city officials to discuss issues regarding trash service, particularly complaints that have been received by staff at City Hall.

Councilman Lance Otto led a discussion on his research on the banned breed dog ordinance as well as the dangerous dogs’ ordinance. The topic has been referred to the administrative committee to work with Otto in developing recommendations.

The council approved the employment of three police officers; and two ordinances on proposals involving Trenton Municipal Utilities.

An attorney represented Rapid Removal Owner Jim Watje and one of his Trenton employees in meeting with the council. A list of two dozen complaints documented by city hall had been presented to the attorney who described it as not an exorbitant number out of 2200 customers at Trenton. But he pledged the company will do what it can to resolve customer issues and meet the terms of the contract it has with the city. That contract doesn’t expire until December 31st of 2023.

While some on the council two weeks ago expressed a desire to perhaps look for another trash service, no motions to that extent came last night when Rapid Removal officials were present. Instead, it appeared to be a spirit of cooperation in addressing frustrations from some of the council in that an information flier promised by Watje at a council meeting this summer, never was provided to the city.

When the request for the flier was re-iterated, the Rapid Removal attorney and Watje promised it would be done. The flier is to explain bulky items, what can and cannot be picked up and the usage of yellow tags for trash not picked up. The tag also is to have a phone number for customers to share any concerns. While no vote was taken, the council asked that the flier be provided by December 10th. The flier is then to be reviewed by the city attorney then shared with the council at a December 13th meeting. Then if OK, it’s to be placed with the TMU bills of residential customers in time for them to arrive by the end of December.

After hearing a report from Councilman Lance Otto that he was continuing to gather information on the banned breed dog ordinance and the dangerous and vicious dog ordinance, it was the consensus of the council to refer the matter to the administrative committee. Otto questions how enforceable is either ordinance and does Trenton have the manpower and budget to do so. Since a previous meeting in which the council on a split vote decided not to repeal the breed ban, Otto has been gathering information while also hearing from persons who favor keeping the specific breed ban and from others who want it lifted. If it’s to be lifted, Otto said he wants “to do things right” while also focusing on the culture of responsibility for dog owners. Councilman Robert Romesburg suggested an animal welfare committee of citizens could be formed to address certain issues and advise the council. No action was taken about that.

Trenton’s Police Personnel Board made a recommendation to hire three officers for the department. The city council approved the employment of Faith Fliflet of Maryville, Bryan Roberts of Gallatin, and Trevor Ratliff of Trenton, Police Chief Rex Ross told the media that each comes to Trenton Police Department with law enforcement experience.

Social media information shows Fliflet works with the Northwest Missouri State University Police, Roberts is at Gallatin Police Department, and Ratliff is employed by the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office.

Approval was given for Toth and Associates to prepare a cost of service and rate design for the Trenton water and sewer departments. The combined cost is $10,780 which City Administrator Ron Urton is considerably less than the $25,000 that TMU had budgeted. Urton said the company offered a discount since Trenton is a member of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance and it had done Trenton’s electric rate study recently. The company’s recommendation was not to change any of the electric rates for as much as three to five years.

Approval was given to have Earthworks Excavation and Associates LLC of Higginsville to do the water main project from 2nd and Connie Lane to the sewer plant. The cost is $171,203 and involves a six-inch PVC water main and related piping for a distance of 3,900. The ordinance to award the contract was approved on a seven to one vote. Danny Brewer questioned some of the line item costs and voted no.

The announced the executive session for legal issues was canceled Monday night.