Trenton City Council approves ordinances and six motions at Monday evening meeting

Trenton, Missouri

Actions taken Monday night by the Trenton City Council include approval of two ordinances and six motions. Two of the topics resulted in split votes of the council.

With a roll call vote of six in favor and two opposed, a conditional use permit was issued by ordinance to Terry Hearn to operate a used car lot at 907 East 9th Street. Approval had been recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission with the condition that the car lot be paved prior to use. Voting “no” without public explanation were Councilmen Lance Otto and Robert Romesburg.

Another six to two vote came later in the meeting regarding a motion to award a bid for installation of a water main from 2nd and Kitty to the waste-water treatment plant. Upon the recommendation of the Howe company and the Utility committee, Earthworks Excavation was approved for the project. The company submitted a low bid of $171,203. City administrator/Utility Director Ron Urton said the money will come from Trenton’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The city gets $1,060,000 from the government. Urton indicated most of that money can be spent on a future sewer lining project at Trenton. Opposing the motion to award the bid were Councilmen Lance Otto and Marvin Humphreys.

Unanimous approval was given on other topics. An ordinance to match state law was adopted to schedule a three-week period for candidates to file for city offices. That’s less time than it has been in the past. The filing period runs from December 7th through the 28th. Four council positions will be on the ballot for the municipal election in April.

Grant money from another source will pay for self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters. The council approved a vendor, Sentinel Emergency Solutions of St Louis, at a cost of $270,762. Fire Chief Brandon Gibler reminded the council that the grant requires a five percent local match. The match will be covered by $6,600 each from both the Trenton Fire Department and the Grundy County Rural Fire Protection District.

A fire-damaged house at 1002 West 14th Street was given to the city which has been paying for someone to mow the yard. Two bids were submitted on the sale of the house with the council accepting the high bid of $701 from Robert Burkeybile. Bids were also placed by Jeff Page. The property will return to the tax rolls.

The council agreed to a motion to close the brick, one-block section of East 12th Street between Mable and Tinsman. Adjacent property owners will get one half of the street, North Central Missouri College on the north and Grundy County Historical Society on the south.  The city attorney will prepare an ordinance to that effect and plans to include an easement on a city-owned sewer line existing beneath the street.

The council was told that the Grundy County Museum would like to place some of the outdoor displays under a roof or in a building.

Approval was given to a seasonal water shut-off policy as recommended last week by the committee that oversees Trenton Municipal Utilities.

On a recommendation from the Police Personnel Committee, the council approved hiring a police officer. Cameron Hind of Chillicothe will graduate on December 3rd from a law enforcement academy.

After hearing information from Utility Director Urton, the council indicated its interest in pursuing an arrangement with the Missouri Public Energy Pool regarding the city’s diesel generators. According to Urton, if the majority of the pool members who have their own generators agree, then the Missouri Public Utility Alliance might assume operating and maintenance costs of the units while a city, such as Trenton, retains “virtual ownership” of the generators. Urton noted it costs the city $190,000 per year for the maintenance while TMU receives a credit of $170,000 per year for having the generators capable of producing electricity when called upon. That was the case during extremely cold weather for three days in February of 2021 when the city received an emergency request and operated its generators, producing eight megawatts of power for the pool.

Councilman Lance Otto reported he’s still researching ordinances in other towns and speaking with other animal control officers regarding the dog-specific breed ban. He’s set a personal goal of a month from now to have studied various animal abuse and neglect ordinances. Otto said there are several reasons certain dogs attack and he would like to somehow, address those reasons while creating what he called “a culture of responsibility” for dog owners. No action was taken last night by the council.

All eight councilmen participated either in person or by Zoom.