City budget main topic of Trenton City Council meeting

City of Trenton Website

On split votes Monday night, the Trenton City Council approved budgets for the city of Trenton and for Trenton Municipal Utilities for the fiscal year beginning May 1st.

The city of Trenton budget passed seven to one with Councilman Brad Chumbley opposed. The TMU budget was approved five to three. Opposed were Councilmen Chumbley as well as Larry Porter and David Mlika.

The current budget projects a gain of more than $345,000 or the fiscal year ending three weeks from now. The May 1st anticipated fund balance for the city government is $1,785.000. But the city budget for 2018-19 shows a deficit, before transfers, of more than $300,000. The projected April 30, 2019, fund balance is $1,019,703. It’s a figure that Finance Committee Chairman Travis Elbert called “still a healthy balance” for the city.

Councilman Brad Chumbley voiced his budget objection in part due to the large expense of replacing the city asphalt plant. City officials say bid specifications have been prepared as authorized by a prior council vote, to which Chumbley opposed then.

The new asphalt plant is projected to cost $1,400,000. Elbert said the proposal is to pay one half of that ($700,00) from reserves and finance the balance with a 15-year loan. Mayor Nick McHargue, who’s been a supporter of a new asphalt plant, stated if the current, older plant goes down, and parts are not found, it’ll cost the city $150,000 in lost revenue from asphalt sales. A new asphalt making plant, with extra capacity, the Mayor said will enhance the city of Trenton revenues.

With much less discussion, the council approved the Trenton Municipal Utilities budget. Travis Elbert noted even with raises for TMU employees, the payroll with benefits, is $178,000 less. The budget overview for electric, water, and wastewater combined shows revenues exceeding expenses for the fiscal year by $2,445,767. But with depreciation included, it reduces the balance to $890,767. Revenues from all TMU departments tops $13,507,293 with total expenses are listed at $11,061,526. Depreciation expense is another $1,555,000.

Salaries that are part of the new budget include City Administrator Ron Urton at $85,000, half of that comes from TMU where Urton is Utility director. City Clerk Cindy Simpson is at $50, 721 dollars. Police Chief Tommy Wright has a salary of $67,220 dollars. Fire Chief Brandon Gibler is $45,685. Street Superintendent Martin Scheib is at $50,340 dollars. Building Inspector Code Enforcement officer Donnie Vandevender is at $38,340.

A total of $1,000,000 was requested from the capital projects sales tax fund for the year. Both city and TMU budgets obligate $20,000 for economic development in the name of North Central Missouri Development Alliance.

In other business, the council unanimously approved an agreement for Larkin, Lamp, and Rynearson Incorporated to provide consulting engineering services for the elimination of three 9th street water line crossings as the city gets ready for the MoDOT 9th Street overlay project. The engineering cost is $23,800. Administrator Urton noted there are parallel water lines on 10th Street.

A mowing bid was accepted from A Plus Enterprises and Dustin Etter of Trenton for mowing seven properties owned the city of Trenton and the city cemetery at a total price of $345. It was only bid submitted.

The oath of office was given to Councilman William Fisher, Brad Chumbley, David Mlika, and Larry Crawford. Fisher will replace Allan Quilty on the economic development and administrative committees. Quilty was thanked for his service by several council members. Quilty, in attending his last council meeting, called it a privilege to serve 1st ward citizens the past four years.Elbert was elected mayor pro tem

Fire Chief Brandon Gibler announced the new ladder truck is to be delivered this week. Once training is completed for the fire fighters, the new fire truck will be put into service. Gibler also told about the “docu-drama” presented by the highway patrol Monday at the Trenton High School parking lot which involved emergency responses to a mock car wreck with a fatality and other injuries.

Police Chief Tommy Wright announced the police versus fire department charity basketball game called “Guns and Hoses” is the evening of May 19th.