Demolition of nine properties main topic of Trenton City Council meeting

City of Trenton Website

Accepting recommendations from the Trenton Building and Nuisance Board, the City Council Monday night approved a list of nine houses to be demolished and the selection of a demolition contractor.

Three companies submitted bids including Red Rock of Kidder who had the lowest bid for all nine structures at $42,000. His bid actually was $43,400 but he offered to charge $42,000 if getting the bid on all nine properties.

Other bidders as listed by the city were Spalding Construction and Perkins Dozing. Quotes from both topped $62,000. It was noted the city has been using Red Rock in recent years to demolish structures. Red Rock has the low bid on all nine houses to be torn down.

Building Inspector Wes Barone said eight of the nine property owners have agreed to absorb one-half of the demolition costs. The one in which the city pays the total expense is at 1721 Lulu and owned by Vern Jenkins. The city will have to pay $8,100 to have it demolished. It’s a two-story house and has the highest demolition cost among the nine structures. There will likely be some additional dollars spent by the city to cover the costs of asbestos abatement on Lulu.

For the other eight structures, the owners pay the inspection fee and cost of abatement in addition to one half of the demolition expense. Those eight owners collectively will pay $20,450 to cover each $200 inspection and their share of demolition costs.

Calculations by Barone show the total cost to the city for the current demolition program is $25,900 which is under the $30,000 allocation made by the city council when it developed the city budget.

Besides the house on Lulu, others to be demolished by Red Rock are at 200 West 7th Street, 114 West 5th Street, 403 Jefferson, 213 West 6th Street, 1311 Gilmore, 1701Chestnut, 2012 Oak, and 911 Kumler. Property owners in order are Karen Todd, John Moore, Mike Airey, Robert Lewis, Randy Schroeder, Aaron Bright, Jody Hadley, and Cale Gondringer.

In another action item, the city council accepted the low bid from Shuler Concrete to make repairs to the pavement on the north side of the Trenton fire station. The cost including the base bid and alternate is $25,573. The alternate work is to clean and seal existing joints in the north apron.

Higher bids came from Kramer Construction, Spalding Construction, and MTS Construction. Those bids ranged from $26,777 up to $48,000.

The council heard from Adam Clear who’s interested in opening a reptile store in downtown Trenton. Clear cited conflicts with Trenton city code compared to the state statutes involving exotic animals. He asked for the council to consider changing the Trenton code definitions to match that of the state.

Cathie Smith recommended the issue be discussed by the administrative committee. Clear stated he breeds reptiles then sells them online. His preference involves snakes, lizards, and turtles. When questioned Clear said he had no plans to sell from the Trenton store but rather online and/or at reptile shows in the metro areas. He eventually could have four employees. Clear added he’s considering a downtown location to accommodate the college students among others.  Clear was invited to attend the administrative committee meeting which is scheduled for February 2nd at 6 o’clock.

Councilman Glen Briggs again suggested the administrative committee re-visit the issue of not getting snow cleared from the sidewalks including the 9th Street Bridge. The finance committee is to begin next month, work on city and TMU budgets with meetings on the first three Thursdays.

City Administrator Ron Urton discussed a recommendation forthcoming from financial advisor Charlie Zitnik of D A Davidson that the city would save money if it were to re-finance long term loans – nothing interest rates are down compared to a few years ago. Zitnik is to give his recommendation and potentially, the amount of savings on interest, at a council meeting next month.

Urton said the re-financing could involve the long term loans (from 2012 and 2014) that were obtained for the sewer plant project, painting at the two water towers, and the 17th Street Bridge replacement project.

Urton and Chief Rex Ross discussed Trenton offering recruits attending a law enforcement academy in Warrensburg, a financial incentive by offering to pay their

tuition, books, and uniform IF they commit to working a set number of years for the Trenton Police. A potential labor contract is to be presented to the council. Ross said Trenton is among 32 entities invited to a job fair at the University of Central Missouri.

Attending the council meeting in person were Urton, City Clerk Cindy Simpson, Councilmen Dave Mlika, Duane Urich, Danny Brewer, and Marvin Humphreys. Taking part via Zoom were Council members Glen Briggs, Cathie Smith, and John Dolan plus Mayor Linda Crooks. Absent for the meeting was councilman Kevin Klinginsmith.