Electric rates are hotly contested in Monday meeting of Trenton City Council

Trenton, Missouri

The Trenton City Council last night defeated one ordinance and adopted four others.

After two attempts, the city council failed to collect enough votes to override the Mayor’s veto on a professional study of electric rates for Trenton Municipal Utilities. Toth and Associates of Springfield were to perform a cost of service and rate study which

was to include an analysis of required revenue for the electric department. Toth had proposed to charge an amount not to exceed $18,000.

Councilman Brad Chumbley praised the work of Utility Director Ron Urton and Comptroller Rosetta Marsh in establishing reserves for the three TMU departments and noted if an adjustment in rates needs to be made, he felt the council was capable of doing that.

Councilman Glen Briggs said a rate study conducted by a party outside of the city officials would be an independent review on whether electric rates are too high or too low. Mayor Nick McHargue responded he didn’t need someone to tell him electric rates are too high, particularly with $2,000,000 held for reserve.

The motion to hire Toth and Associates for the rate study passed five to two. Mayor McHargue vetoed the action. A Motion was made to override the veto when garnered five votes in favor and two against, however, it takes six affirmative votes to override a veto. On both occasions, in favor of the rate study were Glen Briggs, Travis Elbert, Dave Mlika, Larry Crawford, and Jenn Hottes. Opposed were Brad Chumbley and Lou Fisher. Councilman Larry Porter was absent for last nights’ meeting.

An ordinance was adopted setting the filing period for the April 2nd municipal election. Voters within the city of Trenton will be electing a mayor to serve a four-year term and council members from each of four wards who serve a two-year term. With terms expiring in April are Mayor Nick McHargue as well as Council members Glen Briggs, Larry Porter, Travis Elbert, and Jenn Hottes. The filing period opens December 11th and closes January 15th at Trenton City Hall.

Two related ordinances involve work to be done at the Trenton airport.

The council approved an amended to Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission grant for funds to finish crack repair and seal coating of the runway and taxiways. The Commission allocated another $5,159. The city of Trenton match is $574.00.

The council approved an agreement for Midwest Heavy Construction of Pleasant Hill to re-construct the airport runway and taxiway. A federal grant through the state pays 100 percent of the cost which $1,045,982. The council formally approved Hammel Scale of Kansas City for the purchase of a motor truck scale to weigh loads at the new asphalt plant. The cost, including on-site labor and services, is $51,689.00.

The Mayor appointed with council approval, Gaylon McCorkle of Trenton, to fill a vacancy on the building and nuisance board. And the council approved the recommendation of Chief Rex Ross to hire Jake Baucom of Trenton as a police officer pending graduation December 7th from the law enforcement academy at Missouri Western.