Trenton City Council adopts new policy for utility billing inserts

City of Trenton website updated June 2023
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Three agreements were approved by the Trenton City Council last night with Power Plant Compliance of Oketo, Kansas, regarding TMU’s diesel engines, totaling $65,000 in costs. The first agreement, for $25,000, includes the required performance testing of 12 engines and a status report. The second agreement involves the purchase of seven Caterpillar diesel oxidation catalysts for the south substation, costing $33,310. The final agreement, priced at $6,625, is for the cleaning and washing of seven existing catalysts. Each agreement, presented as ordinances, was approved with a 7 to 1 vote, with Councilman Marvin Humphreys dissenting via Zoom.

In another decision, the council voted 7 to 1 to eliminate maximum reserve limits for the three TMU funds: electric, water, and sewer, with Councilman Lou Fisher opposing. The minimum cash reserves remain unchanged, set at $2,206,67 for electricity, $1,530,782 for water, and $5,531,198 for wastewater. This cash reserve policy was established in 2018, initially setting maximum limits at 30 percent above the minimum reserve level unless directed toward a specific project or need.

Revisions to a policy were adopted, stating that utility billing inserts must only contain informational content, excluding any business solicitations.

The annual net metering report highlighted 13 Trenton addresses utilizing solar panels, with the latest installations occurring in 2022.

The council also endorsed Trenton’s participation with a new provider for the Emergency Mass Notification system, contingent upon cost-sharing with the rural water district, county health department, and Grundy County Emergency Management. This new provider, Hyper-Reach by the Asher Group, offers enhanced features at a lower cost of $4,950 annually, divided equally among the participants. Approximately 4,200 contacts currently in the system will be transitioned to the new provider.

Low bids for hauling rock and sand to the Trenton Street department asphalt plant were awarded to S and B Hinnen of Chula and TB Dozing and Excavation of Jamestown, respectively, after receiving bids from five companies for each job.

The Police Personnel Board’s recommendation to hire Timothy Findlay of El Dorado Springs as a police officer starting in early February was accepted.

Police Lieutenant Larry Smith successfully secured a $6,800 grant for police vehicle safety equipment, requiring no local match.

Mayor Jackie Soptic announced ongoing efforts with Building Inspector Wes Barone, City Administrator Ron Urton, and Green Hills Regional Planning for a Community Development Block Grant application for demolitions, targeting locations vacant for at least 12 months. A city council vote will determine the decision to apply through the Department of Economic Development.

The mayor acknowledged City Clerk Cindy Simpson and TMU Comptroller Rosetta Marsh for updating the city’s event calendar. Additionally, efforts to develop an employee wage schedule and to offer city-owned vacant lots to developers for potential housing projects were mentioned, with the latter awaiting review by new City Attorney Kenton Kinney.

Mayor Soptic, along with Main Street Director Lauren Dannar, is set to attend “Main Street” Day at the state capital in Jefferson City.

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