The Trenton City Council last night approved employment of two police officers, two ordinances and heard reports from city officials and the Mayor.
Assistant Police Chief Rex Ross reported the police personnel committee was recommending the hiring of Jeff Spencer of Trenton and Dana Quader of Columbia as police officers. Prior to voting on their employment, Councilman Brad Chumbley stated just one officer should be hired at this time as the city is beginning the budgeting process for the next fiscal year. Chumbley noted, in his opinion, the council needs to look at all departments to see whether the city can afford for them to be fully staffed.
With employment of these two officers, plus the return next month of Jeb Walker from National Guard duty, Trenton police will have 12 officers including Chief Tommy Wright and Lieutenant Rex Ross. Chumbley pointed out money is being spent to replace equipment; upgrades of facilities are being made; and city fathers, he asserted, need to tighten the belt on spending.
Other councilmen made the point the police department has been short staffed for a year as there have been very few applicants for policemen. To wait for the employment, the council noted would be risking losing a qualified applicant to someone else. It also was stated that funding two police officer positions had been included in the current police department budget. The motion to hire Spencer and Quader was approved on a five in favor and one opposed vote. Those in favor were Glen Briggs, Allan Quilty, Travis Elbert, Dave Mlika, and Larry Crawford. Chumbley was opposed and absent Monday night were Larry Porter and Jen Hottes Urich.
On votes of six to nothing, the council adopted two ordinances. One executes an agreement with Decker Construction Services of Lathrop for the replacement of the four inch water mains on portions of 17th Street and on Harris Avenue. The project cost, as accepted earlier, is $342,286.
The council adopted an ordinance for an agreement with Community First National Bank of Manhatten, Kansas for financing the new fire truck. The city will make a $50,000 down payment and finance $597,725 over a 15 year period at a fixed interest rate of three point six one percent. Payments will come out of the city sales tax for the Trenton fire department.
Fire Chief Brandon Gibler reported Loud and Clear Communications began the cabling project last week at the public safety complex.
A citizen of Trenton, Tammy Corbin, was on the agenda and addressed the city council about their vote last month not to repeal the breed specific dog ordinance. That occurred after several council members said they had phone calls from constituents who wanted to keep the ordinance in effect.
Ms. Corbin indicated those persons should have been at the council meeting to express their feelings. And she noted a lot of the attention focused on pit bulls, which she does not own. Ms. Corbin told the council that it isn’t fair to continue to include Doberman Pinchers in the ban on breed specific dogs. The council listened but offered no comments and no action was taken.
The council approved a bid from Irvinbilt Constructors of Chillicothe for the water tower control valve installation at a cost of $43,770. There will be an installation at each of Trenton ‘s water towers: Iowa Boulevard and Princeton Road.
Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue brought up several topics for discussion. He is asking the city council to consider purchasing a new asphalt plant, one that would have more capacity and be able to increase by one third to one half the asphalt production when compared to what can be done with the older facility. He also renewed his request to consider having a special road district for the city which receives a payment of just $16,000 from Trenton Township for street work.
The Mayor is asking during budget discussions, to keep in mind the possibility of salary increases for city employers working lower wage jobs. Doctor McHargue is suggesting city officials look into having a leash law but only if it will be enforced. Attorney for the city, Tara Walker, said current ordinance requires owners to have a reasonable level of control of their dog. And the Mayor discussed Hope Haven recycling and questioned what amount of items being recycled end up in a landfill. It was noted Trenton citizens are charged $2.99 a month as a recycling fee.
City Administrator Ron Urton is to present to the council for consideration, a change in the city purchasing policy regarding used equipment. The council tabled a MoDOT proposal on municipal and maintenance agreements with the city until Street Superintendent Martin Schieb can be present for discussion.