Trenton City Council approves new recovery home for women

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With a room full of observers, the Trenton City Council voted on Monday night to allow 403 East 8th Court to be used as a recovery home/sober living facility. The ordinance for a conditional use permit for Duane Urich and Jennifer Hottes was approved with six council votes in favor, one abstention, and one absence.

In favor were Lou Fisher, Glen Briggs, Calvin Brown, Marvin Humphreys, Tim Meinecke, and David Mlika. Urich abstained, and John Dolan was absent.

Twenty-three individuals introduced themselves and expressed interest in the sober living facility, which city officials indicate falls under the “halfway house” category within Planning and Zoning. Urich reported that he and Jennifer Hottes personally purchased a five-bedroom home in Trenton to provide a place for women in recovery to live. Two managers for the new facility, Melinda Green and Wendy Hanson, spoke of their personal experiences, emphasizing the need for a sober living facility for women. They described it as a safe place where women will receive support in their struggle to overcome addiction. Another guest, Cindy Jones, advocated for her support and that of volunteers representing the Gallatin Adventist Church Community Center. Another supporter, Arthur Hemry of Trenton, gave personal testimony about the grace and compassion he received when he resided in a halfway house in Texas.

Potential residents at the sober living recovery home must apply and be accepted before they are allowed to live in the house.

In a written statement, Urich noted there are no federal, state, or local tax dollars, grants, or charitable donations associated with the purchase of this home. The managers stated they believe their own “real life experiences” will be of the most benefit to the women who reside at the home. They pointed to community involvement as a key to providing a safe, clean home for women seeking a better way of life.

On a seven-to-nothing vote, the council issued a conditional use permit for Consumer Oil and Supply to install six grain bins across from their feed mill along Harris Avenue. A stipulation added by the Planning and Zoning Commission was for a six-foot-tall privacy fence on three sides of the property at 1001 East 8th Street.

On a split vote of 4 to 3, the council approved an interest rate proposed on the lease-purchase of a 2024 Dodge Durango for the police department. It will replace an older police vehicle. BTC Bank submitted the lowest interest quote of 5.45% for three years. Three other banks submitted bids on interest rates. The sport utility vehicle has a cost of $41,200 from an Independence dealership. Councilman Glen Briggs asked whether the city could make an outright purchase and not incur payments plus interest. It was noted in this case, the purchase would come out of capital funds. City Administrator Ron Urton said he preferred to have payments spread out. In favor were Urich, Humphreys, Meinecke, and Mlika. Opposed were Briggs, Fisher, and Brown. Briggs explained he was not against purchasing the car but opposed to spending additional money for interest. Fisher agreed with him.

In other action, approval was given to amend a block grant agreement with the Highways and Transportation Commission to appropriate additional money and an extension of time for the drainage study at the airport runway. This involves MoDOT funds of $1,619 and local funds of $179.

Nail Excavating of Bethany was approved for the Muddy Creek boring project of nearly 500 feet along 28th Street at $20,790. Smico Contracting Group of Odessa was selected for additional sewer lining work at $433,228.

Mayor Jackie Soptic appointed, with council consent, Cliff Harris to serve on the Trenton Park Board. The mayor told the council of a task force she is assembling to make recommendations on what to do with the city-owned land in north Trenton. Soptic said the group includes Chris Hoffman, Scott Sharp, Scott Wilson, Lauren Danner, along with Councilmen Urich and Humphreys. Soptic reported she has met with street department and city hall employees on the job classification and wage scale.

City Administrator Ron Urton was asked to proceed with repairs to a small area of the sidewalk at West 10th and Main where the concrete settled and potentially presents a trip hazard. He will visit with the street department and Shuler Concrete.

Discussion was held on placing a Trenton Farmer’s Market banner with the “Welcome to Trenton” sign at the west edge of town. Urton shared a concern from Steve Jones, a barber who has a shop in the basement of the Plaza, regarding parking along West 8th Street not being available to his customers due to other vehicles parked there. The city council took no action.

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