Trenton City Council approves purchase of police cars, East 28th Street Bridge proposal rejected

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The Trenton City Council took action Monday night on several topics including the adoption of three ordinances as recommended by the Trenton Utility Committee from last week.

Toward the end of the council meeting, the discussion focused on what the city can do, if anything, to enforce the cleanup of property at 601 Jefferson Street. During the public comment portion of the building and nuisance board last evening, Ed Arnold complained that the amount of junk on the property is worse than it was when he first approached the board a couple of months ago. And he contends that the debris lowers property values in that neighborhood.

City Prosecutor Tara Walker confirmed to the council that the nuisance violation case is still on the municipal court docket. The Trenton Building and Nuisance Board told Arnold it has done all it can with the process identified by the city ordinance. Attorney Walker said the Trenton ordinance mirrors the state statute. When questioned by the council, Walker indicated the city, after due process and proper notice, could go in and clean up the property with the costs added as a tax lien to the owners’ property taxes. But there’s a risk that the property taxes won’t be paid. And she noted the city would essentially have to “store” items seized for an unknown amount of time. That’s something she didn’t think the city wanted to get started. The owner of 601 Jefferson is said to be an out-of-state resident.

No motions, nor a consensus was made by the city council at last nights’ meeting.

Believing the city did not want to own another bridge, the council voted to reject a memorandum of understanding and present an alternative to Grundy County regarding the East 28th Street (Muddy Creek) Bridge.

After flood-damaged repairs were made to the bridge, with the costs to be shared between the city and the county, a proposal was submitted whereby Grundy county would relinquish ownership and maintenance of the bridge and requested the city assume that responsibility. That’s something City Administrator Ron Urton did not want to do but would consider, with the councils’ blessing, an alternative document in which costs of future projects would be split between the city and county. For the most recent repairs, Grundy County would provide $41,618 toward the cost of repairs if the city agreed to accept the bridge and maintenance. Urton explained the boundary between the city limits and the county goes in the middle of Muddy Creek. He noted MoDOT considers the bridge to be owned by the county and a nearby power pole belongs to the city. Because of that, Urton said FEMA considered it as two projects when reimbursing eligible expenses.

On another topic, Urton reported he was approached about selling two portable restrooms to Black Silo Winery. Urton noted the purchase several years ago was a joint venture involving the city, the park board, fair board, and Trenton Downtown Improvement Association. The “porta-potties” are used at community events, but Urton noted the city has been the sole entity in paying for maintenance which has added up to about $4,800.  The council suggested Urton find out what Black Silo is offering for payment and consult with the other organizations. He did indicate Black Silo co-owner Duane Urick is willing to allow the portable units to be used elsewhere in town as needed.

Approval was given to providing minutes to a bank regarding a city loan that specified the council has approved the purchase of two police cars. Chief Rex Ross said the Dodge Chargers will be purchased from the Randy Curnow dealership in Cameron and prepared for police work by Vision Upfitters of Cameron.

The council approved the purchase of continuous parameter monitoring system replacement units for the south sub-station of TMU. It’s for generator and emissions monitoring. The cost for all seven units is $58,012. The purchase will be from Altorfer Power Systems of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. While the city was hoping to budget for this in a couple of years, Urton said one unit has failed. TMU comptroller Rosetta Marsh reported the purchase will come out of electric fund reserves.

By ordinances, RS Electric Corporation of Kansas City was approved to replace breaker relays at the electric plant sub-station. Urton said it’s the last major substation to get new breaker relays. The cost is $46,195. For another project, at a cost of $74,500, RS Electric will upgrade the SCADA system for the power plant. In previous years, Urton said SCADA upgrades were done at the water plant and at the sewer plant.

All State Consultants LLC of Marceline was approved by ordinance to provide engineering designs for piping and other improvements at both the reservoir pump station and river pump station with a combined cost of $188,000.

Mark Pettit’s bid was accepted for scrap metals, copper wire, brass water meters, steel, and cast iron pipe.

Mayor Linda Crooks appointed with council consent, Derrick Gott to the Trenton Planning and Zoning Board, and Lindsey Stevens to the Trenton Building and Nuisance Board. All votes were unanimous among seven councilmen – Duane Urick was absent last night.