Trenton City Council discusses ConAgra issue, welcomes new members, at Monday night’s meeting



At Monday night’s meeting of the Trenton City Council, Fire Chief Rick Morris and Training Officer Doug Franklin offered appreciation for the passage of a city sales tax for training and equipment.  Morris spoke on how “Trenton citizens spoke on their feelings for firefighters”, and added that “his department will not let those citizens down”.  Franklin provided information to the public during the campaign to promote the tax, and called the campaign “a team effort”.  Those efforts included the “Vote Yes for the Fire Tax” Committee and the “Professionals and Leaders Uniting Grundy County” organization.  Virginia Brassfield-Briegel was recognized for her support, while Franklin recapped how the money raised from the tax will be used.  The department is aiming to be trustworthy to citizens and honor the confidence shown by voters.

Current plans call for 60% of the money raised by the tax to be spent for training, 30% for equipment and apparatus, and 10% for operational expenses.  Those numbers could and may be adjusted based upon need.  Tax money will become available starting in December.

Chief Morris, at Monday’s meeting, gave a report on assistance that the Trenton and Grundy County Rural Departments gave it battling last week’s blaze on the Princeton Square.

Concerning various reports, Trenton Municipal Utilities (TMU) Director Chad Davis said a “couple of meetings” were held last week with ConAgra.  Although he admitted that the “light at the end of the tunnel is pretty dim”, efforts continue to be made to explore ways to save the plant.  Community Development Director Ralph Boots indicates that there is increasing interest by various stakeholders who are hoping to raise funds for incentives to attract jobs to Trenton.

Mayor Nick McHargue, speaking on the ConAgra situation, said that the company has, in the past, said it would leave a community, only to end up staying.  The mayor admitted it would be a hardship for Trenton if ConAgra does decide to leave for good.

In his report, City Administrator Kerry Sampson noted the Solid Waste Management District will be holding a recycling event on Saturday, April 30th at the former Maggie’s Mess location in Trenton.  Details have not yet been announced.  Sampson said it is hoped that a funding announcement will be made within the next 30 days, concerning the 17th Street Bridge replacement project.

Sampson calls Trenton’s asphalt plant a “good asset for keeping city streets in shape”, adding that a larger city, considering purchasing its own asphalt plant, has had representation viewing Trenton’s plant recently, and came away “impressed with Trenton’s streets”.  Sampson also reported that the Missouri Department of Transporation (MoDOT) will be inspecting the Trenton Airport on Tuesday.

Trenton Street Supervisor Martin Schieb reports that a milling contractor will be in the city for three days, beginning Monday, April 25th.  Leaves are being asked to NOT be burned in Trenton’s streets.  The city’s brush disposal opportunity is for Trenton citizens only, and not for contractors.

Mayor McHargue has made a request to the public, asking Trenton residents to “get involved in cleaning up the city”.  People who have seen someone picking up trash can nominate that person for a “Tidy-Up Award” by contacting City Councilman Allan Quilty.

TMU Director Chad Davis gave an update on water main replacement plans over a five year period.  An engineering report and a permit application to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are expected this month.

After the various reports, the Trenton City Council approved ordinances accepting the election results from April 5th, concerning both the City Council members and the City Sales Tax for the Fire Department.  That portion of the meting adjourned, and the new members received the Oath of Office after a brief break.  The newly-elected City Councilmen are Allan Quilty (1st Ward), Brad Chumbley (2nd Ward), David Mlika (3rd Ward), and Scott Blair (4th Ward).

Officially re-appointed as Fire Chief, until his July 5th retirement, was Rick Morris.  Quilty was chosen as Mayor Pro-Tem.  Three outgoing Trenton City Councilmen (Kenneth Ewing, Larry Huffstutter, and Chuck Elliott) were thanked for their service.  The three men served a combined 48 years on the council.  None of them sought re-election last Tuesday.  Ewing served a total of 24 years over three separate time periods.  Huffstutter was the council 14 years over two time period, while Elliott served 10 years on Trenton’s City Council.










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