Trenton City Council hashes out financing of sewer system improvements, approves ordinances

City of Trenton Website

Financing sewer system improvements at Trenton will now be divided into two loan documents rather than one.

That was the advice delivered last night to the Trenton City Council by Toni Stegeman of the Gilmore and Bell law firm. But she pointed out the city will still get a favorable interest rate of three point six percent on loans of 20-years each.

At last weeks’ utility committee meeting, the city was looking at borrowing six million dollars by entering into a lease-purchase transaction with proceeds used to pay for capital expenditures on two sewer plant projects.

Toni Stegeman explained restrictions of 2007 bond proceeds through the State Revolving Fund will require Trenton to separate the 2018 certificates of participation for effluent disinfection and the upcoming headworks building for the sewer plant.

Ms. Stegeman anticipates the two loan documents will be ready for city council action in two weeks. The second loan will require closing costs which she estimated to be around $10,000 in extra expense for the city. Any amount above that is to be absorbed by financial adviser Charlie Zitnik of the D.A. Davidson Company.

Councilman Larry Crawford stated the city is still looking at using $1,000,000 from the wastewater reserves and use a bank loan for the rest of the expenses. By re-financing last years’ loan obtained at four point nine five percent interest, the city will still save money by going with the new interest rate of three point six percent.

Trenton Mayor Linda Crooks cast her first vote in order to break a four to four tie among the council regarding a revision to the net metering service policy.

Net metering measures the difference between electricity supplied by Trenton Municipal and the solar electricity generated by a residential customer and fed back to the electric grid. The change proposed by the City Administrator and recommended by the utility committee places a cap of three cents per kilowatt hour as a utility bill credit.

In favor were Cathie Smith, Dave Mlika, Larry Crawford, and John Dolan. Opposed were Glen Briggs, Lou Fisher, Danny Brewer, and Brad Chumbley. Mayor Linda Crooks voted yes on the policy change to break the tie vote.

A representative of Toth and Associates of Springfield detailed what the company can do concerning an electric rate study. The city has sought proposals but it has not actually endorsed any one company.  Toth had submitted its qualifications last October but the council then delayed such consideration until the topic was voted on at the May 13th council meeting, which ended with having the request to seek proposals passing five to three. No vote was taken last night. It was presentation only by Craig Woycheese who indicated an electric rate study ranges in cost from $15,000 to $18,000. He also answered several questions.

The council accepted recommendations to buy 47 wooden power poles from McFarland for $10,701and 4 motorized air break switches from Border States Electric at a cost of $37,808.

No vote was taken last night on an ordinance to allow David Tolen of Gallatin to lease the northern third of the former PSF/Life Flight Eagle hangar when it became apparent the majority of the council felt bids should be sought first. The motion to seek bids on renting the north portion of the hangar passed seven to one with councilman Glen Briggs opposed. It was reported Tolen had been sub-leasing the hangar space from Gary Jordan who recently gave his 30-day notice to the city.

Four other ordinances passed unanimously among the eight-member council.

R.S. Electric will do the electrical installation of control cabinet upgrades at the water treatment plant. That’s prior to having a new floor there. Irvinbilt Constructors will replace a water line at the water plant. A contract with SAK Construction was approved for sewer rehab work at the intersection of 24th street and Pleasant Plain. That project includes 1,150 linear feet of ten inch, cured-in-place pipe.

The council approved an agreement with Perkins Dozing of Lock Springs for abatement and demolition of three city-owned buildings at the east side of the 17th Street Bridge, making way for replacement of the bridge. Transportation sales tax funds will pay the $75,000 expense although the Missouri Department of Transportation will reimburse Trenton for a portion of the costs.