Trenton City Council informed wastewater project to cost almost $1M over estimate

City of Trenton Website

Trenton City Council tonight, with three newly-elected members, will again consider the headworks project at the Trenton wastewater plant. Burns and McDonnell engineering is expected to review and discuss the costs of the proposed improvements.

Utility Director Ron Urton has provided information to the council and media that shows the fixed cost of the headworks project is $3,981,990. That’s considerably more than the $3,000,000 estimate that city leaders had been using over the past several months when discussing financing options.

Specific requests before the previous city council included a transfer of $2,000,000 from the electric fund to the wastewater fund; plus using one million out of the wastewater reserves. But those proposals failed to carry on split votes of the council. At a March meeting, it was three in favor and four opposed. Earlier in April, the council vote was three in favor and five opposed. No further action was suggested then.

Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company of Kansas City is the design-builder for current and proposed wastewater treatment plant improvements. An amendment to a 2018 agreement comes before the city council tonight outlining the headworks project. It calls for substantial completion in no more than 285 days after the notice to proceed.  The amendment adding the headworks project to effluent disinfection work that underway increases the total cost of sewer plant improvements to $9.482,538.

In her monthly written report, TMU Comptroller Rosetta Marsh provided net revenues; year to date totals; and significant debt payments that were made.

As of March, net revenues showed $110,000 for electric, $12,842 in the water department, and $15, 846 in the wastewater fund. The cash flow shows a $22,000 increase in electric from February to March and the overall year to date increase of cash and investments of $1,074,514. The water fund showed a decrease of $77,000 during the past month, but an overall increase of $64,236 year to date. The wastewater fund shows a cash increase of nearly $178,000 in the past month, reflecting a year to date increase of $1,107,954.

TMU is still paying for the disinfection project at the sewer plant, using reimbursements from certificates of participation issued in 2018 and 2014. There’s approximately $3,600,000 to pay off the disinfection project before financially tackling the headworks project.

Among the debt payments TMU made in March were $167,953 to the Commerce Bank for certificates of participation from 2012 and $284,399 to the Security Bank for the certificates of participation of 2014.

Mrs. Marsh also reported TMU is working on options to outsource bill printing and mailing due to upcoming retirements and moving of staff to different positions. Ways to streamline other operations within the office also are being explored.