Trenton City Council looks at creation of a “Social District,” discuss increasing monthly base rate of water meter charge

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The Trenton City Council Monday night reviewed a preliminary report on proposed improvements to the aging water treatment plant, including an initial discussion on how to pay for an anticipated loan to finance the projects.

The council also endorsed a developer’s application seeking funding for senior citizen housing, the creation of a social district for the immediate downtown area, accepted a firefighters grant for breathing apparatus, and approved three ordinances.

All-State Consultants of Marceline was authorized to submit its preliminary engineering report to the Department of Natural Resources. It describes major work to be done at the water treatment plant including rehabilitation of the two clarifier basins, repair concrete described as spalling, replacement piping for the reservoir and river pumping stations, and a chemical feed building.

The engineers’ estimate for the work is $2,569,500 including professional services and administration. Tyler Shoemaker spoke on behalf of All-State Consultants.

Trenton Utility Director and Trenton City Administrator Ron Urton has suggested TMU borrow two and a half million dollars to pay for the work. To repay the loan, Urton suggested an increase in the water meter base rate which could go from the current $15.20 per month up to $23.51 per month. No action was taken Monday night by the city council, but Urton was asked to explore sources as to where to borrow the money. It was noted a ten-year note would require payback of $300,000 per year.

The increase being looked at is only for each water meter with no change in the actual water usage. The tier one rate would remain at $5.50 for the first 100 cubic feet, then $4.80 per hundred cubic feet on the next nine thousand cubic feet. Comparisons were provided by the city on the water rates in five other communities: Gallatin, Cameron, Brookfield, Chillicothe, and Macon.

The council agreed to support an application from MBL Development Company which will seek funding from the Missouri Housing Development Commission for 36 apartment units north of 30th Street. The proposed Trenton Senior Villas would be built on the currently vacant, four-acre site.

The council requested an ordinance to be prepared regarding the establishment of a “Social District” in the downtown area that would apply only to organized events. A specific area would be designated where persons age 21 and up can purchase an alcoholic beverage from a participating establishment and consume it, outdoors.

The Social District and consumption of alcohol would only be available during specified hours of Main Street Trenton, Trenton Downtown Improvement Association community events. These would include the TDIA dinner, the wine walk, the five points festival among others. Boundaries are listed as from 8th Street to the Five Points flag pole, including Tinsman Avenue and Main Street before ending at 11th Street.

Participating establishments would not only have to have a liquor license but a picnic license. Speaking on the proposed social district were Megan Taul and Jackie Soptic on behalf of Main Street Trenton and TDIA.

An announcement was made that the Trenton Fire Department and Grundy County Rural Fire have been awarded an “Assistance To Firefighters” grant. Both departments requested federal funds of $264,000 to replace breathing air packs also known as self-contained breathing apparatus. Each department will contribute a five percent local match for a total of $13,200. With grant funds, each department will be able to replace all breathing air packs with new units which will help enhance their safety and operations. Trenton Fire Chief Brandon Gibler said 38 new units will be purchased at an estimated cost of $7,000 each. Kenny Roberts, Chief of Grundy County Rural, also attended the meeting.

The council agreed to proceed with an attorney-drafted document allowing Black Silo Winery to lease two portable restrooms from the city in exchange for Black Silo storing and maintaining the porta-potties but also making them available for use by the Trenton Park Department, Trenton Fair Board, and Trenton Downtown Improvement Association. It’s recommended the proposed lease agreement be reviewed by the other entities.

Approval was given to allow Mid-West Injection to remove, transport, and dispose of lime sludge at the water treatment plant. The company had the low bid of $53.50 per dry ton, up to 1,500 dry tons. Asplundh Tree Expert was hired to assist Trenton Municipal Utilities with tree trimming from power lines. The cost is $151.45 per hour for a two-person crew. The city of Trenton and park department tax levy was approved at $1.16 cents on the 100 dollars of assessed valuation.

All eight councilmen participated last night either in person or by Zoom