Trenton City Council sets salaries and adopt budgets at Monday meeting

City of Trenton Website

Without discussion, the Trenton City Council on Monday night adopted budgets for the city and Trenton Municipal Utilities for the year beginning May 1st. Members of the finance committee have met several times with city officials in recent weeks in developing the two budgets.

Salaries have been established by city ordinance for the 2021-22 fiscal year. For Trenton City Administrator and utility director Ron Urton, the salary was set at $89,865. Of that amount, one-half is paid by Trenton Municipal Utilities which is a $2,600 increase or a three percent pay hike. When benefits, health insurance, and retirement are added, the total compensation for Urton is $118,438.

For City Clerk Cindy Simpson, an additional $2,600 raises her salary to $55,406. A $2,600 increase was authorized for Police Chief Rex Ross making his salary $64,060. Fire Chief Brandon Gibler receives a $4,900 increase raising his salary to $52,682. Street Supervisor Gary Dryer gets an increase of $5,456 raising his salary to just over $55,000. There’s an increase of $3,936 for Building Inspector and Code Officer Wes Barone making his wage $44,205. Salaries remain the same for the Mayor at $3,000 and $1,200 for each of the eight city council members. Raises also were authorized for hourly employees of the city.

The city of Trenton budget projects a deficit of $366,400 during the one-year period beginning May 1st. The fund balance as of the 1st of May is listed at $2,220,000. Rolling in the deficit means the fund balance by April 30th of next year could drop to $1,853,666. but city officials note the budget can be managed during the course of the fiscal year in an effort to lessen the impact on the balance of funds. Such was the case during the 2020-21 year when a projected $350,700 deficit turned into a gain of $174,625.

Revenues projected for the coming fiscal year top $3,511,736. Appropriations (or expenses) are greater and listed as $4,113,135.

Among the expenditures is $20,000 for the city’s contribution to economic development and $50,000 for the demolition program. Items requested under the capital projects sales tax fund include $60,000 for a skid steer; $116,800 for street overlays; and $139,870 for street maintenance. Other requests come from police and fire departments.

The 2021-22 fiscal year for Trenton Municipal includes projected revenues from electric, water, and sewer of $12,421,463. Total expenses are some two million less at $10,256,389, however, net revenues after the depreciation is calculated is just $343,074. It’s noted in the TMU budget that the minimum cash reserves by April 30th of next year will NOT be met in the water and sewer departments. The minimum cash reserve IS met in the electric department.

Raises were authorized by city ordinance for Trenton Municipal salaries and hourly employees. Comptroller Rosetta Marsh had her salary set at $55,219. Other salaries of department heads include Brad Griffin for electrical distribution at $67,500. Salaries of $56,425 each were set for Steve Reid in water production; Kenny Ricketts in water distribution and Bob Hutchinson for the wastewater department.

Approval was given to an ordinance amending city code on exotic or wild animals to allow snakes of eight feet in length rather than the previous six-foot limit. It was noted snakes longer than eight feet must be confined to a business area. Permits for such snakes can be purchased at $190 per snake.

The city council accepted bids on two upcoming and authorized repairs on another. Five companies submitted fencing bids. The council vote to accept the low bid from Challenger Fence at $47,260 for the TMU north sub-station fencing. The bid came in under budget. The council accepted a bid from J D Bishop Construction to tear out and put in new steps in front of the Trenton water plant. The bid of $15,145 was the only one submitted. City Administrator Ron Urton noted the bid was higher than budgeted, but money for the additional expense will be taken from the water plant capital projects fund which has uncommitted dollars available.

Using asphalt generated locally and the street crew for labor, the council approved making repairs to three or four of the bays of the north hangar at the airport. It was noted the ground has settled by several inches making it difficult for planes to roll in, or out. Urton also expects work to begin next week on removing the old south hangar followed by grading of that site.

Among his reports, Urton said his guestimate was too high on the amount of credit TMU could receive for operating its diesel generators during the extreme cold weather in February. Urton reported updated information from the Missouri Public Utility Alliance indicates Trenton is tentatively scheduled to receive about $92,000 which he described as enough to cover operating expenses plus what he called a “little bit more.”