Trenton City Council votes to maintain current electric rates at lower Winter level

City of Trenton Website

The Trenton City Council Monday night approved several ordinances; a bid to develop city-owned land for the fire training tower; agreed to keep electric rates at the current, lower, winter level; but the council had a divided vote on beginning the process toward an electric rate study. Preliminary approval was given to establish a one day rate for food truck vendors interested in setting up once a week in downtown Trenton.

Accepting a recommendation from the utility committee, the council voted eight to nothing to maintain electric rates at their current winter level until next year. That’s expected to decrease the net profit by $500 to $600 thousand dollars for the year.

While the utility committee also recommended a professional study of electric rates, the full council voted five to three on a motion seeking qualifications from firms willing to conduct a rate study provided they first make a presentation to the city on what such a study would do. In favor were Council members Larry Crawford, Dave Mlika, Cathie Smith, John Dolan, and Glen Briggs. Opposed were Lou Fisher, Danny Brewer, and Brad Chumbley.

Comptroller Rosetta Marsh said she’d expect the study would determine if the electric rates are fair and equitable for each class: residential, commercial, and industrial. She also hopes a recommendation could be made on how to implement a “demand use charge” for major customers.

Unanimous approval was given to allow 5M Construction LLC and Shane Michaels of Trenton to prepare the site north of the fire department, for the multi-story fire training tower. The cost is $342,800 which includes two alternates.

The bid is $100,000 is less than the engineer’s estimate. The work includes removals, excavations and embankments, concrete driveways, parking, training pads, and surface restoration. It’s to be paid from the fire sales tax revenues.

Also adopted was a change in zoning at 1712 Harris Avenue to general commercial to be more in line with existing zoning.

Approval was given to an amendment on January 2018 contract with Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company. It covers the headworks project which is now part of the design-build agreement for improvements at the wastewater plant in Trenton. The city is waiting on preliminary information from a financial adviser regarding borrowing money to pay the biggest portion of the headworks. The council approved a contract with RS Electric Utility Services for technical support involving TMU.

On a vote of seven in favor and one against, the council approved a request from Megan Derry and Micah Landes to offer a lower rate to have food truck vendors set up this summer within the historic downtown district. The council decided the fee would be $15.00 compared to a $100 fee to have a business license for a year.

Miss Derry said one food truck would be scheduled over the lunch hour one day a week with a location yet to be secured. Scheduling of the food vendors would be done by Main Street Trenton and North Central Missouri Development Alliance. The only negative vote came from Glen Briggs who expressed a desire the low rate should be citywide and apply to all temporary vendors. Final action is expected in a city ordinance.

The council amended the city traffic code on the authorized personnel that use emergency sirens and flashing lights on city-owned vehicles.

Repealed was a section of an ordinance on the financial penalty for violations involving dogs and cats. City Attorney Tara Walker said a recent court ruling basically sets the fine at $50.50 cents plus court costs of $41.50 per violation of the ordinance. Trenton previously required a minimum fine of $100.

Removed from the city code was municipal court prosecution for prostitution since state law takes precedent in the state court system, and the local ordinance was considered by the council as redundant.

Approval was given to a resolution pledging Trenton’s support of state legislation imposing a use tax on out of state vendors. The resolution says current law results in an unfair economic advantage for out of state vendors over the local vendors.

City Attorney Tara Walker indicated the city of Trenton would still need to have a public vote on enacting a local use tax.

Members of the city council’s economic development committee, chaired by Cathie Smith, decided to meet May 29th at 7:30 pm at city hall.