Trenton City Council discusses, then requests more information on potential increases in water and wastewater rates

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The Trenton City Council listened, had a discussion, then requested more information on potential increases in water and wastewater rates to go toward financing possible future projects described as needed sooner than later at Trenton.

Comparison of water and sewer rates were provided on some two dozen communities, some with higher rates, others with lower rates than Trenton.

Utility director Ron Urton determined what it would take to finance a potential long term five million dollar loan for water plant improvements, such as updates to clarifiers and water main replacements over the next four years. Urton also discussed potential sewer line and manhole replacements to the tune of $500,000 per year without borrowing money since the waste-water fund is described as “tapped out” due to obligations with existing long-term debts within that department.

Trenton’s average water rate is $56.68 a month and Trenton’s average sewer rate is $56.09 per month. Urton presented calculations for consideration only, which suggests an estimated 20 percent rate increase in both categories for residential, commercial, and industrial customers. If passed in full at some point in the future, that would make Trenton’s water rate an average of $68 per month and the average sewer rate would be $67.31 a month.

By the end of the discussion, the council referred the issue of rate increases to the utility committee for further consideration. Nothing is finalized on any rate increases. Councilman Duane Urich remarked if proposed projects don’t get done, and a water or sewer main fails, it’ll cost more money in the future.

Continuing with Trenton Municipal Utility activity, the council approved an agreement with All State Consultants of Marceline regarding planning for upgrades to water treatment plant clarifiers. The cost is $20,000 for a preliminary engineering report, basic design, and construction services. City officials anticipate All State will provide recommendations that will cost less than those of another engineering company.

The council accepted a utility committee recommendation for a larger water main to the wastewater treatment plant to better accommodate the new headworks. Howe Company presented estimates on two location options and two sizes of water mains. The council selected the lower cost option installing a six-inch main using the 2nd and Kitty route to the sewer plant. Currently, it’s a two-inch main installed 40 years ago. The engineering company estimate on the cost is $98,549.

The council approved a budget revision for the replacement of 12 sub-station relays and to accept a proposal from RS Electric Utility Services. The cost tops $103,300. Approval was given to a $20,000 budget revision for breakers at the north substation.

On a split vote of six in favor and two opposed, the city council adopted a supplemental agreement with Olsson Incorporated of Nebraska for a reduced final design on construction services of a project at the Trenton airport. It was amended to delete Olsson from designing the construction of a T-hangar now that the city is working with a pilot who’s interested in doing the new hangar.

The revision of the agreement has Olsson planning for grading and paving the T-hangar connecting the taxiway and the T-hangar ramps. It also includes the supervision of the project. The revised fixed fee payable $28,202 up to a maximum total fee of $79,000. Opposed to the ordinance were Danny Brewer and Marvin Humphreys. Six other councilmen voted in favor. Pending what was called a clarification needed from MoDOT, the council tabled two bids for paving the taxi lanes and grading the new hangar site.

The council suggested the airport land lease agreement with Ron Bickel stipulate a beginning and ending date for the new T-hangar construction. The city council approved a separate lease agreement involving eight area pilots who rent stalls in the north hangar with rent continuing at $125 per month.

An ordinance was adopted setting the city tax rate at 99.35 cents per $100 assessed valuation and for the parks, 18.28 cents on $100 assessed valuation. The city’s assessed valuation dropped by three million dollars from last year.

After a review of quotes from four banks, the council selected US Bancshares to borrow $28,000 for three payments on the lease-purchase of a police vehicle. US Bank submitted the lowest interest rate of two and a half percent for 36 months.

The council approved a letter to landlords regarding the tonnage fee that Rapid Removal will charge, (minimum $49) for “cleanouts” of rental property. A policy was approved allowing Trenton’s code enforcement officer to reduce a lien to $500 or 10% of the total whichever is greater. This affects properties the city has demolished or cleanup and mowing. Tabled for clarification was a memorandum of understanding between the city and St. Luke’s Health System and Wright Memorial Hospital.