Trenton committees meet Tuesday, utility rates among discussion

Trenton, Missouri

Four Trenton committees elected a chairman at meetings Tuesday evening.

Trenton City Administrator Ron Urton says the Economic Development Committee elected Jen Hottes as chairwoman. The other committee members are City Council members Travis Elbert, Dave Milka, and Lou Fisher. The Finance Committee elected Travis Elbert as chairman. The other members include Larry Porter, Brad Chumbley, and Larry Crawford. The Administrative Committee voted to make Dave Milka chairman. The other members of the committee are Lou Fisher, Glen Briggs, and Jen Hottes. The Administrative Committee also voted to discontinue developing the annual report. The Utility Committee elected Dave Milka as chairman. The other members are Jen Hottes and Travis Elbert.

City Administrator Ron Urton reports the Utility Committee also discussed the need to replace a control panel for the Lake Manor Drive lift station. He says the recommendation to the city council was to go with the original supplier, Enviro-Line Company, Incorporated, to replace the control panel.

The Utility Committee discussed the possibility of Trenton Municipal Utilities providing materials to extend water and sewer mains to the new women’s shelter. Urton tells that the contractor would install the mains, and TMU would assume the responsibility of maintenance of the mains after installation. He notes the materials cost an estimated $10,000, and the Utility Committee voted to recommend it to the council.

The committee voted to opt out of the Pre-Treatment Program with the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency for TMU. Urton reports EPA regulations changed to allow TMU to opt out of the program. He says city ordinances and permitting would still be required, but TMU will have less paperwork and inspections by opting out.

The Utility Committee discussed the upcoming rate increases that will go to the city council for review. Urton says that the city council voted last year to increase the water rates eight point five percent this year and eight point five percent for the next two years in order to cover the cost of cleaning, repairing, and painting water towers and replacing water mains on 17th Street and Harris Avenue that are experiencing several breaks as well as to improve fire protection.

Urton noted the council also voted last year to increase electric rates three percent this year and for the next two years in order to cover the increased cost of maintenance materials for the system and to make improvements to the distribution system. The city council decided to wait on increasing sewer rates last year to see how the changes at ConAgra would affect usage and cost. Urton says the Utility Committee decided to wait two months to see what actual usages would be before adjusting the sewer rates since the changes at ConAgra just took place.

Urton added that the rate increase is needed to cover the required improvements to the sewer plant and repairs to the sewer mains.