by: Summer Kelley
City of Trenton Commission met Monday night for their June meeting and approved releasing $6,815.03 in Hotel/Motel tax funds collected by the city from August 2019 to April 2020.
The money is only part of the funding the city has been holding since the Dade Chamber of Commerce/Regional Visitors Information Center (RVIC) folded. Dade Alliance, a group of business people and local residents and volunteers, have been working on rebuilding the Chamber of Commerce and RVIC through the Alliance. Their 501(c)(6) designation has been applied for, according to William Back, and once approved will be back dated to last week. Mayor Alex Case says the group has met the TPD guidelines in order to receive some of the hotel/motel tax. The state has designated a certain percentage of the hotel/motel tax when collected be used for tourism.
Case said a portion of the funds are meant to go toward the Old Courthouse since the plan is for the RVIC/Chamber to move into the courthouse once renovations are complete. Currently the RVIC is located on the square between the office of Attorney Robin Rogers and Thatcher’s BBQ. To be certified through the state an RVIC has to be open so many hours a week and every day Monday through Friday. Dade Alliance is discussing what hours the RVIC will be open and considering extended hours on Friday evening when visitors are just getting into Dade and a few hours on Saturday morning as they try to find what works best for the community.
Whether or not the 1945 Dade County Fair will happen this July 4th is still up in the air as Case explained that according to the city’s insurance company and attorneys there is some concern over the Executive Order for COVID-19 guidelines. Case said the Civic Center has to remain closed through July 12 currently due to the restrictions on large gatherings by the Executive Orders and that social distancing would have to be strongly policed during the Fair and that would be almost impossible. Fair co-ordinator Nathan Wooten said that he was understanding that holding the 1945 Fair on July 4 was not possible. Wooten said he would be meeting with the others on the committee planning the fair on Tuesday evening and they would be looking at three options, postponing the fair to a later date, holding just the fireworks because they were already purchased (which Lafayette had chosen to do), or cancelling it all together. Wooten said he would let the Commission know what the committee decided.
The city has received a Public Safety grant for $7,829.86. Ansel Smith presented the grant and information to the city. Smith said they had applied for the grant previously and were told the program had run out of money, but then they received money back and encouraged Trenton to apply again. Smith said he tried to get something for every department with the grant. List of publi safety items being purchased by the city through the grant includes, 50 traffic cones for use by any department, eight roll up safety signs and four foldable/collapsible stands for the Streets Department, two AED’s with cabinets and pads (1 at City Hall, 1 at Civic Center), 12 boxes of high risk latex gloves for the Sewer Department, and five gunlocks for police department vehicles. Total cost of all the items is $9,311.36. The city will purchase the items, then submit receipts to be reimbursed through the grant with $1,481.40 paid by the city.
Commissioners gave their department reports beginning with Parks and Recreation/Animal Control Commissioner Terry Powell. The Parks and Recreation Department had one rental of the Civic Center which had to be cancelled due to COVID guidelines. Parks and Recreation worked on preparing the pool, ball fields, park and playground for reopening. Animal Control had 11 work order/complaints for the month of May.
Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten said the Streets Department has continued doing their normal stuff as well as continuing storm cleanup. The Department lost one employee, but Wooten said she wanted to wait and see financially if they would be able to afford to replace the employee with the economic affects of COVID-19. The Streets Department finished building a drain box on Cora Circle. Wooten said the new track hoe has helped the Streets Department a lot.
Police Commissioner Kirk Forshee reported that the Trenton Police Department in the month of May responded to 457 calls, performed 2,190 business checks, made 14 arrests, handled 10 animal control calls, took 39 incident reports, worked 10 traffic accidents, and collected fines totalling $8,429. Year-to-date fines collected total $51,032. 28. Forshee thanked Integer for 2,000 units of face shields donated to city and county emergency management services.
The Sewer Department performed 32 underground locates, 8 emergency locates, handled 20 sewer calls, and had two emergency calls last weekend in the evening. The chlorine pump is temporarily out of service due to a sink hole that developed next to the well. Sewer Department Manager Dewayne Moore said they had to dig it out and fix it.
Ansel Smith reported the City Inspectors had 11 current inspections and had been doing inspections with people looking to start construction now that the weather is nice. The Trenton Fire Department had 23 calls for service, 15 of which were dispatched and then cancelled and one medical call. The city had their yearly pump test and passed inspection.
As of May 29, the City of Trenton had $510,352 in the general fund. Year-to-date revenue collected totals $656,835.67 and year-to-date expenses total $655,609.94.
“We’re staying on key with what money is coming in,” Case said.
City Commissioners approved the appointment of Cindy Rich to the Historical Preservation Commission, the appointment of Reece Fauscett to the Library Board, and paving of roads not to exceed $61,970 with Kissner Paving.
An Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter was held and when Commissioners returned to the public meeting Case said they would be meeting with an employee on workers comp to offer options and once the decision was finalized would give a report.
The video of the Work Session, Meeting and After Executive Session can be viewed below. Due to technical issues with sound, the beginning of the work session is not included.