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Special Event Permits Still Under Discussion by City Commission

by: Summer Kelley

Special event permits continue under discussion for Trenton Commissioners as they go over requests from the 1945 Dade County Fair committee.

The requirement of permits for special events was first discussed during the March meeting of City Commissioners. The purpose of requiring permits for special events was to enable the city to be better prepared for events by knowing the needs and supports events might need like road closures, traffic control assistance, and set up and/or clean up assistance. Permits would also give the city a chance to prepare or address any concerns about the special event they might have. Special event permits was tabled at the March meeting.

Due to COVID-19, the next city commission meeting was not held until Monday, May 11. At the meeting, permits for special events came up for discussion again as Mayor Alex Case presented requests made for the 1945 Dade County Fair by the Fair's planning committee. Some of the requests made by the Fair committee included the use of the city Civic Center, road closures around Jenkins Park, and free or reduced price of entrance for the city pool on July 4. Commissioners discussed the requests and made some adjustments to the road closures. The request for free or reduced admission to the pool was vetoed as the lifeguards have to be paid for the time the pool is open.

Another concern raised was liability insurance in case something would happen on city grounds. After several minutes of discussion, commissioners decided to check into the cost of single day event insurance and possibly support the community festival by paying the insurance fee. Commissioners also discussed having the requirement of liability insurance added to the permit application as well as waiving the permit application fee for any community or non-profit events. The permit application will be put in the hands of the city's attorneys to draw up for review by commissioners. This will be third year for the July 4th celebration.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the Bells will be drawn up in order to grant a right-of-way easement to the Bells. The easement will allow the Bells to hook on to city sewer and run a sewer line to their property at their expense. Commissioners approved granting to easement to the Bells, but Commissioner Monda Wooten took time to point out that the Bells had only wanted the easement all along until the commission got involved and suggested partnering with them to extend sewer service for potential homeowners in the area.

James Griffin, representing Scenic Dade, gave a presentation to city commissioners regarding the progress of Scenic Dade and the use of the $5,000 the city had given to the organization. Griffin said the $5,000, along with $20,000 in private funding the group had collected, went for a consultant to help evaluate the next steps for the group in regvitalization. Two of the suggestions included an outdoor amphitheater and an outdoor recreation lodge. Scenic Dade members visited four different areas to see how similar concepts to harness tourism had worked for them. Based on that information, the first project Scenic Dade is going to work on is a Creek Trail along Town Creek. Phase I of the three phase project will be making a trail to circle around Dade Elementary, down Case Avenue and over to connect with Jenkins Park. Griffin said the city may be asked to participate through in kind assistance like labor and use of equipment. Currently Scenic Dade is working to obtain easements from property owners along the trail and on conservation covenants as well as working with the Georgia Alabama Land Trust and potential investors. Once the trail is completed, Griffin said Scenic Dade plans to gift the trail back to the city.

Trenton Pressing, formerly known as Gill Industry, is working with the city's sewer department on processing around 3,000 gallons of wastewater a week through the city's sewer treatment plant. Previously the water, which is used in vibratory cleaning of parts, was collected in tanks and hauled off at great expense by an environmental waste company. Based on lab reports on the wastewater, the city should be capable of processing the water for Trenton Pressing, but the solid waste or sludge material will still have to be hauled by the environmental waste company. According the sewer department manager, the wastewater contains mostly soap and very, very little metal - .08 of a milligram. The city has worked out an agreement to test the processing for two months with strict monitoring and logs by both Trenton Pressing and the sewer department to assure that the wastewater is not going to affect levels at the sewer department. A fee will be charged to the company for the additional wastewater processing.

Police Commissioner Kirk Forshee reported that Trenton Police Department answered 274 calls for service in the month of April, performed 2,339 business checks, made three arrests, handled three animal control calls, worked five traffic accidents and issued 60 citations. Fines collected for April totaled $6,677 and year-to-date total $42,603.28. Forshee thanked all of the police department for the fantastic job they have done during the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked the citizens for cooperating with the shelter in place orders.

Parks and Recreation and Animal Control Commissioner Terry Powell said the community center for the city remains closed due to COVID-19, but city employees are continuing maintenance on the fields, park and playground. Powell said they have also started preparing the city pool, but have not purchased any chemicals as they are still waiting to hear from the Governor on when pools and parks can open. Animal Control handled 11 work orders in April.

The city's sewer department performed 48 underground locates, 28 of which were emergency locates and most were the result of the Easter Sunday storms. The sewer department also handled 17 sewer calls and helped with storm cleanup as well as hooking up generators to pump stations that were without power. Only one pump station sustained minor damage from the storms and was repaired within two days.

Trenton Inspectors had five new inspections, three remodels and three additions in April. They completed 10 electrical/HVAC inspections. The Trenton Fire Department responded to a total of 36 calls in the month of April, which was down from the 85 to 100 they normally respond to each month due to guidelines cutting down on calls due to the pandemic. Currently the fire department responds to fires, wrecks, traumas and any medical calls in which their help is requested.

Case said the city was getting prices on closing in the entry way area of city hall and making teller type stations as part of their safety measures. Case hopes to have quotes by next month and asks everyone to bear with the temporary measures.

City financials show a general fund balance of $643,311 at the end of March. Total revenue for the month was $63,691.66 and total expenses were $115,486.04. In April the general fund balance ended at $588,673.87 with revenue totaling $64,749.13 and expenses totaling $157,229.03. Year-to-date, as of March 30, with 33.3% of the year complete, revenue is at $582,214.47, or 31.9%, and expenses are at $560,264.54, or 30.7%.

The full May work session and meeting can be viewed below.