By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
The big news at
the Trenton City Commission’s Monday night meeting was that Case Hardware, a
fixture on the town square for as long as anyone can remember, will move to
new, expanded digs in the leveled site where Village Green Apartments sat
before the complex was destroyed in the killer tornados of April 2011.
Emanuel announced the change at the Sept. 9 meeting, explaining Trenton had
become involved because a city street, Johnson Circle, still technically sat on
the site, and the Case family would require ownership of that roadway to make
its building plans work. Trenton will also have to perform a formal site and
sewer survey, he said.
the city would do anything it could to facilitate the Cases’ venture. “Case
Hardware Store is an integral part of the history of the city of Trenton and
Dade County,” he said. He reminisced about earlier days, when the hardware
store doubled as a grocery, and recalled the time in 1959 when it had burned.
The new site is
on the west side of Highway 11 South between Farm Bureau and Dade Gas. What
will happen to the old site on the square?
The question remains open for now, but one the Sentinel will pursue in
days to come.
business: Standing in for streets commissioner – the incumbent, Greg Houts,
resigned last month – the mayor announced the city had received two bids for
resurfacing certain city streets and asked for a motion to accept the low one,
$170,918 from Weeks’ Paving in Chattanooga, and to reallocate SPLOST (special
purpose local option sales tax) funds for that purpose. The commissioners made
and carried the motion unanimously.
Roads to be
resurfaced include John Street, Glenview Drive, Cedar Breeze and Poplar Street,
as well as the parking lots in Jenkins Park.
said the city was “winging it” in the absence of a streets commissioner, and
Fire and Utility Commissioner Tommy Lawson asked why David Raines could not
assume that position right away.
announced his candidacy to run for the streets commissioner slot in November, and
nobody else has, pointed out Lawson. In a similar situation, Terry Powell
stepped into Chuck Cannon’s shoes as parks and recreation commissioner earlier
in the year, when Cannon stepped down.
Powell will run for his own term in the Nov. 5 election. “It just would
be nice to go ahead and get going,” said Lawson.
said he and City Clerk Lucretia Houts had checked with the city attorney and
there was no dice there. The coming election changes the rules somewhat, he
said. Raines can assume his new position
no sooner than the Friday after the Tuesday polling date, when the election has
been officially certified, he said. That means he can take his seat on the
commission for the November meeting.
opposition for the parks and rec slot from Holly Moore, and 17-year incumbent
Police Commissioner Sandra Gray also has a challenger, Tim Riddle. City Clerk
Lucretia Houts is running unopposed this year, and she said a few words in
gratitude to the voters for that. “I’d like to thank the citizens of Trenton
for trusting me to be their city clerk for 24 years,” she said.
The mayor said
she was a glutton for punishment but also threw in some praise: “The fact that you have no opposition speaks
In her monthly
report, Commissioner Gray asked for and received approval to transfer $16,000
in SPLOST funds to concrete the driveway of the police shooting range. “We have really done a lot of work at the
firing range and it’s looking really nice,” she said.
that the department is filling out paperwork to be a registered firing range.
The only other such facility in the state is in Forsyth, she said, and the idea
is for law officers statewide to come to Trenton to earn their certification.
Utilities Commissioner Tommy Lawson had some good news and some bad news. The
good is that the sewer’s new online monitoring system, called Aquavx – that’s
really the way it’s spelled; the Sentinel looked it up – is up and running. If
a sewer component malfunctions, it calls one operator after another until it
reaches one who responds.
At least, said
Lawson, it works for everybody but him. “It may be the computer operator,” he
The bad news,
said Lawson, is that the sewer has experienced a rash of breakdowns in recent
months. “The plant’s getting older,” said Lawson. “Kind of like me – some of my parts are
The mayor told
him he was not alone.
that he’d compile a summary of breakdowns and costs at least by the end of the
On a brighter
note, he invited all to stop by the fire hall and admire the work the
volunteers have done to their new training facility there. Most of the work the
guys have done themselves, he said.
In his report,
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell said he’s finally seeing some
progress at Jenkins Park. “It’s starting to look a lot better down there,” he
said. “We’ve got playground equipment on the way, and you should start seeing a
big difference down there in the next month.”
In his usual
monthly financial report, Mayor Emanuel said revenues continue to lag but that
he was confident the city would finish the year with a balanced budget.
In that regard,
Clerk Houts asked and received a vote from the commission on setting the town’s
millage rate. Tax bills must go out at least 60 days in advance of their
December due date, she explained.
There were no
surprises in the millage process: The commissioners voted to keep the rate
constant at 3.50. “It’s been 3.50 forever,” said Ms. Houts.
But she asked
that each commissioner sit down with her and the mayor to go over their budgets
and make cuts wherever they could in the coming months. She said in times past
the city had a contingency fund in case of emergencies and she would like to
see that safety net come back in the coming year.
announced that this was her last meeting reporting for the Dade Chamber of
Commerce: She is retiring this month.
The mayor expressed his appreciation for her service and she received an
ovation from the audience.
irascible president, Eloise Gass, announced it would shortly be time to plant
pansies but that the national and state Arbor Days were way too late in the
season to plant a tree that would live.
Independent State of Dade,” pointed out the mayor. “We can have our own
independent Arbor Day.”
He told her to
pick a day, and Ms. Gass opined it ought to be in November.
will continue to cover this issue as it unfolds.
No one was
present to report for the Trenton Arts Council, but the mayor said Trenton
would shortly have new city signs at the four cardinal entry points that it was
obtaining through TAC.
The next city
commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 14.