By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
With 2012 winding down, Trenton Mayor Anthony Emanuel said he was “guardedly very optimistic” the city will finish the year on budget, with expenses lower than expected for September, revenues also lower than projected but better than last month’s, and enough receivables to fix everything due to start rolling in within the next few weeks.
“The fourth quarter is when we receive the lion’s share of our revenues,” said the mayor.
Emanuel began Monday night’s October Trenton City Commission meeting, as he always does, with a detailed review of the city’s financials. This month, though, business did not progress thence to anything more gripping: With all commissioners present, none seemed to have much to say.
A possible exception was Streets Commissioner Greg Houts, who announced that this autumn will be Trenton’s big season for paving streets. The city has somewhere in the neighborhood of $170,000 in SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) earmarked for roads, he said.
“I would like to spend up to $100,000 these first two or three months to see how far that would go to replace the paving that really needs it the worst,” said Houts. “I think we can do a lot of it for that, because a ton of asphalt covers 10 feet, which is about 140 feet for $1,000.”
He put the suggestion into the form of a motion, and the commission voted to approve the expenditure.
Eloise Gass, present to report for Tree City – which, incidentally, she said had not done a lot in September, but would get rolling with fall planting this month – admonished Houts in his paving not to neglect Sells Lane, which had developed serious bumps.
“We were going to start at your garage,” he assured her gallantly.
Later, Houts explained to the Sentinel that this had been by way of a humorous aside. The Sentinel duly notes the same.
The mayor updated the commissioners on progress in the city’s new eyesore ordinance: Trenton’s list of distressed properties remains at the 36 earlier reported, he said, and letters should go out shortly to the owners. “We can all look forward to a cleanup of those properties,” he said.
City Clerk Lucretia Houts told the commission that the city’s representative on the Dade Public Library’s board of directors was stepping down because her term had expired and could not be renewed. The library board had asked Trenton to appoint as its new representative Patty Nethery. The board gave its stamp of approval to Ms. Nethery, whom Emanuel acknowledged has the distinction of being Mrs. Mayor. He said that since her recent retirement she had been underfoot somewhat and that he was pleased with any appointment that would keep her happily occupied.
Appearing for the Dade County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Debbie Tinker reported that the Chamber in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Labor had held a job fair last week for Food Outlet, the new grocery store in town. She said the grocer would be hiring 45 to 50 employees and would be happy to consider Commissioner Houts as a meat cutter but nobody had his phone number.
Ms. Tinker said the Rivers Alive creek cleanup had been postponed until Oct. 22, and she reminded the audience that on Oct. 27 the Chamber in conjunction with the library and Southeast Lineman’s College will sponsor a trick-or-treat event on the square. Civic organizations and politicians will be allowed to sponsor stalls as long as they provide candy to pass out to children, and movies will be shown for teens. This should be a big night,” she said. “Last year we had over 1,000 kids.”
For the Trenton Arts Council, Ginnie Sams reported that the next sculpture for the group’s ongoing public art project, ArtScape, should be installed by next meeting. “It’s going to be something between 10 and 15 feet tall, so it will be a bigger presence,” she said. She said the artist for the piece was Jerry Wallace.
Ms. Sams said that when the Arts Council has installed four sculptures, it will hold a panel discussion for the public, possibly in the library. She said the Council was also looking at displaying art in the library and in the Trenton Civics Center.
Melanie Parrish took the floor briefly to congratulate the city, the Arts Council and Tree City for their budget-squeezing efforts to make Trenton beautiful and interesting.
Ms. Sams spoke up again, this time on behalf of the local chapter of AARP, membership of which she said was down. “We want to remind everybody that you only have to be 50 years old to belong to AARP,” she said. She said the organization’s emphasis was on health and legislative issues but: “We also provide entertainment.”
She said meetings would move in the New Year from the senior center to the library.
And speaking of meetings, the commission finished its business by changing its November session from the second Monday in the month to the Tuesday so as not to conflict with the city’s Veterans Day observance on the 12th. Thus the next city commission meeting is at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 13, business meeting beginning at 7 p.m., informal work session preceding at 6 p.m.