Trenton Police Chief Christy Smith updates the city commission.
At Monday night’s regular August meeting of the Trenton City Commission, Police Commissioner Sandra Gray and Police Chief Christy Smith took the opportunity to urge local residents to turn out this Saturday night, Aug. 19, in support of a local boy in crisis. Lineup begins at 7 p.m. at the Trenton Ministry Center just off the town square for the “Light the Night Extravaganza” in honor of 10-year-old Emerson Crane, who is currently under hospice care for an aggressive brain tumor, and the parade starts around dark.
“We’d love to see the streets lined up,” said Commissioner Gray.
The theme is Disney characters, and participants are invited to wear Disney costumes or in any case to dress in purple, Emerson’s favorite color. The boy will be grand marshal for the parade, and the evening will end in fireworks.
The Dade County Sheriff’s Department is also committed to and involved in the extravaganza, as are many Dade volunteers.
Commissioner Gray reminded all that the Trenton Police Department is sponsoring another project later in the year. The Silver Bells Christmas event for the town’s elderly kicks off with a fundraiser event on Sept. 16. The “Praise in the Park” gospel singing and “dinner on the ground” is slated for 4-9 p.m. on Sept. 16 at Jenkins Park, with beverages and homemade ice cream provided. There’s still time to sign up if you’d like to sing—call City Hall at (706) 657-4167.
In her monthly report, Commissioner Gray announced that the city police had collected $18,374.80 in fines for the month of July and $137,146.24 year to date.
Chief Smith asked the commission for and was granted SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) funds to buy four more laptop computers with special mounts for the department’s police cruisers, at a total price of $13,250.32. The chief had requested and been granted funds for two of the same unit in June.
She also updated the Commission on new “narc kits”—drug overdose emergency kits that Trenton officers will now all carry in their left chest pockets, consistent with county law officers, so there is no question where to find the kit if one is needed in a hurry.
In addition, Chief Smith said Trenton’s K-9 cruiser is almost ready to roll and that K-9 officer Eric Hartline would report for K-9 training in September. In an aside, she commended Hartline for having successfully coped with a domestic call in which both parties spoke only Vietnamese, by virtue of downloading a translation application. “I think that was above and beyond,” said the chief.
Fire and Utility Commissioner Jerry Henagar asked for $15,126.50 in SPLOST for 12 new sets of turnout gear for the volunteer fire department. The total cost for the new gear is to be shared with Dade County—the $15K represents Trenton’s share. “We’re running short of volunteers but we can’t go out and recruit because we’re short of turnout gear,” explained Henagar.
The commission granted him the funds. Henegar also asked for $4,855.95 to replace a clarifier in the city sewage system but it was determined he did not have to request permission for basic maintenance.
Finally, he described easily portable water tanks the department is using in small-fire cases in lieu of traditional fire extinguishers. “Even if it does go off in your car, you don’t have all the powder and dust, you just have a wet spot,” said Henegar.
Sewage stayed front and center at the Aug. 14 meeting as Henegar brought sewer pundit Dewayne Moore into the limelight to present a three-way problem with the sewer affecting a home under construction, an existing home that seemed to be causing a backup and the home of popular local pastor Eddie Cantrell, whose yard represents the terminus of the backup. “I’m not a smart man but I knew what that smell was,” said Cantrell, who regular attends city commission meetings to lead prayers.
Pastor Eddie Cantrell (right) describes a sewer problem to Utility Commissioner Jerry Henegar (left) and sewer employee Dewayne Moore as the local TV news outlet, like The Planet, records every pearl.
Henegar and Moore discussed a plan to solve the problem that required permission of the second homeowner. “If he’s fine with it, I’m thrilled with it,” said the clergyman. Also discussed was new procedures that would tie sewer considerations into the building permit process.
If more news develops on the sewage front, The Planet can, as ever, be trusted to follow every detail.
Other city business this month included transferring of designated SPLOST funds among projects and an amendment to the town’s recently passed hotel-motel tax ordinance to make it match changes made in state law subsequently.
Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten said her department had received a new bush ax it had requested earlier this year and had been deploying it to clear the streets, apologizing if initial efforts looked rough. “I’ve been told it will look better after they’ve done it a few times,” she said.
She said her department is concentrating on spiffing up the town square.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell said the city pool had closed Aug. 6 with 2462 swimmers and stellar admission, party and concession sales figures. “This is the best we’ve ever done,” he said.
City employee Ansel Smith presented a list of Trenton businesses behind in paying their city business licenses. Liberty Tax and another business were two years in arrears, he said.
The commissioners decided to send another reminder letter and to revoke the licenses of such businesses that had not paid up by Sept. 11, the date of their next regular monthly meeting.
Also on the meeting’s consent agenda was a formal resolution to change the polling place for the city’s November election to the Dade County Board of Elections. The city will elect two of its commissioners on Nov. 7 and will also vote on a liquor-by-the-drink referendum mirroring the one Dade County had last year. The election is to be adjoined to a countywide referendum on the transportation local option sales tax.
Mayor Alex Case reminded the commissioners it was time they began meeting with him about next year’s budget. He observed that revenues from fines, fees and business licenses had gone up recently and that a cursory glance at the tax digest also looked good. “Our little city is growing,” he said.
Eloise Gass, president of Tree City, said Dade 4-H students had helped her clear out the city flowerbeds in the summer heat and needed to be recognized. Marshana Sharp, manager of the Dade County Public Library, reminded all of the library’s free walk-in basic computer class on Aug. 22. Readers may come in any time during the day with questions of any kind. She said plans have already begun for the library’s annual Halloween bash for children.
The commissioners held a lengthy executive, or closed-door, session, returning at 8:19 p.m. to approve accepting the resignation of Dustin Wade from the sewer department and the raising of Street Department Bobby Williams from interim to standard pay scale.
The Trenton City Commission meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at City Hall.