Trenton Amends Booze Ordinance, Authorizes One for New Roads

Sewer boss Dewayne Moore explains to the city commission the workings of the wastewater world.

Trenton restaurants will soon be able to serve mixed drinks as well as beer and wine. In an anticlimactic ending to a long journey from the Temperance Era to modernity, Mayor Alex Case mumbled a suggestion at the Trenton City Commission meeting on Monday night that the city attorney be directed to amend the town’s alcoholic beverage ordinance to include hard liquor.

This comes after a referendum in November 2017 in which Trenton voters said yes to spirituous beverages. They mayor didn’t say why the city had waited a year to change its ordinance in accordance with the referendum, but perhaps the matter did not seem all that pressing: Trenton has only two restaurants that have ever taken advantage of the 2010 ordinance allowing them to serve beer and wine.

Next: December is not a month notable for horticultural opportunities but here’s one from Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten: “We have a huge surplus of mulch.” Come and get it, she invited, city or county. You need to call ahead so there will be someone to serve you but you can have all the chipped wood mulch you want free of charge. Mayor Case added that it’s nicely composted, too; the guys at the physical plant have kept turning it. City Hall’s number is (706) 657-4167.

Mayor Case presented Commissioner Wooten with a dramatically enlarged replica of a check received after years of waiting: The $128,440 ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission) grant the city had sought in 2011 for a downtown beautification initiative had at long last arrived. In the intervening years it had been downsized from $300,000, it had been subsumed by the city and county’s economic development drive—it will be used to pave Vanguard Road—and it must be matched 50-50 with local funds, but it was, anyway, here. The mayor says local matching will be in labor and equipment use. “We’re going to try not to use any cash from our pockets,” he said.

Bids for right-of-way clearing for Trenton’s municipal sewer were opened at the Dec. 10 meeting but tabled after Fire/Utility Commissioner Jerry Henegar announced his request for proposals may not have included all needful information. “We probably should have done our job better than what I did,” said Henegar. He explained that after the bid package had been put together he had learned that any landscape spraying was required to be done by someone state-licensed in that area, a detail not included in his package. The bids were set aside to be reviewed. The commission also discussed getting an engineering study done on Trenton’s aging wastewater plant.

Also on the subject of the sewer, the commissioners okayed $4307 for purchase and installation of a new “sulfonator” after sewer boss Dewayne Moore told them the current one was “running by the skin of its teeth.” He explained that the wastewater plant had to chlorinate wastewater coming in and then dechlorinate it before releasing it back into the creek. The sulfonator apparently facilitates these processes. “It’s something we’ve got to get done pretty quick,” said Moore.

Mayor Case said Trenton lacked an ordinance setting out requirements for new roads within the city limits. If, for example, a developer laid out new houses on a cul-de-sac, it needed to be wide enough for a school bus or a garbage truck to turn around. “If we don’t have something for them to follow, then they’ll come in here and just do what they want,” agreed Commissioner Henegar. The commissioners agreed to ask their out-of-town city attorney to come up with such an ordinance, which will be presented at the January meeting.

The commission set dates for required hearings to accommodate a request made in August by a landowner on Scenic Drive to have his land rezoned. Doyle Stone had asked that his parcel, which is now zoned partially R1, or single-family residential, and partially R2, which allows for duplexes or apartments, be changed to all R2 so that he can sell it to anyone wishing to build either kind of housing. The hearings, designed to let neighbors voice any objections to the change, will be at 6 pm. on Jan. 7 and Jan. 10 at City Hall.

Trenton will not have a police commissioner until after a special March election—the sitting one, Sandra Gray, succumbed to the arrows of Cupid and moved out of town with her new spouse in September—but Mayor Case reported for the Trenton Police Department: It had collected fines of $18,433 in November for a year-to-date total of $266,820.48.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell warned that the bathrooms in Jenkins Park have been shut for the winter; they will reopen in March. He also said Trenton civic center was rented 37 hours in November.

Jerry Henegar reported that the Trenton Fire Department has 107 smoke detectors to bestow on city residents who want them—again, the number is (706) 657-4167.

​Eloise Gass reported that Trenton Tree City had been clearing out flowerbeds and planting trees and pansies. Faith McBrayer (right), youth education coordinator for the Dade County Public Library, reported that the library was kicking off its new Teen Leadership Council this month. If interested, please call the library at (706) 657-7857.

The commission held an executive session to discuss personnel, specifically the replacement of City Clerk Lucretia Houts, who has announced her upcoming retirement. Upon reconvening, Mayor Case announced that five applications had been submitted but that only one candidate met the educational requirements for the job. He said the commissioners would shortly arrange an interview with that person.

The Trenton City Commission meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at City Hall.

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