Trenton Talks Beautification

January 15, 2020

Mayor Alex Case shows city commissioners "artist's conception of" pics of a beautified Trenton at the commission's Jan. 13 meeting. 


Not much was on the Trenton City Commission’s agenda for its regular January meeting on Monday, but there was some talk of beautification efforts for the little town “so we don’t look so stark,” as Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten put it.


Commissioner Wooten mentioned the long-delayed “Streetscapes” downtown revamp program which has long been on hold as the commission waits for funding to emerge “We’ve been tossing this ball for years and years,” she said. In the meantime, she said, she’s begun talking with individual shop owners about smaller, humbler landscaping projects they can do on their own to make Trenton look more alluring.


Mayor Alex Case said he’d been consulting with Tree City’s Jennifer Blair about native trees to plant on participating private owners’ property, including crape myrtle and pink dogwood. Tree City President Eloise Gass said the group had already purchased trees and were ready to start planting. “We’re fixin’ to get our motor revved up and get going,” she said.


(Photo: Eloise Gass (left) and Jennifer Blair)


And Ms. Blair described, after the meeting, her own current project of revisiting the Trenton Arts Council’s banner project. Beginning in 2006, TAC festooned Trenton with hand-silkscreened banners by a succession of local artists. Each set of banners would stay up about six months before the next artist’s work would replace it, and each artist used this public platform to make some highly individual statement. Ms. Blair’s plan now is to hang one of each artist’s banners in the town. The Planet will report more on this project as it develops.


In other business, the city commission approved its joint application with the Dade County government for a historical survey. The city/county Joint Historical Preservation Committee has been awarded a $20,000—it had asked for $60,000—to continue its survey of historical Dade properties. It was a routine item but the commission didn’t seem to have much else on its plate this month.


Mayor Case intimated, though, that big changes were shortly in store in the sewer department. “We actually lost money this year, almost $34,000,” he said in his sewer finance report.  But the rate increases approved last year have gone into effect, said the mayor, and the city is in discussion with engineers on how to begin much-needed improvements to the town’s senescent sanitation system.


The mayor had some good news about roads: Trenton had that day received a check for $36,045.41 in LMIG—that’s local maintenance and improvement grant—money, which it will use to begin patching and paving in the spring.

The Trenton City Commission as of January 2020: From left, City Clerk Russanna Jenkins, Mayor Alex Case, Parks/Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell, Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten, Police Commissioner Kirk Forshee and Fire/Utility Commissioner Lucretia Houts.


Parks/Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell said the Trenton Civic Center had been rented for 97 hours in December. Police Commissioner Kirk Forshee thanked sponsors, especially Integer, for supplying Christmas gifts for the Trenton Police Department’s Silver Bells project for needy elderly residents. Otherwise, Forshee reported police fines of  $6315 in December for a total 2019 total of $211,691.19.


And for Fire/Utilities Commissioner Lucretia Houts, just elected in November, this was the first meeting as a member of the commission. She thanked her supporters and told the commissioners and voters that she looked forward to working with them for the next four years.


Dade Public Library manager Marshana Sharp announced another in the series of eco-programs it began in 2019: “Kiss the Ground,” a talk by local farmer Keith Bien on how to replenish soil. That will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the library. She also reminded all that the library has a fully-equipped photo center where the staff can scan old photos, convert slides and old VHS tapes into digitized formats, and print just about anything. Call the library for details at (706) 657-7857.


Carey Anderson, the Dade County deputy clerk, said the lately-reorganized Dade Chamber of Commerce will have first meeting this Thursday.


The city commission went into executive, or closed-door, session to discuss personnel and came back to report it had heard an update on a workers’ compensation claim and accepted the resignation of one city employee.


After the executive session, the commission also heard from late-arriving citizen Pat Bell who had come to ask about the status of his plea late last year to have his home near Lake Hills annexed into the city. He explained that his septic tank didn’t “perk” and he had to pay to have it pumped out every month and the contents disposed of. Thus he was hoping to be annexed and connected to the municipal sewer that serves homes nearby. “Or I’m going to buy me a pump truck, one,” he concluded. Mayor Case said he was still reviewing costs with sewer boss Dewayne Moore and had no decision to announce.


The city commission meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of each month at City Hall. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 10.

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