City Leaders Discuss Town Creek Trail

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor
City of Trenton Board of Commissioners heard an update from Jennifer Blair about the progress of the Town Creek Trail project during the Commissioner’s meeting on Jan. 11.

According to Jennifer Blair, who is a coordinator and fundraiser for the project, Town Creek Trail is a pedestrian and bicycle friendly trail system with includes both sidewalks and paths along Town Creek.

The idea of Town Creek Trail was included in a 2018 Design Considerations booklet, from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, with the University of Georgia.

Many local organizations, such as the Trenton Arts Council, tried to initiate the project, without luck.
Blair noted that collaborating with Scenic Dade Development Company, a 501c3 organization, has provided the opportunity to apply for grant funding.

Blair told Commissioners that four grants have currently been received for the project: two from Lyndhurst Foundation, one from Riverview Foundation of Chattanooga and one from Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.

“We have approximately a little over $100,000, which includes small private donations,” Blair said.

The Commissioners agreed to supply $7,500, which is a 10 percent match of $75,000 from Lyndhurst Foundation, to come out of hotel and motel funds.

During the meeting, the Commission accepted the easement for the trail behind Citizen’s Bank and Trust and Dade County Court facilities.

Mayor Alex Case noted that an approval for easement was sought out by the school, but the school system opted out because they felt the trail was a little too close.

The initial phase of construction will include the Jenkins Park gravel lot and the northern edge of Town Creek to Wolverine Drive. Ultimately, the project aims to connect historic downtown with Cloudland Canyon State Park.

“Town Creek Trail is widely supported,” Blair explained. “It is a project requiring intergovernmental cooperation among the City of Trenton, Dade County, and the State of Georgia. Its supporters include representatives from organizations like Scenic Dade, the Georgia Alabama Land Trust, the Industrial Development Authority, law enforcement, the local chapter of Tree City, the Tri–State Heritage Arts and Culture Coalition, and Foundations which provide financial support, community members, as well as property owners and institutions, such as Citizens Bank and Trust.”

Blair continued, “In addition to the beautification and the walkability of our city, we are considering this as an extension of Jenkins Park. It is also an extension of the stream bank stabilization project. There was a lot of money and effort spent to improve the habitat that is along the creek inside Jenkins Park. That was in 2019. This would be a continuation of that. Currently there is a lot of litter and debris in the creek in that area, just upstream from where that money has previously been spent. So we are extending that and trying to improve the quality of Town Creek.”

“Hopefully as this continues we may be able to get both sides of Town Creek all the way through the city, which would be nice,” Case said.

Commissioner Kirk Forshee reported that the Trenton Police Department had 387 calls for the month of December, 1,755 business checks, four animal complaints, five domestic calls and worked 20 accidents. 218 traffic stops were made resulting in 91 citations, The collected fines for December were $17,494.06. Total fines collected for 2020 amounted to $181,520.42.

Commissioner Terry Powell reported that the Civic Center is still closed and there were eight animal control work orders for the month of December.

Commissioner Lucretia Houts reported the fire department had six fire related calls, five accidents, six medical calls and 14 standbys. They were dispatched to a total of 816 calls for the year of 2020. There were two new constructions, three remodels, two additions, and five electrical and plumbing inspections. The Sewer Department had 26 underground locates, three emergency locates and 17 sewer calls.

Commissioner Monda Wooten reported that there has been a heavier work load because it is wintertime. She thanked Ansel Smith and the Parks Department for helping out in the past few weeks.

Case reported that the balance ending for December 2020 was $586,758.54. Revenues for the end of December were $293,029.52. The final expenses for December were $147,295.51. Gross profit for the year was $1.808 million, which is nearly 99 percent. The city budgeted $1.82 million.

“We were about $17,936 under our proposed budget. We expended $1,731,931.89. The difference between that from our revenue collected to what we actually spent, we were $76,436 ahead. This is very pleasing to me,” Case said.

The savings account as of December 2020 holds $102,906.14.

“We still need to add to this. We are about a third away of where we need to be. We need to have about three months operating expenses in there. We are getting there,” Case said.

Sewer fund December charges for services were $31,925.30. Expenses for the month were $26,884.72.
Case noted that $414,000 was budgeted for charges for services and $389,079.89 was collected. Total expenses were $407,810.79.

“We had a $18,730.90 loss. We have taken some major repairs this year. We are going to sit down and see where we may have missed the budget output,” Case said.

Case also showed the commissioners a plaque that they had received from the Alliance for Dade for participating in the Light up Trenton event.

“Hopefully it will be a yearly thing that we continue to do,” Case said.

The next City of Trenton Commissioners meeting will be Feb. 8.

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