By REBECCA HAZEN
City of Trenton Board of Commissioners voted to give all city employees a $1,200 bonus during the commission meeting on Monday, Nov. 8.
“When we look back to last year, most of our businesses were shut down. A lot of people went on unemployment. While this all went on, the employees of the city chose to stay at work. Our employees experienced covid in a bad way. We had one employee that passed away. I would like to see us show a sign of appreciation. I would like to ask my fellow commissioners if we could consider giving our employees a $1,200 bonus,” Commissioner Monda Wooten said.
Wooten said that both the Street Department and the Police Department had been down a few employees, which saved money in the general fund.
Both Mayor Alex Case and City Clerk Russanna Jenkins agreed that money was available for the bonuses, and the commissioners voted yes on the bonuses.
Wooten also asked the commissioners to please consider passing on the bonus to the family of Mike Poss, a Street Department employee who passed away from COVID-19 this year.
In other news, Chair of the Planning Commission, Daniel Case, told the commissioners that the Planning Commission chose to keep the motel/hotel definitions as presented at a previous meeting.
The definition of a motel is a one or two floor layout with guests accessing the rooms from the exterior.
The definition of a hotel is a minimum of two stories, with a minimum of 20 rooms per floor. Each hotel must have a lobby and lounge area. Guestrooms must be entered from the interior of the building.
With these definitions in place, the only motel in the city is the Days Inn, and the Planning Commission only wants to only allow hotels into the city going forward.
“We met with Ethan Calhoun from North Georgia Regional Commission and took some of his advice. However, what we discovered was that the information we already had in place was sufficient for our city and our population. Rather than getting too specific on the definitions, there are other ordinances that will take care of the finer details with a hotel or motel,” Case said.
In related news, Ansel Smith asked the commissioners to add two new members to the Planning Commission. Smith noted that there are currently three members, and it is hard to have a quorum. The commissioners agreed to add Ryan Faircloth and Steven Ryan to the Planning Commission.
The commissioners also approved the purchase of a camera system for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, for $12,092.03, to be purchased with SPLOST funds. The camera system will be used to locate line breaks and for inspections.
Commissioner Kirk Forshee was absent. Police Chief Steve Beaudoin reported that the police department had 568 calls for service for the month of Oct, 163 business checks, 10 animal complaints, 10 domestic disturbance calls, 13 trespassing calls, 28 suspicious activity calls, 21 traffic accidents, and 145 traffic stops, resulting in 85 citations. $1,787 was collected in fines, for a total of $157,133.33 fines collected for the year.
Commissioner Terry Powell reported that the community center was rented for 75 hours for the month of October. There were nine animal control work orders or complaints.
Powell also encouraged everyone to go to Jenkins Park to see the construction of the new Town Creek Trail.
Commissioner Lucretia Houts reported that there were four remodels, one addition and one plan review for the month of Oct. There were six electrical, HVAC and plumbing inspections.
The Fire Department had six fire related calls, six accidents, four medical, 25 standby calls and were dispatched and cancelled in route to 17 calls.
The Sewer Department had 21 underground locates, six emergency locates and 12 sewer calls.
Wooten introduced new Street Department employee Chad Palmer. The Street Department had 40 work orders for the month of October, which included mowing right of ways and cleaning up leaves.
Mayor Case noted that the alcohol related initiatives passed in the recent election.
“We have already made calls to the city attorney and Georgia Municipal Association. This is going to require a major change in our charter and ordinances. Just give us some time. If you have questions or concerns, I encourage you to talk to the commissioners, myself or the clerk,” Case said.
Case also congratulated Mike Norris on winning the Police Comm-issioner seat in the election.
“We will start the New Year fresh and be ready to work,” Case said.
Case noted that the first joint comprehensive plan meeting was held at City Hall, and that there will be more meetings next year. The meetings will be the first Wednesday of every month, or every other month, to be determined, at 2:30 p.m.
Case also gave the financial report. The current general fund balance is $583,979,72. Expenses for the month was $125,550.94.
Jane Dixon, board member of the Alliance for Dade, reminded the commissioners and the public that the Dade EXPO – Jolly Holidays is on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dixon noted that the Dade County Health Department will be at the EXPO and will give out both flu shots and vaccines.
The next City Commission meeting will be Dec. 13.