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City Looking Into New Sewer Industrial Rates

News Editor

The city of Trenton Board of Commissioners discussed preliminary sewer industrial rates during the Monday, Jan. 10 meeting.

“We had an industrial complex come to us wanting to discharge waste that is currently outside of our current sewer use ordinance. It falls back to us to govern it to say what they can or can’t do. We have looked at several different communities around to see what they have as far as industrial limitations,” Sewer Department Manager Dewayne Moore said.

According to Moore, the Walker County Sewer Authority provided them with their guidelines for industrial waste, noting that they use a rate structure based on how strong the waste is, and what the wastewater treatment plant would have to remove.

“He’s put us on the right track to do some preliminary figures on what it costs us to remove these wastes so we can adopt a rate structure for these industries. It will probably be on a tier basis. We are working with an engineer right now to figure out some limitations as far as what the maximum strength of these wastes would be,” Moore said.

Moore continued, “This current ordinance was designed as a municipal use ordinance for homes, not for industries.”

Mayor Alex Case noted that when the city and county were in talks with “Project Flavor” – which later fell through – they were pulling samples and finding examples that were over the limit.

“All of our industrial usage, we’re seeing numbers that are way beyond our current use ordinance from somewhere, from somebody. This really got ahead of us,” Mayor Alex Case said. “Municipal sewer to industrial sewer is like night and day. Some of these places might have to start doing their own pre-treatment inside their building before it reaches the city’s facility.”

Also during the meeting, Case suggested that the commissioners look over the state laws and requirements in order to prepare to write up the new distilled spirits ordinance.

Case noted that City Attorney Ron Womack recommended that the commissioners look over the information. Womack is in the process of drawing up a preliminary draft.

“One of the things that we need to consider is what zoning locations do we want these at? Other things to look at include building sizes, and the number of buildings allowed in the city. Do we want a brand new building, or are we going to allow an existing building? Do we want a standalone store, or do we want it with other businesses? These are some of the things that this commission needs to make decisions on,” Case said.

Case continued, “There is no hurry in this. We want what’s right for our businesses and what’s right for our city.”

The commissioners also approved the reappointment of Planning Commission Board members: Daniel Case, Cody Doyle, Phillip York, Ryan Faircloth, and Steven Ryan. The commissioners also approved the reappointment of Appeals Board members: Steven Hendrix, Larry Case, and Johnny Bradford.

Commissioner Lucretia Houts reported that the Sewer Department had 20 underground locates, four emergency locates, and eight sewer calls for the month of Dec. There were seven additions and remodels, three HVAC and plumbing inspections. The Fire Department answered a total of 934 calls for 2021.

Commissioner Mike Norris reported that the Police Department answered 286 calls during the month of Dec. The department also conducted 1,002 business checks, and responded to four animal complaints, nine domestic calls, 10 trespassing calls, 31 suspicious activity calls, and worked 12 traffic accidents. Collections and fines for December were $21,772.60.

Commissioner Powell reported that the community center was rented for 105 hours in the month of Dec. There were six animal control work orders.

Commissioner Wooten commended Street Department employees for their hard work in keeping the roads clear during the recent winter storms. She also noted that the Street Department’s Santa float in the city’s Christmas parade won best in parade.

Case reported that the city has been busy working with Ladd Engineering, from Fort Payne, Ala., to start the process of getting the sewer plant upgraded.

Case also presented the financial report. The general fund balance ending Dec. 31 was $725,406.30. Expenses for the month of Dec. were $155,774.37. Gross revenue collected for 12 months was $2,267,424.25, which is a preliminary number. There is $127,020.40 in the city’s saving account.

Dade County Public Library Manager Mindy Haworth reported that the library has hired Sean Pennington as the new Youth Education Coordinator.

The library is starting new teen and adult programing, which will be held once a month on Thursday evenings.

The library has also resumed regular operating hours. The library is now open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Jennifer Blair with Tree City USA reported that there will be flowering trees planted near the Dade County High School and Middle School. Blair is also planning on planting blubs in the flower beds at the city park.

Blair also reported on the ongoing Town Creek Trail project. She spoke to the commissioners about the possibility of painting a mural on the side of the building that is currently used by the Boy Scouts, which would have high visibility along the start of the trail.

The siding of the building would need to be cleaned up and repainted before the mural could be started. Blair reached out to a local Chattanooga artist, who noted that a mural of that size would cost between $8,000 and $10,000.

Blair noted that she would move forward on the project by starting to fundraise, and speaking to more people, including the people that own the building.

Alliance for Dade board member Jane Dixon reported that there are many new businesses in town, such as The Birdy Bistro, Hope House Café, and McBride’s Book Store. She urged citizens to visit these places and support them.

“The businesses need encouragement from you all. The businesses in our community support this town,” Dixon said.

The next city of Trenton Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Feb. 14.

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