By REBECCA HAZEN
The City of Trenton Board of Commissioners approved multiple SPLOST purchases for different departments during their Monday, July 11 meeting.
The Commissioners approved the purchase of a vacuum excavator for the Sewer Department, not to exceed $80,000.
“This piece of equipment is used to locate utilities. We’re having problems when we’re repairing some of these sewer lines, and it’s taking a whole lot longer than we like it to, because there is getting to be so many utilities in the ground that you have to hand dig to find them,” Sewer Department Manager Dewayne Moore said. “You can drill a hole with high pressure water so you can get down and find the utilities. It’s a lot safer. We don’t want to accidentally dig into something.”
Moore noted that it would be a handy piece of equipment to have around, and that all the different departments would probably find use for it at some point.
The Commissioners also approved the purchase of a grapple truck for the Street Department, not to exceed $100,000.
“This is a truck that can pick the brush up. Right now, our guys are picking it up with their hands,” Commissioner Monda Wooten said. “We’ve been needing one for a long time, but we’ve been waiting for SPLOST money to come in.”
In addition, the Commissioners also approved the purchase of a new lawn mower for the Street Department, not to exceed $13,000. Wooten noted that the current lawn mower needs repairs, but it would be more cost effective in the long run to purchase a new one.
Wooten, who was leading the meeting due to Mayor Alex Case’s absence, noted that equipment has been hard to find, and when something does become available, it has to be purchased quickly. This is why purchase limits only were approved, because the departments are still searching for the items they need.
Commissioner Mike Norris reported that the Police Department answered 274 calls for service during the month of June, conducted 1,240 business checks, answered 10 burglary alarms, four domestic calls, 20 suspicious activity calls, and worked 12 vehicle accidents. The police conducted 95 traffic stops, resulting in 57 citations. Collected fines for June totaled $7,551.
Norris also noted that he asked Police Chief Steve Beaudoin to keep track of the amount of gas being used by the Police Department, due to the high cost of gasoline. Norris noted that there were 726 gallons of gas used during the month of June.
According to Norris, the police vehicles do need to run at times with the air conditioner running, partly because the police officers wear the bullet proof vests which can make them feel hotter. Also, Chief Beaudoin noted that the vehicles are left running because of the computers, which would have to be rebooted each time the vehicle is turned off.
Commissioner Terry Powell reported that the Civic Center was rented for 75 hours during the month of June. Animal control had nine work orders. The city pool was rented for 37 hours for private parties.
“Despite the shortage of lifeguards and limiting the amount of people swimming to 25, we’ve done well. I want to thank everyone for coming by,” Powell said.
Commissioner Lucretia Houts reported that the Sewer Department had 32 underground locates, three emergency locates, 13 sewer calls, and one line repair.
Houts also reported that there were four remodels, three property reviews, two new constructions, five electrical, HVAC and plumbing inspections.
The Fire Department had 89 calls for service during the month of June. There were six fire related, four accidents, six medical, 16 standby, and they were dispatched and cancelled in route to 57 calls.
City Clerk April Keith presented the financial report. The general fund balance for the end of May was $759,953.35. There is $226,196.39 in the 2021 SPLOST account.
Mindy Haworth, Manager of the Dade County Public Library, reported that the library now has five teens that are volunteering during the summer.
“It has been great for the library. They are bringing in a lot of enthusiasm and a demographic that we have been hoping to target,” Haworth said.
Haworth said that there are 241 participants in the Summer Reading Challenge, and 42 people already finished the challenge of reading for 800 minutes.
Jane Dixon, Alliance for Dade board member, noted that work would soon start to plan the Dade EXPO Jolly Holidays event, which will be held on a new date this year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Nathan Wooten, organizer of the 1945 Dade County Fair, thanked the Commissioners, and other city officials for their help and support of the 4th of July event.
“We had police presence all day, the fire department was there. The street department let us use their equipment like street blockades. We probably had about 8,000 visitors throughout the day. It was a great event,” Wooten said.
The next City of Trenton Board of Commissioners meeting will be Aug. 8.