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Trenton Commission takes action to purchase new City Hall building

By John Ayers
The Trenton City Commission took the recommendation of City Manager Lyle Wilkerson to move forward with the option to purchase the Gray Construction office at 500 North Main Street to become the Trenton City Hall. The five member board discussed the $190,000 offered price and estimated with the renovations to the new facility the Commission would be ahead considering the issues, repairs and renovations that must be made to the existing two story Trenton City Hall. A motion was made by Commissioner Haley to move forward with the option to purchase the Gray Construction office for $190,000. Commissioner Ruede agreed as he gave a second to the motion. The Commission approved the motion by a unanimous vote.
The City Manager had met with Mr. Gray and identified several changes that would have to be made before the City of Trenton could use the newer facility as an upgrade to the present City Hall. The new changes identified a new ramp to the front of the building and a new set of steps to the front door area. The renovations to the front counter area to upgrade the security and the ability to provide a better level of service to the public. The renovations would also include the removal of the existing carpet and replace with interlocking vinyl plank flooring to the entire office. The remodeling will include the repainting of the interior walls of the larger office building. The board decided to go out for bid to have these renovations done after the closing of the office to the City of Trenton.
Trenton resident Robert Leynes addressed the Commission and thanked them for having several trees removed along the right-of-way of SW Second Street. He explained that the Public Works Department did a great job and he appreciates the nice job they did for the residents in this area.
The Commission listened as Attorney David M Lang, Jr. explained the board consideration of the passage of Resolution 2019-08 requesting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Suwannee River Water Management District reduce or waive permit fees for counties with less than 50,000 population and municipalities with a population of less than 25,000. This request is for the upcoming fiscal year from October 1, 2019 until September 30, 2020 for the permit fees to not exceed $100. The attorney explained that the average taxable value in the State of Florida is $61,377 and the per capita taxable value in the city of Trenton is $29,285. Lang added that the City of Trenton has a 43.75% exemption to property owners that pay ad Valorem taxes in the municipality. The State of Florida has a 20.52% of the population that is exempt from paying property taxes in the Sunshine State.
A motion to approve Resolution 2019-08 was made by Commissioner Ruede and Commissioner Rutter gave a second to the proposal before the board passed the request by a unanimous vote.
Public Safety Chief Matt Rexroat addressed the Commission to again consider the purchase of a brush truck for the Trenton Fire Rescue department. Chief Rexroat explained that Trenton Fire Rescue through the City of Trenton has received confirmation of a fire service grant that would pay over $74,000 of the quoted $124,617.77 price that is identified on the state contract listing. The chief explained that the Hallmark Company of Ocala is the State of Florida contract manufacturer of this unit and the truck has a delivery date of up to eight months from now. A motion by Commissioner Haley to have Trenton Fire Rescue go forward with ordering the brush truck from Hallmark Co at a price of $124,617.77 and a grant would pay $74,617.77 and the City of Trenton Fire Rescue budget would pay $50,000 to finalize this purchase. Commissioner Rutter gave a second to the motion before the Commission approve of the purchase by a 5-0 vote.