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City Commission denies Construction Plan for First Baptist Church expansion

The Trenton City Commission held a public meeting on Monday evening to discuss several issues involving the future growth of the City of Trenton. The four member Commission listened to Attorney David M Lang, Jr. present the Site and Development Plan SD 2021-01 that identified the church’s intent to have a 8,503 square foot single storey multi-purpose building constructed on the church’s property between NE Second and Third Streets in Trenton. Mr. Lang pointed out that the size of the proposed facility does not allow the required number of parking spots to be located on the church’s property. The Trenton Planner recommended the City Commission deny the SD 2021-01 as Donahue Architecture, Inc. submitted the plan, as the agent for the construction is Gray Construction Services of Trenton.
City Commissioner Randy Rutter made a motion to deny SD 2021-01 as the City of Trenton would like to see the applicant reduce the site of the proposed construction plan in order for it to meet the setbacks and allow the church and First Place Academy of Trenton to meet the guidelines setup in the construction plans. Commissioner Craig Ruede gave a second to the motion before the Commission unanimously approved the motion. Commissioner Cloud Haley was not in attendance in this meeting.
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Mayor Lee Deen explained to the Commission that a local group of parents are seeking to have a new sports league in the City of Trenton and they asked him if the Babe Ruth softball and baseball organization could use the Trenton City Park field to hold kids games for young boys and girls from the local area. Mayor Deen explained that the City of Trenton field would require some work on the field, fencing and additional seating for families to watch the kids play. The Mayor explained that the new renovations could be funded through the Community Redevelopment Authority for an estimate of $13,000 - $17,000. He explained that he would be glad to serve the City of Trenton as the Project Overseer on this program. Lee Deen asked the Commission if they were in favor of these improvements to the Trenton Park and spending these CRA funds for this project. The Commission agreed to have the Mayor proceed with the program. The City Commission asked for the Trenton City Park renovations project to be placed on the next CRA meeting agenda as an Action Item. This meeting is expected to be held January 25, 2021.
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The Trenton City Commission welcomed Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlow and Commissioner Mark Clark to the Commission meeting Monday evening. Mr. Marlow thanked the City Commission for allowing him to address the board on such short notice. The Mayor explained that the City of Newberry has received inquiries from the Town of Archer, High Springs, and they are asking the City of Trenton to consider being involved in a Regional Water and Sewer expansion within three to five years that could serve these rural municipalities with expanded sewer service. Mayor Marlowe asked if the City of Trenton is interested in this program to have their City Manager be involved in two meetings to further discuss this regional proposal. The Commission agreed to have City Manager Lyle Wilkerson meet with these community officials to learn more about Regional Wastewater project.
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The City Commission was addressed my Michael McElroy as he represented the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce. He apologized to the City of Trenton for the way the Christmas on Main Street program was handled this year. He explained that the Chamber of Commerce has always appreciated the cooperation they have received from the City of Trenton. The Chamber representative has worked with the community for the 37 years involved in the program. Mr. McElroy explained that the ice slide that is located along side the Trenton Depot property is always a big hit for young people during the Christmas on Main Street program. The Gainesville Ice Company provided the ice slide and was asked to provide a certificate of insurance to cover the liability of an accident in case someone was injured to the City of Trenton. Mr. McElroy asked if the City of Trenton would again pay for the cost of the ice slide, like they have done in the past, and if the cost is more than the budgeted amount, the Chamber of Commerce would be glad to pay the difference in the invoice. Mr. McElroy thanked the Commission and assured the board that this would not happen in the future.
The City of Trenton staff reported the invoice from Gainesville Ice was $3600. Commissioner Randy Rutter made a motion to approve the $3,600 expenditure to the Gainesville Ice Company for the expense of the ice slide that was enjoyed at the Christmas on Main Street program. Commissioner Marcia Hellams gave a second to the motion before the board gave a unanimous vote in support of the program.
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The City Commission approved the Site and Development Plan 2021-02 for a 1920 square foot lumber storage building to be constructed at 301 SE 16th Street for Blac Investments dba Tri-County Metal. The agent for the applicant, J Ayers Construction will locate the metal building on 5.390 acres and the facility will be used to store wood that is used for the construction of metal buildings to the public.
Commissioner Craig Ruede made a motion to approve SD 2021-02 to allow the construction of the 1920 square foot building be located on the identified 5.390 acres. Commissioner Randy Rutter gave a second to the motion before the Commission approved the application by a 4-0 vote.
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Mayor Deen presented a discussion considering proposed parameters of locations for package liquor stores in the City of Trenton. The Mayor explained that business interest had asked him for information involving the location of additional alcohol sales and package liquor stores and where they could be located in the City of Trenton. The Commission learned that the City of Trenton currently has an ordinance that does not allow alcohol sales and package liquor businesses within 1000 feet of a school, church, and other types of businesses within the municipality.
The Commission agreed to table further discussion of the package liquor store parameters until the entire Commission is in attendance in a future meeting. The Commission following this discussion took no action.
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Public Safety Chief Matt Rexroat asked the Commission to increase the distance that a Trenton Public Safety officer could live outside of the municipality and commute to and from to work in a Trenton Public Safety vehicle. Commission Randy Rutter made a motion to increase the travel distance to 50 miles for an officer to live outside the City of Trenton. Commissioner Ruede gave a second before the Commission approved the motion by a unanimous vote.
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