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City Commission approves tentative millage rate of 2.25 mills

By John Ayers
The Trenton City Commission held their final meeting in July on Monday evening as the three members attending approved a tentative millage rate of 2.25 mills for the City of Trenton 2021-2022 fiscal year budget. Commissioner Randy Rutter explained that he wanted to see the City of Trenton millage rate remain at the current rate of 2.25 mills for the upcoming 2021-2022 budget year. Commissioner Rutter put that in the form of a motion as Commissioner Hellams supported the proposal with a second and the Commission approved the tentative millage rate of 2.25 mills.
The City of Trenton staff presented information reporting on the proposed 2.25 mills and the revenue that would be received by the City of Trenton. The City of Trenton would receive $172,074.00 in revenue from Ad Valorem property taxes. The CRA (community redevelopment authority) from the City of Trenton will be $32,608.61. The CRA revenue from Gilchrist County is proposed at $136,232.00. The City of Trenton has proposed a payroll increase for their employees of 3%. The City of Trenton will hold a tentative budget meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. The final budget meeting will be held on Monday, September 27, 2021. The public is welcome to attend these meetings that will be held in the Trenton Community Center.
The Commission meeting was scheduled for 5:30 p.m., when the time came City Clerk Pat Watson explained that some board members were out of town and she didn’t know if they would return in time for this meeting. Mrs. Watson’s persistence paid off as she was able to contact Commissioner Craig Ruede and he arrived at the Trenton Community Center and the meeting got underway at 5:55 p.m. This meeting was important to the City of Trenton, as the proposed action that was taken on the millage rate must be submitted to the Florida Department of Revenue in Tallahassee by August 1, 2021.
Trenton Attorney David M. Lang, Jr. explained the procedure that was taken for this meeting with three board members in attendance. The City of Trenton is required to have a quorum of members, (3 of the 5 elected representatives) must be in attendance in order for the Commission to hold a Public Meeting. Commissioner Craig Ruede was nominated to be the chairman and conduct this meeting in the absence of the Mayor and Vice Chairman. Commissioner Ruede opened the meeting as Commissioner Randy Rutter gave a prayer and the board and public attending joined in to give a pledge of allegiance to the American flag.
The Commission approved the minutes of the July 12, 2021 meeting as Commissioner Hellams made a motion to approve the minutes as Commissioner Rutter gave a second and the motion received a unanimous vote.
Shaw Lee a representative of Dowling Signs of North Central Florida, LLC, addressed the City Commission. Mr. Lee explained that he is requesting the City of Trenton amend the current sign ordinance to allow digital lighted signs to be placed in the City of Trenton. Mr. Lee and Chris of Watchfire Signs, LLC a manufacture of digital design and lighted signs in Central Florida, gave a presentation to the Commission involving these new design signs.
Mr. Lang explained to the Commission that to change the current ordinance to allow the new digital signs, the City of Trenton would have to adopt the change through public hearings to give the public an opportunity to determine if digital type signs were what the public wanted in this rural community of Gilchrist County.
Commissioner Rutter explained hat he was interested in hearing more information involving the new digital design signs.
Commissioner Ruede explained that he too is open to hearing more information involving the new design signs in Trenton.
The Commission determined that the City of Trenton should schedule a discussion for the digital signs to be considered in the first meeting in October, after the budget process has been completed and the new fiscal year has begun. The Commission adjourned this meeting at 6:20 p.m.