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Trenton Light & Water GM announces change

By Crystal Burns


Trenton Light & Water General Manager Joe Wamble announced a policy change at the Feb. 25 City Council meeting.

Wamble said all new construction in the Trenton Light & Water service area is required to have sewer backflow prevention devices installed on the customer’s sewer service line by the customer’s plumber at the customer’s expense. The device is optional on all existing structures, but effective March 1, Trenton Light & Water is not responsible for sewer backflow damage to the customer’s property if the device is not installed.

The devices prevent backflow from a municipal drainage system or city sewer from coming inside homes and other buildings. They help building owners avoid expensive repairs due to damages and prevent health hazards in drinking water and the environment.

The requirement is written in the city’s plumbing code. Trenton Light & Water is publishing notice of the change in The Gazette for four weeks beginning today (see page 11).

Tree trimming policy – The Board of Aldermen approved the second reading of an ordinance establishing a tree trimming policy. The ordinance defines tree trimmer as any person, firm, corporation or partnership, whether as owner, agent or partner who is professionally engaged for hire in the business of trimming, cutting or removing trees with the city.

A permit is required at each location. Permits are $25 each and shall have a duration of not more than 10 days. Mayor Ricky Jackson said the Police Department would be responsible for checking that tree trimmers have permits.

Trimmers are responsible for removing debris. It is unlawful to leave debris in streets, alleys or on sidewalks. Trimmers must be insured for a minimum of $500,000 for injury to persons or property. Violations are punishable by the revocation of the tree trimmer’s business license.

City garage – Jackson told the board that the city’s consultant at K.S. Ware and Associates had informed him that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) would be approving a plan to cap off a site at the city garage and she would provide the approved plan to the mayor.

The board hired K.S. Ware and Associates in September of 2019 to help the city get in compliance with TDEC. In July 2019, the TDEC Air Pollution Section fined the city $8,000 for burning materials on the no burn list.

The new TDEC regulations prompted city leaders to re-evaluate the way the Street/Sanitation Department utilizes its resources, including its manpower. On Feb. 3, the department launched a new schedule that provides curb service pickup Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Employees dedicate Tuesday and Thursday to maintaining and caring for the newly renovated downtown area, curbs and sidewalks, drains, catch basins and ditches as well as fixing potholes and picking up excess trash on city streets.

Last week, Alderman Tony Burriss said the first month of the new schedule had gone well. He said employees had done great work cleaning out ditches and getting downtown flower beds ready for spring.

Burriss reminded citizens that per TDEC regulations, the city can no longer pick up insulation, roofing, oil-based paint, or tires.

Garbage collection – Alderman Frank Gibson reminded citizens of an ordinance that states, “Each owner, occupant, or other responsible person using or occupying any building or other premises within this city where refuse accumulates shall deposit the refuse container at curb side for collection on the days assigned for collection by an announced schedule.”

Gibson said residents should take up their garbage cans the day of service as well. He also asked that citizens bag their trash before putting it in the cans.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 6 p.m. at City Hall.


  1. buster on March 15, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Well i could think of alot of things this town needs besides flower beds,how about street signs you cant find.or patching holes or making sure houses have numbers if ambulances need to find them,alot of signs hiding behind trees that need trimming,or bulbs in overhead red lites burned out,just what does the street department do?their equipment looks old buy some new trucks,with logos on doors.this town is really behind the times it needs new blood.maybe they need a new foreman and manager.i see this town falling apart,and a courthouse on the ground floor,for handicapped people

    • Liability101 on December 9, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      That’s a valid argument, buster.
      In my opinion there has been too much effort and public money spent on “beautifying” the downtown area, and there is no sign that it’s going to change soon. The area that has been prettied up has been mostly occupied by businesses that don’t do much to encourage a lot of pedestrian traffic, but the changes that have been made are chiefly to do with pedestrian traffic. It’s an overt act of putting our money out to benefit a few. While all that is nice and lovely to the eyes, there are streets and sidewalks that need repairs. There are places in town where there is space for a sidewalk but not one, so people have to walk in a busy road. Do we have to wait until somebody is killed?
      Some work to change drain layouts in cases like at least one in South College where the drain right at a road intersection is about 3 or 4 feet below the road, but there’s no protective barrier or anything to stop a vehicle misjudging the corner. Do we have to wait until somebody crashes and blocks the main road into town?
      There are people with kids riding golf carts along the state highway through one of the busiest intersections, just to go shopping at a grocery store and back home again, but nothing done about stopping it. Do we have to wait for somebody to be killed?
      Trenton City is not there to prettify and the police not there to drive around and look imposing in some parts of town, but both are there for the benefit of the citizens of Trenton.
      Seems to me that they are anything but.

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