Improvements will be made to parks in the city of Red Bank due to a gift and a grant. Commissioners voted Tuesday night to appropriate a $29,000 donation from the Red Bank and Soddy Daisy Foundation to the parks and recreation department. The money will be used to build a skate park in White Oak Park.
Also passed was a resolution that gave the city approval to apply for a local parks and recreation funds grant. This is a state grant that the city would match and is not expected until 2015.
It is highly competitive and the application just puts Red Bank into the pool of applicants, said City Manager Randall Smith. If the city wins the grant, it will be used for improvements to White Oak Park.
County Commissioner Joe Graham gave Red Bank a gift of $7,975 from his discretionary fund. It will be used for installing a sprinkler system and planting grass at the city’s baseball fields.
Red Bank has a fleet of two garbage trucks and one of those is 10 years old. After researching the most efficient route to take, it was decided it would be better to buy a new one rather than totally refurbish the old one that is causing problems. A vote to piggy-back with East Ridge that is also in the process of buying the same vehicle from Lee Smith Inc. should help the city save money.
Road work will begin on Commerce Street Extension and repairs will be made to stabilize the banks of Stringers Branch. Erosion along the stream is causing the banks to collapse and come dangerously close to the nearby pavement on the north end of town. The city manager was given authorization to sign temporary construction easement agreements for both projects.
Construction is now complete at the new Red Bank Middle School on Tom Weathers Drive and along a section of Old Morrison Springs Road. Ordinances were passed to abandon the city’s right-of-way that had been used during the building process at both locations.
The commissioners also agreed to participate in the 2015 GHSO impaired driving grant program. The city received funding from this program last year and hopes that it will again. Police Chief Tim Christol said that if it is awarded to Red Bank the police department would use 75 percent of the money to upgrade cameras in patrol cars. Chief Christol also told the commissioners that recently 147 students had been given the opportunity to experience impaired driving by allowing them to text and drive while wearing impaired-driving goggles.
Every three months each department in Red Bank selects an employee of the quarter to honor. This quarter, Fire Chief Mark Matthews choose Evan Rose. He said he showed pride and ownership of fire services.
Police Chief Christol selected two people from his department to pay tribute to. Corporal Chris Rice was recognized for daily leadership of his team and for heroism resulting from extricating two senior residents from a burning house. Another team leader, Leightaylor Noorbergen, was given the honor for heroism while stopping a residential burglary with the intention of committing a homicide. She broke it up before it happened, said the chief, adding that this was the third burglary her team had stopped since the New Year began.
Tim Thornbury, public works director, choose to recognize his entire department for the fine job they have done every day during this period of time.
In his report, Mayor Roberts thanked the other commissioners for helping with the funeral for past mayor Monty Millard. He also announced a new business that is coming to Red Bank. Vintage and More, which he described as a business similar to the Knitting Mill in North Chattanooga, will open in the old Red Bank Hardware Store. The mayor also told those present that even though you may not always agree with your neighbors you should get to know and check on them if they are not seen for a while.
Vice Mayor Floy Pierce thanked the room full of Red Bank citizens from the Ashmore Terrace area who have come to so many meeting in order to save their neighborhood. Commissioner Eddie Pierce added that it is good to see a lot of participation and for people to know what is going on in their city. He commended the neighbors for the extensive legwork done and said in addition they had been cordial after the last meeting and thanked the commissioners for voting in their favor. Mack Henry, a participant in that group, thanked Becky Browder for her leadership in their efforts to prevent re-zoning.
Another citizen asked who would be responsible for improving the road to handle increased traffic through the Ridgemont Apartments leading to the new apartment development. City Attorney Arnold Stulce told her that the complex would be considered a residential zone leaving the responsibility to the taxpayers of Red Bank.
A third resident referencing the planned work to stop erosion on Stringers Ridge asked for the same to be done to her property where the stream runs through it. Even though trees are falling because of the erosion, on private property individuals are not allowed to cut them. It is a protected waterway with stringent guidelines and is state controlled, said the city manager, who will provide her with the name of a contact for help.