Three newly elected commissioners were sworn in by Judge Gary Starnes at the Red Bank Commission meeting on Tuesday night. Two are returning, Commissioners Ed LeCompte and Terry Pope, and the third, Ruth Jeno, is returning, after a lapse, for a third term on the commission.
The commissioners elected Eddie Pierce to serve as the new mayor and Terry Pope to be vice mayor.
Before stepping down as mayor, John Roberts spoke of the progress that has taken place in Red Bank over the eight years that he was on the commission. Six of those years he held the position of mayor. During that time he said that he helped lay the foundation for change. Cleaning up the city and the neighborhoods has paid off. Property values have increased by 25 percent, he said. Roads have been repaved, plans are in the works about how to use the old middle school property, and economic development has increased with businesses moving back into the city. He said that he is looking forward to see what the new board of commissioners will do. “The city’s in good hands,” he said.
Newly installed Mayor Pierce told the board and citizens who came to the meeting that he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in the position. He said he would do his best to keep the momentum going of moving the city forward which Mayor Roberts started. "I’ll lean on all of you on the commission for help," he said. "Everyone has an equal responsibility."
In the continuing effort to promote growth, the commission passed an ordinance on first reading that clarifies and establishes limitations with respect to the width of pavement. It is recognized that due to topographical conditions in the city, some parcels of land that are available for development can only be used if the city allows for flexibility in the width of roads leading to the property. The absolute minimum width of 20 feet is in the ordinance which will allow access to fire and emergency vehicles and equipment.
Another ordinance that passed will allow, under certain circumstances and conditions, the use of public right-of-way for private purposes. It was emphasized that allowing use of the city owned property is temporary, and that Red Bank is not giving up the right-of-way.
On second and final reading, a third commercial designation, C-3, was approved. This zone will allow commercial use while protecting existing neighborhoods and will amend the permitted and prohibited uses in the zone that will allow a low-intensity form of commercial development such as drug stores, bakeries, florists and beauty shops among many other types of businesses.
Another ordinance passed on final reading that amends the permitted and prohibited uses and set back requirements in the new C-3 zone. The amendment contains provisions that correspond to the recommendations of the design review ordinance.
The final reading of an ordinance that will regulate outdoor display, storage or sales within the commercial zones was approved. Outdoor sales, for example, will only be allowed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
A moratorium has been in effect regarding solar panels, but now the commissioners have had time to make regulations to govern items having to do with the equipment such as placement, size and use of solar equipment. The amended ordinance was approved to permit and regulate the use of solar energy systems in Red Bank.
Elliot Brewer was granted a zoning change from R-1 to R-TZ townhouse zero lot line. Plans are for constructing six single-family houses on the 1.3-acre parcel.
A contract with TDOT was amended. This will extend the original timing for using a sidewalk installation grant received by the city. More time is needed because of delays created with the drainage work that is being done on Ashland Terrace. This amendment will give the city time to complete the project.
Red Bank will enter into an agreement with Total Resources, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $18,000 for temporary labor during leaf pick-up season.
Commissioners approved a 125 cafeteria plan for 2019 for insuring city employees.