Auditors Say Red Bank In Excellent Financial Shape; Commission To Start Meetings An Hour Earlier

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - by Gail Perry

Red Bank received an unmodified opinion on the yearly audit, with no exceptions, no errors and no mistakes. This is the best you can get, CPA Brian Wright of Johnson Murphy and Wright told the commissioners Tuesday night. After buying needed equipment, the fund balance was left with $5.5 million, which is the amount needed to run the city for an entire year. Red Bank is in very good shape, he said.


Some modifications have been made due to the changes on the board of commissioners after the recent election.

Resolutions were approved that authorized the new mayor and vice mayor to sign bank forms and signature cards in order for the city to write checks. And changes in leadership of the police department required the authorization of interim police chief, Sergeant John Wright, for signing checks from the drug fund.


Members of the planning commission are appointed by each city commissioner, and those terms are tied to the commissioner that makes the appointment. Vice Mayor Terry Pope, who was re-elected in November, reappointed Rufus Smith and thanked him for his service of six years. Commissioner Ed LeCompte, who also was re-elected last month, reappointed Bill Cannon who has served on the board for the last four years. Newly elected Commissioner Ruth Jeno appointed Richard Floyd, a former state legislator.


Marty Hawkins, who is a professional engineer, was appointed as Red Bank’s representative to the management committee of the Hamilton County water quality program. He was thanked for assuming this volunteer position. 


Another change that will be taking place beginning with the Jan. 15 commission meeting is a new time. In the hope that more people will be able to attend, and so the staff can get home earlier, the meetings will begin at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. The ordinance change will require a second reading and vote to become final.


The city’s code book has not been updated in 22 years, said City Manager Tim Thornbury. The commissioners approved a resolution that authorizes the Municipal Technical Advisory Service to perform a comprehensive study, review and update of the Red Bank city code book, along with the payment for this service.


The issuance of a capital outlay note in an amount not to exceed $285,000 was approved for the purchase of four police vehicles and the cost of outfitting them, and for buying breathing apparatus for the fire department. The loan will be paid off in three years. This is an expense that was included in the current budget.


Three ordinances were passed on second and final vote Tuesday night. Set back requirements in the C-1 and C-3 commercial zoning districts were modified in order to correspond to provisions of the design review ordinance. The purpose is to provide some uniformity in the commercial district, primarily along Dayton Boulevard. With the revisions, buildings cannot be closer than seven feet from the front of the property line and cannot be less than 25 feet from the rear property line.


A second ordinance that became law with the second vote, establishes limitations with respect to street widths. This variance procedure to alter the width of some roads was needed due to the topography, so that some properties could be developed. The minimum road width, previously 22 feet, has been changed to 20 feet. The fire chief must sign-off on a variance to assure that emergency vehicles can get through. Any variance to the road width must be approved by the commissioners.


 To promote development and redevelopment in the commercial zone along Dayton Boulevard, under certain circumstances, the city can now allow public use of the city’s right-of-way for private purposes. This would technically be a “right-of-temporary-use,” said City Attorney Arnold Stulce.  The city can take back the property whenever it wants to. Red Bank is not giving up its right-of-way property.


A certificate of compliance was given to My Discount Liquor and Tobacco, 2105 Dayton Blvd., after the interim police chief confirmed that the business has complied with all ordinances.


The Ashland Terrace project is 90 percent complete, said the city manager. Rainy and cold weather has delayed the final steps of pouring concrete.


The Red Bank Christmas Festival and Parade will take place the night of Friday, Dec. 7. The festival is from 4-8. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.


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