The city of Red Bank is making improvements to Dayton Boulevard. The road running through the middle of town will be resurfaced from Greenleaf Street to Browntown Road. Two bids were received for the 2.2 miles of paving. At the commission meeting Tuesday night, a bid of $1,116,837.50 from Talley Construction Company was approved for the work. The city will be responsible for paying 20 percent of the cost and 80 percent will come from a grant.
City Manager Tim Thornbury said that before scheduling the work, letters have been sent to all utilities to notify them that the street will be repaved and that any road cuts that they make should be done prior to the resurfacing.
"However, you never know when an emergency will occur that requires a cut," the city manager told the board.
Signalization of the same stretch of road will be done after the paving. Pedestrian crosswalks will also be built during this phase of the work. Flashing lights will be added at the crosswalks for safety.
Another project that the city is now in the process of doing is putting sidewalks along Dayton Boulevard from Newberry to Greenleaf Streets. Mr. Thornbury said that the original plans had to be changed to remove curbs at some locations because cars were unable to get in and out of parking lots. In these areas, for pedestrian safety, he said street markings will be used to delineate the road from the sidewalk. He asks for the residents of Red Bank to be patient with all the construction that will be taking place in the next several months.
Dayton Boulevard and most of the commercial areas in Red Bank are in a flood zone, so it is very important to control stormwater, said Mayor Hollie Berry. The city is having a study done by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) at the University of Tennessee, to review the current stormwater rates and to determine if the current charge will cover upgrades if and when they are needed. The study will be done at no cost to Red Bank.
During upcoming budget discussions, the city will be considering providing access to the Chattanooga Public Library for some people living in Red Bank. All residents in Hamilton County were eligible to use the library when the county helped fund the facility. Once Hamilton County stopped contributing to the library and the city of Chattanooga became responsible for running it, only residents of Chattanooga can receive free library cards. The cost to others is now $50 per year which might be a problem for some people, said the mayor. Library Executive Director Corrine Hill was invited to speak at the work session held before the regular commission meeting on Tuesday, informing of all the new services that are available in addition to books. The mayor will propose a pilot program to have the city purchase a small number of library cards and have them available to residents in Red Bank who cannot afford them.
Also, up for consideration will be to create no mow zones at areas that are seldom utilized by people, such as steep or boggy locations in the city’s parks. These places that would be left to naturalize will create habitat for pollinators which are threatened and are essential for food production. The mayor said this is a way to help the pollinators while saving taxpayers money. Before voting, Commissioners Ruth Jeno and Pete Phillips want to walk the properties that have been suggested to evaluate how they are now being used. Another way the habitats could be created is to make the areas pollinator gardens with beneficial native plants.
Another potential program introduced by the mayor that is intended to create community involvement is to designate a “yard of the month.” Commissioner Jeno suggested having residents send recommendations to the city and posting photos on Red Bank’s website.
Two churches in Red Bank are providing food to people who need it. The Red Bank Community Food Pantry distributes boxes of food on the first and third Thursday’s of the month from 4:30-6 p.m. Red Bank Baptist Church will also be giving away boxes of food this Friday, and several other days during the month. Volunteers are needed at both locations to help unloading, packing and distributing the food.