The meeting of the Red Bank Commission began with the swearing in of City Judge Johnny Houston by General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell. This will be his third term as the city’s judge. Commissioner Ruth Jeno said that Judge Houston has always been fair, kind and generous and has been an exceptional judge.
The Red Bank Fire Department will be getting two new specialized vehicles after they were approved for purchase at the commission meeting. A Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Utility Terrain Vehicle will be bought for $59,701 to be used for extinguishing brush fires and to perform rescues that are off the beaten path, specifically in the White Oak Park/Stringers Ridge Park which is shared with Chattanooga, as well as any new parks that are just now in the planning stages, said Fire Chief Brent Sylar.
City Manager Martin Granum added that it could be used not only for parks but for any unimproved areas where firefighters could get in before a fire gets big. In response to Commissioner Ruth Jeno, he said that he estimates that 25 percent of Stringers Ridge is in the authority of Red Bank. The city has an agreement with Chattanooga for fire and rescue in the park as long as they are available, said Commissioner Jeno, who was the only vote against the purchase, saying she believes the park is covered at this time.
A 2022 Ford F-250, 4x4 Crew Cab, diesel powered pickup truck will also be added to the fire department’s administrative fleet. It will be assigned to Chief Sylar and will be a command vehicle, he said, and will be used to pull a 10,000-pound trailer that carries 650 pounds of foam, which is the reason a large truck is needed. The truck will be bought through a state contract at the price of $62,736.
Another vehicle was approved for the public works department. A Kuboda commercial lawnmower will be purchased for $17,738 to replace the eight-year-old mower that is currently in the shop. The mower is used five days a week for upkeep of all the city’s parks and green spaces and, while the old one is being repaired, the city has had to use a rental mower.
A vote passed to participate in and accept a Safety Partners grant for $2,000 from the city’s insurer, Public Entity Partners. The purpose of the grant is to encourage a safe and hazard free work place. The council agreed to provide a required $2,000 match. This is a grant that is received each year, and this year the money will be used to purchase personal protective equipment, specifically, boots for the public works employees. Another grant for $1,000 from Tennessee American Water will buy equipment to be used on the fire department’s new pumper truck.
In reports from the commission and city administration, Commissioner Jeno gave a reminder that the city’s beautification board will meet on Friday. She also said the Senior Center will be holding an event “Building futures and Changing Lives,” on Oct. 3 where help will be provided to seniors for the use of computers, cell phones and other technologies.
Mayor Hollie Berry reported that the Community Food Pantry at Red Bank United Methodist Church will hold the next distribution on Oct. 6 from 4:30-6 p.m. And Vice Mayor Stefanie Dalton said that the annual coupon books are now being sold at all Hamilton County schools. They can be bought from any student or any school in person or from the school’s website.
City Manager Granum said it is close to the one-year mark since he started working for Red Bank. Now the commissioners are beginning to create an annual assessment for him. And he will be doing the same for the six people who report directly to him.
City Recorder Tracey Perry told the commissioners that one of the new positions that the city created this year has been filled. A capital projects manager has been hired and will begin on Oct. 10.