The Red Bank Commissioners held a retreat at the end of February where they prioritized what they hope to accomplish in the coming year. Municipal Technical Advisory Services, the organization that assists cities in the state of Tennessee, guided the meeting and compiled the results that were presented at the commission meeting Tuesday night and formally accepted by the commission.
The goals of the city that will be the focus in fiscal year 2023-2024 are to revamp the stormwater ordinance and fee structure associated with it, to improve the multi-modal transportation network in the city and to develop a comprehensive plan that includes fulfilling the land conversion agreement at the former Red Bank Middle School site.
A goal will also be to create a Red Bank community library and civic center and to develop more parks, trails and recreation services. The goals for the city will be available in greater detail on the city’s website under “Commission Retreats.”
The public works building has been considered as “the most broken thing in the city.” At the Tuesday night meeting, the commissioners voted to begin making improvements, starting by authorizing an agreement with Barge Design Solutions to do a needs assessment, a concept design and construction cost estimates. This will be a comprehensive look at big ticket expenses that are needed, said Capital Projects Manager Leslie Johnson. It is aimed at helping to make informed decisions with a rolling 10-year view, she said. The cost of professional services from Barge were capped at $44,000.
The purchasing policy for the public works department has not been adjusted since 2014. The most that could be spent was $750 without a bid process. Considering inflation and the changes in prices in recent years, that threshold has been increased to $2,500, which should increase efficiency and reduce a lot of steps and people signing off when three bids are required for an expenditure.
Two new boards have been formed in the city - the Red Bank Public Art Citizens Advisory Board and the Red Bank Cemetery Citizens Advisory Board. On Tuesday, the art board was filled with 10 appointments. They are Lawrence Miller, Laurie Dworak, Megan Ledbetter, Courtney Workman, Nikki Griffith, James Carey, Amy Griffith, Tessa Ross, Anthony Price and Meghan Furr. These members, all Red Bank citizens, have a variety of interests in art and includes artists, art educators from public schools and one from Chattanooga State, along with a couple of people with experience in organizing special events. Some of the public art projects that are expected will be to cover signal boxes along the roads with art and painting a mural on a retaining wall on Morrison Springs Road.
Two members were appointed to the recently created cemetery board on Tuesday. They are John Shearer and Jennifer Webster. They will join Laurie Dworak, Sal Arrigo, Jr., Abbey Myers and Stefanie Haire, the original members of the board. The board met for the first time and results can already be seen at the Red Bank Cemetery, said City Manager Martin Granum. Dead trees are being removed and a survey of the cemetery is underway. When underbrush was removed, another old access road into the cemetery was discovered.
On the first reading, a comprehensive revision of the city’s animal ordinance passed. It governs ownership, control and regulation of animals and domesticated fowl within the city limits. The new ordinance contains conditions recommended by the McKamey Animal Center, which is the organization that provides animal services for Red Bank. Examples of changes to the city’s ordinance include the prohibition of animals being tethered during certain hours, ensuring animals access to adequate water and defining the difference in a community and a feral cat. This vote was for the revised ordinance that the city follows, it was not a vote for the contract with McKamey, but the city is very pleased with their services, said Police Chief Dan Seymour.
A resolution passed that proclaimed April 9-15 as national Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The resolution recognizes that emergency dispatchers are the first and a critical contact for citizens with emergency services involving police, fire and medical services. The 911 dispatchers also aid police in the apprehension of criminals. City Manager Granum said that the cost to Hamilton County 911 will increase 13 percent next year, but that is considered a tremendous value. He said there is no way that Red Bank would be able to provide the level of excellence that the Hamilton County 911 provides the city.
A second resolution that was passed endorsed and promotes the Active People Healthy Nation initiative of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). With it, the city will provide opportunities and locations to citizens for activities that encourage an active lifestyle which is known to lead to a healthier community.