Red Bank Neighborhood Pride upset over city codes enforcement reduction

Red Bank Neighborhood Pride upset over city codes enforcement reduction

June 29th, 2011 by Katie Ward in Community Hixson

Red Bank Neighborhood Pride members are voicing concerns over the recent elimination of the Red Bank codes officer position.

About 20 RBNP members met following the Red Bank Council-approved elimination to hear Commissioner John Roberts explain that codes enforcement will still continue.

"We are really disappointed the majority of commissioners decided to eliminate the codes officer and not raise property taxes," said Red Bank Neighborhood Pride co-chair Erin Creal. "The codes officer is brand new, so he was not given much of a chance to make a difference."

Creal said the city of Red Bank will not be able to attract new residents or new businesses without good city services.

"We cannot have good services at the current tax base where they cut services rather than improve," she said. "For the commissioners that voted against the tax increase, I think that was a shortsighted idea. If they are not interested in making the tough decisions to raise taxes to improve our city, then we are not going to improve."

Red Bank Neighborhood Pride membership co-chair Carla Quinn said she appreciates that Roberts was willing to come to the RBNP meeting to explain what's going on.

"The reason why codes enforcement was cut is because I'm tired of throwing money at something and not getting a return on our investment," said Roberts. "Codes falls under public works [department] for the city of Chattanooga. I feel like our public works' Jimmy Mathis and Tim Thornbury can get the job done. We need to focus on codes, but we need someone to enforce it."

Roberts said the city of Red Bank requires basic property maintenance like what is required throughout the state of Tennessee.

"We need more teeth in the Red Bank codes," he said. "If you have cars that don't run you have to get rid of them."

He said once vegetation such as grass or weeds has reached a height of over 1 foot, city code says it must be cut.

Red Bank city codes also talk about removing stagnant water, weeds, dead animals, health and sanitation nuisances and house trailers without proper sanitation procedures from property. After being cited to city court, for each day the offending homeowner does not remedy the problem a fine of $50 can be issued by the city judge upon finding guilt.

• To learn more about Red Bank city codes, visit the city's website and click on Ordinances.