A topic of discussion that has been tossed around the City Council table for years, the former Dr. Ladd building will soon be the new home of Red Boiling Springs City Hall and the Red Boiling Springs Police Department after a unanimous vote to purchase the property last Thursday night.The former Dr. Ladd building, located at 361 Lafayette Road, is priced for the City at $225,000 with an appraisal value of $275,000.
Council members voted to purchase the property by collectively dipping into five City departments for the total $225,000, instead of taking out a loan. The department fund withdrawals are as follows: Gas Dept. - $55,000, Water Dept. - $55,000, General Fund - $55,000, Sanitation Dept. - $5,000, City Improvement - $55,000.
The current City Hall/Police Department building is located in a designated flood zone in the valley of more elevated land areas. The new building will be located at the top of a hill and will have enough land area to include the RBS Fire Department in the future.
The building itself will need renovations and repairs before moving begins.
Under the subject of Utilities on the meeting agenda, Chad Owens, head of the City’s Natural Gas Department, approached the council with the suggestion to expand the gas department.
Since being purchased in 2007, Owens stated that the gas department has done considerably well and has assets currently totaling $268,000.
Owens suggested extending the gas line on Oak Grove Road (109 potential customers) with an estimated project cost of $135,708 and Carthage Rd. (82 potential customers) with an estimated project cost of $81,743.60.
He also offered up the suggestion of providing a promotional discount to new customers, which would include a free gas tap, meter set (approx. $75 value), and natural gas heater (approx. $125 value) with a required, one-year service agreement.
Council members requested evidence that enough customers would sign-up for natural gas to make the project costs worthwhile by going door-to-door and returning with solid numbers. Owens stated that if at least half of the potential customers in those areas were interested, the expansion would be in the City’s best interest.
In other business:
- Minutes were approved for the January 12th and January 23rd RBS City Council meetings.
- Stephanie Holmes and Chris Haygood of TML Insurance approached council members requesting their blessing to speak to City employees about the benefits they offer. The employee-paid insurance benefits offered by TML include: vision insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and cancer insurance.
- Park Department: Cameras are currently up and running in the City parks to record any criminal activity.
- Council member George McCrary requested that City Mayor Bobby Etheridge schedule a work session to discuss an employee handbook for the city’s water department and police department submitted by superintendent Brian Long and Police Chief Terry Tuck.
- Council members voted to approve the low bid of $9,000 from Mike Farley for the bridge on Sunset Dr. & McClure St. The concrete work will include pouring a new culvert top and wing walls. The City was awarded $9,360 from FEMA for the project due to flood damage.