The Red Bank Commission passed an ordinance Tuesday night on second and final reading that regulates short term rentals within the city. "Our hands have been tied because of state law," said Mayor John Roberts. Many residents, both for and against allowing these rentals, have come to recent commission meetings appealing to the commissioners for their side of the issue, but options available to the city have been limited by a law passed by the Tennessee state legislature.
The ordinance that became law Tuesday night requires that any unit operating as a short term rental must meet Red Bank’s building, health and safety codes such as having enough fire exits and sufficient parking. They can only be operated in R3 zones where triplexes are allowed, R-4 and R-5 zones where multi-family units exist, or commercial zones. Owners of these rentals will have to pay hotel and motel taxes. There is a protection for businesses that have already been operating legitimately for six months. If that is the case and all hotel/motel taxes have been paid and all the codes met, then the business may be "grandfathered in" wherever it is located.
Mayor Roberts told those in the audience that the ordinance can be reviewed after six months and changes to it can be made if they are needed.
It costs less to outsource animal control than for the city to operate it, said the mayor. The annual contract with the Humane Educational Society was approved Tuesday night for the coming year in the amount of $69,990.
An interlocal agreement between the city and Hamilton County was also authorized, for continuing mapping services to Red Bank, relating to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Equipment purchases were also approved for the police and fire departments. Four Ford police interceptor utility vehicles will be bought to replace old cars. The cost of the four new vehicles is $116,396. Three old Chargers will be kept to use as back-ups. The commission also voted to allow the police department to buy surplus military equipment, if needed. The fire department will be getting nine new portable Motorola radios and a charging device for the price of $45,176, which was a budgeted expense.
An agreement between Red Bank and Local Government Corporation in the amount of $43,621 was approved for buying upgraded financial accounting software and court software, and for annual software support and maintenance. This also was a planned and budgeted item.