Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs is currently seeking a grant to install a city generator, which would provide power to the fire department, police department and city hall in the event of an outage or natural disaster.

Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs is currently seeking a grant to install a city generator, which would provide power to the fire department, police department and city hall in the event of an outage or natural disaster.

Red Boiling Springs is on a mission to grow, but city officials are also focused on services for current residents.

To that end, the city is working toward the bid process for a generator that Mayor Kenneth Hollis said would cover the police department, fire department and city hall if funding is approved.

"It's a federal grant, and we're hoping to have everything in place within eight months," Hollis said. "That (would be) a big plus for the city. If there's a disaster, we can keep operations running, or if the electricity goes out and someone needs to come by city hall and pay their utilities, they can."

According to Hollis, the installation would also complete the city's original plans for its fire hall.

"When the fire department was originally built, it was supposed to include a generator," Hollis said. "It doesn't, and it's something we ought to have in place."

Red Boiling Springs also looks to install exercise equipment in the city park this fall using previously-approved grant funding. City council member George McCrary has been heading the effort, which saw a walking trail installed last year using the first portion of funds.

"There will be about six pieces installed on a special kind of turf concrete," McCrary said. "As soon as we get bids ready and select a contractor ... hopefully, we'll have it done in the next couple of months."

Plans for the equipment include push-up and pull-up stations, a cardio stepper, an ab crunch lift and a hand cycle (which is designed to help people in wheelchairs exercise their arm muscles.)

"The walking trail has been very popular, and this will be another way for people to get active before or after they walk," McCrary said. "There's a high rate of obesity in the area, and we want people to have ways to exercise and improve their health."

Macon County's obesity rate was estimated at 42.3 percent for females and 40.1 percent for males (above the state and national averages) in 2011, according to a study conducted through the University of Washington. Data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic health organization, places the county's adult obesity rate at 32.4 percent (approaching the upper quarter of counties) as of 2015.

McCrary hopes to see numbers like those decrease with new opportunities in place for residents.

"It feels really good (to see this project ending)," McCrary said. "It's been a long process, and I've enjoyed working on it, but I'm excited to see it get done. I hope it will help our people become healthier citizens."