RIPLEY - Ripley City Council, along with Police Chief Jim Fridley and his officers are working with the Division of Highways to address traffic congestion in several trouble spots within the city.

Mayor Carolyn Rader and Chief Fridley discussed areas of congestion that are being targeted with the help of West Virginia Division of Highways Traffic Engineer David Burris at council's meeting last week.

The area encompassing South Church Street/Route 21 adjacent to Ripley High School, Charleston Drive and Cedar Lakes Drive is one of the most troublesome areas of traffic congestion in Ripley.

Rader said plans are underway to extend the turn lane on South Church Street leading to Cedar Lakes Drive, and designate Charleston Drive as one-way (northbound) in the vicinity of the west end of the school parking lot adjacent to the Board of Education administrative offices. Signs were to be erected immediately.

Councilman Bryan Thompson suggested personal visits to the owners of two dwellings on Charleston Drive who will be affected by the one-way designation, and to announce the one-way designation to Ripley High School students as well. Council agreed.

Council members also discussed that the yield at Walters Street (in the vicinity of the old location of Pete's Hot Dogs) needs to be changed. Currently, the short length of street leaves a following car extending partially out onto Route 21. Ripley Police officers were requested to look at the situation and come back with a recommendation at the next council meeting.
Other suggestion was to make Maple Street to Route 33 a right turn only, and concerns about the traffic signal at Route 62 and Claylick Road, where the change from yellow to red occurs in mere seconds.
Mayor Rader said Burris is working to bump up the duration of the traffic signal at Main Street, Klondyke Road and Railroad Street to keep the east-west traffic flowing at the intersection.
In other action, Council:

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that will access a $5 fee to each Municipal Court criminal conviction to be used for the operation of Teen Court for Circuit 5 within Jackson County. Each month, the Clerk of Municipal Court will remit or cause to be remitted to the Clerk of the County Commission the collected Teen Court fees.

The first reading passed by a vote of 3-2 with one abstention with Recorder David Casto and Councilman Ed Moore voting against and Councilperson Carolyn Waybright abstaining. Councilmen Bryan Thompson, John McGinley and Russ Vannoy voted for the motion to approved the first reading.

• Approved Ripley Police officer Seth Johnson to full-time status retroactive to July 1, 2013.
• Approved a request for $100 as a Jackson General Hospital Team sponsor.
• Commended Ray Anderson and the city pool employees for running a "tight and successful ship."