RIPLEY - Ripley City Council voted unanimously (4-0 with one abstention and Councilman John McGinley absent due to work) to fund up to $30,000 for new firefighting and rescue equipment for the Ripley Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire Chief Rick Gobble was again present to address Council and answer questions about the list of equipment on the RpVFD’s wish list.
Gobble had first addressed Council at its October 15 meeting with a request for some $42,000 for specific equipment and another $18,000 for a total of $60,000.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Gobble presented a revised list and estimate after consulting with fellow Ripley firefighters and companies which handle the equipment including Jaws of Life, a thermal camera, a saw and hand tools.
“We’re trying to get our department into the 21st century,” said Gobble. “I’ll take what I can get as far as funding, appreciate it and hold no hard feelings against anyone. We’re working with chiefs of other county department and hope talk with the County Commission about funding that has been dormant since 1982.”
Councilman Ed Moore questioned the safety of blades listed for a saw on the list used to cur through double roofs and steel doors, and abstained from the final vote due to his business dealing with Stihl products.
Councilman Bryan Thomson made the motion to approve the $30,000 cap figure proposed by Mayor Carolyn Rader and Councilperson Carolyn Waybright seconded the motion.
In discussion, Council members stated the money was well-spent and voiced their favor for the department, its volunteers and upgrading equipment.
Gobble noted that his department’s membership is down to about 16 active firefighters due to increased training requirements, a trend toward lessened volunteerism and other pursuits.
Crissy Randolph, director of the Ripley Veterans Day Pageant, was on hand to introduce some of the pageant royalty, Miss Ripley Veterans Day 2013 Jessica Hamrick, Ms. Riley Veterans Day 2013 Vicki Clay and Miss Pre-Teen Ripley Veterans Day 2013 Kaylee Cheyenne. The royalty will take part in Monday’s Veterans Day Parade and ceremonies, including helping with tying hundreds of yellow ribbons in Ripley Sunday in preparation for Monday’s festivities.
Randolph said the Ripley Veterans Day pageant has been registered with the West Virginia Association of Fair and Festivals and will send three title holders to state level pageants. Royalty will also be working with TroopLink.
Mayor Carolyn Rader said Monday’s 10 a.m. parade will include over 100 veterans including Korean War and World War II vets, 11 royalty and 50 entries, including two units (postal and ordnance) from the Jackson County Armed Forces Reserve Center. A ceremony will follow at 11 a.m. on the Courthouse Square.
City Supervisor Tim King reported on recent sewer void repairs and other maintenance work and projects.
Page 2 of 2 - Park Commissioner Ray Anderson informed Council that all three Ripley youth football teams reached the “Super Bowl” finals last Sunday at Parkersburg’s Stadium Field. The A-and B-teams won championships, while the C-team finished as close runners-up. The B-Team finished an undefeated season, while the A-Team knocked off previously unbeaten Vienna, 16-0.
Council members will present a key to the city to the Ripley Viking Band for their outstanding 2013 show and accomplishments prior to the Hatchet Game Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Kevin Harris marked his sixth year as Ripley City Attorney.