During the Ripley City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 2, Mayor Carolyn Rader introduced the 2019 Miss West Virginia Chocolate Festival queen, Courtney Winter.

Winter explained her duties for the upcoming Ripley WV Chocolate Festival being hosted by Epworth United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 13.

The festival begins with a parade at 10 a.m. It will start near the Ripley Middle School and proceed to the area around the Jackson County Courthouse.

Epworth UMC will be the location of the 12th Annual Ripley Chocolate Festival. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 30 plus vendors will be set up with everything from chocolate eggs and fudge, to cake pops and chocolate covered bacon.

Winter noted there will be a presentation at 12:30 p.m. by James Froemel of Morgantown who portrays world-famous cartoonist Charles Schultz.

In other business:

• Council approved the minutes as read.

• Motion was made and approved to accept the Public Hearing minutes as presented.

• Council accepted and approved the financial statements for payment.

• Mayor Rader recommended raising the beginning salary of a patrolman with the City of Ripley Police Department to $13 per hour with no increase following the completion of the academy. Council approved the recommendation.

• Kara Hughes from the State Treasurer’s Office gave a presentation on the Board of Treasury Investments. Council agreed to table the matter until the next meeting for further review.

• Chief of Police Brad Anderson reported that on April 15 two of the new officers will attend the police academy.

• Jim Mitchem noted the repairs to the water plant have been completed.

• Doug Skeen mentioned he will be attending the WV Home Rule Board meeting on April 10 and will report back after the meeting.

• Council approved to table the third reading of the Sewer Bond Ordinance until the next meeting on April 16.

• Mayor Rader reported she will be working with the Parks Advisory Council on a job description for a possible park position for the hours of 6-11 p.m. The matter will be addressed at the next council meeting.

• Chief Anderson recommended the hiring of Anthony Gaskins as the new patrolman for the City of Ripley Police Department effective April 15 at a starting salary of $13 per hour contingent upon passing the mental health review. Council approved the recommendation.

• Mike Bishman with Professional Pool Management reviewed the management program and agreement they have for the city pool.

• Chris Pecka reported on the DataMax agreement for collecting B&O tax from new accounts.

• Council approved the second reading on the discussion of Ordinance 171.15.

• Chief Anderson recommended changing the status o f Kathy Johnson’s employment from probationary to permanent. Council approved the recommendation.

• Council approved the other ½ day of Good Friday as a paid holiday.