Ripley City Council members were presented with opportunities for the city at the regular meeting on Feb. 4.
Jim Mitchum, chief water operator, shared that he had received a grant from the Source Water Protection Program for $20,700.
“This will provide nine closed circuit cameras, 132-feet of fencing, and three outside lights at the water plant,” Mitchum said. “The level of security will be much better.”
Council approved hiring Branson Amos as a CoOp/Intern at the water plant at a rate of $10 per hour. He will work evenings when available as well as weekends and continue the CoOp in his senior year.
“I’m very impressed with this young man,” Mitchum said, “He has come to the water plant on his own a few times and has even gotten a book on water distribution to study.”
When asked what his plans were in five years, council was pleased with his answer.
“I plan on taking Jim’s place when he retires,” the high school junior said.
Parking meters in Ripley will soon see a change. An agreement with PayByPhone was approved for a one-year period. An option to pay meters by way of a phone app will be instituted.
Ripley is taking advantage of a contest offered by the television channel, HGTV.
“Ripley CVB Director Mike Ruben is working on an entry into the ‘Home Town Take Over’ competition,” Mayor Carolyn Rader said. “We have to submit a seven-minute video and Mike has a team working on it. We’ll have to wait to see if we’re chosen but we’re hopeful.”
Council members Rick Buckley, Carolyn Waybright, Danny Marton, Bryan Thompson, and City Recorder David Casto were updated on West Virginia Senate Bill 209. Councilman John McGinley was attending another meeting.
“This annexation bill won’t affect us a lot if passed,” Rader explained. “Our annexations have always been on property that was in close proximity to the city. Some cities seem to have gone far beyond that close proximity and the bill is trying to address that.”
In other business:
• Council held a second reading of Article 303.99 overtime parking penalty. This change would raise overtime parking fee from the current $3 to $5. The third reading and vote will take place at the next regular council meeting.
• Water loss from mid-December through mid-January was 4.7 percent, much lower than the state average.
• Council learned that work has begun on the dam.
• It was reported that after a change in internet providers, cameras at the city park are working more efficiently.
• Council approved the supplemental resolution providing parameters as to the principal amounts, date, maturity dates, interest rates, interest, interest and principal payment dates and other terms of the water refunding revenue bonds, series 2020A such bond; approved a confirmed ordinance; and made other provision as to the bonds.
• A motion was approved by Council to consider and act upon a proposed Sweet Resolution pertaining to the automatic payment of the bonds to the Municipal Bond Commission.
After a closed-door executive session lasting 52 minutes for the purpose of property purchase, no action was taken. Those in the session included council members, the mayor, City Attorney Keven Harris, City Treasurer Tom Armstead, and John Stump.
The next regular council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at the City Municipal Building.