Ripley City Pool scheduled to open June 15

Suzette Lowe
Jackson Newspapers

The Ripley City Council received several pieces of good news at its June 2 meeting.

Mayor Carolyn Rader reporter that the audit for the past fiscal year has been completed with no findings.

“Thanks to our city clerk, Tom Armstead,” Rader said, “we received a very good audit report. We are doing everything we’re supposed to do.”

The city pool is finally going to open for the summer. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many area pools are remaining closed. By following state guidelines, Rader says she’s confident that the pool can be operated as safely as possible.

Everyone, including staff, will have their temperature taken with an infrared on-touch thermometer as they enter. Social distancing when outside the pool will be required. Staff, excluding lifeguards, will wear masks and concessions will be pre-packaged with only canned drinks available.

“We really want everyone to feel safe at our pool,” Rader said. “Our pool manager, Tonya Criser, will be on top of things.”

Season passes will not be sold this year because the mayor said the situation could always change with the health crisis. Admission will be $4 per person.

Council members addressed another physical fitness topic.

Starting in June, up to 20 city employees will have their membership at RipCity Fitness covered by the city. The total expenditure will not exceed $600 per month. After city police officers are given first choice, city employees will fill the remaining slots.

Ripley Police Chief Brad Anderson said this will be of particular benefit to his officers.

“We have to be ready to face anything that comes our way,” he said. “This will help keep my guys in better shape and better prepared.”

Councilwoman Carolyn Waybright concurred, saying, “We owe it to our police officers to take care of their physical health.”

Discussion on the upcoming Fourth of July celebration was held. As of the meeting, no decision had been issued by the governor’s office regarding the plan submitted by the city. (Note: See related story outlining approved plans.)

Rader explained that the plan submitted was a scaled-down version of the normal celebration.

“We’ve got it down to just two days with the parade, concerts, and fireworks,” she said. “We will mark the sidewalks with huge Xs to have social distancing. We have about 17,000 feet for people to stretch out from Gino’s Pizza to Sheetz to watch the parade.”

In other business, council members Waybright, John McGinley, Danny Martin, Rick Buckley, Bryan Thompson, and Recorder David Casto:

• Approved a budget revision of $90,560

• Approved providing Prevention Resource Officer agreements between the city and the Jackson County Board of Education for Ripley High School and Ripley Middle School

• Approved Mayor Rader, on the city’s behalf, to enter a contractual agreement with the Division of Justice and Community Services to receive and administer grant funds for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program

• Learned the city is still waiting for the County Commission to hold a public meeting on the minor boundary adjustment requested

• Learned that parking tickets are being issued again, but the PaybyPhone app option is available for use

• Learned the Coplin Exercise Park is available for public use

The next Ripley City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16 at the Municipal Building.